Drake Manufacturing Services Co. is enjoying a surge in exports to Chinese manufacturers, with orders in hand for more than 25 machines. This latest machine is a GS:TI-LM 200, a four-axis internal thread grinder with a 200mm maximum grinding length and 350mm swing over the table. It was tooled and programmed to grind recirculating ball nuts used in the power steering systems of heavy-duty commercial trucks. It is the second machine delivered to this customer, and more than doubles their production capacity. The steering nut weighs over 9 kg and is manually loaded into a custom workholding fixture. Robot loading is also available. Cycle time for the internal thread grinding process is approximately two minutes.
The GS:TI-LM 200 is equipped with linear motors for maintenance-free operation. No ballscrews and 0.05 micron scales mean accurate leads and helical path. A CNC rotary diamond dressing unit mounted on the workhead can generate wheel forms either by contouring or plunge dressing with a form roll. The wheel spindle is equipped with a power helix that can grind lead angles of +/- 12°. The machine also has a safe shutdown feature that prevents crashes in the event of a plant power loss. Each Drake machine is delivered with Part Smart™ programs. Drake provides all software required to make good parts from day one. The operator needs only to input part specific variables into the control to run parts. No customer programming is required and the customer can change from one part to another in minutes. Drake has developed an entire range of machines, software, and grinding processes for manufacturers of power and e-steering components (ball screws, ball nuts, steering racks, and worms). The company offers a variety of internal and external grinders and rack milling machines to produce each major component in modern steering systems. Drake has also developed special grinding processes for licensees of its proprietary internal return ball nut technology. The patented Drake Internal Return Ball Nut, in use in EPS systems currently, is available for license.
Drake Manufacturing Services Co. designs, builds, and services state of the art precision CNC thread, worm and gear grinding, and rack and thread milling machines that help maximize productivity, improve quality, and reduce production costs for a wide variety of demanding applications in the steering systems, power transmission, gage, cutting tool, ball screw, linear motion, and aerospace industries. Its machines are designed and manufactured in Warren, Ohio, using the world’s best manufacturing technology. Learn more at [www.drakemfg.com].