* industry expert designed package targets veteran machine still used by thousands

Naperville, IL, June 13, 2013 --- The grinding specialist RefreshEng has

launched a re-engineered centerless grinder based on one of the world's most
widely-used machines, with the aid of software development support from CNC
vendor NUM. Controlled by NUM's Flexium CNC kernel, the upgrade solution
converts any of the veteran Cincinnati 2-OM family of centerless grinder
machines to the same kind of automated and precision machining available on
state-of-the-art grinders - but for an outlay that is some 60% lower than a
new machine.

Initially, the new NUM CNC based machine is targeted at centerless grinding
applications in the aerospace industry, and comes with application-specific
software to automate the production of the specialist countersink,
button-head and relief style fasteners used in aviation fuselage and engine

RefreshEng's CNC upgrade solution is offered in four variants, with a choice
of three autoloading options. The NUM-based upgrades transform the
Cincinnati 2-OM's original hydraulic- and mechanical-dressing architecture -
with its fixed cam-and-stylus control - to an advanced CNC software-based
system with up to seven axes of servomotor-based motion depending on
customer choices.

To complete the automation upgrade to the highest standards, RefreshEng
incorporates numerous advanced features to optimize productivity, precision
and operator safety. These include acoustic sensors that automatically
monitor and compensate for grinding wheel wear. The machine also uses the
sensing system to dynamically adjust grinding wheel feedrate to provide 'gap
elimination'; this feature alone can reduce grinding cycle times by almost
20% across a batch of raw material parts with varying dimensions. Higher
resolution control of movement, and the ability to interpolate movement of
motion axes, improves both grinding accuracy and extends the range of shapes
that can be ground. The grinding wheel has been fitted with a Schmitt
Balancing System, which dynamically eliminates vibration. Wheel speed can
also be varied to suit different component materials. Another key feature is
a choice of drop-, finger- or front-loading loaders to automate the broad
range of common centerless grinding applications. The finger loader accepts
a very large variation in part size from 10mm long x 3mm diameter up to 200
x 25mm.

This idea for the project span out of RefreshEng's intimate knowledge of the
centerless grinding business, derived from its long established tooling
services in the UK and Europe. Many of its clients wanted to re-control
their old machines to an advanced level, to increase throughput and
eliminate manual operations, but had found it difficult to source the
technical support for such work. RefreshEng recognized the opportunity,
especially for the popular Cincinnati 2-OM, as it estimates there are still
some 2000 of these machines in the UK alone.

RefreshEng - who have staff with grinding machine design experience - had
clear ideas of how to update the mechanical architecture. This involved the
complete replacement of hydraulics in favor of servomotor-controlled motion,
with numerous modifications to the underlying framework including new
castings to mount the electro-mechanics. The key hurdle for RefreshEng's CEO
Damian Clements was finding a CNC supplier that would be prepared to
complement his company's know-how with high-level control system software
skills. In order to make the project financially viable, RefreshEng also
wanted the CNC supplier to defer the return on their development efforts
until sales of the machine started to build. Previous good experience with
NUM led Clements to discuss the project first with the CNC vendor's UK
applications centre. NUM offered to act as a virtual partner, allowing its
programming staff to work alongside RefreshEng's staff as part of the
development team.

RefreshEng provided NUM's software developers with flow charts of the way it
wanted the new machine to function, so that the control logic and operator
interface software could be developed. The companies' engineers then worked
together - often using internet communications to link remotely to the
prototype - to realize and test the new control system. Even though the type
of custom human-machine interface RefreshEng wanted was seemingly fresh to
this type of machine, NUM's software developers completed the work very
quickly, within just three to four man-months. The open programmability of
Flexium's man-machine interface, which is purpose-designed to support
customization, was the catalyst for this short design cycle. In addition to
providing the control structure, NUM also exploited the HMI programmability
of the Flexium platform to generate a distinctive look-and-feel for the
re-engineered machine's control software - to simplify use and to start
building a brand feel for RefreshEng's entry into the higher echelons of the
centerless grinding machinery market.

The first release of RefreshEng's software targets aerospace fastener
production. NUM's operating software employs dialog boxes to simplify
programming - allowing new grinding profiles to be created in less than a
minute. The operator simply populates data fields on a sequence of screens,
which include graphical representations of the fastener style selected, and
the profile is automatically generated. Parts can then be produced
completely automatically, with the machine's software also automatically
performing housekeeping tasks such as dressing the wheel.

The hardware upgrade is based on NUM's economic Flexium 68 CNC kernel, with
an FS152i touch-screen HMI, machine panel with handwheel for operator
programming and control, plus MDLU3 drives and BPX servomotors fitted with
precision absolute encoders. The seven axes controlled by the CNC depending
on the machine model are control wheel-infeed, -traverse and -rotation,
dresser-infeed and -traverse, backstop and spindle lateral adjust.

"This project exemplifies the way NUM likes to work," says Steve Moore of
NUM UK. "Because our business is built on helping small to medium sized
machine builders to compete, we have invested in a decentralized R&D
structure which locates engineering staff all around the world, and we are
very willing to customize our CNC technology to support clients - as in the
case of this innovative re-engineering project."

"The Flexium upgrade we've devised provides an economic CNC solution that
brings the workhorse 2-OM range of machines bang up to date in terms of
precision, programming flexibility and automation - boosting productivity
substantially", says Damian Clements, CEO of RefreshEng. "Capital investment
cost is reduced by such a large margin compared with a new machine that
payback can be as short as a few months - which is critical for many of the
manufacturers in this highly competitive sector. The new machine also
automates all aspects of the centerless grinding process, eliminating any
need for manual interventions such as loading and hand finishing, to deliver
a much higher level of safety."

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