What You Need To Know When Buying a Flywheel Grinder

By | November 3, 2017

A Flywheel Grinder Apart

The FG5000 is designed for maximum rigidity. This assures minimum deflection resulting in rapid material removal, excellent finish, decreased stone wear, and also prolongs the life of the machine. These specifications are extremely important when selling against competitive machines which are priced lower.

For example, the FG5000 is only available with a 5 hp grinding motor while DCM has a 3 hp available. Engineering tests have proven that a 3 hp motor is not adequate except for the lightest of application. Van Norman by Irontite has not compromised structural design in order to reduce cost.

Critical Table Support

A unique feature of the FG5000 is its method of supporting the table. This consists of a 15” bearing ring which maximizes table rigidity.
The work table rides on a film of oil between it and the table support. The oil film is maintained by a large central reservoir thus assuring indefinite bearing life. None of the competing machines use this principle for table support. DCM incorporates a roller bearing which is only 10” in diameter thus leaving a large portion of the table unsupported resulting in decreased rigidity and increased deflection. Not to mention a much shorter lifespan.

Thickness Matters

Some machines do not have a table support bearing. In comparison with the competitive models, the castings used in the FG5000 are heavier. For example, the motor flange of the FG5000 is 3/4” thick cast iron compared to the DCM which is 5/8” thick and to others which are aluminum. This feature becomes most important when grinding under heavy loads. The heavier the casting, the less deflection, and vibration.

Adjustable Tilt

The FG-5000 incorporates easily adjustable mounting plates between the 5hp motor and the motor flange to facilitate the tilt adjustment of the grinding motor. Competitive machines require the use of shims between the motor and motor flange in order to make these adjustments. This is important since the head must be adjusted periodically. The FG5000 uses a positive chain and Sprocket table drive requiring little maintenance or adjustment. Any necessary adjustments may be made from the outside of the machine base. Competitive machines use less reliable belt drives. These require frequent replacement and adjustment which must be done inside the machine base.

Belts or Direct Drive?

The FG5000 Power Column Option has a direct leadscrew drive which rarely needs to be adjusted. The competitive machines again use belt drives which are less reliable and require frequent adjustments and replacement. The power column safety relay used on the FG5000 Power Column and Power Column Auto-Grind prevents accidental operation of the power column while the grinding motor is actuated. Competitive machines do not offer this obvious safety factor.

The FG5000 uses two limit switches which prevent operation of the power column motor beyond the travel range of the column. This eliminates the possibility of damage to the lead screw, lead screw nut, gearbox, motor, and electrical circuits. Competitive machines do not offer this feature.

Magnetic starter/overload protection is offered as standard equipment on all Van Norman machine motors. Competitive machines either do not have complete magnetic starter/overload protection or offer it only as an option.

Not all Tanks are Equal

The coolant tank on the FG5000 is compartmentalized and completely removable. Competitive machines do not have removable coolant tanks thus making cleanout and coolant changes very awkward and time-consuming.

Automatic Feed

The Van Norman FG5000 and FG10000 by Irontite offer an automatic feed option. While the theory behind automatic feed sounds good, it does not result in operator-free flywheel grinding since it is impossible to prevent the potential of workpiece damage due to the loading up of the grinding wheel consequently overheating the grinding wheel motor.

However, with our advanced Auto-Grind feature The Van Norman automatic feed will use a continuous type down feed more closely simulating manual Operation. The DCM machine down feeds in .0004 step increments which will cause workpiece deflection and increases grinding wheel breakage.

Column Height

You will note from the specification comparison that the column travel of the FG5000 is 7” compared to 6″ for both DCM machines. This additional one inch is important in that it allows grinding the deeper recessed flywheels. The Van Norman by Irontite Flywheel Grinder also comes with two grinding spindle extensions as standard equipment, which permit deeper grinding wheel penetration. Competitive machines do not offer this feature as standard equipment.

Van Norman by Irontite Flywheel Grinding machine has the most complete and comprehensive tooling package. Competitive machines require many optional tooling components to do even the most common flywheels. This factor must be considered when evaluating costs.

The Choice Seems Clear

The FG5000 is designed to be the most rugged and reliable flywheel grinder in the industry. It is the most convenient to set up, the safest to operate, and offers a complete tooling package as standard equipment compared to any competitive machine.

The FG5000 is competitively priced when compared to other units, but the features provided make it the best value over any competitive machine. Any initial difference in cost is far outweighed by the long-term benefits to be realized by the customer.

The Van Norman Rotary Surface Grinding Machines by Irontite offer optional tooling packages that make them more versatile than competing Flywheel Grinders. They give the customer more sources of revenue-generating work. The Heavy Duty Truck Rotor Accessory Kit provides the necessary tooling to be able to resurface brake rotors of Heavy Duty Service Vehicles such as Fire Trucks, Ambulances, Straight Delivery Trucks, and many others. No other Flywheel Grinding Machines offer these kinds of accessories and the potential for additional types of work.

How to grind a flywheel on an FG5000 Flywheel Grinder.

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