Breu Diamantwerkzeug GmbH uses corundum grinding machines for the manufacture of diamond and CBN tools. The FLEXA external and internal cylindrical grinding machines from ZEMA made such an impression at Breu’s Brazilian site of Indaiatuba, near São Paulo, that they are now also used at the company’s headquarters in Switzerland. Established grinding machine manufacturer ZEMA and its corundum grinding machines have been part of the JUNKER Group for two years now.
Breu specializes in galvanized diamond and CBN tools. The company’s product range also features dressing tools and tools for the gearing industry. Production takes place in Switzerland and Brazil. The tool manufacturer’s customer base is largely made up of companies from the automotive and aerospace industries along with their suppliers. “This means that maximum precision, an individual approach to customer requirements, and flexibility are called for in particular,” explains Managing Director Silvio Breu.
Rudolf Breu founded Breu Diamantwerkzeuge GmbH in 1996 from the one-man company RBD Diamantwerkzeuge, which started production in 1994. Since then the company has developed steadily and is still run by the family today. Breu do Brasil Ltda. started production in 2008. Turnover grew rapidly and the outlook was so good that production was expanded here after just a few years. At this point the grinding machines also came under scrutiny, because the increasing demand meant that the requirements placed on the machine and production process were also growing.
The workpieces manufactured by Breu require three grinding operations: the locating bore, plane surfaces, and external contours on the base body of the diamond or CBN tools need to be machined precisely and reliably. The machines previously used at Breu required a separate clamping set-up for each grinding assignment.
Three machining processes in a single clamping set-up
The corundum grinding machine from ZEMA enables all three necessary grinding assignments to be performed in just one clamping set-up, thereby significantly optimizing the processes. Therefore, the flexible external and internal cylindrical grinding machine FLEXA was the obvious choice.
“Since then it has more than fulfilled our expectations,” sums up Silvio Breu. When it came to expanding production at the Swiss headquarters in Arbon, one thing was certain: a FLEXA machine would take on the challenging grinding assignments here too. Another advantage is that it is now possible to exchange data between individual process parameters and automatically adopt software settings.
More than a grinding machine
In 2015, ZEMA became part of the German JUNKER Group, which is based in Nordrach in the Black Forest. This means that ZEMA’s customers can also access JUNKER services: they receive support from trained employees and rapid on-site assistance when necessary. The JUNKER Group’s performance promise includes installation of the machines and commissioning as well as grinding processes adjusted to the customer's production requirements. JUNKER also offers a wide range of services during and after machine commissioning. Thus, buyers of ZEMA corundum grinding machines can also benefit from the worldwide services from the JUNKER Group.
Quick retooling for flexible small series
Breu specializes in small series production. Most of the time only 20 to 30 pieces of a workpiece are produced, sometimes less. To achieve flexible yet efficient production, short machine retooling times are essential for this special tool maker. FLEXA is retooled for new workpieces up to five times a day. Several types of a workpiece family can be stored in the control system, making it easy and quick to switch production from one workpiece to another. To ensure a trouble-free production sequence, all ZEMA corundum grinding machines are also equipped with automatic loading and unloading systems.
The grinding wheel can be easily changed over in order to machine particularly hard materials. A corundum grinding wheel can even be replaced with a diamond grinding wheel with just a few simple steps. The external and internal cylindrical grinding machines come with a robust machine bed, hydrostatic guides, and grinding spindles mounted on rolling or hydrostatic bearings as standard. A user-friendly control system offers all the necessary input screens for precision corundum grinding. This results in tools with outstanding surface quality.