Within the SUPREMA project, developments for an advanced precision grinding process have been made. On the base of a specially designed cylindrical CBN grinding machine, a great number of grinding tests have been performed also under industrial conditions. Investigation was done on the influence of the complete grinding system. Dressing and grinding process parameters were varied in different combinations of grinding wheel specification and workpiece material.
The development of the new prototype grinding machines can be regarded as a big advantage for CBN grinding. Together with all the knowledge about the dressing and grinding process, which has been integrated in a software system the process design becomes more efficient. Thus, an increased use of the CBN grinding technology can be expected for the future.
Moreover, the SUPREMA project may be evaluated as really positive for another reason: all partners involved are able to benefit from the project. The results achieved are a great contribution to the knowledge in the specific areas of the partners. Thus, the studies of the project may lead to new products to be launched to the market in short or medium term.
In modern production engineering, requirements in terms of accuracy, hardness and wear resistance of parts are constantly increasing. These parts can often be machined only with new, super-hard abrasives. In this context, the use of cubic boron nitride (CBN) grinding wheels for the machining of high precision components will be of growing importance, especially in fully-automated grinding processes.
Despite its favourable cutting characteristics and low wear rates, CBN has found acceptance in only a few production applications. This is because the superabrasive wheels are relatively expensive and the machine, grinding wheels and working parameters must be carefully adapted to be technically and economically successful.
To prepare for the introduction of superabrasive precision machining, a system permitting coordinated design of grinding machine parameters, grinding wheels specification and grinding process parameters will be developed in a joint linking a grinding machine manufacturer, a grinding wheel manufacturer, an industrial user and a research institute.
The integrated approach will reduce production costs by 20 % or more, with improved part quality. The knowledge acquired will enable the European grinding industry to maintain its leading position in the world market, where Japan currently enjoys a growth rate in CBN consumption of 40 % as compared to 20 % in Europe.
LE3 2LF Leicester