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3rd Machine Blade Conference in Wuppertal (Germany)


Schleifen + Polieren (March/April 2019)

On March 27th 2019 German Tool Industry Association (FWI) invited to a symposium on the manufacture of machine blades. For the third time in a row, the Berger Gruppe in Wuppertal (Germany) hosted this event.

The quality of machine blades depends on a number of factors. Depending on the application, the requirements for tolerance accuracy and quality of the workpiece vary. Nevertheless, increasingly complex workpiece geometries as well as new materials and material combinations present companies with new challenges.

The Machine Blade Conference on March 27th provided basic information and expert knowledge on these and other topics. In 12 lectures, the participants talked about questions relating to the manufacture of machine blades – from the basics of metallurgy of carbide-rich steels to the virtual commissioning of robot cells with RobotStudio and additive manufacturing.

The event was fully booked with 80 participants. The visitors were welcomed by Thomas Holland-Letz from the FWI (tool industry association) and the managing directors of the host company Dr. Andreas Groß and Marco Chiesura in a company which was founded in 1957 and today employs 150 people.

A highlight of the symposium, which was moderated by Wolfgang Groß (Berger Gruppe), was the live demonstration of various CNC and robot-controlled grinding machines of the Berger Group.

Dr. Michael Blüm (Bergische Universität Wuppertal) gave a lecture on the basics of the metallurgy of carbide-rich steels as an introduction to the subject of raw materials, which was followed by a lecture on saw and knife steels by Guido Kochheim (SSC Sägenstahlcenter GmbH).

In the lectures given by Dr. Mark Mistry (Nickel Institute) and Samuel Zind (Forschungsgemeinschaft Werkzeuge und Werkstoffe), the focus was on the food compatibility of knife steels, a problem which is of great topicality in the industry.

With Günther Ellensohn (WBI Wissensmanagement Meusburger Guntram GmbH) the organizers were able to gain professional competence in the field of knowledge management.

In the manufacture of machine knives, central importance is attached to achieving different geometries on the workpiece.

In his lecture "CNC Grinding Machines, Feeding Technology and Robotics for the Production of Machine Knives", Dr. Andreas Groß (Berger Gruppe) presented various grinding processes for machining the contour and surface of machine knives.

The variety of workpiece geometries - from circular blades to polygonal machine knives - requires different grinding processes. Depending on the requirements, a surface, flat bevel, serrated or scalloped grinding can be achieved on the workpiece.

Depending on the diameter of the workpiece, different peripheral grinding machines are used for the serrating of circular knives, which can be equipped with a tactile measuring system for grinding wheel wear compensation and automatic diameter measurement. In order to achieve serrated grinding on long knives, grinding processes such as orthogonal deep grinding or plunge grinding with a cutting speed of up to 50 m/s are used. If an additional CNC rotation axis is integrated into the grinding machine, a relief grinding can be achieved on the serration.

The second part of the event started with presentations automated guided vehicles by Daniel Geider (SEW-EURODRIVE GmbH & Co. KG), on coolant cleaning with permanent magnet systems by Armin Bär (Bär + Co. Anlagentechnik GmbH) and on the advantages of osmosis water for coolant lubricants by Erich Greifenstein (Greifenstein Wasserveredelung).

Lectures on virtual commissioning of robot cells with RobotStudio by Dr. Thomas Reisinger (ABB Automation GmbH) and on additive manufacturing by Stefan de Groot (PROTIQ GmbH) rounded off the program.

The organizers of the symposium were pleased with the positive response. The participants expressed their appreciation for the content and variety of the lectures and praised the possibility of networking.

A further symposium on the subject of machine knives is being planned.