The component is designed to improve automobile gas mileage by capping off engine cylinders. The part’s brittleness proved to be a greater challenge than its precision. Measuring 0.25 inch long, it features a slightly flaring, thin-walled open profile that easily cracks under pressure. “It’s a delicate grind, to be sure, but Glebar specializes in such operations,” says company President John Bannayan. Thus, it didn’t take long to identify the compact GT-610 centerless system as the best option for quickly shaving 0.008 inch from the part’s diameter without violating critical tolerances.
However, confidence in a process goes only so far when that process can be sabotaged by problems with incoming workpieces. On this job, heat-treat operations had an unfortunate tendency to deform the cold-drawn steel before it could ever meet the grinding wheel. Front-end quality control became a top priority at the outset. “Garbage in means garbage out,” Mr. Bannayan says.
That’s where things got complicated.