New Centerless Grinder Keeps Pace With Demanding Production Schedule

With words like quality, innovation and superior service defining this global manufacturer, it was only natural that the company would seek a partner with equally high standards when it came time to source its new centerless grinder.

As part of its expansive product line, this well-established Midwest-based manufacturer cranks out millions of shafts each year, ranging from 1.5” to 8” in length and 1-1/4”-1-1/8” in diameter.  With grinding considered a critical manufacturing process, even a moment of grinder downtime is too long when trying to keep up with this nonstop parade of shafts.  So, when the manufacturer’s centerless grinder could no longer keep pace with its brutal schedule, the project’s lead manufacturing engineer knew that it was time to look for a replacement.  Complicating the search was the need to find a machine that could handle the company’s myriad part sizes and diameters with minimal changeover time. Robustness was an equally important factor in selecting the new machine.  “While some potential grinder companies had adequate machine offerings, they just didn’t understand how important the grinding process is in our manufacturing process,” explained the engineer.  But the story was different when the company approached Total Grinding Solutions (TGS).

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Quality Means Getting the Right CNC Centerless Grinder

While Hank Matousek Sr. was perfectly content in his position as quality control manager at a bearing company during the late 1960s and early ‘70s, he had no idea that his employer’s growing financial woes and a pending layoff would become his surprise catalysts to found Grind All.  Not surprising, though, was that Matousek’s background as a quality leader would lead him to place value and excellence above all in his new enterprise.  From Hank’s one-man shop with one used grinder in a central Ohio basement, to today’s 45-machine, 52-employee, Brunswick-based Grind All Inc., the Matousek family still places quality above all else. Hank’s “Do it right and make your product better” creed has been the cornerstone of Grind All’s operations since the company was founded in 1972.  “Do the best you can and people will come back. Do jobs better than anyone,” says Grind All president Henry Matousek Jr., quoting his father.

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"We Will Grind"

Sung to the tune of “Let It Snow”

Oh, our downtime before was frightful
And those scrapped parts were never delightful
But TGS is such a great find
We will grind!  We will grind!  We will grind!

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Why We Are Thankful for Centerless Grinders

As Thanksgiving approaches, you may be taking stock of some of the things for which you are grateful.  With centerless grinders always on our minds, here are ten reasons why this important machine tool has earned our eternal gratitude.  Have questions about centerless grinders or centerless grindingHave a project coming upContact us.

1.    Unbelievably fast processing
“Faster than a speeding bullet” might be a good term to describe the output of your average centerless grinder.  When throughfeed grinding, your workaholic centerless grinder can process an amazing 200 to 300 parts per minute, depending on part size.  The superb design of your centerless grinder allows you to run hundreds of parts in throughfeed mode without operator intervention.

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Total Grinding Solutions: IMTS 2016 Wrap-Up

Months of planning, weeks of onsite preparation and 25+ logo-emblazoned shirts later, we’re pleased to say that the IMTS was a success.  The IMTS gave us the opportunity to showcase our new TGS-CL-6020 centerless grinder to manufacturers from around the world. If you attended the show but were overwhelmed by the number of novelties on display, please take a return trip to the show via all the photos we collected during our stint in Chicago. 

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Top 7 Reasons to Visit Total Grinding Solutions at the IMTS

“Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning...proud to be Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.” ― Carl Sandburg

Total Grinding Solutions (TGS) is proud to support the city of Chicago and the U.S. manufacturing industry by exhibiting at the IMTS show at McCormick Place, from September 12 – September 17.  Detroit, our hometown, shares its passion for industry and its long history as a manufacturing hub with the Windy City. 

Here’s seven good reasons to stop by our booth (N-7467) at the IMTS.

1.  Learn why TGS’ new centerless grinder has been termed “rock solid” and “a much-needed improvement over other centerless grinders.”

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Take a Minute to Watch the New Video of our Centerless Grinder

We’re sharing a new video of our TGS-CL-6020 CNC centerless grinder.  We’ve collected a batch of new photographs of our machine and combined them with a few of our earlier ones, turning the shots into a short video.  During the video, you’ll learn why the TGS-CL-6020 is unlike any other centerless grinding machine.  Watch and enjoy, and let us know if you have any questions about this grinding marvel.  Contact us for additional information.

New CNC Centerless Grinder from Total Grinding Solutions from Total Grinding Solutions on Vimeo.

