Solving an aerospace manufacturer’s problems with customized solutions


Weldon Solutions is accustomed to customizing. We’re in the business of making products work for our customers to help them keep costs down and save time in the process.

When an aerospace component manufacturer was looking to replace an aging grinding wheel dresser, they knew we were experts in the space and contacted us to help.

The grinding wheels in question are used in the customer’s manufacturing processes on many existing grinders. Their current system is more than 30 years old and not very efficient at rough and finish dressing their aluminum oxide grinding wheels. On top of those issues, these dressing machines are no longer being built by the original manufacturer.

The aerospace company’s engineering manager previously worked for another business which used several Weldon machines in its manufacturing processes and had a long history working with Weldon. Realizing the bind they were in, the manager contacted Weldon to find out if we could develop a workable solution.

Engineers get creative to solve customer problems

After considering the issues with the customer’s grinder, Weldon opted to use our own existing, standard Phoenix model for this project to customize and reduce the machine footprint.

While typically associated with a large-capacity ID grinder, our team designed a custom enclosure for side access on the Phoenix where the ID grinding spindles would normally sit. This makes it easier for an operator to load the arbor-mounted grinding wheel into the custom-built driving fixture.

Weldon teamed with MasterCAM to develop a software post-processor specific to this application. Thedual GII Solutions dressing spindles will rough and finish the grinding wheel profile in a more modern format to save a sizable amount of time over their existing process. It will also make better use of the diamond dressing rolls, using both sides of the dressing media to spread out the wear, saving in the consumables cost.

The biggest savings from the modified grinder is that the process of roughing and finishing materials, which would have taken 1 to 2 hours previously, now takes just 15 minutes.

“We were able to take a standard, existing structure and modify it to make it work for this customer’s needs and purposes,” said Ben Cornbower, Weldon’s manager of grinder sales. “It was a challenge to find out where everything fit and to make it user-friendly to load and unload.

“In the end, we created a machine with a smaller footprint and drove down costs while making sizable improvements in cycle time,” Cornbower continued. “It was exciting to take our standard machine and do something new and creative with it to satisfy a customer’s needs. “This custom approach and going the extra mile are what differentiate Weldon from our competitors and how we continue to build on long-term client relationships.”

If your company needs specialized, customized grinder solutions, contact Weldon today to discuss how we can help solve your machine problems.


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