As the wheel turns – caring for your grinding wheel
Grinding wheels are commonplace in just as many workshops as they are in industrial settings. The rules for caring for your grinding wheel, a fragile piece of machinery, seem to be similar whether grinding is a hobby or you have an entire fleet of grinding robots at your disposal.
As mentioned above, grinding wheels, whether handheld or robotic end effectors are fragile. Because of this, it is easy to chip them if something unexpected hits them or gets into their path.
The first thing you should do when getting a new grinding wheel is to inspect the wheel itself. That is one of the most important steps to grinding wheel care. If there are chips in your grinding wheel, the life of it is considerably decreased, according to an article from Yahoo.com.
Also, a cracked wheel is a complete loss, and should be returned to the manufacturer for refund. There is no way that a cracked grinding wheel can be cared for or repaired. Manufacturers should never allow an operator to use a cracked grinding wheel or allow it to be attached to the grinding robot. The site stated that a cracked wheel could break at any time, which could injure the robot operator, the robot or the work piece itself.
Another step in the care of your grinding wheel is to make sure it is properly stored. Handheld grinding wheels should be stored in a separate drawer, and never left out where they can be dropped or damaged. It is the same for grinding robot end effectors. These items, if they are interchanged for other end effectors on the same robot, should be stored somewhere safe where they will not have the chance of being damaged.
Routine preventative maintenance is the best way to properly care for your grinding wheel over time. It is through this preventative care that you will know if the grinding wheel has become chipped or cracked during use. If this happens, it is time to replace your grinding wheel.
RobotWorx, a certified integrator for Fanuc, Motoman, ABB, Universal Robots, and KUKA grinding robots, has partnerships with several grinding end effector merchants, and because of those partnerships, has access to many different grinding wheel models for your robotic needs.
If you are interested in learning more about caring for grinding wheels, or about automated grinding in general, contact RobotWorx online or at 740-251-4321.