At the recent EMO exhibition, sharpening specialist Vollmer presented the new VHybrid 360 Grinding and Erosion machine. This next-generation machine combines grinding and eroding technologies with experience that Vollmer has gained throughout its history.

The new VHybrid 360 Grinding and Erosion machine can be used to machine solid carbide or PCD cutting tools in a single set-up. The VHybrid 360 not only provides tool manufacturers with high efficiency for reduced machining times, but also maximum precision. 

A wide range of automatic settings enable unmanned production around the clock. With the new Vollmer tool manager, users can manage the automatic switching of up to eight grinding or eroding wheels intuitively.

For grinding and eroding tools

The introduction of the VHybrid 360 from the Swabian specialist in grinding and erosion machines allows tool manufacturers to grind and erode carbide and PCD tools like drills, milling cutters or reamers in one combined set-up. 

The VHybrid 360 is based on multi-layer machining, which is implemented through two vertically arranged spindles. Here, Vollmer is using the tried-and-tested technology of its VGrind grinding machine series. With the VHybrid 360, the bottom spindle can be used for both grinding and eroding, while the top spindle is reserved exclusively for grinding.

The best of two worlds

With the VHybrid 360, Vollmer has not only combined the best of both worlds for grinding and eroding, but has also further developed proven technologies. From the world of erosion, Vollmer has incorporated knowledge gained through more than three decades of working with wire and wheel erosion machines from different model series. 

The key component is the VPulse EDM erosion generator, which sets new standards when it comes to efficiency and surface quality. 

From the world of grinding, meanwhile, the ultra-modern machine concept of the VGrind series ensures high-precision machining with both spindles of the VHybrid 360 vertically arranged in the pivot point of the C-axis. This guarantees high-profile accuracy and enables exact grinding and eroding processes. In addition, tool machining times can be reduced, thanks to the shorter linear-axis travel distances, that are a credit to the unique spindle arrangement.

Making tool production more flexible

The VHybrid 360 can be used to produce different cutting tool types for machining processes in the wood, metal or composite material sectors. The Vollmer machine gives tool manufacturers the flexibility to perform fully-fledged grinding and eroding processes on standard and special tools – regardless of whether the blanks are made of carbide, sintered PCD or brazed diamond tips. 

The machine can be used for tools with diameters up to 50mm and lengths to 360mm. Depending on the configuration of the grinding wheels or rotary electrodes, larger diameters are also possible. An optional steady rest ensures stability for long tools, and a new five-axis control guarantees precise execution of the grinding and eroding processes.

Simplifying operation and unmanned operation

A range of automation solutions enable unmanned machining around the clock. For example, the HC4 chain magazine can hold up to 39 HSK 63A tool holders. In addition, up to eight grinding and eroding wheels (including coolant supply) can be exchanged fully automatically – in a process managed in the VHybrid 360. 

This is available for the first time, thanks to the newly-developed Vollmer tool manager. With this, machine operators can select the grinding and electrode sets intuitively and easily using a drag-and-drop option.

The combined grinding and erosion machine is based on the established Vollmer control panel concept, with a height-adjustable, pivoting touchscreen. 

The grinding and eroding processes are programmed, simulated and monitored via the ExLevel PRO 3D software. The axes can be selected and moved with the Vollmer multifunction handwheel. In addition, the machine has a dressing device for rotary electrodes and an integrated wheel probe for ultra-precise calibration of the grinding and eroding wheel packages in the process.

“Tool manufacturers today are often development partners for their customers and are involved in the tool planning phase from the outset in order to achieve efficient machining of a wide range of materials,” says Dr Stefan Brand, CEO of the Vollmer Group. “And, whether carbide or diamond tools are required, the hybrid machining technologies in our VHybrid 360 enable precise machining of a variety of rotary tools, such as drills, milling cutters or reamers.”

Pictured: Vollmer VHybrid 360