Q: In addition to grinding wheel shaping and resizing services, does Mach-B offer a selection of standard grinding wheels?
A: No, Mach-B doesn’t offer any grinding wheels, but our parent company, Goodson, does carry cam and crank grinding wheel blanks. In fact, 95% of Mach-B customers do not use our spec or size stock wheels
Q: Can you elaborate on how a customer saves money when buying blank stock and having Mach-B size and shape it? How much savings is possible?
A: Blank stock from the manufacturer is less expensive than custom sizes, plus it’s an 8 to 12 week lead time for custom wheels from the manufacturer.
Having a grinding wheel sized and shaped by Mach-B may cost the customer more than having custom wheels manufactured. The savings comes from being able to get the wheel faster. As previously stated, there is sometimes an 8 to 12 week lead time to get custom wheels and our customers often can’t wait that long. When they buy a blank from the manufacturer’s stock, we can have it resized or reshaped and in their hands in a matter of days instead of weeks.
Q: What is the process for sizing and shaping wheels?
A: The customer can either call, email or fax their specs or a blueprint to us. We will quote based on those specs.
Mach-B has several machines that can be used based on what operation is being performed. Among the machines available are:
- 3 Speed Testers for different sized wheels
- Arter for parallel finishing wheels and removing small amounts of material
- Face Dresser for creating angles and sizing the OD
- OD Machine for reducing the OD of large wheels
- ID Machine for increasing the ID of wheels and creating recesses
- Slotting Saw for cutting coolant slots into the faces of the wheels
- Balancing Stand for testing wheels balance
Q: Why do shops purchase grinding wheels with improper IDs, ODs and thicknesses?
A: First reason is that the vendor doesn’t have the size they need in stock. Second is the lead time to make wheels; usually 8 to 12 weeks. A third reason is to modify a wheel to fit another machine, making use of all of the abrasive in the grinding wheel.
Q: What is the frequency of emergency wheel shaping and sizing? Examples of when that is required.
A: Emergencies don’t happen often, but when they do, we are ready to help.
A few years ago we had a customer ship their entire stock of 120 wheels to us for speed testing because a forklift ran into the storage rack. Rather than risk using cracked or damaged wheels, the customer shipped them to us, we tested them and returned them as fast as possible. In fact, the wheels arrived on a Tuesday and they were back on the road by that Friday.
Q: What is required for creating a special wheel shape?
A: There are a couple of ways to create a special wheel shape. Generally we prefer a blueprint with the specs noted, but we can also work from a less formal diagram.
Q: Is a shape considered a special if it’s not one of the 15 types pictured on the company website?
A: Short answer; yes.
A: Long answer; there are actually 26 “standard” wheel shapes. Mach-B only shows the 15 most popular shapes on the website. Additionally, there are 13 standard wheel faces available so there is lots of potential for standard wheels based on the shape and face combination.
Q: What is slotting and why would I want to have it done?
A: Slotting is an operation to cut grooves into the face of the wheel to allow better coolant flow. It facilitates getting the coolant directly to sides of the wheel which is necessary for side grinding, thrust grinding and radius grinding.
Q: What percentage of wheel thickness is consumed when slotting?
A: Slotting doesn’t remove any of the thickness of the wheel, it does remove some of the volume; which is determined by what the customer requests.
Q: What determines length, depth and width?
A: The length, depth and width of the slots are determined by customer needs as well as the wheel itself. Usually, the number of slots that are cut into a wheel are 15, 30 or 60 slots.
Wheels can be slotted on both sides or on just one side. When the wheel is slotted on both sides the slots are offset to allow better coolant flow and maintain the wheel’s integrity.
Q: What equipment is used for wheel balancing? Do wheel manufacturers balance the wheels they produce?
A: Wheel manufacturers do balance the wheels they produce.
The basic equipment needed to balance grinding wheels includes a static balancing stand, an unbalanced wheel and a very knowledgeable operator. The actual balancing process is performed by dressing, putting heavy abrasive into the light areas to offset the imbalance in the wheel.
Q: What are the consequences of running a wheel too fast for its capability? How are problems corrected?
A: A wheel that is operated at a speed faster than the manufacturer has specified runs the risk of exploding. Once this happens, the wheel can’t be fixed; it must be replaced.
Never over-speed wheels – this is extremely unsafe.
REMEMBER, SAFETY FIRST.
Q: What types of defects does ring testing uncover?
A: Primarily a crack in the wheel though it can also uncover density problems or soft spots in a wheel.
A ring test is performed on Vitrified Bonded wheels by lightly tapping the wheel face in at least two locations with a wooden or plastic hammer. The wheel should give off a “ring”. If there is a crack the sound will be a dull thump.