Lose weight? Exercise more? Those might be excellent resolutions for the common folk, but centerless grinder users are a special group. Let’s start the year by focusing on resolutions specifically designed to improve your centerless grinding operations. Here are eight resolutions every centerless grinder user must keep to ensure prosperity and success in 2016. Let us know how you progress.
1. I will keep my coolant clean.
Dirty or contaminated coolant can cause a number of problems including diminished part quality, surface finish problems, increased machine maintenance and shortened tooling, component and machine life, as well as safety risks for operators, who will be in contact with bacteria-ridden fluids.
2. I will invest in preventive maintenance.
Eliminate the additional costs and worry of unplanned (read: costly) service by scheduling regular machine maintenance and upkeep. Preventive maintenance on your centerless grinding machine will reduce downtime, decrease costly emergency repairs, diminish scrap and enhance productivity, ultimately maximizing your machine’s return on investment.
3. I will determine which spare parts I need to have on my shelf.
One way to determine which parts you need for each of your centerless grinders is to list all spare parts in a spreadsheet and assign them an A, B or C grade as defined below. We know this can be time-consuming, but better to complete this task before a machine quits and a crisis ensues.
a. “A” parts
These are parts that can be sourced locally, meaning purchased at a local supply store. If you can drive to the store and back in under an hour, you don’t need to keep this part(s) on your shelf.
b. “B” parts
These are parts that the machine supplier has on the shelf and that can be delivered to your facility in 24 hours. If a 24-hour delivery is acceptable, you don’t need these parts on your shelf. Review the “B” list with your supplier who should be happy to provide a list of spares and components.
c. “C” parts
These are items that are normally part-specific to your machine or product, or items that your supplier does not stock. (Normally, these are “wear” components for new equipment.) “C” parts have long lead times, and sometimes take months to build. Most companies are good at stocking wear items that touch the part, such as the grippers on a robot. The actuator that holds the grippers is another story. Bad actuator? You may face a six-week for delivery for this critical component.
4. I will select the proper wheels for my centerless grinder.
Proper wheel selection effects part size, part quality, surface finish requirements, and machine production. Pick the right wheel and you’ll enjoy lower costs and increased machine output.
5. I will make sure that my tooling is properly aligned.
Proper size and surface finish depend on the placement of your part between the grinding wheel and the regulating wheel. Misaligned tooling will lead to bad parts which make their way onto the scrap heap and add cost to your manufacturing process.
6. I will keep my hydraulic oil clean.
As swarf accumulates in hydraulic oil, your Babbit bearings will be at risk for damage. These soft, pliable bearings will eventually become embedded with swarf, leading to bearing failure and subsequent engine lockup. Dirty hydraulic oil also damages critical machine components such as machine spindles.
7. I will teach my operators how to take care of the centerless grinders.
I will show my operators how to complete and regularly perform these tasks:
a. Check the level of coolant in the coolant tank
b. Remove all swarf and debris from machinery
c. Check for any abnormal noise, oil leakage or heating of motors
d. Ensure that the hydraulic oil is clean
e. Ensure that the wheels are dressed properly
8. I will keep my machine clean and free of grinding swarf.
Centerless grinder components and swarf are not compatible. A filtration system may be a welcome addition to your centerless grinder cell in 2016. Consult with your supplier who will partner with you to determine the most compatible system.
What are your resolutions for 2016? Please share them with us.