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2021 ANCA Tool of the Year winners announced live at EMO Milano

#ANCATooloftheYear2021 offers thousands in prize money and global recognition; celebrating the magic of the cutting tool and the experts who create them

ANCA Tool of the Year Contest

ANCA’s industry-first competition is back with the 2021 winners to be announced live at EMO, Milano; a major global trade fair that recognizes the magic world of metalworking. Last year the industry welcomed the opportunity to show off their skills with almost 30 entries received from across the world being seen by over 80,000 fans generating over 200,000 engagement on social media.

Patrick Boland, Co-Founder at ANCA comments: “Our industry thrives thanks to grinders’ expertise. Much of what people use and enjoy in everyday life is due to the hard work and ever increasing technical acumen of these cutting tool makers and as a result we are seeing the complexity of cutting tools increase, improving productivity, tool life and functionality.”

“Now in its fourth year, ANCA Tool of the Year has gained significant coverage – raising the profile of cutting tools and those companies who make them. I encourage all cutting tool makers to enter our competition and be recognized on a global stage for your craftmanship and contributions to our industry,” he concluded.

Ivan Cuscov, Plant Director at Cerin SpA and first time Judge said: “Continuous developments in tool technology have shown us that standard products have become easier and easier to make and the challenge is to create something new, putting creativity into the grinding process. Grinding technology can still be surprising for expert people who work in the field every day given turning new ideas into reality is enhanced by an open, flexible software such as ANCA’s iGrind.” Cerin SpA began operating in 1971 and is one of the most reputable Italian manufacturers of carbide precision tools.

ANCA will also showcase the much anticipated AutoMarkX for the first time at EMO. AutoMarkX is an automatic stand-alone laser marking station replacing manual and labor-intensive processes. Find out more about what is at ANCA’s stand on our EMO​ page.

ANCA Tool of the Year 2020 Award

ANCA Tool of the Year 2021 – Complexity through simplicity: ANCA makes it simple to design and grind complex tools

To find the Tool of the Year customers can submit their favorite tool with the winners being judged and announced live at EMO. There will be two competition categories to recognize both the functionality and creativity of cutting tool manufacturers.

  • The main prize goes to #MadeonANCA tools and entrants will be judged on the form and performance of their cutting tool.
  • The second category is for virtual tools as the “Most innovative tool design – 2021.” Entrants are encouraged to be creative and use ANCA tool design software to push ideas to their limits. 

The winner of #MadeonANCA receives $10,000 AUD worth of ANCA innovations for parts, accessories or software that fit your grinding needs and the winner of the most innovative virtual tool will receive the full CIM software package.

Submissions open from 15th June – 15th August.

2020’s #MadeonANCA competition winner, ARCH Cutting Tools’ entry demonstrated excellent use of multiple iGrind operations with several complex profiles. Jeff Cederstrom, President of ARCH Cutting Tools said: “It is a humbling experience to be involved in a friendly competition with some of the world’s most innovative and technically advanced cutting tool manufacturers. We will use the recognition to further motivate us to push the limits of cutting tool design to meet our ultimate goal of meeting our customers’ needs and the challenges they have in their applications every day.” 

Patrick Boland continued: “For the winners of Virtual Tool Category, JG Group from Poland took a creative approach using an Australian theme of the Sydney Opera House reproduced in a profile tool, looking as impressive as a tool as it does in real life. (Joint virtual winner) Turcar’s tool amazed me in how they achieved their tool design. I had no idea our software could produce something as beautiful and as well executed as their entry.”

The competition will be based on the passion and the craft of tool making and celebrate our highly skilled tool grinding community. 

Judging panel

  • Pat Boland, Co-Founder and Managing Director at ANCA
  • Ivan Cuscov, Plant Director at Cerin SpA, Italy
  • Thomson Mathew, Product Manager at ANCA
  • Zoller – measure profile and diameter 

At EMO the top five finalist tools will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Best surface finish in Ra (roughness average) value on the flute or gash surface
  • The tool the that is closest to the nominal tolerance as stated on the drawing in terms of diameter and profile (i.e. if the tolerance on diameter is +/- 0.010mm and the tool is measured to 0.005 then this will rank favourably)
  • Tool that has been ground to the tightest tolerance as per the drawing (i.e. the tool with the lowest tolerance will rank favourably)
  • Level of complexity (i.e. in terms of the number of steps, profiles will rank favourably)

For further information, please contact:

Johanna Boland
Group Strategy and Communications Manager, ANCA
M: +61 407799779
Johanna.Boland@anca.com

ANCA is a market leading manufacturer of CNC grinding machines. It was founded in 1974 in Melbourne, Australia where the company still has its global headquarters. ANCA has offices in the UK, Germany, China, Thailand, India, Japan, Brazil and the USA as well as a comprehensive network of representatives and agents worldwide.

ANCA CNC grinders are used for manufacturing precision cutting tools and components across a diverse range of competitive industries including cutting tool manufacture, automotive, aerospace, electronics and medical.

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A curious company, Mictu is always experimenting with materials to find the best cutting tool solutions

Established in 1986 Mictu’s core business is the eyewear industry. As the company has grown they expanded into aerospace, automotive, dental, and mechanical. Boasting a team of 15 people and producing more than 200,000 tools per year, Mictu exports tools to China, Hong Kong, North and South America, Switzerland and Germany, as well as servicing their local Italian market.

Andrea Colavo, the son of the founder of Mictu said, “There has been significant growth in our company since its beginning. We have a big body of knowledge as the eyewear industry gave us the opportunity to test our tools in many different materials giving experience in working with many kinds of plastics and metals.”

Servicing the changeable eyewear industry

The eyewear industry is different from other kinds of industries, mostly because it’s fashion. Eyewear trends are constantly changing and customers require different tools to machine different shapes.

The industry also uses very small tools and Mictu have produced tools with a 0.2 millimeter diameter mill. For example, a hinge requires very tight tolerance — in fact drawings often specify plus or minus one hundredth of a millimeter.

Understanding different materials is fundamental

Andrea continues, “We are a curious team who understand the value of trying new approaches and materials. If a customer is asking to use a material we have no experience in, we ask them how this material reacts to machining and describe the chips of this material. This helps us build a picture of how the material reacts to cutting. We make a sample tool and analyze its performance — is the tool working correctly or does it require adjustments? In the ANCA 3D simulator we can make these adjustments to produce a second batch and try again at the customers.”

