Sphero - the compact machining solution
Precision-machining of spherical components
This high-precision tool machine is equipped with a tool spindle unit that can swivel up to 90 degrees, allowing the optimal machining position to be chosen for every process. The clamped workpiece rotates at up to 4,500 revolutions per minute. This, in combination with the Microfinish tools’ corresponding form, enables the absolutely reliable machining of the entire outer surfaces of spheres and the inner surfaces of cups.
The associated tool unit is arranged vertically and is easily accessible for quick retooling. Due to the integrated tool changer with capacity for up to ten tools, even complex machining processes can be carried out in only one clamping process. If necessary, a polishing process can be integrated follow-ing the Microfinish machining process.
Workpieces with diameters of up to 75 mm can be machined on the Sphero. However, very small tools can also be used, and even thin-walled components can be machined. Furthermore, the machine’s construction is highly space-saving and is characterised by a modern, compact, cylindrical and ergonomic design.
The Sphero is used for example in the automotive industry in the machining of the joint heads of wheel suspension and steering components that provide a high level of freedom and movement for the associated assembly units. In the chemicals industry, valves that aggressive or very hot media travel through require metallically sealing valve balls and seating rings machined with a high degree of dimensional and surface accuracy. Another instance is the axial pis-ton pump found in all fields of hydraulics: At the end of the pump there is a spherical sliding surface of only 10 mm diameter; however, the dimensions of this component must be accurate to 1 µm or less in order to guarantee safe operation at great strain – such as in aviation.
With this new machining concept, surface topography, spherical roundness, spherical diameter and sealing surfaces can be machined. Furthermore, de-fined contact rations that fulfil tribological requirements are possible. In just a few installation steps lasting around ten minutes, the operator can convert the machine from outer machining to inner machining, i.e. from a sphere to a sealing ring. Finally, the Sphero can make the process even more cost-efficient by substituting the grinding process; this means that the workpiece enters the machine immediately after hardening and leaves it as a finished component. Operator influence is reduced to a minimum and errors due to repeated handling and clamping are ruled out, since the workpiece remains in the clamp until it is completely finished. This drastically increases process reproducibility.
Since this machining solution allows the implementation of several tool quali-ties, the process can, for example, be broken down into roughening and smoothing. The tool change takes place in eight seconds with the added ben-efit that the workpiece stays in the clamp. Since the process happens on a self-correcting basis, truing cycles are done away with. This means that better end results can be achieved with short cycle times. The machine monitors the stipulated parameters itself on an on-going basis and makes any necessary adjustments. Therefore, checking the workpieces via random sample is sensi-ble, since the variation in tolerance is so small that they are not measurable in production using conventional measuring means, the differences being de-tectable only in a measurement room.
Thielenhaus Technologies GmbH
Thielenhaus Microfinish, a division of the German Thielenhaus Technologies GmbH, has been building high-precision, high-productivity machine tools for over 100 years. In the last 70 years, Thielenhaus Microfinish has become the leading manufacturer of extreme-precision machine tools for Microfinish/Superfinish and double-disc grinding applications.
Microfinishing, also known as superfinishing or short-stroke honing, is the ideal machining process for achieving extreme precision surfaces and component geometries, and removing amorphous surface layers in the magnitude of 2 µm. Honing stones, cup wheels and microfinishing tape or film can be used to generate surface roughness or geometrical accuracy within a previously defined window that often spans a few tenths of a micron. Indicated below are a number of parameters which can be optimized using Microfinish:
With facilities in Europe, America and Asia and a worldwide service network, Thielenhaus has adapted itself to the market conditions and to the customer needs all over the world.
Commitment to quality: Thielenhaus machines are employed by leading manufacturers across the world for a good reason - their high reliability, productivity and production quality. Thielenhaus continuously pushes the limits of precision machining, enabling its customers to achieve workpiece qualities that were previously impossible.
All solutions from a single source: Extreme precision is the specialty of Thielenhaus, and over the years the manufacturer has built the world's largest portfolio of Microfinish solutions, ranging from industrial equipment for large and small manufacturers to just-in-time tool delivery and other services. When it comes to Microfinish Thielenhaus is the one-stop shop.
The flexibility of Thielenhaus is its customer's advantage: The manufacturer adapts the machine solutions to the customer's component, loading/unloading preferences, cycle time requirements and other specific needs. The modular design of the machine platforms accommodates even tricky components.
New challenges and innovation are the passion of Thielenhaus: They are proud of their 430+ patents in surface finishing technology as well as of numerous market-leading platforms and pioneering innovations. Thielenhaus constantly seeks to improve the machining concepts, always keeping in mind the challenges of tomorrow.
Customer support all over the world: With customer service locations in six countries and service agreements with a network of agents and distributors, Thielenhaus is able to provide quick service on short notice practically anywhere in the world. The customers also benefit from a 24/7 hotline and Online Direct Service.
Thielenhaus is known as a highly experienced problem solver: Anyone can be a problem solver, but with more than 70 years of developing Microfinish solutions, the Thielenhaus staff have probably seen and solved more Microfinish problems than anyone else in the industry. When it comes to splitting microns, the Thielenhaus in-depth knowledge of the microfinishing process is unsurpassed.
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