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11 Ways to Ruin Your Centerless Grinder

Your centerless grinder is a reliable workhorse that should last more than half a century if you treat it with the respect it deserves.  Develop a daily, weekly and monthly preventive maintenance schedule for your centerless grinding machine, and follow it.  Along with regular maintenance, be sure to book a yearly stem-to-stern examination by an experienced service technician who can diagnose your machine’s ailments before they turn into major illnesses.  By avoiding the practices listed below, your centerless grinder will remain the favorite among your many machine tools. 

Eager to learn more about centerless grinding machines?  Contact us.

1.    Don’t change your hydraulic oil

You’ve got lots of fluids running through your centerless grinder. Each has a purpose, but none is more critical than the machine’s hydraulic oil.  Old, dirty oil will accelerate wear of spindle bearings and damage cylinder seals, ensuring that you’ll spend extra money and time to replace these centerless grinder components. 

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10 Things Your Boss Expects You to Know About Solving Centerless Grinder Errors – Part One

Centerless grinders are the dependable workhorses of the manufacturing world.  With regular maintenance and TLC, your centerless grinding machine will produce zillions of parts with nary a hiccup. But when your Triple Crown-winning grinder suddenly develops a limp, as shown by parts coming off the machine, you’ll want to be savvy enough to have a potential diagnosis before you report the problem to your all-knowing boss.  Here’s one big hint:  Centerless grinding machine problems are generally related to the grinder’s tooling. You’d be wise to focus on that aspect when troubleshooting your machine.  Below are some common grinding machine problems, their causes, and clues to possible solutions. 

Is your centerless grinder not working as it should?  Contact our grinding experts.

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Quick Guide: Installing a New Centerless Grinding Wheel

Whether every three days or every six months, your centerless grinder will need its grinding wheel changed on a regular basis.  Below are a few tips and a highly simplified visual to help you through the process.  As with all machine tools, please read and understand your machine manual before servicing your machine.  Talk to us for more detailed guidelines.

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How Technology Can Work For You in Centerless Grinding

If you’re like the rest of us, you’re getting more and more obsessed with technology. The world of machine tools is not immune to the rapid pace of technological advancement.  From the latest in 3D modeling to nanotechnology to intelligent maintenance systems, technology is virtually impossible to avoid in the manufacturing workplace. Here are ways in which technology can improve the operation of your centerless grinder.  To learn more, http://bit.ly/1JO6TwJ

Especially in the industrial sector, keeping up with rapidly changing technology can be an intimidating task. Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with sticking with a tried-and-true process, you might want to reconsider your stance when it comes to centerless grinding.  I’m not saying that you have to take a blind leap onto the technology train.  I’m saying that technology has a place – and a very excellent one – in centerless grinding.  Here’s my advice:  start small, enjoy the benefits, and then consider the next step. Below are a few small technological changes that can increase the uptime and production of your centerless grinding machine.  Implement them all, or pick and choose.  In the end, you and your centerless grinder operations will be better for it.

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Safety Considerations When Working around Centerless Grinders Part 1: General Safety Measures

As with any machine tool, there are a number of safety guidelines that must be followed when operating a centerless grinding machine. Below are just a few of the common-sense safety basics for both novice and experienced centerless grinding machine users.  The first thing is to have a thorough understanding of how to properly operate your centerless grinder.  Always make sure to thoroughly read and understand your entire machine manual before operating your machine. Additionally, TGS' on-staff centerless grinding experts offer centerless grinder machine training. Have questions about centerless grinding?  Contact TGS

  • Wear safety glasses to protect the eyes from grinding grit, material in the atmosphere or chips that could be propelled into eyes.
  • Do not wear loose fitting clothing such as ties and long sleeves. These can become entangled in grinding wheels, levers, or hand wheels on the machine and lead to serious injury.
  • Always use power hoist for lifting heavy objects.  This can help avoid back injury.
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3 Ways to Get More Production Out Of Your Centerless Grinder

In the fast-paced world of manufacturing, we need to be as efficient as possible to meet production and cost-per-piece goals.  Below are a few sometimes overlooked practices that will increase your production.  