Mictu has developed many different tools for many different materials. The most common plastics are nylon or polycarbonate and metals are titanium, stainless steel or cast iron.

Designing the best tool takes trial and error

“I think that anyone can make a tool, especially now that we have more intuitive software. However experience is still key. Cutting tool makers should consider the dynamics of the grinding wheels and need to know the right speed that will not cook your material as otherwise it will break like glass.”

“Generally we start from a drawing of the finished part and ask our customer how he wants to machine their component. Next we use our ANCA 3D simulator software program to simulate the tool to evaluate the best performing shape for that tool.”

“We start using 3D simulation with an ANCA MGX that we bought in 2002. The 3D simulator has changed the way we make tools, mostly because using this software means we are making less errors.”

“The characteristics that make a tool perform best is choosing the right material.

“A cutting edge must be appropriate for the material you have to machine for example, sometimes a very sharp cutting edge is not the best choice. Very sharp edges are weaker than a rounded edge and can vibrate more. So for soft materials you need a very sharp edge, but for hard to cut materials, you need a stronger cutting edge. “

“I have found it is important to make mistakes. This means you can learn what is not working and that helps you next time you are designing a tool.”

Technology matters – ANCA’s MGX has produced more than 350,000 pieces and is still running

Mictu invested in an MGX in 2002. Andrea recalls, “It’s our first ANCA and is still performing with more than 350,000 pieces manufactured over the years. We found the MGX is a very good machine for producing small to medium batches of very small tools.”

“More recently we purchased two new FX7 Linears because of their flexibility. They are excellent machines for producing tool batches of varied sizes. So far, we have been running them all week, overnight and on the weekend with big batches. During the day we use them to produce smaller batches. On the FX7 we mainly produce drills, step drills and mills and sometimes even end mills with a profile.”

“The FX7 can produce very different tools in the same batch making the machines extremely efficient. Another big advantage of these machines is that we can measure the tool without looking at it. The machine has a laser that measures, and if necessary, corrects during the grinding process. Even if no one is looking at the machine, we know the machine is automatically taking care of the tolerance of our tools and that the end quality will be high. I sleep much better because I know the laser is doing its job checking the diameter of every mill you are producing.”

“We use the iBalance to ensure our wheel packs are balanced, reducing the vibration on our tools. This is fundamental when you’re making very small tools. If you have even a very small vibration, your cutting edge will be hammered and cheap. If you have it balanced well, it will work much more smoothly and have a nicer cutting edge.”

“Personally I also liked the appearance of the machine, I would even say it is good looking! With the new Linear models, we expect a longer machine lifespan and improved surface finish. The small footprint is welcome and its many features help with the repeatability of our tools. In summary, we choose the ANCA FX7 Linear because it is a complete package with a wheel changer, large loader, laser measurement technology and has 3D Simulator software.”

Professional facilities build trust with customers

Mictu recently moved to a new facility and are reaping the benefits of investing in custom design. Andrea continues “The biggest benefits we’ve seen moving to a new facility was starting from a blank sheet. We decided to put all the pipes needed for the oil for the grinders underground to make a clear surface with less stuff that can leak on the floor. The measuring machines have been installed in a separate environment to keep them on a steady temperature. Since moving we have seen improved production, better quality control and overall we are more efficient and have a better environment for our people because it’s clean and fresh.”

“I think it’s really important for a customer to visit your facility so they can assess the working environment. Fortunately, customers are very impressed which helps us build trust in our products and services. Customers choose to work with us because we are very lean and listen to their needs. We have a skilled and experienced team who are able to solve problems.”


For further information, please contact:

Johanna Boland
Group PR and Communications Manager, ANCA
M: +61 407799779
Johanna.Boland@anca.com

ANCA is a market leading manufacturer of CNC grinding machines. It was founded in 1974 in Melbourne, Australia where the company still has its global headquarters. ANCA has offices in the UK, Germany, China, Thailand, India, Japan, Brazil and the USA as well as a comprehensive network of representatives and agents worldwide.

ANCA CNC grinders are used for manufacturing precision cutting tools and components across a diverse range of competitive industries including cutting tool manufacture, automotive, aerospace, electronics and medical.

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Jeff and Russell discuss current industry trends

Leading Industry Experts Discuss Hot Trends in Cutting Tools

Fast flexibility for custom tooling, easy access through cloud technology and automation are driving tool production processes

ANCA North American President Russell Riddiford recently participated in an award ceremony at ARCH Cutting Tools in Latrobe, Pennsylvania to celebrate the company’s win in the 2020 ANCA Tool of the Year  competition. During this time, Russell sat down with ARCH Cutting Tools President Jeff Cederstrom to discuss the successful collaboration between both companies, as well as future trends that they see on the horizon; and how best to maximize the opportunities of these trends.

Offline and in-process solutions help to deliver speedy custom profiles and get the “first tool right”

Jeff identified the growing trend towards custom tooling. While he described ARCH as a “full-service, one-stop shop with a broad portfolio of standard tools,” he acknowledged that the company sets itself apart in the market, thanks to the breadth of their custom tooling capabilities. Many customers work with ARCH Cutting Tools, looking for custom solutions to reduce their manufacturing costs. This leads to combination tools with complex geometries. Jeff said the combination of skilled machinists, designers and technology that ANCA provides enables the process to flourish.

Recognizing the market need for adaptability to produce custom tools Russell highlighted the range of processes offered by ANCA that are targeted to increasing the “speed to get to the grinding point.” ANCA’s 3D simulation software generates a special profile offline, while the machine is still running and completing the previous jobs. The program is then downloaded to the machine, allowing ARCH to obtain better production of the first tool. ANCA offers ARCH the option to inspect their tool on the machine, using the LaserPlus System. The system measures the profile tool, automatically compensating the machine to correct any errors in geometry. Another option is to take the tool to a ZOLLER presetter, as ZOLLER is integrated with the ANCA machines on the floor. A full contour scan is performed using the ZOLLER »genius3« to identify any imperfections in the tool.

Jeff and Russell discuss current industry trends

Russell sees the importance of having the “first tool right” as a critical point for production. After the pre-grind process through simulation to perfect the tool before it even gets to the machine, ANCA as the only company with a full linear motor product line, offers customers maximum accuracy, surface finish and stability throughout the grinding process. Another new technology is spindle temperature control, a software function that maintains consistent spindle temperature. Providing this stability again allows the first tool in production to be right.

