Continued Grinding Success with Krebs & Riedel
Coventry based Advanced Grinding Solutions (AGS) announces continued sales growth for its range of specialist grinding wheels provided by its chosen abrasives partner Krebs & Riedel. Since being appointed as the sole distributor for the Krebs & Riedel range of grinding wheels in 2009 the sales growth in the UK has been continuous and now exceeds £300,000 a year.
Advanced Grinding Solutions sells various high-end grinding machines such as the Tschudin centreless grinding machines and Bahmuller cylindrical grinding machines that were being imported into the country with Krebs & Riedel wheels and this subsequently lead to the two companies deciding to work together to further promote the grinding wheels here in the UK.
Krebs & Riedel who were founded in 1895 have been manufacturing high quality standard, diamond and CBN abrasives for over 100 years and are able to count leading UK engineering companies such as Delphi Technologies amongst their ever-growing customer base. AGS holds around £50,000 worth of CBN wheels in stock for Delphi to offer them a same day/next day delivery on special pre-profiled grinding wheels for its Bahmuller cylindrical grinding machines who are also represented by AGS here in the UK.
Krebs who employs approx. 220 people is constantly introducing new types of wheels with improved grain structures and novel bonding systems that enhance grinding wheel quality and optimise performance.
One area where Krebs & Riedel excels in is the supply of wheels for gear and thread grinding applications and special wheels are available to suit machines manufactured by Gleason-Pfauter, Oerlikon, Kapp- Niles, Hofler, Maag, Samputensili and Reishauer etc. Advanced Grinding Solutions now supplies Krebs wheels to several top UK gear manufacturing companies who are able to call off specially profiled wheels for gear production on fast deliveries. Under agreement Krebs can keep customer’s blank wheels in stock and upon order will profile these to suit and then supply within just 2 or 3 days.
Another niche area that Krebs & Riedel have been active in is the supply of smaller diameter CBN wheels for jig grinding machines as used on Hauser or Moore machines. Often end users don’t wish to purchase large quantities of wheels and Krebs are able to supply high precision jig grinding wheels in batches as low as 5 pieces. Diamond and CBN wheels that have been manufactured by Krebs and Riedel for more than 20 years are available from 3mm to over 900mm in diameter with peripheral grinding speeds of up to 160 m/s.
Krebs & Riedel has also launched a brand new range of carbon fibre bodied grinding wheels called HI-COMP; a new wheel body variant for CBN and diamond abrasives. The high proportion of carbon fibre used to form the Krebs Hi Comp wheel hubs guarantees maximum strength with minimum weight. Depending on the process requirement different sizes are used and this ensures optimal and customized solutions to meet end users specific requirements. Having been under development for over two years the HI-COMP wheel bodies are up to 75% lighter than comparable steel-based ones. This not only guarantees easy handling for engineers during installation but also dramatically decreases the load on the grinding spindle during grinding.
HI-COMP wheels also provide much better vibration damping characteristics as compared with conventional steel grinding wheel bodies. This is useful not only for interrupted cut grinding but for standard cylindrical grinding as well. The grinding process due to the changed conditions of contact combined with the abrasive behaviour of the Hi Comp body’s superior harmonics is vastly improved and results in improved surface quality on the ground component. As compared with standard steel hubbed grinding wheels, having exactly the same grade and type of CBN or diamond abrasive, finer surface finishes in the region of a 20% improvement are readily seen.
This allows, for example, for users to either accept the immediate improvement in ground surface quality or otherwise look to using a rougher grade of wheel that will give faster stock removal and therefore faster cycle times but to retain the finishes originally being achieved; that or of course a combination of both.
Whilst the initial cost of purchasing carbon fibre hubbed wheels is higher than standard steel based ones, the cost difference is very quickly recouped due to achieving faster grinding times and improved quality and so the wheels quickly pay for themselves. It should also of course be understood that Krebs wheels are always able to be sent back for re-coating/refurbishing and therefore after the initial purchase the carbon fibre hub can be used numerous times before it eventually requires to be replaced.
The damping effect of the carbon fibre stops a large proportion of the vibrations from the grinding machine and its spindle from reaching the cutting edge of the grinding wheel and the overall damping effect is up to 5 times better than if using a similar grade of wheel but with a conventional steel or aluminium body. Tests have also indicated that end users of the Krebs Hi-Comp wheels are also seeing vastly improved wheel lifetime because the wheels require to be dressed far less often with savings of 20-30% plus being made possible depending upon stock removal rates and wheel speeds etc. The Krebs carbon fibre hubbed wheels being considerably lighter also allow for grinding at far greater cutting speeds without the risk of overloading expensive grinding spindles and this combined with the damping characteristics allow substantially faster grinding times to be achieved.
Chris Boraston, Managing Director at Advanced Grinding Solutions, comments:
"When selling very high precision grinding machines that cost from £250,000 to well over £1,000,000 then it’s clearly important that only the very best grinding wheels are used and indeed these are the only way in which we can fulfil and exceed our customer’s expectations. ".
Krebs & Riedel are very process focused and really study a customer’s application in detail before suggesting what type of wheel should be used. They certainly do not simply offer an alternative to an existing wheel and prefer to look very hard at the application and to offer wheels based upon their own experience rather than someone else’s. Furthermore, we can rely upon the support of technical engineers who will also help set-up a customers grinding machine to ensure that test wheels on trial bring the results that are necessary in terms of large improvements in quality, cycle time, or often both.
Such has been the success that we have had here in the UK with Krebs; we now hold over £80,000 worth of wheels in stock here for same day/next day delivery to our UK customers and this stock holding is growing as more and more engineering companies discover the advantages in improved part quality and in cost savings that Krebs wheels brings to them. Furthermore, unlike some other grinding wheel companies, Krebs understands that many end users do not want to purchase lots of wheels for stock if that can be avoided and therefore for most grinding applications there is no real minimum order quantity and where there is we are also able to retain wheels here at our base in Coventry and only supply, and therefore invoice, as customer’s actually need them.
Some of our UK customers literally only order a single wheel from us two or three times a year, others have several hundred wheels every month. Some buy huge CBN wheels that are expensive and others need small internal grinding wheels costing of course a fraction of that. Krebs is really able to support all customers – both large and small and that’s very important indeed to us as is their amazing track record of never having been late in supply on their quoted delivery time of a single wheel over the many years we have been doing business with them".
Customers wishing to improve their grinding processes are invited to contact AGS who can arrange for free of charge test wheels to be made available to prove out the superior quality and efficiency that is achieved when choosing the latest wheel technology from Krebs & Riedel.
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