Centerless grinding services use an abrasive wheel to grind metal from a bar’s surface and a regulating wheel to force the bar against the grinding wheel. The term “centerless” indicates that that bar is not positioned between centering devices, but is instead supported by a blade and a series of input and output rollers. Typically, the support blade is situated between the grinding wheel and the regulating wheel. Diameter capacity and material capabilities are important specifications to consider when selecting centerless grinding services. Diameter capacity is often expressed as a range and includes choices such as less than 1-inch, 1 to 3 inches, 3 to 6 inches, and more than 6 inches. In terms of material capabilities, centerless grinding services may grind aluminum, brass, bronze, carbides, cast iron, ceramics, composites, copper, diamond, polycrystalline diamond (PCD), glass, glass ceramics, hardened metals, nickel and nickel alloys, precious metals, quarts, sapphire, ruby, stainless steel, and titanium.
Centerless grinding services provide additional services such as CAD/CAM support, design assistance, just-in-time (JIT) delivery, rapid prototyping, low-volume production, and high-volume production. Computer aided design or drafting (CAD) is used to design parts quickly and accurately. Computer aided manufacturing (CAM) is used to fabricate products directly from CAD outputs. Centerless grinding services that provide design assistance can help with concepts, manufacturing costs, manufacturing techniques and material considerations such as sourcing. They may also be able to assist with upgrading, redesigning, reevaluating or modernizing existing products to increase performance and/or reduce manufacturing costs. Some centerless grinding services have just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing capabilities or can provide prototypes for use in presentations or functional testing. Others provide low-volume or high-volume production.
Centerless grinding services are located across the United States and around the world. They adhere to a variety of certifications, regulatory requirements, and quality standards. Centerless grinding services follow four main specifications from the International Standards Organization (ISO): ISO 9001:2000, ISO 13485:2003, ISO 14001, and ISO/TS 16949:2002. AS 9000, AS 9100, and QS-9000 are industry-specific quality standards that are based on ISO 9001. Both AS 9000 and AS 9001 define quality management system (QMS) requirements for suppliers to the aerospace industry. QS-9000 is a quality standard for suppliers of DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation. Some centerless grinding services are registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or comply with U.S. military specifications (MIL-SPEC). Others meet internal company specifications or requirements from original equipment manufactures (OEM).
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