United Grinding rebuilds new productivity into machines

Studer grinding headstock before, left, and after overhaul. (Courtesy: United Grinding)

After 14 years in service, a Studer S40 grinding machine that had more than 45,000 hours of run time now produces precision components to tolerances it achieved when brand new. The Studer factory in Switzerland performed the rebuild that involved completely overhauling the machine, and while doing so also provided the machine’s owner, LMT Kieninger, with a loaner to ensure the customer’s production would continue uninterrupted.

A rebuild, or machine overhaul, makes sense not only economically, but also in the fact that operators continue to run a machine that is familiar to them for a seamless transition after the machine has been rebuilt.

In the Studer factory, the rebuild specialists disassemble machines down to all their individual parts. The specialists completely refurbish guideways, overhaul the assemblies, and replace all worn electrical cabinet components as well as all worn hydraulic and lubricating systems and valves. If spare parts are no longer available, Studer provides alternative solutions. For the final stages of the rebuild, the casting and components are sand-blasted and receive a fresh coat of paint. Once reassembled, the machine’s geometry is like that of a new machine.

“After our rebuild, we really noticed the difference,” said Heiko Braun, group manager of cylindrical/surface grinding and assembly at LMT Kieninger. “Since the overhaul, we have been grinding with the precision of a new machine. The rebuild process went without a hitch, and the investment has paid off because a 1,600-mm grinder is worth its weight in gold for us.”

If a customer wishes to expand a machine’s component range, the Studer overhaul process can also include a retrofit during which a machine is modified to a customer’s particular requirements. This opens up new production possibilities on the same machine, which was the case with Ingold Tools AG.

Ingold Tools had been producing high-precision and complex parts for spindle, compressor, hydraulic, and general machine manufacturing with 25 employees since 1946. Among its cylindrical grinders, the shop had an 18-year-old Studer S21 with two external spindles and continuous fine adjustment of the turret wheelhead (B-axis fine).

Studer not only updated the S21 with the latest developments, but also retrofitted it to suit the needs of Ingold Tools AG. The cylindrical grinding machine now has an additional internal grinding spindle for internal cylindrical grinding and the relevant fixture for swiveling the tailstock into the park position. The machine also has a new spindle cooling system with its own circuit, as well as a hydraulically swiveling dressing unit. So that all grinding machines have the same mounting, the universal tool headstock was upgraded from MK4 to MK5.

According to Ingold Tools AG’s two managing directors, Christoph Jenzer and Edgar Stich, the Studer retrofit resulted in them getting a second-hand machine with 50 percent new hardware.

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