Studer WireDress Grinding Wheel technologyClick image to enlargeManufacturers who grind hardened alloys, ceramics and tungsten carbide can now use a new machine-integrated dressing technology that dresses metal bonded grinding wheels easily at full working speeds of up to 140 m/sec.

Studer Wire-Dress, a seven-year collaborative development project between Studer, a Swiss university, a research institute, and technology suppliers, made its debut at IMTS 2014.

"Metal bonded wheels are very hard to dress or profile," says Michael Klotz, Studer's project manager, development, who spearhead the research project for the company. "This technology has brought dressability of metal bonded grinding wheels to a new level. You can dress any kind of shape with it and the cutting performance is much better."

Klotz describes the technology as a "machine within a machine." The Studer-WireDress uses a small wire EDM machine to remove the bond material and the unit can sit alongside other dressing options in a machine. The machine uses a thick, high performance wire that only erodes the metal bond material as there isn't any mechanical contact between the wire and the wheel surface, providing sharper grains, high grain protusion and therefore higher quality cutting performance. All this without wear at the dressing tool because the wire is just used once, says Klotz.

"So you can now dress wheels you couldn't dress before, and you can dress any kind of shape," says Klotz.

Studer-WireDress is only available on new machines and specifically on the S41, S31 and S22 machines.

While there is an obvious cost to the new technology, Klotz says customers need to consider the significant benefits and cost savings the technology can provide.

"First, you're doing something today that was not really possible in the past or was not cost effective. And the technology offers 30 per cent more grinding power."

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