The performance of internal grinding processes is generally very low, since the small tool diameters entailed by geometrical constraints would require extremely high speeds of rotation in order to achieve favourable cutting speeds. Conventional spindles attain high speeds only if power and rigidity are limited, ruling out high removal rates.
Materials suppliers, manufacturers, a university institute and an end user will jointly develop an advanced, intelligent, high-speed, high-performance internal cylindrical grinding machine combining extreme rigidity with thermal stability and equipped with an active magnetic bearing (AMB) spindle.
This machine will be capable of achieving substantially higher powers and speeds of rotation (more than trebling cutting and speed), and will therefore allow advanced high-speed manufacturing technology to be applied to grinding.
A key factor will be the development of a new greatly-improved manufacturing technology fully capable of exploiting the high cutting speeds. For this purpose, the machine control will have to be kept constantly informed of the process state and will need to maintain cutting values within the optimum range.
These criteria demand the creation of a far more integrated control system with a much higher performance, capable of interpreting a large number of process signals autonomously and initiating the necessary corrective measures ("intelligence").
The overall system will provide a high level of relief for the operator and hence a considerable improvement in the quality of the industrial environment. The increased performance which can be attained makes the project extremely interesting from an economic point of view, and high user acceptance is consequently anticipated.
It will safeguard favourable manufacturing of high quality components for machines, plant, vehicles and ball bearing systems in Europe and help the European machine tools industry to maintain its international marked lead.