Q&A with T.J. Boudreau

Category manager at Weiler Abrasives Group

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What’s a typical day like for you at Weiler?

I wished there was a typical day — no such thing really.  Our team does a lot of collaborating. We have four or five people in the field on any given day, and they are calling on four or five different customers, so there always seems to be an interesting new challenge to tackle. A day does not go by where I don’t speak to one of our field team members about a specific customer problem or interesting issue and work with that team member to find the best solution for customer.

I also do a lot of coordinating with our factory in Europe. I try to help make sure that we are focusing on the right things and doing what we need to in order to be a market leader in terms of quality, service, and delivery.

What is Weiler doing to provide its customers with increased engineering support?

We have a formal program called Weiler Process Solutions (WPS), which focuses on working directly with end users and understanding how we can bring value to their unique applications.  At a basic level, we examine what they are doing and work to understand their challenges. We document their entire process to make sure that we are properly leveraging our technology and expertise to help solve their unique manufacturing challenges.

By understanding their full manufacturing processes, we can help solve many different types of problems relating to quality, delivery, and consumable spend.  The WPS tools help us clearly define our customers’ manufacturing challenges and document the cost savings and productivity gains our products help them achieve.

We have four application experts placed throughout the country, but no one has a specific geography per se. If a particular team member has an expertise that is suitable for a specific customer’s challenge, we will get them on an airplane to support that customer. We make sure the appropriate technical team member is available to work with our customers and solve their manufacturing challenges.

What has Weiler been developing that will aid in gear manufacturing?

The Global Weiler team has recently developed a new bond technology for gear grinding that we are calling the V59 bond. I like to think of the bond as the foundation of the grinding wheel as it represents roughly half of the grinding wheel, and it is what holds everything together. Our new bond is extremely strong. This strength allows us to produce grinding wheels that are safer and stronger than other vitrified bonds in the market. Weiler V59 bond gear grinding wheels will be rated for very high speeds, up to 80 meters per second and occasionally higher for specific applications. The increased strength of our V59 bond also allows us to make very high porosity wheels. This porosity allows for greater chip clearance and penetration of coolant into the grind zone, which results in higher metal removal rates as well as shorter cycle times. Additionally, customers will experience a cooler cutting grinding wheel that holds form better; this will reduce our customers’ dressing consumable cost and again reduce overall cycle time.

There are a myriad of mechanical and thermodynamic advantages in being able to produce grinding wheels with very open structures. We can pair our V59 bond technology with advanced aluminum oxide technologies and have an aluminum oxide wheel that is far more capable of metal-removal rate and form holding — something not previously available to the marketplace.

We also have developed a unique ceramic grain technology. When we pair these grains with our new V59 bond, we’re able to produce the highest performing wheels in the world and, in-turn, offer gear manufacturers significant improvements in their grinding applications.

What does Weiler hope to gain from its recent AGMA membership?

We joined AGMA because it is an opportunity for us to learn. We are committed to being the market leader in the gear grinding and deburring markets. So, for Weiler to be part of AGMA, that means we can learn from and partner with the most innovative gear companies in the world.

The organization is known for being on the cutting edge. They are the people who come up with the standards that set the tone for the industry, and being a member will allow us to network and collaborate with some of the best companies in the world.

We are a company with unique technology, and we are extremely customer focused. AGMA will give us a chance to collaborate and stay out in front of the technology that is being developed, while giving AGMA a partner in grinding and deburring.

Also, by joining the AGMA, we have the opportunity to be a part of AGMA’s technical committees. We intend for some of our team to join one of the technical committees and contribute their expertise. I think it is an excellent opportunity and an excellent fit for the Weiler Abrasives.

What should attendees expect when they stop by your booth at the Motion + Power Technology Expo in October?

We will have our new V59 bond technology on display, and we will be displaying our full gear-grinding offerings in terms of geometry, shape, and size. We will also be introducing attendees to our deburring technology, including our wire-brush technology and our Nylox brush technology.

Our booth will be staffed by our technical experts, so attendees can have an immediate discussion about some of their technical challenges, and hopefully we can solve them right there on the floor. 

MORE INFO  www.weilerabrasives.com