Company News

Hydraulic Projects invests in a Tschudin centerless grinding machine.

Advanced Grinding Solutions have announced the sale of one of the new Tschudin Cube Centerless Grinding machines to Hydraulic Projects Ltd of Dawlish for the production grinding of valve spools.

Hydraulic Projects, winners of British Design Awards, supply the world's leading autopilot manufacturers with hydraulic pumps and cylinders. They also design and manufacture the renowned ‘Hy-Pro’ range of sectional spool valves. All are machined and assembled within the UK.

Established in 1966, Hy-Pro are experts in the design and manufacture of a diverse range of hydraulic control valves and pumps for the mobile and marine market sectors. Hydraulic steering systems have been designed specifically for marine secondary steering applications. These units come pre-filled and bled with thrusts of up to 10,840 N for boats up to 30 metres. Hy-Pro Constant Running Pumps feature heavy duty fan-cooled motors giving outputs of up to 4.5 litres per minute. Developed specifically for marine autopilot applications in the commercial and larger pleasure boat (up to 35 metres) market the pumps can be used with single or twin ram systems. Other Hy-Pro hydraulic systems can be found on off road vehicles and submarines.

Elaine Slater, who was appointed MD at Hy-Pro in 2003, reports that over the past year, Hy-Pro have seen a considerable level of growth in the demand for valves and marine autopilot pumps, from both their existing customers, as well as new ones and this level of demand far exceeds anything they have experienced in the past. The investment in the Tschudin Cube centerless grinding machine is part of a large investment in capital machinery to boost production. Elaine further comments that Hy-Pro design and manufacture 95% of all of their components in house in the UK, giving them control, quality, flexibility and economy. “With ISO 9001 accreditation driving our processes, state of the art machinery, sophisticated measuring equipment, and the latest computer systems, we ensure that our products are produced to the highest standards of quality and are delivered on time at the right price”.

Kevin Saunders, Production Manager at Hypro, instigated the project to improve the centerless grinding processes within the production facility and, after being previously disappointed in the results from other machines, opted for the Tschudin machine based upon its proven ability in trials to make much more accurately ground valve spools combined with its compactness and ease of use. Kevin comments that Hy-Pro looked carefully at all the options available to them to ensure that Hypro were making the right choice when it came to upgrading our production and that the Tschudin machine is very much now proving its worth.

The Tschudin Cube machine enables users to achieve significant productivity gains and the machines particularly quick and flexible changeover times help to minimise machine downtime. What sets the Cube machine apart in particular is its very small size and radical open design for easy access. Users only need access to the rear of the machine to perform maintenance and servicing tasks, which means that several machines can be positioned together without any gaps. The grinder can be manually loaded in a very safe and ergonomic way outside of the grinding zone.

The Cube uses Tschudins patented W-axis which has the workrest blade mounted onto its own CNC axis that allows for parts to be loaded to it outside of the grinding area making loading efficient, fast, and very safe. Traditional centerless grinding machines require parts to be loaded to a fixed work-rest blade that sits inside of the machine between the grinding wheel and control wheel making loading difficult, more expensive, and sometimes unsafe. This also makes changeovers more complex and therefore lengthier. The Tschudin machine overcomes all of these issues and claims to be the world easiest and fastest centerless grinding machine to set-up.

Another huge benefit from Tschudin’s CNC workrest blade axis is that it allows multiple parts to firstly move to an initial position for a rough grinding operation to remove a lot of stock material quickly, before automatically being transferred to a second position for a final finish grinding position to enable fine finishes and tolerances to be achieved. For example, it is possible to load 5 parts to the work rest blade and have a machine with 10 grinding wheels; 5 rough grinding wheels and 5 finishing wheels, with the parts being automatically transferred between the two different sets of wheels.

The CNC controlled workrest blade has one final feature in that it has the diamond dressing disc or optionally single point diamond dresser mounted onto it. This removes the need for a secondary expensive separate dressing system that is mounted to the rear of the grinding wheels on other conventional centerless grinding machines.

