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IMTS PAVILION: ABRASIVE GRINDING


can be monitored for the most effi cient production. Vision cam- eras can be placed in the automation and in the machine and are capable of working with the new software package.” Riddiford said that the monitoring systems available can


capture enough data so that it can be analyzed off-line in order to support predictive maintenance. ANCA is working to de- velop its software to the point that the predictive analysis and maintenance can be handled inside the machine’s system.


“Current honing machines,” said Hanna, “have auto- mated lubrication and screen warnings for maintenance. Our machines are much simpler [than many other types of machine tools] from a mechanical standpoint with a higher level of control, so they have fewer parts to fail. With the current level of control we can integrate thermo- couples and vibration sensors to alert the customer to pending problems.”


Furthermore, he said, “Our high-production machines are PC equipped and have Internet capability. In addition, we are working on the capability to diagnose problems—both process and machine diagnostics—remotely.” As for handling today’s superhard materials, Hanna is pretty much in line with his colleagues at other companies. “The key to processing exotic materials,” he said, “is the abrasives as well as coolant and the proper machine settings for performance.” Looking to the future, Hanna sees two major


trends on the horizon, “a higher level of process feedback to maintain production effi ciency and more automation and fewer people involved in production.” Gehring L.P. (Farmington Hills, MI) will be focusing on people at IMTS—and for the foresee- able future afterward.


This product portfolio of the Gehring Academy’s offerings in Germany is likely similar but not identical to what the company will announce at IMTS for the North American version of the program.


The new software suite is also easily moved from one machine to another, he added, and a single host computer can serve an unlimited number of grinding machines. “The direction of the industry is to have no fi les resident on a machine,” Riddiford said, “but rather to keep it on a host computer for security.” Sunnen Products Co. (St. Louis) is taking its own steps to get on board with Big Data. “We are in the process of creating a global process database to help speed the devel- opment of specifi c honing processes for customer applica- tions,” said Phil Hanna, product manager of Machines and Gaging of the company’s fl edgling effort.


Sunnen is further along in terms of monitoring machine operations and connectivity.


180 AdvancedManufacturing.org | August 2016


The honing technology company will hold the formal launch of the Gehring Academy in the US at IMTS. The academy is a multifaceted train- ing program for employees of its customers. It is made up of a half-dozen modules, ranging from


Operation through Events that provide training, information and in most cases certifi cation to attendees. “The initiative to develop the academy concept,” said Rita


Conroy, Gehring’s director of marketing, “was driven both by our goal to provide maximum value to our customers—trained operators mean, of course, higher production effi ciency and uptime—as well as furthering our mission to promote advanced honing technology solutions. We had the formal launch of the Gehring Academy in June at our German headquarters as we celebrated the 90th anniversary of the company’s founding.” Conroy noted that the scope of the academy will be tweeked for the US customer base. The courses available in North America will be announced at IMTS along with the Academy’s fee structure.


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