Hard turning vs Grinding

Do you have a particular application that may require CNC grinding or finish hard turning? Not sure what process would be the best? Before the introduction of hard turning in the 90’s, cylindrical grinding of high precision workpieces was the industry standard. However, hard turning has become widespread since its introduction and has replaced many grinding processes worldwide. Nevertheless, both processes are fundamentally sound but differ and which method is best suited depends on the workpiece to be machined and the number of parts in a production run.

Advantages of hard turning.
Hard turning is an ideal process for workpieces having complex shapes requiring a combination of external and internal machining. All operations can often be completed in one part clamping. Complex geometries can be accurately generated by CNC-controlled slide positioning and cutting with a CBN insert. In the grinding process, each contour has to be generated by a specifically formed grinding wheel that requires dressing at regular intervals. Also, the hard turning process is easier to set up and change over, often within 1/2 hour. This makes hard turning especially advantageous for small to medium-sized production runs over a wide variety of workpiece types.

Advantages of grinding
Grinding is a more universally known process. Most workpieces can be ground, independent of their shape. Hard turning, on the other hand, has geometric limitations, as is the case with long and thin components. Wide surfaces can be finished effectively, often with a single plunge grind operation. In addition, with grinding a turn-free surface finish is achieved which is often mandated on sealing diameters. Dedicated cylindrical ID and OD grinding is also indispensable in high-volume applications. Dis-similar materials and hardness variations, in the same workpiece, can also be problematic for hard turning.

Advantages of hard turning and grinding combined
So, are you currently grinding all your workpieces but realize that finish hard turning could offer some real advantages? In this case a hybrid machine, such as the MikroTurnGrind 1000, which combines hard turning and finish grinding in one machine could be the solution to your challenge. This would allow you to apply the most suitable process, for each surface to be machined, all in one set-up without the need for multiple machines.

Is my application suitable for hard turning?
Let us review your part drawings and we’ll gladly let you know whether this makes sense for your workpieces. If suitable, we can provide you with a machine proposal and cycle time study. Please do not hesitate to contact by filling out the contact form. Or contact us directly at sales@hembrug.com or by phone at (011) +31 23 512 4900.

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