Some inquiries arrive with specifications so precise and tolerances so challenging that they almost exceed the realm of possibility. Duval Precision Grinding was recently approached by an industry leader in renewable energy with a job that would require the utmost attention to detail to succeed. The RFQ specified extremely tight tolerances in cylindricity & circularity— so much so that Duval initially passed on quoting it due to the nearly-impossible nature of their request.
But the dedicated team of grinding experts at Duval are committed to making every effort in the name of customer success, and so they worked to determine the closest tolerancing that could be achieved and presented the revised options. The customer reviewed the quote and accepted after coming to the conclusion that it was both more realistic and more economical than the original specs, and that the work would be performed by some of the most experienced and talented grinders possible.
Exploration, Innovation, and Precise Specifications
American marine biologist Edith Widder once said, “Exploration is the engine that drives innovation,” and the ability to grind these parts to precisely meet the customer’s specifications would directly affect the success of this exploration— in this case not of oceans, but of materials that would perform reliably in innovative sustainable energy applications. These parts would be used by the OEM in fatigue testing to observe contributing factors to different failure modes and develop possible solutions and preventative measures.
The customer provided samples of different test pieces featuring similar dimensions and geometry, but in a variety of different materials heat-treated to various hardness levels (Rockwell C between 40 – 70). These prototype parts would yield important data for components performing critical roles in a wind turbine to generate green, sustainable energy. Each piece had to be roughed into size before being meticulously finish-ground to achieve the .0002 cylindricity & circularity and 3 micro inch finish requirements. They would also need to pass a Nital Etch inspection to ensure there were no grinding burns on the components.
Precision Grinding A Key Element In Successful Prototype Performance
The uniformity of the finished parts would be essential to achieving accurate test results, but this customer was in good hands with the experienced team of expert precision grinders at DPG. Approximately 10% of the sample parts had arrived off-center, requiring additional operations to correct. Once all the pieces were recentered, OD grinding was used to produce highly-precise parts that would allow the customer to complete their tests and determine the optimal material and size for production.
OEMs turn to Duval Precision Grinding because they know they will work with a team that puts customer success first. While other shops may commit to specs and requirements that they can’t achieve just to secure a PO, our commitment is always to honest, innovative collaboration with our customers. If a less experienced (or less scrupulous) grinder had attempted to meet the original requirements, it’s highly likely that the entire batch of parts would’ve been damaged or unusable.
Our team knows that when we go the extra mile with our customers to put transparency and communication first we all benefit. Contact Duval Precision Grinding today to learn how our reliable, dedicated grinding professionals can be the strongest link in your supply chain.