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Halifax Numerical Controls (HNC) has partnered Huddersfield-based Rollertech to develop a rubber roller grinding machine.

Carl Slingsby, founder and proprietor of Rollertech, recently had an idea for a new type of grinding machine and needed someone that could translate these ideas into a workable design and build a machine.

Contact was then made with HNC, culminating in a signed agreement.

HNC would carry out the design and build a prototype with the assistance of Rollertech, then jointly develop the new machine in line with Carl Slingsby’s vision.

Rubber roll grinders are usually in the form of a universal grinder with the table traversing in the X axis.

One of the problems when grinding shafts such as those 3000mm long is that the machine has to be more than twice that length to accommodate the table traverse.

This in turn causes further problems with the inertia of moving a five tonne component back and forth.

To help overcome this problem the machine needs to be so heavy; it almost becomes unwieldy with prices often quoted in hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Slingsby, who regularly visits his customers around the world, is always keen to discuss and understand their manufacturing problems and had noted a number of his customers struggle with the longer and larger diameter rollers.

He carried out some research, which told him the market demanded a 3m machine, although maximum diameters seemingly fell into two distinct categories – 600mm and 1250mm.

Working within a time frame, a fully developed 600mm variant emerged, which was duly designated the Rollertech RT 3000.

The heavy-duty, totally enclosed machine is fully electronic in operation and capable of grinding rubber rollers up to 3m in length with a maximum component weight of five tonnes, while maintaining an end-to-end accuracy of 20 micron.

The machine is compact with the component rotating during the grinding process but remaining stationary in the longitudinal axis as the wheelhead now traverses in the X axis in addition to the Z as per conventional machines.

To provide the rigidity and accuracy required, linear ways are utilised throughout.

The axes are driven by Fanuc GE high-torque DC motors via heavy-duty ballscrews.

Programming is via the latest Fanuc GE Oi-D touch-screen CNC controller.

A multitude of programmes has been developed and incorporated into the control including parallel, convex and concave grinding along with grooving cycles giving herringbone, chevron and diamond patterns, to name but a few.

It has further been developed to enable customers to prepare programmes for specialist shapes and patterns as required.

Halifax Numerical Controls

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