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Dawson Shanahan perfects sub-micron precision grinding process

12 December 2011

Dawson Shanahan, in partnership with Asahi Diamond Industrial, has perfected a production process for the precision grinding of small component parts to tolerances of just a few microns, at high speed and in large volumes. The process runs on custom built systems supplied by specialist machine builder E-Tech, and produces results that are believed to be far better than anything currently achievable in a commercial environment.

Managing director Les Reeves in front of one of the new grinding machines
Managing director Les Reeves in front of one of the new grinding machines

Dawson Shanahan claims that the process is capable of producing parts with exceptionally accurate, highly polished surface finishes, with tolerances of less than 1.0 micron when measured over each square millimetre of surface area. Similarly, for components with angled faces, the company quotes levels of deviation that are less than 0.5 degrees across surfaces measuring just a few millimetres in size. Machine cycle times are typically around 2.5s, with no need for further polishing or de-burring of components.

The Asahi grinding wheels incorporate precision engineered steel hubs, combined with an advanced abrasive substrate and outer layers of cubic boron nitride and diamond, giving superior chemical and thermal stability, and are automatically dressed on each machine using diamond dressing wheels to maintain an exact profile throughout the operating life of each wheel. The structure of the wheels, combined with advanced cooling systems on each machine ensures that operating temperatures are precisely controlled, to eliminate the effects of differential expansion on tooling and component parts.

Of equal importance to the levels of precision being achieved by Dawson Shanahan are the strict quality control systems employed by the company at its UK factory, with accreditation to ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 GMP.


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