– Grinding Team
Dean Kiefer, Business Development Manager for Grinding, explains more about Kingsbury’s grinding department.
Q: What issues were facing the wider manufacturing industry ahead of Kingsbury forming its dedicated grinding department?
A: With the advancements in exotic materials, material coatings and the introduction of additive technology, there is a market demand to process parts via a grinding machining solution. That can be full manufacture or an single operation within the process.
Customers are looking to reduce consumable costs, achieve a certain surface finish or in some cases, find a solution to stabilise manufacturing methods.Grinding is not used as widely as milling or turning, which also limits the pool of engineers who specialise in this field.
There is a perception it is only a finishing operation, this is not the case with advancements in wheel technology and the machine capabilities.
Q: Tell us more about the grinding department and the team that runs it.
A: The department started in February 2017 when I was recommended to Kingsbury by our principal Haas Schleifmaschinen Gmbh. I had worked with Haas previously on an innovative solution for turbine blade manufacturing during my time as an engineer in the aerospace sector.
I now operate as the Business Development Manager for the division and promote all aspects of our principal’s technology as we support the growing market in the UK & Ireland.
I started my journey with Grinding straight after my apprenticeship in 1994 and I’ve grown with the technology from NC, 3 axis re-cip/creep feed machinery and into today’s 5 axis adaptive grinding solutions. My background has been to create complex, robust processes that can be owned and maintained in high production environments by production teams.
With this background, I can consider all factors that make a grinding process function well, coolant requirements, wheel selection, work holding, wheel conditioning, process harmonics, training needs and support and look beyond just the purchase of the equipment to ensure we are providing to the customer expectations.
Q: What sets Kingsbury apart from its competitors?
A: The Kingsbury business values have always focused on the life cycle of the product and ensuring our customers gain the most benefit from their asset.
To achieve this, each machining division has highly experienced professionals with particular engineering backgrounds and deemed experts in their respective fields.
This is further supported by our sales team, who are also all time served engineering professionals, so we are able to provide a consultative approach when providing a solution and bring our own experience for the customer’s benefit.
Q: Tell us more about your clients across the various sectors you supply to – what do they need that only you can provide?
A: Because we have served in production engineering environments, we understand the timescales, the pressures and the demands an engineering team can experience and can take on board their challenges to provide extra assistance and solutions.
Grinding in particular can come with stringent regulations and machining challenges to enable a process to be validated and these are all technical discussions we can contribute to.
Q: What measures has Kingsbury taken in order to strengthen the department over the last year?
A: We have grown rapidly with strong sales over the three years and this has allowed the Grinding Division to expand its applications support.
We are actually about to embark on recruitment for another engineer.
Our post sales support has dedicated service engineers, which we have recruited in specific regions to ensure a rapid response is provided.
Being a family run business, we can adapt our resources quickly to ensure the level of service throughout the asset life cycle meets or exceeds customer expectations.
Q: Looking back over the last twelve months, what challenges did you face and how did you seek to overcome them?
I would go back to the start of the division in 2017 and say we are still developing and want to leave a positive impression of our skill and services to all customers we meet.
All companies have different policies and personalities and we adapt to the needs on an individual basis. While respecting the culture and experience within those companies we interact with.
We continually update ourselves through long standing connections with the abrasive tooling suppliers and ensure our technology can embrace this level of performance.
Q: What was the reason behind choosing the Haas grinding range?
A: Haas Schleifmaschinen Gmbh are also a family run business which fits with our own working philosophies.
And the team at Haas are motivated, highly skilled and always look to push the boundaries of a grinding technique, autonomous machine adaptability and communication feedback.
They are specialist in turnkey solutions, with the majority involving an automation cell and single clamping designs to combine different grinding techniques into one cycle.
With strong design,application and software departments, Haas continue to evolve, taking on all manner of complex challenges in Aerospace, Automotive, Gear and Tool/insert cutting Industries.
Suppliers of machinery components utilise Multigrind machines to meet high production demands and challenging geometries and also critical consumables such as hob cutters, diamond dressing rolls and skiving tools can be manufactured with confidence.
Q: Are there any restrictions or processes you can’t do?
Although the Multigrind platform is adaptive to all types of industries and a wide range of grinding disciplines, we would not be able to provide a centreless grinding solution in its common form. However, we are willing to discuss the component manufacture for alternatives.
Q: Why choose Kingsbury?
Kingsbury cover a broad range of machining disciplines with experts in their field supporting each division.
Our machine technology is highly innovative and a solution will be developed that meets each customer’s individual requirements.
Q: How can you help with my grinding manufacturing?
Although my role has encompassed new skills and responsibilities as a Business Development Manager, I am still an engineer with 25 years experience with a passion for Grinding.
Meeting new professionals and understanding their processes and components remains as exciting today as when I finished my apprenticeship. We all never stop learning new methods or embracing different points of view.
Q: What has been the most rewarding accomplishment since forming the grinding department?
The rapid growth of the division has been very rewarding and I look to build on the momentum and keep raising awareness of how we can support the requirements of the UK and Irish manufacturing sectors.
Our technical approach when considering the entire process has been positively viewed by professionals we have engaged with and i look forward to building on those relationships and assisting others with their machining challenges.