New simulation software to enhance productivity Mass production of rotationally symmetric machine parts such as valves and piston rods is often accomplished with centreless through-feed grinding. The process is capable of producing up to 150,000 parts per hour but is characterised by its complexity and sensitivity to various parameters, requiring a particularly time-consuming set up prior to production. Digital Economy © Thinkstock The ‘Centreless grinding simulation part II’ (Cegris II) project was undertaken to develop modelling and visualisation software to simplify procedures and add flexibility, thus significantly enhancing productivity. The Cegris II research team developed a three-dimensional (3D) model of the complex grinding process that not only facilitates set up but enables testing of process parameters and virtual reality visualisation of a component’s movement through the grinding gap. Thus, parameters are appropriately chosen from the outset and technicians can use the tool to locate problems when they arise and minimise downtime. Taken together, the software tool has the potential to dramatically reduce production time, costs and downtime while improving the quality and consistency of the final product. The researchers also wanted to decrease water pollution by 80 %. To that end, they designed a new filtering system capable of essentially eliminating bacteria (from 17,000,000 parts/gram to less than 1,000, a nearly 100 % reduction). The benefits include a healthier work environment and longer coolant lifetime. In summary, the Cegris II project produced a 3D modelling and visualisation software tool for centreless through-feed grinding that promises to dramatically reduce lengthy set-up times, enhance accurate setting of parameters and facilitate trouble shooting, all of which could decrease costs and increase productivity. In addition, the researchers developed a novel water filtration system that nearly eliminated the bacterial growth normally occurring within the process system, thus providing a healthier environment for workers as well as for the tools themselves and leading to enhanced equipment life-cycle times. Implementation of the Cegris II project outcomes should significantly enhance the competitiveness of European manufacturers using centreless through-feed grinding.