The Road to Smart Factories

Tool Grinding – the Smart Way

Rollomatic Presents a World Premiere Offering more Options for Unattended Production

Realistic solutions for unattended production are more in demand than ever. This is exactly how Rollomatic SA intends to impress at EMO 2019, Hall 6, Stand J65. With Smart Factory solutions, new tool grinding and laser machines as well as two world premieres, a visit to the stand definitely worthwhile.

The sheer number of buzzwords relating to Industry 4.0 used in the machine tool industry shows no sign of stopping. Beginning as a niche application, the idea of a “Smart Factory” is now sparking interest across industries. This is increasing the pressure for manufacturers to constantly innovate in order not to lose touch with changing requirements for the coming years. “We have been firmly following this path – initially regarded by some as simply a futuristic trend – into unattended production for years. At EMO 2019, the topic will take on a new significance, as we will be showing visitors several interesting ways in which they can use our machines to achieve the best product quality at the highest possible efficiency.” said Damien Wunderlin, Head of Sales at Rollomatic SA in Le Landeron, Switzerland

Smarter Production

Collaboration with industrial robots, automated processes, rigorous data analytics, with more time for higher value tasks – these are all essential building blocks for the manufacturing industry of tomorrow. “The factory of the future will generate fresh momentum, reduce existing limits and combine previously independent production systems. These systems help to control production while collecting and analyzing data at the same time. With the help of collected data, the machines will be able to, for example, react immediately to temperature changes, reduce non-productive times, or optimize throughput times,” said Damien Wunderlin.

Using industrial robots achieves greater autonomy and efficiency, among other things. For some years now, Rollomatic has been researching highly skilled, humanoid robots and developing applications for them. The result is the dual-arm NEXTAGE robot, which can support traditional robotic units and increase the productivity and profitability of customer-specific processes. It also takes on demanding, labor-intensive tasks and carries out easy and repetitive activities. The robot is therefore able to take a ground tool out of the machine and bring it to the measuring station. This gives the machine operator more time to complete other tasks that a robot is currently unable to carry out.

In the factory of the future, a network of intelligent systems will work together to increase overall productivity by enabling shorter lead times and maximum flexibility. Rollomatic will provide an impressive demonstration of how the manufacturing of high-precision tools can be enhanced by Rollomatic’s Smart Factory at EMO 2019

robot nextage

Dream Duo: Linear Motor and Hydrostatics Offer Unmatched Surface Finish


A further highlight of EMO is the Unique designed six-axis GrindSmart®830XW. The aim while designing this model was to further reduce friction within the machine and maintain virtually zero wear. One of the ways in which Rollomatic achieved this was through the linear motors on the x, y and z axes, which are superior to ball screw drives in every respect. For instance, linear drives are extremely accurate in terms of positioning with low maintenance costs because virtually nothing can wear. However, this was not enough for the designers, who also wanted to combine linear motors with a hydrostatic system, which virtually eliminates any friction and effectively dampens machine vibrations. This results in longer grinding wheel life as well as achieves perfect surface and cutting edge qualities, which present a major unique selling point for manufacturers in the high-end tool segment.

Finally, the sixth axis of the GrindSmart®830XW opens up new options for pioneering innovations in tool design – particularly where high-precision tools with diameters of 1.0 mm to 32 mm and flute lengths of up to 200 mm are required. The arrangement of the grinding spindle axis on this machine enables an extreme freedom of movement on both sides via a total rotation angle of 240°. This means that both righthand and left-hand tools can be ground with the same wheel pack. The sixth axis also makes it possible to tilt the grinding wheels during grinding. Thanks to the increased flexibility and freedom of movement, it is also much easier to grind the radii and reliefs of complex tool geometries. In addition, the sixth axis ensures that the contact point on the grinding wheel remains constant at all times, which achieves ultra-high precision for the finished tool.

Enhanced Accuracy and Efficiency with Six Axes

The new six-axis tool grinding machines from the GrindSmart®XW family, in particular the GrindSmart® 630XW and the GrindSmart®630XW3, are also characterized by their capability for unattended production. Rollomatic has increased the capacity of the XW3 model almost threefold thanks to an ultra-compact grinding wheel changer for 16 wheel packs, including coolant nozzles. This simplifies process management and significantly shortens non-productive times as well – around the clock and without intervention from the machine operator.

Both variants are designed for maximum performance in the production of high-performance tools, regardless of batch size. They are fitted with linear motors and a torque motor on the rotating axis, which delivers better surface quality and reduces maintenance costs. To maintain control in terms of thermal stability, the same oil is used in the machine for lubrication and cooling of the motor as well as for the workpiece, which also minimizes energy consumption.


First World Premiere Revolutionizes Machining Time

Diamond – PCD or CVD– has become an irreplaceable cutting material in all industries. However, the hardness of the material has imposed enormous limitations on the geometry design options for tools – until now. Rollomatic has achieved a breakthrough with its latest development, the SmartSpeed Pack. This opens up a whole new environment for laser machining. No other technology is as productive as Rollomatic diamond laser machining. Machining speeds have been increased up to four times faster, without compromising on quality. Laser machining is therefore well on the way to completely replacing traditional machining methods for diamond materials.

Using the new LaserSmart 510, for example, the chip breakers and especially the circular land can be applied to a PCD tool without time-consuming grinding on separate OD grinders. “The fact that our machine completes the entire process in a single step saves time and significantly increases productivity,” mentions Sven Peter, Laser Product Manager at Rollomatic SA. The laser opens up previously impossible opportunities such as extremely sharp cutting edges with radii of 0.001 mm or less. “During cutting, it achieves smoother surfaces thanks to the circular land as well as offering efficient chip removal via the corresponding chip breakers.” Four built-in cameras monitor and map all the machine’s movements on the control unit, from the robot to measuring probes. The tool measuring process is therefore much more efficient and user-friendly than before.


Second World Premiere Optimizes Cylindrical Grinding

Rollomatic has revolutionized peel grinding with the SmartPunch™ process for non-round applications. The ShapeSmart®NP50, the latest addition to the series of pinch & peel grinding machines, promises even greater flexibility, faster setup, and even better surface quality. “Peel grinding is a proven method and represents outstanding performance in cylindrical grinding. The ShapeSmart®NP50 covers a wide range of diameters from 0.025 mm to 25.0 mm, thereby opening up unlimited possibilities, even for unusual length/ diameter ratios or complex geometries,” said Damien Wunderlin, providing some insight into the new machine. “We will be keeping the other features under lock and key until EMO but I promise that they are spectacular!”


A Visit Worthwhile

Those who think they have heard it all before when it comes to innovations in modern grinding technology will leave the Rollomatic stand surprised. The continuously ongoing development of conventional tool grinding and innovations in laser technology and cylindrical grinding have been combined with smart automation options, which are paving the way for efficient production environments. “We have been able to create this kind of turnkey solution with a focus on exceptional precision and quality for the first time for EMO. However, this is just the beginning of what is to come for our customers in the years ahead,” promised Damien Wunderlin.