Sustainability and Efficiency in the Focus of Grinding Technology

25/10/2021

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Working Group Grinding Technology (AKS) Sets Agenda for the Coming Year

  Plenary Copyright: © WZL Prof. Thomas Bergs, Chair of Manufacturing Technology at the WZL of RWTH Aachen University, opened the meeting

On October 6 and 7, 40 specialists and managers from the grinding industry met for the annual general meeting of the Working Group Grinding Technology (AKS) at the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL at RWTH Aachen University. The research network presented the research results of the previous year and set the roadmap for 2022 with a thematic focus on sustainability and efficiency.

On the first day of the two-day meeting, the presentation of project results from the past research period was on the agenda. In addition to a new process for combined grinding and honing in a centerless grinding machine, optimized grinding strategies for the machining of fiber-reinforced ceramic materials as well as current investigation results on the dressing of vitrified bonded grinding wheels and the investigation of the application behavior of elastically bonded grinding tools during fine grinding were presented. The development of a digital assistance system for the automated determination of suitable dressing intervals on the basis of recorded machine data was also discussed at this year's meeting. In a guest lecture, Dr. Dirk Lüttgens from the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management at RWTH Aachen University also spoke about the challenges for established companies in dealing with disruptive innovations.

The second part of the meeting served to coordinate concrete project contents for the coming research year. The focus of the projects is on the efficient and sustainable design of grinding processes that contribute to the conservation of resources. In the automotive and aerospace industries, thin-walled components are playing an increasingly important role in weight reduction. However, their grinding processing is very demanding due to possible component deformations as a result of the force and heat effects. To meet this challenge, a project will deal with the development of a methodology for the knowledge-based design of grinding processes for thin-walled components.

 

To extend the service life of drive components and thus conserve resources, the targeted introduction of residual compressive stresses into the work piece edge zone will be the focus of another research project. Projects on centerless through-grinding of slender components and on the machining behavior of innovative lightweight materials from the aerospace industry round off the research program for the coming year. The aim of all projects is to derive concrete recommendations for action for industrial practice in order to increase the technological leadership and thus the competitiveness of the member companies.

Founded in 2013, the research network currently has 26 members, including manufacturers of grinding machines, grinding wheels, grit materials, bonding systems and cooling lubricants, as well as users from the grinding technology sector. Close cooperation between academia and industry enables member companies to integrate the latest research findings into their development activities at an early stage and implement them in their own operations.