/ CNC Lathes & Turning Centers
/ Hardinge Quest Series - Gang/Gang Turret
The patented HydroGlide linear guideway system developed by Hardinge Inc. is used on our line of QUEST CNC lathes. Unlike conventional box ways, ball linear guides or roller linear guides, the HydroGlide system features no metal-to-metal contact. The guide trucks move on a thin cushion of hydraulic fluid under high pressure. The end result is ZERO guideway wear.
Topics on this page: (Please scroll down to view)
- What will HydroGlide do for my turning requirements?
- How does HydroGlide work?
- How does the self-compensating HydroGlide system function?
- What kind of machining results can I come to expect if my Hardinge lathe is equipped with the HydroGlide system?
- What are the significant performance benefits provided by the HydroGlide system?
Why Hard Turn Instead of Grind?
What will HydroGlide do for my turning requirements?
As we will explain in detail, Hardinge lathes equipped with the HydroGlide system provide the following significant performance benefits over other "way" systems:
- Superior vibration damping
- Improved Hard Turning capabilities
- Crash protection
- Significantly longer tool life
- Longer machine life
- Increased axis speeds
- Improved part roundness
- Improved part surface finish
How does HydroGlide work?
Oil is supplied under high pressure to each guide truck from an externally-mounted hydraulic reservoir and power unit. The high-pressure oil is distributed to six different bearing pads on each truck. As the cutting force increases, the pocket pressure between the stationary rail and moving truck increases proportionally, creating a "restoring" force that prevents the fluid gap from closing (this restoring force is what provides Hard Turning damping performance and crash protection). The oil is then collected at the end of each guide truck and routed via tubing under low pressure back to the reservoir. Since the HydroGlide system is self-compensating, capillary tubes, restrictors and valves are eliminated.
How does the self-compensating HydroGlide system function?
As the force increases from cutting pressures, the fluid gap "H" decreases and the pocket pressure increases proportionally. This results in a "restoring" force that prevents the gap from closing, unlike box ways that allow metal-to-metal contact.
What kind of machining results can I come to expect if my Hardinge lathe is equipped with the HydroGlide system?
Regardless of whether you are considering a precision QUEST CNC lathe or a Super-Precision model, you can expect a host of performance benefits when the machine is equipped with the HydroGlide system. On a QUEST Super-Precision machine, for example, HydroGlide will enhance the machine's high-precision machining capabilities and allow improved Hard Turning conditions. On a precision QUEST CNC lathe, you will be able to do more precise machining operations than on the machines equipped with conventional linear ball guideways, while realizing such increased benefits as longer tool life, longer machine life, increased axis speeds (on QUEST 8/51 and 10/65) and crash protection. The chart below provides comparative expectations for surface finish results on a variety of machines.
What are the significant performance benefits provided by the HydroGlide system?
- High Vibration Damping
Vibration causes premature tool wear. The more the machine tool structure is damped, the better the conditions for increased tool life. That's why Hardinge lathes were designed using bases with HARCRETE® polymer composite. To give you an idea of the HydroGlide vibration damping characteristics, refer to the charts to the right. Vibration damping can be thought of as a "shock absorber" for the guide system. When subjected to torsion and impact loading, the amplitude is much less and the vibration decay time reduces. The torsional load test compares the dynamic stiffness of the two linear way systems in continuous cutting, simulating chatter resistance. The impact test represents the kind of vibration induced by an interrupted cut.
- Increased Axis Speeds
QUEST 8/51 and 10/65 machines equipped with the HydroGlide system feature double-lead ball screws, allowing the Z-axis rapids to go from 1,500 ipm up to 2,300 ipm**. Faster rates help to improve cycle times.
- Improved Part Roundness
A part roundness of 5 micro-inch has been achieved on Super-Precision® models equipped with HydroGlide compared to 15 to 20 micro-inch on Super-Precision machines with conventional linear ball guideways.
