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Jones & Shipman Suprema takes grinding challenge in its stride
Jones & Shipman Suprema takes grinding challenge in its stride

Jones & Shipman Suprema takes grinding challenge in its stride

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

Demanding tolerances and challenging materials for finish ground aerospace components have been the motivation for the purchase of a new Jones & Shipman Suprema cylindrical grinder by Wimborne based Lipco Precision Engineering Limited.


Since its installation in the early summer, the Suprema has made a significant impact on productivity, consistent quality of finished components and cost reduction in the Lipco plant.


Lipco is a leading machined component supplier across a diverse range of manufacturing end users with the Jones & Shipman grinder primarily dedicated to the finish machining of high precision shafts and stub shaft assemblies for use in fuel balancing rotor pumps on Dreamliner and Airbus aircraft.


Shaft concentricity is critical – to a consistent 10 micron tolerance – with in the main, shafts being manufactured from hard chrome plated stainless steel.


The combination of precision, repeatable accuracy and the challenging materials led to Lipco investing in a new Jones & Shipman cylindrical grinder which supplements an older J&S 650 EASY machine that has been operating successfully for some 8 years in the factory.


As the grinding section leader Paul Hawkins explains, "The hard chroming is necessary to offset both wear and harsh operating conditions. That said, the process creates an inconsistent component to grind and one in which generating too much heat (by grinding) can result in costly rejects. 

The chroming layer is very demanding on the grinding wheels and we make good use of the ‘in and out’ automatic cycle dressing and the ability to dress on demand if needed.

Although we obviously have the various shaft options programmed into the control, all quality procedures on the machine are manually checked per component to ensure absolute quality compliance" he explains. 

Batch demands can vary and this is another area where the Suprema comes into its own.  The machine is an ‘all-rounder’ in every sense and equally adept in toolroom, batch or high volume manufacturing environments.

With its Fanuc touchscreen control and J&S EASY grinding and dressing software, the Suprema 1000 offers linked cycles, automatic in-cycle dressing and full dress compensation for quick and easy set-ups.  Flexibility is assured via the universal wheel head configuration of left and right external and internal wheels with airlift and automated clamping.  This variant also offers and optional manual ‘B’ axis wheelhead which has a 0.001º readout integrated into the Fanuc control system and J&S EASY software. There is also a dedicated straight approach external only wheel head variant available on all Suprema models.

The combination of the many standard features offered by the Suprema have enabled Lipco to improve productivity based around batches of the shafts.  Use of grinding consumables has reduced and scrap – although never high – has decreased.

As Chris Baggs, new business account manager at Lipco explains; "We operate in a very competitive manufacturing environment that is also subject to high levels of scrutiny and compliance from our customers.  Therefore investment in the highest specification machine tools and personnel is all important.  Our production operations are testimony to this philosophy and machines such as the latest Jones & Shipman investment are constantly adding to our capabilities."

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