Now, Vollmer has eradicated this issue for cutting tool manufacturers with its flexible new VHybrid 260 solution that can grind carbide tools and erode PCD tools - all in one machine.

The exceptional new Vollmer VHybrid 260 combines the technologies of an innovative grinding machine and a powerful erosion machine, making it possible to switch between erosion and grinding functions in next to no time.

Utilising Vollmer’s unique multi-layered machining technology that was first proven in the Vgrind series of machines, the vertical alignment of two spindles is a groundbreaking arrangement that allows the grinding and electrode wheelsets to precisely pivot the C-axis to ensure operators always achieve optimal results. This configuration allows users to combine both processes. If the tool requires both grinding and erosion, the VHybrid 260 can create one complete and highly efficient machining process for all tool production requirements.

The multi-layered spindle configuration allows the efficient grinding of carbide tools with diameters of up to 150mm on the top spindle whereas the bottom spindle can accommodate both grinding and erosion.

This enables the efficient machining of carbide or PCD tools up to a diameter of 150mm thanks to the high-performance and finely tuned Vpulse EDM erosion generator that maximises productivity and performance whilst reducing production costs.

This ultra-precise erosion generator delivers surface finishes to roughness of 0.1μRa for the best possible cutting tool quality whilst electrode calibration and wear control that combines with a dressing device provide fully automated processing with unwavering quality levels.

Quality is built into every facet of the VHybrid 260 and Vollmer demonstrates this with its innovative ‘wall concept’ that provides the highest possible rigidity and vibration damping through its concrete polymer foundation. This is complemented by the effective spindle and motor cooling technology that creates greater thermal stability for unparalleled precision and power whilst the vertical spindle configuration eradicates issues related to fixing and floating bearings.

Automation and ease of use are factored into every element of the new VHybrid 260 and this includes the tool loading and unloading facilities. Here, Vollmer offers several options with its HC4 chain magazine that has space for 39 HSK-63A tools or up to 158 shank-type tools with a maximum weight of 5kg.

Alternately, for manufacturers producing larger tools, Vollmer offers the HC4 Plus, which provides space for 160 shank type tools or 40 HSK-63A tool holders with a tool diameter of 80mm. With larger tool diameters of up to 150mm, there is space for 20 HSK-63A tool holders with a maximum weight for individual tools up to 10kg.

Further demonstrating that Vollmer has factored ease-of-use and automation into all areas of the 5-axis VHybrid 260, the automation options also extend to the 8-tool grinding wheel changer that ensures the right grinding wheel for the right tool is always supplied to the work envelope with no manual intervention. As an option, coolant nozzles can be automatically exchanged with the wheelsets on both spindles.

From an operator ergonomics and ease-of-use perspective, Vollmer once again excels with its multi-function handwheel for easy axis adjustment, simple touchscreen control, optimal machine access and height-adjustable tilting control platform.

This ease-of-use extends to the modularly designed ExLevel PRO software that allows efficient, fast and easy machining of a wide range of tools in both grinding and eroding operations. This simplicity extends to tool simulation that can be set up directly at the machine or remotely.

To further enhance performance, precision and quality, Vollmer provides a multitude of optional extras. This includes linear scales on all axes for even greater precision levels and performance plus a steady rest to optimise grinding results when processing longer cutting tools that have the potential to deflect. Furthermore, Vollmer also offers automated gripper compensation as an in-process solution. This provides maximum precision when loading and unloading tools and reduction sleeves and it also reduces wear and maximises stability.