ARCH Cutting Tool’s winning tool offers five separate functions demonstrating the kind of complexity that is in demand. Jeff commented that custom tooling is becoming more challenging and ANCA’s solutions offer significant benefits. Jeff noted: “Having the software so that it is user-friendly, and we can adapt to a request quickly and having not only the software but the machining technology to support it … is critical to us.”

Jeff’s company recently launched a program called “Hot Shop” to showcase their speed from production to delivery. If a customer needs a custom tool quickly, ARCH can produce any geometry of a solid carbide round tool and have it delivered within one week. Jeff explained: “Having equipment that is nimble and fast on the floor enables (this speed)”.

Connected machines and integrated automation

ARCH has developed a web portal called “ARCH Specials.” Customers can download drawings, a DFX file or use pulldown menus on the company website, or talk to engineers to generate a fast RFQ for application specific custom tools.

Online capabilities and cloud technology are a growing trend. ANCA can network all machines through their Management Suite software, allowing users to replicate and download files from anywhere in the country, such as across ARCH’s multiple facilities. Additionally, users can monitor real-time performance of their machines to schedule and maintain the machines, as well as predict maintenance requirements to minimize downtime.

Both Cederstrom and Riddiford identified automation as another rising trend. From customers looking for more output, better quality and more productivity, to the social distancing requirements of COVID, to the gap in skilled labor; increased automation provides a solution to these challenges. To this end ANCA has developed AIMS (ANCA Integrated Manufacturing System). Russell explains: “This is the ability to bring a stock piece of carbide at the front end and at the back end have a finished tool…without manual or operator input throughout the process. This allows end-to-end grinding.” Adding to ANCA’s product range is automated laser etching with the AutoMarkX, which fits with AIMS to complete the process.  Russell added: “Some people might think of it as the future, but AIMS is here today.”

To see the discussion between Russell and Jeff, please see the video below:


For further information, please contact:

Johanna Boland
Group PR and Communications Manager, ANCA
M: +61 407799779
Johanna.Boland@anca.com

ANCA is a market leading manufacturer of CNC grinding machines. It was founded in 1974 in Melbourne, Australia where the company still has its global headquarters. ANCA has offices in the UK, Germany, China, Thailand, India, Japan, Brazil and the USA as well as a comprehensive network of representatives and agents worldwide.

ANCA CNC grinders are used for manufacturing precision cutting tools and components across a diverse range of competitive industries including cutting tool manufacture, automotive, aerospace, electronics and medical.

Continue reading

The popular ANCA FX5 gets a power-boost with a new 12kW grinding spindle and an even stronger upgrade option

Celebrating the versatile FX machine platform as the 1000th FX5 rolls out the door.
ANCA FX5-high-powered-spindle-load-analysis-results

ANCA has upgraded the FX5 Linear 2-wheel pack machine with a new grinding spindle rated at 12kW peak power as well as releasing a further high-powered spindle option of 19kW.

CNC tool grinders strive to achieve the shortest possible cycle times – to keep the cost per tool produced at a minimum. Machine performance and grinding cycle time are linked to the power capabilities of the grinding spindle.
 
To maximize material removal rate, a commonly accepted industry practice is limiting the spindle load to between 30% and 40% for fluting operations. If the spindle load is likely to exceed 40%, tool manufacturers tend to allow for a second fluting pass as this contributes to longer wheel life and less wheel load. Auto white-sticking becomes an important option as batch sizes increase.

ANCA has conducted a spindle load analysis of fluting operations, identifying how many passes are recommended in relation to spindle load. The analysis compares two flute endmills ground with either 6, 8, 10 or 12mm diameters. The new FX5 which has now been upgraded from 9.5kW to a 12kW spindle can comfortably grind tools up to 10mm diameter in a single pass. A 12mm tool required a second grinding pass to keep the spindle load at 40%, rather than increasing to 60%.

This is where the new high-powered 19 kW spindle option makes all the difference. The 12mm endmill was ground at a 40% spindle load in one pass, with an overall time saving of one minute and four seconds – opposed to two passes at 12kW.



Match “One Pass Productivity” to tool diameter

The FX5, with the new 12kW spindle delivers increased productivity up to a diameter of 10mm. At 19kW, the new high-powered spindle option can enhance productivity further for tools up to 12mm and above. The high-powered spindle option on FX5 matches the grinding spindle fitted to the FX7 machine with 6-wheel packs, suited for a more industrial environment.

ANCA FX5-spindle-load-analysis

The new FX5 upgrade option features a striking high-powered decal indicating it has been fitted with the more powerful 19kW spindle.

For complex cutting tools, there can be of course further factors which influence actual grind cycles besides the tool geometry. These include the quality of the grinding wheel used and the supply of an adequate amount of cooling liquid at stable temperature, to avoid thermal damage of the workpiece. As batch sizes increase auto white-sticking helps to achieve maximum output by frequently refreshing the wheel.

Customers will benefit from the increased spindle power provided by the new 12kW standard spindle on FX5 and now have the option to purchase their new ANCA FX5 with a high-powered spindle, adding more flexibility in the tool room. Most importantly the high-powered spindle reduces the production cost and increases net output across a wider range of tools.

The use of “One Pass Productivity” for tools with 12mm diameter translates into an increased output of 15.8% – with 70 tools produced in an eight-hour shift compared to 60 tools with the new standard 12kW spindle.

The FX5 Linear continues to deliver customer satisfaction with 1000 machines sold

Contributing an impressive 1000 machines to the 1600 machines produced across the entire FX platform, the FX5 is an easy choice for customers, from light manufacturing, to regrinding and full production. Across a range of industries, the upgraded FX5 is the most versatile 2-wheel pack machine for a variety of applications.


For further information, please contact:

Johanna Boland
Group PR and Communications Manager, ANCA
M: +61 407799779
Johanna.Boland@anca.com

ANCA is a market leading manufacturer of CNC grinding machines. It was founded in 1974 in Melbourne, Australia where the company still has its global headquarters. ANCA has offices in the UK, Germany, China, Thailand, India, Japan, Brazil and the USA as well as a comprehensive network of representatives and agents worldwide.