The automatic loading of 5 – 10 parts at a time to a conventional grinding machine is almost impossible given that there is restricted space available between the grinding wheel and control wheel and that it only takes one small miss-load between the fast rotating wheels to cause a disaster. However as the Tschudins workrest blade is always loaded outside of the machining area the use of multiple grippers is not a problem and the gripper design is never compromised die to a lack of available space.

In addition to this, another optional feature, that’s unique to Tschudin centerless grinding machines, allows the workrest blade to move or oscillate backwards and forwards on its own CNC axis during the actual grinding process. This allows finer finishes to be obtained from a relatively rough grinding wheel enabling high accuracy at the best possible cycle times.

Linear direct drives on the X, U and W axes ensure flexibility and productivity with the Cube being specifically developed for the grinding of small components with part diameters of up to 20mm.

The Cube’s simple and low-maintenance machine design helps to reduce operating costs. The natural granite machine base and upper structure guarantee the best possible thermal stable, high-precision and a very safe grinding processes. One major benefit of the machine is that it allows for the easy and safe CE-compliant loading and unloading outside of the grinding zone. Tschudin's "easy" software, which the company developed in-house, makes the machine easy to operate and automate. The patented, movable workpiece support ensures process options such as the rough and finish grinding in one cycle and the grinding of sharp edges with precise radii. Areas of application include plunge-cut grinding, grinding of several parts in a single cycle, oscillation of the component during grinding and throughfeed grinding. This versatility means that the Cube is suitable for a wide range of applications.

The Cube can be specified with a grinding wheel of 150mm wide (option of 205mm) with a 12Kw grinding spindle for grinding up to 63 m/sec and is perfect for the production grinding of parts from 0.1mm in diameter up to 20mm in diameter and brings true sub-micron grinding capability for the centerless grinding of a huge variety of parts.

There are several other larger machines within the Tschudin range to grind very large parts including the Tschudin ecoLine or proLine 400 and Tschudin ecoLine or proLine 600 machines. The 400 machine will grind parts of up to 100mm in diameter when throughfeed grinding or up to 150mm in diameter when plunge grinding. It is fitted with grinding wheels of 400mm in diameter and offers a maximum grinding length of 280mm.It cam be fitted with a 37Kw grinding spindle, weighs 10 tons, and has an axis resolution of just 0.1um.

The Tschudin 600 machine will grind parts of up to 150mm in diameter when throughfeed grinding or up to 250mm in diameter when plunge grinding. It is fitted with grinding wheels of 610mm in diameter and offers a maximum grinding length of 500mm.It can be fitted with a 60Kw grinding spindle, weighs some 24 tons, and also has an axis resolution of just 0.1um.

The ecoLine versions use a manual change in workpiece height in relation to the grinding and control wheel to take into account the wheel wear whereas the proLine machines have a separate automatic system. This is enabled by automatic height control of the regulating wheel that’s mounted onto its own CNC Y axis. As grinding wheels wear the part programme takes this into account and will alter the height position of the regulating wheel to automatically compensate for the wheel wear and to keep the grinding contact angle constant.

Tschudin AG is on course for continued growth with a record number of sales this year and in addition to establishing a new subsidiary in China, the Swiss company is also looking to increase its market share in Europe. Tschudins new industrial machine tool manufacturing building with a five-storey office annex is now fully operational at the Tschudin headquarters in Grenchen, Switzerland. The high-tech company is fully focussed on the fields of research and innovation in centerless grinding and sells tailor-made solutions, not just machines.

Chris Boraston of AGS comments that the cube machine as supplied to Hydraulic Projects Ltd is the latest of several Tschudin machines that have been supplied to the UK and Eire as engineering companies seek to invest in the very best machines to bring them the leading and best manufacturing solutions that they need.

Hy-Pro can be contacted via their website AGS (Tschudin) can be contacted via their website or contact AGS on +44 (0) 2476 22 66 11


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