Jig grinding is one of the best mold manufacturing processes, offering high accuracy and repeatable results. At Cav Tool Inc., we provide high-quality jig grinding services in Detroit, Michigan. Click here to learn more about our competencies, or get a free quote.
An increasing number of manufacturers rely on jig grinding for higher accuracy and repeatability of molds.
In today’s blog post, we will provide an overview of jig grinding and why it excels as a mold manufacturing process.
Jig Grinding vs. EDM
As a parts manufacturing process, jig grinding has always enjoyed a favored position. However, in the 1980s, EDM emerged as a new technology, and mold makers across the country were quick to adopt it. EDM became popular because it offered speed and cost benefits over other mold manufacturing techniques.
Jig grinding operations were considered not only costly (as they required heavy investment), but also labor-intensive. Add to this the fact that jig grinding operators were hard to find. But despite the cost-effectiveness and time-efficiency, EDM could not match the surface finish results and profile tolerances offered by jig grinding. And over the years, jig grinding has sped up, thanks to specialized software.
Nowadays, milling is hailed as an alternative to jig grinding, precisely because of the same reasons that made EDM popular initially.
However, milling also presents challenges as mold manufacturers want to expand their operations, especially when seeking high-quality molds. Overall, jig grinding offers the desired surface finishes and tolerances that manufacturers require.
Modern Jig Grinding
Today, jig grinding operations are faster due to the introduction of specialized hardware and software. The benefits are obvious.
For starters, the software reduces and sometimes even eliminates the need to input data manually, even when calculating detailed geometries. Macros drive start/stop points for cutting, minimizing setup and changeover, speeding up the entire process significantly.
On the hardware end, you have periphery equipment to ensure sub-micron positioning and grinding, as wheel measurement follows each wheel dressing. On the other hand, one can ensure accurate reversal points as scraped and linear guideways provide smooth and consistent dampening points. In turn, this allows for fast grinding action without the risk of bottoming out in blind holes.
Modern jig grinding machines are also capable of high speeds and feed rates that were previously unheard of. This is achieved by optimizing specialized software and the electron-mechanical structure.
Automated Jig Grinding
Despite all these benefits, the cost is still an issue for manufacturers when considering jig grinding over other processes. Along with hefty installation costs, skilled machine operators are hard to employ as well.
However, both these challenges have been resolved mainly by automating jig grinding with the use of more powerful CNC controllers. Once again, specialized macros take care of various grinding requirements without geometric calculations and hard tooling settings.
Moreover, various patented improvements have practically doubled modern jig grinding machines’ efficiency while reducing wasted movements. This is why machine tool manufacturers prefer jig grinding.
Companies in Detroit can always reach out to Cav Tool Inc. to leverage our jig grinding capabilities for mold making. Click here to get a free quote.