ANCA CNC grinders are used for manufacturing precision cutting tools and components across a diverse range of competitive industries including cutting tool manufacture, automotive, aerospace, electronics and medical.

Continue reading

ANCA’s New EDG with ANCA Motion SparX Erosion Generator Decreases Cycle Time for PCD Tools by 50%

How the fox outsmarted the hare: using intelligence to outperform brute force.

Tom Nathan, ANCA PCD Erosion Product Manager

When ANCA decided to create the ANCA EDG (Electro Discharge Grinding) machine in 2011, the mission was clear. The company wanted to create a high-performance Rotary Electro Discharge Machining (EDM) platform that was not only able to produce best-in-class tool geometries, but also have market leading cycle times.

It was the brainchild of Pat Boland, ANCA Founder and Managing Director, who realized that to outperform the incumbents, brains was needed over brawn. “The erosion process is simple in its complexity. The basis of the process uses positive and negative electrodes with electrolyte to create sparks along a material. ANCA has a 45-year history in making the world’s best carbide and HSS tools and we wanted to use that skill set in PCD tooling,” said Pat.

The main drivers behind the ANCA EDG machines were that it needed to be simple enough for all types of brazed shear-fluted tools, but complex enough to enable the creation of the infinite variety of helical solid-tipped, veined and chevron tools. Pat adds: “We realized early on that with the complexity of tool geometries we wanted to allow our customers to create, the 5-axis interpolation while maintaining the precise erosion gap distance was going to be a challenge.”

Maintain the optimum spark erosion gap with IAC

The ANCA EDG is able to maintain the optimum spark erosion gap for both simple 2D and complex 3D path interpolations, which is fundamental to the process working with high efficacy. This is very simple for 2D paths, however, when 3D path interpolation involves 4 or 5 axes moving simultaneously; surface area, volume and path variation become a challenge. From testing, we knew that the standard was to set the machine feedrate to the lowest allowable to maintain a useable spark gap distance; however, this leads to a lot of ‘air-time’ and drastically lowers efficiency. To allow the feedrate to remain high and maintain the optimum spark erosion gap, the idea of Intelligent Adaptative Control (IAC) was born.

Intelligent Adaptive Control (IAC) is an in-time, servo-controlled feature that automatically monitors and controls the erosion gap distance, in-process. Utilizing the EtherCAT functionality of the ANCA Motion AMD5x control system, IAC synchronizes the machine moves with the generator performance. IAC adjusts and maintains the optimum spark gap which is vital while eroding 3D geometries such as PCD flutes and gashes on drills and endmills. With geometry changing in up to 5-axes at once, IAC automatically adjusts the gap distance and machine feedrate to optimize the erosion speed and surface finish. This involves not only speeding up feedrates when erosion is along linear paths but also slowing down feedrates when path changes occurs.

Twists and turns along the erosion path leads to scenarios where the electrode wheel is likely to come into close contact with the tool, or comes off the tool. This can lead to optimal, bad and missed sparks along the trajectory. IAC automatically accounts for this and maintains the fastest possible feedrate along the length of any changeable path. This results in increased feedrates, minimum thermal damage, superior surface finish, increased MRR and decreased cycle time.

An added benefit of IAC is the ease in which PCD and carbide micro-tools can be manufactured. Since IAC maintains the optimal distance, the chance of wheel collisions and hence tool breakage is very low which is critical when eroding tools under 0.5mm.

Optimize the erosion process with ASC

The current, voltage, duration, time-off and therefore intensity of sparks changes based on the material that is being eroded. That is, PCD will require certain parameters as opposed to carbide (HM) and High-Speed Steel (HSS). The challenge is that PCD wafers are generally 0.6mm PCD with a 1mm carbide backing – sintered PCD, chevron tools and solid-tipped tools are formed onto carbide backing also. When aggressively eroding along the PCD-carbide border, erosion parameters optimized for PCD can inadvertently over-erode the carbide backing. This in turn leads to over-erosion at the PCD-carbide border, named an “undercut” as it selectively erodes the carbide under the PCD. Additionally, it can lead to “cobalt leeching” which is when the PCD binder, cobalt, is preferentially eroded away.

This is akin to digging under the foundations of a paved pathway. If you dig too much material away from under the path, eventually the path will collapse. Machine testing showed that the undercut and cobalt leeching during heavy roughing lead to a brittle border along the cutting edge and premature tooling wear. To avoid this happening and to optimize the erosion process, Adaptive Spark Control (ASC) was created.

Simple and very complex PCD tooling. Note the solid tipped PCD drill

ASC uses the DSP (Digital Signal Processors) and FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) on the generator itself. The EDG erosion generator is able to monitor and process every spark, in real time. The waveform of each spark is automatically monitored and categorized based on material being eroded, erosion gap distance and other factors essential to optimal erosion process. The generator can then dynamically adapt the energy level of each-and-every spark (current, voltage, duration and time-off) to suit the material being eroded.

ASC optimizes the erosion process leading to less cobalt leaching and a reduction in undercut at the PCD-carbide border.  This leads to a stronger cutting edge and a finished tool that is less prone to chipping. This helps achieve longer tool life, less tool wear and lower tooling costs. Testing on tooling suited to the machining of CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) showed a tool life increase of up to 100%.

A 0.4mm solid-tipped PCD drill

Boost the power electronics with ANCA Motion SparX Erosion Generator

ANCA leant on the expertise from their sister company, ANCA Motion to optimize the electronics to enable even higher and more aggressive erosion all-the-while maintaining very high surface finish results. When compared to equivalent componentry, the “mega-amp per pulse” technology enables ANCA customers to broaden the power range they can access and utilize. The ANCA Motion SparX Erosion Generator exhibits superior performance over the range of Extra-Heavy Roughing to Ultra-Fine Finishing operations, utilizing Pico-pulse technology for high energy-density ablation. This enables vastly superior controllability, providing customers with optimized feedrates, superior surface quality and drastically reduced cycle times. This pulse precision allows erosion that ranges from ultra-low energy pulses for exceptional ultra-fine finishing, through to high energy pulses for fast material removal.