Preventive maintenance (PM)

Your centerless grinder has been grinding away for hours and perfect parts are flying out of the machine right on schedule. You’ll meet daily production volumes without a glitch and without a worry.  Today has been a breeze, you think to yourself.  Just as you’re wrapping up your day, you get a call from the centerless grinding machine operator.  He has had to stop production to change a filter.  A bit of a glitch, but nothing serious.  The filter is changed in 30 minutes and production is back up.  The phone rings again, a much more serious problem has arisen.  The spindle bearing on your centerless grinder has gone bad and production has ground to a halt.  You can forget about running the machine for the rest of your workday or during the shift that follows.  Downtime mounts.  Costs grow.   Next comes the dreaded call to your boss.  Your day and evening are ruined.   Preventive maintenance could have saved you much grief.

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3 Reasons Why People Like Centerless Grinding

For maintaining accuracy, achieving close tolerances and meeting high production volumes, a centerless grinder is a workhorse machine tool that can’t be beat.  When operated and maintained properly, your centerless grinder will be the Triple Crown winner of your production line.  Fast, reliable and hard-working, here are just a few reasons why we’re so keen on centerless grinders.  Tell us what you like about your centerless grinding machine.

1.  Speed

For high production volumes, a centerless grinder will run laps around a cylindrical grinder each and every time.  And because centerless grinding does not require that parts be held in place, a centerless grinder will also zip past its chucker- and center-type grinder counterparts.   A safe bet:  Put your money on the centerless grinder when production is key. 

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3 Ways You Can Lower the Cost of Operating Your Centerless Grinder

Companies across the economy are finding ways to do more with fewer financial resources.  To help you get the most out of your centerless grinder, here are three tips on how to lower the cost of operating your centerless grinding machine.  

Select the proper wheel

There are a number of factors to be considered when selecting the proper wheel for your centerless grinder application.  Be forewarned that premature wheel breakdown will lead to additional costly and time-consuming wheel dressing, longer cycle times and jeopardized part quality.  Work with your wheel manufacturer to make sure you have the best wheel for your job. 

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3 Three Things You Need to Know About Centerless Grinding

TGS asked its team to share thoughts and tips about centerless grinding.  Here are the top three things users need to know about centerless grinding. 

1.      Make sure you have consistent parts.

Stock removal plays a key role in centerless grinding accuracy. If you’re removing different amounts of stock from part lot to part lot, your final part size is going to vary.  Inconsistent stock removal also effects wheel dress intervals, causing premature wear of your centerless grinder wheel.

2.  Select the proper wheels for your centerless grinder.

Part size, part quality and cost all depend on proper wheel selection. If you want to maximize output from your centerless grinding machine – and who doesn’t, you must pick the correct wheels.  The proper wheels ensure the longest interval between wheel dressing, the minimal amount of wheel removed at dressing and the best part quality between dressing.

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How to Develop an RFQ for a Centerless Grinder

With the information in this blog, you’ll be able to better draft your centerless grinder RFQ, an integral part of the buying process.  As you search for the ideal supplier and decide who will be sent the RFQ for your centerless grinder, you should ask questions — lots of them — of potential vendors.   Centerless grinder equipment manufacturers possess a wealth of information and experience that they are only too willing to share.

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14 Centerless Grinder Components You Need to Know

The pencil sharpener is about as far as I have ever got in operating a complicated piece of machinery with any success.  — Robert Benchley (1889 - 1945)

We agree that a centerless grinder is certainly more complicated to operate than a pencil sharpener. That doesn’t mean that centerless grinding can’t be done successfully and reliably.  In fact, the average centerless grinder user has few difficulties at all.  Let’s start our journey down the centerless grinder highway by going through the main components that comprise a centerless grinding machine.  For the expert user, this will be a review and an opportunity to confirm that you’re as smart as you think you are.  For the novice centerless user, this will be a blog that you’ll want to keep on hand.    

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History of the Centerless Grinder

The centerless grinder boasts a long and sometimes contentious history. During the machine’s early days, it wasn’t unusual to specify that parts “not be ground on a centerless grinder.” But today’s CNC centerless grinding machines achieve tolerances of 10 millionths of an inch, making them a necessary part of technologically advanced manufacturing processes.

The invention of the centerless grinder was an indirect result of bicycle popularity in the U.S. during the early 1900s. As demand for new bicycles surged, Lewis Heim’s The Ball and Roller Bearing Company, in Danbury, Connecticut, received a large order for bicycle bearing rollers. These rollers had always been ground on a center-type grinder, but Heim’s company now needed a faster and less costly way to make the rollers.

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