Grinding is a process of reduction. Machinery removes metal of diverse types from a component. Precision grinding focuses on metal reduction with a focus on achieving specified dimensions and tight tolerances. It is a finishing process requested by many different industries, including the automotive manufacturing sector.
The Automotive Sector
Typically, the dominant process used to finish off metal automotive components has been and remains machining. However, the industry is beginning to move towards shifting to grinding. They are utilizing the various types: JIG, Cylindrical, Centerless, OD, and ID, to name a few. The reasons behind this decision are several with the two major ones being:
- The automotive industry is using smaller more complex components demanding tighter tolerances better suited to grinding than machining
- Precision grinding technology has improved significantly and, therefore, is better able to address a wider array of manufacturing applications
The result, when utilizing grinding over machining in the automotive and other industries, is impressive. The final products demonstrate such desirable qualities as improved quality, highly accurate and specified dimensions, a better quality surface finish, and faster production rates.
Grinding is currently providing several different components for the automotive industry. These include several different vehicle parts. Among the most common applications are:
- Automotive fasteners
- Exhaust manifolds
- Powertrain products e.g., engine parts as well as drive shafts, wheels, etc.
- Rocker pins
- Spring cups
- Valve seats
With its increased complexity of components and the growth of modularization of such things as engines, automotive companies are expanding their use of grinding.
The overall market for grinding and is increasing in specific markets. Current applications include aerospace, the automotive and consumer goods industries. Previously, the automotive sector has relied heavily on machining to produce its components. Today, however, the move is towards relying on precision grinding techniques to provide them with components that meet the high standards and tight tolerances of their specifications.