) To ensure workpiece quality, it is important that as little frictional heat as possible is created and the unavoidable heat is quickly removed, according to Bielomatik. The company refers to the BINE project information brochure (03/2013) "Energy-efficient finishing in mechanical engineering", which presents a grinding process for the automotive industry that requires minimum amounts of lubricants and coolants. In comparison with the previously standard flood cooling, the new process is said to halve the energy consumption. The process has been tested for the first time on an industrial scale on the camshaft production line at the Volkswagen factory in Salzgitter. As is explained, the developers optimized the grinding machine, abrasive body and the lubricant feed. The aim was to create no more frictional heat than can be removed via the tool and chips without damage. For this purpose, the manufacturing process for the grinding media was changed. The lubricant is now sprayed on via a two-channel MQL system from Bielomatik. This reportedly enables the compressed air and lubricant to be optimally mixed. The manufacture of camshafts provided a natural choice as a pilot application because the induction-hardened chromium steels, workpiece geometry and the required precision are very demanding. According to the German exhibitors, the electricity consumption during the fabrication of the two million camshafts produced at Salzgitter every year can be reduced by at least 2.4 million kWh. This contrasts with the minimal additional investment.
Reducing energy and lubricant consumption with MQL
The minimum quantity lubrication (MQL) from Bielomatik is claimed to enable the efficient precision grinding of machine components. Especially in the automotive industry, the consumption of energy and lubricants can thus be reduced.