UNITED GRINDING Unveils Groundbreaking Tool Automation at GrindingHub 2024

The UNITED GRINDING Group introduced a revolutionary automation solution for tool machining at this year’s GrindingHub, under the theme “Stay Connected,” which emphasized connectivity solutions.

Innovations from WALTER

On the first day, a crowd gathered at UNITED GRINDING’s booth for the reveal of WALTER’s latest innovation. At 10 am, a mobile transport robot was unveiled, showcasing its autonomous movement between the HELITRONIC VISION 400 L tool grinding machine and the fully automatic HELICHECK PLUS measuring machine. Dubbed ‘Automated Tool Production’ (ATP), this solution automates the loading and unloading of cylindrical precision tools. The system comprises at least one robot cell accessible from the front and a mobile transport robot that shuttles workpiece pallets and parts between storage and processing stations. This new system can be seamlessly integrated into existing setups, including machines from third-party suppliers.

WALTER also introduced the VISION LASER machine, bringing laser technology to tool machining for the first time. Designed primarily for cutting tools with inserts, this machine uses a reliable and proven laser system with encapsulated optical modules, ensuring high availability in daily operations.

Stay Connected

Visitors explored the latest technologies across 12 machines from grinding, eroding, lasering, measuring, and additive manufacturing sectors. BLOHM presented the PLANOMAT XT tool changer, a cost-efficient automatic grinding wheel changer. STUDER showcased its new automation system, insertLoad, which offers standardized yet flexible automatic loading and unloading for the S31 and S33 cylindrical grinding machines. Additionally, IRPD launched the IMPACT 4530, the first industrial additive machine tool from Switzerland, noted for its high accuracy, quality, and scalability in metal part manufacturing.

The “Stay Connected” theme also highlighted various digital customer care solutions, including UNITED GRINDING Digital Solutions™ and the umati data interface, which connects machines from different manufacturers to the production environment.

Exciting Giveaways

Four lucky attendees won a PlayStation PS5 by participating in a game on a C.O.R.E. panel, adding an extra layer of excitement to the event.

Business Insights from the Group

At the press conference, Stephan Nell, CEO of UNITED GRINDING Group, reflected on the company’s successful year, noting it was one of the best in their history despite economic and geopolitical challenges. He acknowledged a likely sales decline for 2024 but remained cautiously optimistic about a rebound in orders by year’s end.

Nell discussed shifting market volumes, with a decline in China and growth in North America. He emphasized the Group’s strategic focus on South East Asia and Eastern Europe, aiming to maintain close customer relationships and a stable business foundation.

Looking Forward

Nell concluded on a positive note, expressing confidence in the Group’s ability to adapt and continue supporting its customers’ success through regional diversification and innovative solutions.

Original source MMI

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