In the PCD erosion process, cycle time is directly related to the Material Removal Rate (MRR). The ANCA Motion SparX Erosion Generator delivers unrivalled increases in MRR utilizing the new Extra-Heavy Roughing, Super Fine Finishing and Ultra-Fine Finishing operations. What this equates to is an unsurpassed increase in MRR and a 50% decrease in cycle time compared to competitor machines – arguably the fastest cycle times in the market. Additionally, erosion surface quality also sees an improvement across all power modes. Polished surface finishes of Ra < 0.1µm and Rz < 0.5µm can be easily achieved using the newly release “Ultra-Fine Finishing” process with Pico-pulse technology. These operations enable the production of superior cutting edges necessary for the most demanding of cutting tool applications.

Combining intelligence in a domain once dominated by brute force electronics, not only gives ANCA customers an edge over the competition but enables a smarter approach to tool making. The difference between our approach and the approach of our competitors is that ANCA focuses on what our customers want to achieve with their erosion process. They strongly told us that they wanted a process optimized for helical and round PCD tooling. We worked closely with ANCA Motion to design our erosion generator to suit not only shear tooling but the infinite array of highly complex geometries, rather than re-using generator technology originally created for Wire Electro Discharge Machining (Wire-EDM). Our approach turned the industry on its head. We let the geometries dictate the process, not the process dictate the geometries available.

We used intelligence to outperform brute force, like the fox outsmarting the hare.

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For further information, please contact:

Johanna Boland
Group PR and Communications Manager, ANCA
M: +61 407799779
Johanna.Boland@anca.com

ANCA is a market leading manufacturer of CNC grinding machines. It was founded in 1974 in Melbourne, Australia where the company still has its global headquarters. ANCA has offices in the UK, Germany, China, Thailand, India, Japan, Brazil and the USA as well as a comprehensive network of representatives and agents worldwide.

ANCA CNC grinders are used for manufacturing precision cutting tools and components across a diverse range of competitive industries including cutting tool manufacture, automotive, aerospace, electronics and medical.

Continue reading

American company ARCH Cutting Tools wins top spot in ANCA’s third Tool of the Year competition

American company ARCH Cutting Tools takes out top place in ANCA’s third Tool of the Year competition 

A complex multi-functional tool measuring an inch in diameter with a long functional cutting length, the ARCH tool ticked every box to win the prestigious ANCA Tool of the Year 2020

With 28 entries, 1.2 million social impressions and almost 4500 votes, ANCA’s Tool of the Year loudly celebrates the contribution modern cutting tools make to manufacturing, surgery, woodworking and other diverse industries. For example, finalist Ocmandy’s tool makes the outside profile of the windows for the Louvre Museum in Paris. The competition shines a light on and celebrates these tools that shape our world.

Watch the #ANCATooloftheYear2020 live winner announcement: 

The overall winner, ARCH Cutting Tool’s entry demonstrated excellent use of multiple iGrind operations with several complex profiles. The tool came out in front of others when compared to the DXF and measured on the Zoller for Profile OD and Runout. The surface finish measurement on the Alicona produced a superb result. The tool also stood out in terms of complexity of grinding and was a large diameter (1”) multi-functional cutting tool with many features. Overall the tool was complete – ticking every box to be the Tool of the Year winner and was an exceptional effort from the team at ARCH. 

ARCH Cutting Tools is the third American company in as many years to take out the accolade, highlighting that the skill and craftmanship of the USA cutting tool industry is alive and well.

“We entered to present and showcase our capabilities as a cutting tool manufacturer and to demonstrate the complex capabilities of the ANCA Tool and Cutter Grinder,” said Jim Gray, President and General Manager, ARCH Cutting Tools – Latrobe. “Additionally, we entered to share with customers our own custom capabilities with solid carbide tools.

“Our entry was based on what we provide for our customers,” he added, “it’s multi-functional, providing the customer a single high-performance tool that’s multiple tools in one. A solution-driven tool, that reduces the need for tool changes and increases productivity,” Jim concluded.

ZMK received the runner up award in this category for another outstanding effort with their contribution.

Pat Boland, ANCA Co-Founder commented: “The cutting tool sector has faced a significant challenge with the onset of COVID-19. In these conditions it is even more important to promote and recognise our contributions as an industry. This year we saw the most complex and sophisticated entries to date. Having been part of the industry for over 40 years, the technical advancements demonstrated by cutting tool manufactures continue to amaze.” 

“I think of ANCA’s Tool of the Year as the Oscars for cutting tools and am proud to take the time to recognise and reward the creativity and skill of manufacturers globally,” Pat concluded.  

Winners of Virtual Tool Category – JG Group and Turcar 

The entries for the Virtual Tool category were so impressive that the Judges found it impossible to split JG Group and Turcar’s submissions. They agreed that both virtual tools were complex and demonstrated great use of different cycles and operations. 

Pat Boland continued: “JG Group from Poland took a creative approach using an Australian theme of the Sydney Opera House reproduced in a profile tool, looking as impressive as a tool as it does in real life.” 

“Turcar’s tool amazed me in how they achieved their tool design. I had no idea our software could produce something as beautiful and as well executed as their entry.” 

“Both tools showed a high level of effort, artistry and creativity. When creating the Virtual Tools, both Turcar and JG Group used their imagination along with the power and flexibility of ToolRoom RN34 and CIM3D V9 to produce works of art,” Pat concluded.     

Grzegorz Reszka CEO, JG Group said: “Achieving the Winner status, among the world class tool grinding companies makes us more marketable and gives us exposure on new global markets. It was an amazing opportunity and evidence of what JG Group Experts can provide for our customers. Congratulations to all Participants and the Winners!” 

Tarık Öztürk, Chief Technology Officer at Turcar said: “This year we wanted to come up with something different and that is why we named our entry Katana, meaning the best work of the world – a value we brought to this competition.” 

The Tool of the Year must be a ground tool that is functional, high quality and complex. A panel of expert judges consider the surface finish, tolerance and functionality. This year the industry-first competition had two categories. 
  

Winner of ANCA Tool of the Year 

ARCH Cutting Tools

Runner Up – ZMK

Winners of Virtual Tool Category 

JG Group and Turcar

#MadeonANCA Finalists 

JG Group Poland 
ARCH Cutting ToolsUSA 
Aayudh Tools India 
OCMANDY France 
Mastermet Poland 
ZMK Poland 
GUIDOLIN Affilatura Utensili (Pat’s Pick)      Italy 


Virtual Tool Finalists 

JG Group  Poland 
Aayudh Tools  India 
Turcar  Turkey  
Miltas (Pat’s Pick)   Turkey 


Tools made on an ANCA mean quality and endurance

ANCA’s annual competition gives cutting tool manufacturers a chance to not only build brand recognition within the industry, but to also push the boundaries and showcase the beauty of performance expected from ANCA machines in the cutting tools industry. The main winner receives $10,000 AUD worth of ANCA parts, accessories or software and the winner of the most innovative virtual tool receives the full CIM software package. 

