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Integral role for Jones & Shipman surface grinder
Integral role for Jones & Shipman surface grinder
Integral role for Jones & Shipman surface grinder

Integral role for Jones & Shipman surface grinder

Added to MTDCNC by Hardinge Jones and Shipman on 12 March 2015

A Jones & Shipman Hardinge 524 EASY surface grinder is playing an integral role in the R&D and manufacturing operations of Bladon Jets (UK) Limited at their high precision Engineering Centre in Whiteley, Coventry.

Bladon Jets is pioneering the development of micro power generators using technologically advanced micro gas turbines – small, light and clean-burning jet engines which will provide a new generation of green and efficient power units.

In the Engineering Centre, components – many of which are prototypes - for the micro power engines are being developed with a view to imminent full scale production.  

Engine components under manufacture include an ultra-compact heat exchanger, a highly advanced air bearing and high speed electro mechanical technologies.

High precision, coupled with manufacturing flexibility are underlying features in the Centre and the J&S EASY with its ease of programming and operation reflects the requirements of the manufacturing processes.

As the Engineering Centre’s focus is essentially on product development and prototyping, short run and even one-off production is the norm and it is here that the features of the 524 EASY come into their own.

Designed for unrivalled ease of use, the EASY 524 features a 500 x 200mm machining bed.  It incorporates a Fanuc ‘Self Teach’ Touchscreen control used to access Jones & Shipman’s purpose designed, simple and fast-to-set EASY software, coupled with membrane-type touch keys and electronic hand wheels.  At start-up it offers the operator three simple options; Manual, Dress or Grind cycle modes.

In Manual mode the EASY 524 operates as a simple hand controlled machine, with manual dress and no setup procedures. Work speeds and feeds are adjustable via the touchscreen.  Dress mode offers five standard wheel shape options, Flat, Slot, Facing, Vee form and Full ISO with one or two diamonds as needed.  Finally the Grind Cycle mode allows from a single up to twenty Grind cycles, as the complexity of the component dictates.

Each mode has been developed to offer the operator easy-to-follow colour icon based programming screens giving the advantage of CNC control without the complexity of traditional CNC systems.

Mechanical features of the 524 EASY include a specially designed Base, Saddle, Table and Column to offer high rigidity and stiffness without loss of precision, a Heidenhain® ‘Absolute’ nano scale feedback and a wheel spindle which operates on two pairs of matched high precision angular contact ball bearings.

With high precision ballscrews on the Y and Z axes, a hydraulically operated table feed and a high sensitivity wheel feed assembly, the machine is designed to feel as much ‘at home’ in a one off environment as well as batch production.

In the Bladon Jets’ operations, the grinding operations are predominantly to 5 micron tolerances on components manufactured from hardened high grade 15/5 stainless steel.  The operator Martin Norton commented positively on the machines repeatable accuracy.

'The machine is as simple and fast to setup for automatic cycles as it is for manual operation – both features that are all important in this environment,' explains Martin.

'That and the EASY on-machine programming make it invaluable in this fast moving environment.  It’s been a great addition.'

Comments Bladon Jets senior manufacturing engineer Colin Dale; 'this Engineering Centre is a hub of innovation and not one designed for large scale production.  

'Bladon Jets is a world leader in green and efficient technology micro gas turbines and with its unique expertise and technology, the company is pioneering efforts to bringing this breakthrough solution to volume production.

'Equipping the Centre with state-of-the-art manufacturing technology is key to our success and this Jones & Shipman grinder has soon established itself as an integral part of our operations.'

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