To maximize process performance, it’s necessary to conduct trial tests.

There are a number of reasons for this, including the following:

New machine installation

Introduction of a new part size

Changes to qualify parameters

Need to improve part finish/geometry

Reduced abrasive costs

Change in an upstream process such as grinding

Implementation of new coolant

Increased productivity

Darmann recommends a benchmarking approach.

Benchmarking is a documented study of the current process, together with related influences (e.g. incoming part quality). This practice enables the user to fully evaluate the outcome of subsequent trials.

There are five steps in the benchmarking process. These are:

Define Objectives

Develop a clear understanding of the test objectives, along with possible process trade-offs. For example, if the objective is to improve stone life, the use of a harder stone may impact the stone’s cutting action.

Test Preparation

Make sure that sufficient parts are available to conduct a meaningful test. Review the condition of the machine, and associated tooling to be used. Establish incoming part quality representative of normal production conditions. Review concerns and complaints of those familiar with the process.

Establish Baseline

Document the current process. This includes incoming part quality, final part quality, stock removal, abrasive tool life, production rate, fluid conditions and other pertinent information. Use a data sheet that compliments internal record keeping, or use a standard one from Darmann.

Analyze Results

The value added of alternative abrasive tool options is determined by comparing the test results against the baseline process. Results should be quantified, and the cost impact calculated.