Judging panel 

  • Pat Boland, Co-Founder and Managing Director at ANCA 
  • Jason Allen, Managing Director, ISCAR Australia 
  • Peter Sutton, Managing Director, Sutton Tools 
  • Alicona – measurement of surface finish 
  • Zoller – measurement of profile and diameter  

For further information, please contact:

Johanna Boland
Group PR and Communications Manager, ANCA
M: +61 407799779
Johanna.Boland@anca.com

ANCA is a market leading manufacturer of CNC grinding machines. It was founded in 1974 in Melbourne, Australia where the company still has its global headquarters. ANCA has offices in the UK, Germany, China, Thailand, India, Japan, Brazil and the USA as well as a comprehensive network of representatives and agents worldwide. 

ANCA CNC grinders are used for manufacturing precision cutting tools and components across a diverse range of competitive industries including cutting tool manufacture, automotive, aerospace, electronics and medical.

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Leading cutting tool manufacturer Taylor Toolworks increases its versatility and improves performance by investing in ANCA’s technology

Designing tools online, varied batch sizes, six wheel packs and 38 kw peak spindle power of ANCA’s MX7 tool grinder offers new capabilities that are helping Taylor Toolworks beat competition in the woodworking and metal industry. Capital investment can be a daunting project but Taylor Toolworks have found that with the right research and understanding of your business needs, the benefits offered by new technology can be a game changer.

Taylor Toolworks production manager, Glen Taylor

Located in Alberta, Canada, Taylor Toolworks Ltd. is one of North America’s technological leaders in the manufacturing and service of cutting tools for the woodworking and metal industries. This remains the biggest part of their business.  The company is run by President Jesse Taylor and his sister Kristyn, who has worked there for more than 15 years. With state-of-the-art 5-axis CNC grinding, combined with the use of the finest micro grain carbide products, Taylor Toolworks   maintains the highest tooling tolerances and mirror finishes needed for high performance tooling.   Services offered include reconditioning, end mills and custom tooling. Reconditioning involves tool regrinding, tool re-cutting and tool re-coating. End mills include super polished flutes, special grade carbides and special coating for maximum performance.  Custom tooling is made to specifications for both the woodworking and metal industry. These can be micro grain carbide inserts, custom profile tools, step drills, etc.

Jesse Taylor said that ANCA’s MX7 Linear machine allowed them to have greater versatility in their manufacturing. Another factor that influenced the purchasing decision was ANCA’s tool simulation software. According to Taylor, “This allows us to program tools [virtually] on a desktop before they are processed on the actual machine. This saves valuable machine time.”  This machine helped Taylor Toolworks produce complex tools better compared to competing companies that offer 2 wheel packs.

Solid carbide end mills fabricated by Taylor Toolworks

The company purchased an MX7 Linear machine because it is a powerful, versatile CNC tool grinder used for production grinding. It meets the demand of high output, high precision manufacturing. Key features include 38 kw (51 HP) peak spindle power,  linear scales as standard on the X and Y axes, standard  6-station wheel changer that stores and changes up to 6 wheel packs. In addition, the machine uses ANCA LinX Linear Motors for axis motion (X and Y axis), has an integrated wheel dresser and its automation options include RoboMate or FastLoad-MX Compact Loader. The MX7 Linear is a hard-working, high productivity system with unique features that enable it to handle varied batch sizes with minimum set-up time. It is ideal for high volume production for tools up to 25 mm (1”) diameter.  The new cylindrical linear motor design increases reliability and ensures a superior surface finish.

Taylor also highlighted the reasonable lead times at ANCA for purchases of what are sophisticated and highly technical machinery. This made a big difference for Taylor, who commented, “A lot of times in our industry when you’re buying a machine you may be six months to a year out for receiving your machine. When I got to work with ANCA and found out that they had machines readily available that really allowed us to jump on this and get a good start versus waiting for a machine.”  


According to Taylor, the tools produced on ANCA machines are complex profile tools as well as step drills, thru-coolant drills and form tools. Applications for these tools range from aerospace, to woodworking, to general machining and cutting of plastics. On ANCA machines, the company uses ANCA’s Tool Room software. The software provides specific applications for each tool produced at Taylor Toolworks such as a step tool editor or a profile tool editor.

Being in the industry for over 20 years, Taylor saw ANCA machines at various trade shows. He talked to several people at the shows, including ANCA application specialists. This made him take a closer look at the machines and he saw that they were suitable for his needs.

In terms of service issues, Taylor commented that ANCA was good at solving any issues that come up, whether it was by calling or sending someone on-site. Besides using the MX7 Linear machine, the company has three other ANCA machines.  One is the ANCA Fastgrind for resharpening tools.  Taylor said, “ANCA is a big part of our operation.”

To sum up his experience, Taylor was satisfied with the quality and service he received from the company.  He remarked, “Buying more ANCA [machines] is definitely in our future.”

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For further information, please contact:

Sepideh Zandieh
PR and Communications Manager, ANCA
M: +61 439 316 131
Sepideh.Zandieh@anca.com

ANCA is a market leading manufacturer of CNC grinding machines. It was founded in 1974 in Melbourne, Australia where the company still has its global headquarters. ANCA has offices in the UK, Germany, China, Thailand, India, Japan, Brazil and the USA as well as a comprehensive network of representatives and agents worldwide.

ANCA CNC grinders are used for manufacturing precision cutting tools and components across a diverse range of competitive industries including cutting tool manufacture, automotive, aerospace, electronics and medical.

Continue reading

ANCA’s new era of automation: intelligent solutions for maximizing productivity 24/7

The first to market ANCA Integrated Manufacturing System (AIMS) uses smart automation and IT integration to connect tool production processes and systems.

