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BlankX software provides ultimate flexibility for grinding perfect tool blanks

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A great piece of art starts with the perfect canvas. Similarly, a great tool needs the perfect blank. The grinding of accurate tool blanks is an essential step in the overall process of producing precision cutting tools.

When pinch peel grinding tool blanks, in many scenarios there are different segments on a blank that need to be ground. Each segment can have a different profile and subsequently, the amount of material (stock) needed to be removed can vary. The latest update of ToolRoom RN34 for the BlankX software used on the CPX Linear Blank Preparation machine introduces several new features, including different grinding modes and the amount of stock removal per individual step segment. All features can be easily programmed, providing the operator with the ultimate flexibility for tool blank grinding.

Preparation is the key to success

To increase productivity, and reduce wheel wear and cycle time, it is important that the operator plans their approach before grinding a blank. Tool blanks can have multiple profiles that all need to be considered before the cycle is started. Grinding complex blanks with different size profile segments is not a problem for the BlankX software. The software allows the possibility of grinding using Pinch/Peel, Roughing, or only a finishing pass on an individual step segment if required.  

The operator can also choose the amount of stock per segment to be removed. The stock removal is applied radially (on the diameter) or axially for features such as square shoulders. The operator is guided through a step-by-step process to create the blank geometry and stock removal per segment. Programming a blank from scratch using BlankX only takes a few minutes, drastically reducing setup time.

When applying different stock removal per segment, the blank profile appears on the operations page. The blank profile geometry is represented as a blue outline, the grinding path for the roughing wheel is a green line, and the finishing wheel is brown. The operator can also see the grinding path using the 2D simulation before grinding to check the geometry is correct.
In the BlankX operations page for programming a step segment, the green line represents the roughing wheel grind path, and the brown line is the finishing wheel
BlankX 2D Simulation showing the grinding path and material left on the step shoulder  
When pinch peel grinding, the blank is “pinched” between the roughing and finishing wheels. The finishing wheel trails the roughing wheel by a small amount, usually 0.5mm. The roughing wheel removes most of the material, leaving microns for the finishing pass. The user sets the stock amount left for the roughing wheel. Maintaining this value is critical to the accuracy of the final size of the blank. The finishing wheel is only expected to remove a small amount of material and if too much stock remains, the finishing wheel could wear excessively, or be severely damaged. The accuracy and rigidity of the CPX Linear with the BlankX software guarantees precise size stability to ensure the correct amount of stock remains for the finishing pass.  

If the operator wants to apply the same settings across the entire blank profile, common (default) parameters can be used. The grind settings such as feedrates for roughing and finishing along with headstock rpm are all independent of the stock settings. The user has the choice of choosing individual grind settings per each segment or applying common parameters across all features of the blank. 

The new capabilities of the BlankX software give users a tremendous amount of control and flexibility. Operators using the CPX Linear can apply their desired grinding strategy to produce perfect tool blanks in minutes and keep wheel wear to a minimum.

13 July 2021