- Improved Part Surface Finishes
A 4 micro-inch finish has been achieved on Super-Precision models equipped with HydroGlide compared to 8 micro-inch on Super-Precision machines with conventional linear ball guideways.
- Crash Protection
Our extensive testing has shown no damage to HydroGlide guideways under very high impact loads. It is the "restoring" force that prevents the fluid gap from closing, providing the needed "cushion" for crash protection.
- Significantly Longer Tool Life/Improved Surface Finishes
Tests conducted at Hardinge on a hardened workpiece with interrupted cuts concluded that tool insert life increased by as much as 36%. Two QUEST® 8/51 CNC lathes were used for the tests-one machine was equipped with ball linear guideways and the other with HydroGlide linear guideways on the X and Z axes. Both machines were identical otherwise, including a wraparound spindle and VDI 30 top plate. The annual tool savings can amount to over $29,000 with the HydroGlide system! Additionally, surface finish results on the same workpiece showed an improvement of 43%-from 5.3 to 3.0 micro-inch Ra!
- Improved Hard Turning (45 to 62 Rc) Capabilities
Hardinge has been recognized as the Hard Turning experts for years and HydroGlide takes Hard Turning to a higher performance level. The vibrations associated with Hard Turning, especially with interrupted cuts, are greatly reduced due to the high static and dynamic stiffness of the HydroGlide bearing. Static stiffness is defined as the amount of deflection between the guide truck and rail under a given load. Operational dynamic stiffness defines the amplitude of vibration measured at the machine's natural frequency. Since hydrostatic guideways are heavily damped, the machine has very high dynamic stiffness.
Why Hard Turn Instead of Grind?
Many components requiring grinding-quality results are better produced when Hard Turned on a CNC lathe that has the required vibration and damping characteristics. Additionally, the Hard Turning process lends itself nicely to "lean manufacturing". With the improved vibration damping of the HydroGlide hydrostatic guideway system, interrupted cutting of gear teeth and keyways is easily achieved without any degradation of the machining accuracy over time. The major benefits of Hard Turning compared with grinding come from:
- Process Flexibility-"soft turn" and Hard Turn on the same machine tool. You can achieve up to 4:1 and 6:1 higher metal removal rates by Hard Turning compared to grinding. In addition, if your part configuration changes, it's easier to make the appropriate changes on a lathe than on a grinder. Grinding is significantly more expensive due to cycle and setup times.
- Lower Operating Costs and Environmentally-friendly-lathes often operate at a significantly lower cost than grinding machines. In addition, the chips produced through the Hard Turning process are significantly more environmentally-friendly than the swarf produced by grinding. Coolant may not be necessary with Hard Turning, which eliminates the need for filtration and further reduces increasingly-expensive disposal and recycling costs.
- Lower Machine Investment-a Hardinge QUEST Lathe represents a significantly lower capital investment than a grinding machine. Although higher-level grinding machines can cut multiple operations, the cost can be significantly higher than the cost of a lathe. In addition, grinding machines require more support equipment (such as balancers and dressers). Add it all up, and it's simply more expensive to grind than Hard Turn. If you're producing parts on a grinder that can successfully be cut on a Hardinge lathe, you're probably spending more than you should-and making less profit than you could.
- Reduced Tool Inventory-tooling is cheaper and takes up less physical space than grinding wheels. In addition, Hard Turning provides easier chip control and faster metal removal rates using CBN inserts.
- Dramatically Reduced Setup Times, Fewer Operations, Faster Cycle Times-the chart to the right details machining operations on a typical part and dramatically illustrates how significant time/cost savings can be achieved through Hard Turning versus grinding.
In addition, Hard Turning allows for easier and better chip control, higher stock removal rates, ID and OD operations can be produced on a single machine, elimination of threading machine options, and complex profiles to be produced with standard tools and inserts.
To request more information,
us and include the subject: HydroGlide Linear Guideway System