AutoComp ensures tool quality in lights out production

ANCA’s launch of integrated solutions with AIMS, connects sequential processes in tool manufacturing, to bank the benefits of automation and integration. AIMS facilitates streamlined tool production, linking separate processes to each other and factory IT systems. The future of toolmaking is here, with AIMS providing versatile, modular options for common manufacturing challenges to optimize cutting tool production.

AIMS offers functionality that is adaptable to each factory’s needs; from smaller scale, data-based options to the full AIMS setup across a series of machines with endless possibilities. Central to any AIMS system is the AIMS Server that manages data flows between the elements of the AIMS system and established IT platforms, such as your ERP system. Building on this, customers can choose from a suite of “auto” solutions for reducing production costs, resolving labor challenges and integrating systems to improve product and process quality. From transferring tools between operations with AutoFetch robot options; fully automated tool measurement and process compensation using AutoComp; and managing data via the AutoSet hub – AIMS delivers streamlined manufacturing, with connected tool production processes integrated to IT systems that takes tool production to the next level.

 “ANCA is here to provide tool manufacturers with solutions to support production that work across all industries and applications and expand to complete tool production needs. This is a new landscape for interconnected technology, working end to end,” said Chris Hegarty, ANCA Group CEO.

“Integration and automation solutions provide infrastructure to manufacture tools with increased productivity and higher quality. ANCA has the industry-leading software and control capabilities to deliver a system for production management that tackles time, cost and labor inefficiencies where it counts.”

“We are delighted to be accelerating into the fourth industrial revolution with advanced, smart factory solutions for cutting tool makers – intelligent automation for connecting processes and data management.”

Connect, automate and create with AIMS

AIMS Project Lead, Duncan Thompson said: “Automated options that can be applied in the real world and tailored to a machine shop’s challenges, mean that tool manufacturers can reap the advantages of integrated processes and systems in a practical way.”

Over 70% of ANCA customers seek machines with robotic functionality. ANCA’s world-first technology developments utilize automation to gain efficiencies and have helped reduce production costs by 50%.

Duncan Thompson explains: “Our customers continue to look for custom solutions for increased automation in their operations and AIMS is ANCA’s holistic response; a tangible option for a smarter factory. Automation that works best is targeted to repetitive processes that can occur alongside value-adding individual skills. AIMS slots in to seamlessly automate routine processes.”

“Seeing this level of integration in action is pretty amazing. Our easy to view, virtual demonstration really highlights the ways that AIMS works to boost tool production. AIMS can be deployed to a single process or across an entire production line, towards end to end tool manufacturing.”

The AIMS online demo exhibits interconnected grinding technology solutions that eliminate wasteful manual handling, reduce machine downtime in between batches and take away the need to have operators constantly monitoring and adjusting production machines.

For complete tool production, AutoMarkX offers automated laser tool marking

The new AutoMarkX is ANCA’s tool marking solution designed particularly for the needs of cutting tool production. ANCA already has you covered with critical tool grinding processes; CPX for blank preparation, and tool grinding on ANCA’s TX, MX and FX tool and cutter grinders. AutoMarkX will work seamlessly alongside ANCA CNC grinders and automates the tool marking process, further extending unmanned production operations.    

Tool manufacturers are seizing options that streamline processes and save labor costs. AutoMarkX is capable of automated pallet loading and takes care of the tool laser marking process, freeing up operators to perform more value-adding tasks. AutoMarkX is designed for integration with AIMS, being able to automatically receive and dispatch pallets from AutoFetch, while connectivity to the AIMS Server provides details of the message to be marked on the tools.

Product Manager, Jan Irzyk said: “This machine is efficient and compact – but more than that, it can be integrated with your ERP and AIMS, so that technology can work together. Removing the need for manual handling, our new laser marking solution pushes tool marking capabilities into lights-out production.”

“For full production, flexibility is important. This system accommodates a variety of tool sizes as well as mixed batches. With an easy to use interface and customizable marking, it is a complete solution that boosts labor efficiency.”

With over 45 years’ experience delivering CNC grinders to customers around the world, ANCA carries a reputation for delivering customer-focused innovations that meet market needs. Products that use smart automation for every day applications offer increased productivity and profitability. Integrated manufacturing, and machines that work together for complete tool production provide comprehensive options for manufacturers across multiple industries.


For further information, please contact:

Sepideh Zandieh
PR and Communications Manager, ANCA
M: +61 439 316 131
Sepideh.Zandieh@anca.com

ANCA is a market leading manufacturer of CNC grinding machines. It was founded in 1974 in Melbourne, Australia where the company still has its global headquarters. ANCA has offices in the UK, Germany, China, Thailand, India, Japan, Brazil and the USA as well as a comprehensive network of representatives and agents worldwide.

ANCA CNC grinders are used for manufacturing precision cutting tools and components across a diverse range of competitive industries including cutting tool manufacture, automotive, aerospace, electronics and medical.

ANCA website: www.anca.com

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Grind Barrel Shape Ballnose Endmills that outperform with ToolRoom’s latest update

Tool end-users bank cost and time savings with BSB cutters with exceptional large-radii geometry

The ToolRoom update includes new ToolTypes

Discover new possibilities in machining with the latest Barrel Shape Ballnose (BSB) tooltype in ANCA’s up-to-the-minute ToolRoom software. The latest enhancement also includes revamped Double Corner Radius (DCR) Endmills. These endmills constitute a new tool class for machining excellence. Barrel and lens shapes and taper and oval forms are relative market newcomers and are predominantly used in the die mould, aerospace, general machining and power generation industries.

ANCA Software Product Manager, Thomson Mathew said: “The ability to create endmills with a larger-radius edge, permits greater stepover increments. This enables machining with a larger crossover pitch during pre-finishing and finishing operations – improving productivity.”

Shorter cutting distances mean it’s almost like a two for one coupon for longer tool life and faster cycle times.

Thomson adds: “Replacing conventional ballnose and corner radius applications with the large tangential form radius simulates these applications but the outsized cutting diameter is what saves cycle time and cost; and the resulting surface finish is better as well.”

“Bringing these new endmills together with the expert advantages of ToolRoom such as iView and laser compensation, designer edge ballnose, variable helix and tool balancing sets tool manufacturers up with a complete solution and is unique to ANCA software. In addition, a special fluting operation ensures a constant hook angle all the way along the trajectory of the cutting edge resulting in vibration-free tools, with less wear and tear during machining.”

Designer edge Ballnose for aggressive nose section cutting

Innovation and flexibility in ANCA’s software has always been an intrinsic partner to tool machines’ functionality. With a legacy of first-to-market software features, this enhancement continues to advance the sophistication and application diversity of ANCA’s dedicated cutting tool software package. Clever features offer customers the machining capabilities needed for today’s market.

Thomson adds: “ANCA has been leading the industry in terms of new features, cycles, cutting tool geometry and functionality in our cutter grinder software for over two decades and this latest release extends this further.”

The upgrade offers wizard-based design for user-friendly operation

Manufacturing complex, sophisticated endmills is made easy with wizard-based BSB design in ToolRoom, suitable also for catalog production.

BSB and DCR tool types are high performance endmill cutters, mainly used for finishing requiring high accuracies. They may be more familiar to some as circular segment or high feed endmills. In the current market, cutting tool manufacturers may be looking to enter new markets and this software release makes diversification with high-quality specialist tools attainable.

This sought after enhancement retains ANCA’s renowned software user-friendliness and completes the ToolRoom RN34 endmill package.

The features of the new market release encompass compensation and accuracy

Compensation methods are covered as ANCA supports manual, iView and LaserPlus compensation for all geometry, as these tools are highly accurate. Both ball radius and tangential barrel form radius can be maintained within +/-0.002 mm using LaserPlus. This accuracy can also be maintained in batch grinding with automatic in-process compensation for large volume production on machines with LaserPlus.

The wizard-based design also provides the option to scale tools and add various other operations like roughing or chip breakers. Wizard support is available for oval form, taper form and also a custom form for specials. A static view gives parameter inputs for geometry description and there is also a dynamic view available to visualize the geometry as and when parameters are entered.

There are multiple practical advantages of ToolRoom software for cutting tool manufactures


For further information, please contact:

Sepideh Zandieh
PR and Communications Manager, ANCA
M: +61 439 316 131
Sepideh.Zandieh@anca.com

ANCA is a market leading manufacturer of CNC grinding machines. It was founded in 1974 in Melbourne, Australia where the company still has its global headquarters. ANCA has offices in the UK, Germany, China, Thailand, India, Japan, Brazil and the USA as well as a comprehensive network of representatives and agents worldwide.

ANCA CNC grinders are used for manufacturing precision cutting tools and components across a diverse range of competitive industries including cutting tool manufacture, automotive, aerospace, electronics and medical.

Continue reading

Grind Barrel Shape Ballnose Endmills that outperform with ToolRoom’s latest update

Tool end-users bank cost and time savings with BSB cutters with exceptional large-radii geometry

October 2020: Discover new possibilities in machining with the latest Barrel Shape Ballnose (BSB) tooltype in ANCA’s up-to-the-minute ToolRoom software. The latest enhancement also includes revamped Double Corner Radius (DCR) Endmills. These endmills constitute a new tool class for machining excellence. Barrel and lens shapes and taper and oval forms are relative market newcomers and are predominantly used in the die mould, aerospace, general machining and power generation industries.

Designer edge Ballnose for aggressive nose section cutting

ANCA Software Product Manager, Thomson Mathew said: “The ability to create endmills with a larger-radius edge, permits greater stepover increments. This enables machining with a larger crossover pitch during pre-finishing and finishing operations – improving productivity.”

Shorter cutting distances mean it’s almost like a two for one coupon for longer tool life and faster cycle times.

Thomson adds: “Replacing conventional ballnose and corner radius applications with the large tangential form radius simulates these applications but the outsized cutting diameter is what saves cycle time and cost; and the resulting surface finish is better as well.”

“Bringing these new endmills together with the expert advantages of ToolRoom such as iView and laser compensation, designer edge ballnose, variable helix and tool balancing sets tool manufacturers up with a complete solution and is unique to ANCA software. In addition, a special fluting operation ensures a constant hook angle all the way along the trajectory of the cutting edge resulting in vibration-free tools, with less wear and tear during machining.”

The ToolRoom update includes new ToolTypes

Innovation and flexibility in ANCA’s software has always been an intrinsic partner to tool machines’ functionality. With a legacy of first-to-market software features, this enhancement continues to advance the sophistication and application diversity of ANCA’s dedicated cutting tool software package. Clever features offer customers the machining capabilities needed for today’s market.

Thomson adds: “ANCA has been leading the industry in terms of new features, cycles, cutting tool geometry and functionality in our cutter grinder software for over two decades and this latest release extends this further.”

The upgrade offers wizard-based design for user-friendly operation

Manufacturing complex, sophisticated endmills is made easy with wizard-based BSB design in ToolRoom, suitable also for catalog production.

BSB and DCR tool types are high performance endmill cutters, mainly used for finishing requiring high accuracies. They may be more familiar to some as circular segment or high feed endmills. In the current market, cutting tool manufacturers may be looking to enter new markets and this software release makes diversification with high-quality specialist tools attainable.

This sought after enhancement retains ANCA’s renowned software user-friendliness and completes the ToolRoom RN34 endmill package.

The features of the new market release encompass compensation and accuracy

Compensation methods are covered as ANCA supports manual, iView and LaserPlus compensation for all geometry, as these tools are highly accurate. Both ball radius and tangential barrel form radius can be maintained within +/-0.002 mm using LaserPlus. This accuracy can also be maintained in batch grinding with automatic in-process compensation for large volume production on machines with LaserPlus.

The wizard-based design also provides the option to scale tools and add various other operations like roughing or chip breakers. Wizard support is available for oval form, taper form and also a custom form for specials. A static view gives parameter inputs for geometry description and there is also a dynamic view available to visualize the geometry as and when parameters are entered.

There are multiple practical advantages of ToolRoom software for cutting tool manufactures


For further information, please contact:

Sepideh Zandieh
PR and Communications Manager, ANCA
M: +61 439 316 131
Sepideh.Zandieh@anca.com

ANCA is a market leading manufacturer of CNC grinding machines. It was founded in 1974 in Melbourne, Australia where the company still has its global headquarters. ANCA has offices in the UK, Germany, China, Thailand, India, Japan, Brazil and the USA as well as a comprehensive network of representatives and agents worldwide.

ANCA CNC grinders are used for manufacturing precision cutting tools and components across a diverse range of competitive industries including cutting tool manufacture, automotive, aerospace, electronics and medical.

Continue reading