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Category Archives: ANCA

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How simultaneous high-current and high-frequency have positioned the ANCA EDG as the benchmark for PCD manufacture.

Poly Crystalline Diamond (PCD) products are widely used in industry for their superior abrasion resistance and longevity when machining non-ferrous materials. By virtue of their uniform carbon lattice structures, diamond is the hardest material available and therefore lends itself well to manufacturing processes requiring high speeds, feed rates and extended wear behaviors. PCD is not typically used to machine ferrous materials such as iron or steel due to a chemical reaction that occurs between the diamond and the iron molecules. The Carbon atoms in the diamond react with the Iron (Ferrous) atoms of the iron or steel to produce Iron Carbide (Fe3C), causing the tool edges to collapse.  However, it can tackle bimetal applications involving aluminium and cast iron.

The areas that PCD tooling excels in is the machining of non-ferrous materials, composites, electronic components, timbers and precious metals.

Non-ferrous MetalsPolymers and Other MaterialsPrecious Metals
AluminumCompositesPlatinum
CarbideCarbon FibersGold
TitaniumGlass FibersSilver
NickelCeramicsBronze
LeadPolyether (PEEK) 
CopperTimber and wood 
BrassPCB 
Figure 1: Materials suited to manufacture with PCD tooling.

When machining these materials, PCD tooling exhibits superior wear resistance, heat tolerance and tool longevity.

Using PCD in tooling is not new, however, the explosion of lightweight materials used in all industries as manufacturers race to create lightweight and durable products highlights how versatile PCD tooling is becoming. Aluminium and composite products continue to grow quickly with the rapid expansion of consumer electronics, light-weight transportation and more efficient power generation. 

Linked to the growth in non-ferrous componentry and PCD tooling is the downward pressure being applied to machine tool builders. Lowering cycle times and increasing surface finishes enables a profitable business proposition for PCD tooling manufacturers by reducing manufacturing costs per tool and increasing quality and durability for the end user. 

To enable ANCA’s customers to create high-quality, low-cost tooling the new ANCA Motion SparX Generator has been designed and built using the latest power electronics. Power Electronics allows the creation of a wide band-gap generator to achieve high current and high frequency simultaneously. This enables higher mega-amp per second Nano and Pico-pulses and far greater control of the erosion process. These combine for a much faster and controllable erosion process than conventional electronics and allow for the complete manufacture of PCD tooling using nano grade PCDs (example: Element Six CMX850 with 0.85µm diamond grains and CTX002 with 2µm grains) through to very large diamond grades (example: CTH025 with average grain size of 25µm and CTM302 a multi-modal PCD with grain sizes of 2µm to 30µm)

Additionally, by virtue of the 5-axis kinematics of the ANCA EDG machines utilizing a rotary copper electrode, almost infinite tool geometries can be created including complex end-face and fluting geometries. This linked to very aggressive pricing and performance with supreme flexibility enables tooling manufacturers to create high quality PCD tools competitively.  Additionally, with the increase in performance, decrease in cycle time and increase in surface finish specification, users are able to purchase arguably the most technologically advanced erosion machine available. ANCA is the only supplier of EDG erosion machines in the market that has a synchronized, adaptable, intelligent and controllable erosion process suited perfectly to the vast array of non-ferrous materials.

To highlight these benefits, ANCA conducted testing between tools created on an ANCA EDG, tools created on a competitor laser machine and lastly on a competitor erosion machine.  Testing utilized a 12mm 2D shear brazed (neutral rake face) tool due to laser ablation systems being unable to create large fluted tools. The PCD material was Element Six CTM302.

Testing showed definitively that not only did the ANCA EDG match the quality and cycle time of laser created tools, but it was vastly superior to the like-for-like erosion results.

Figure 2: Comparison tooling used for laser and erosion tests
 Laser CompetitorErosion CompetitorANCA EDG
SettingsStandard FinishStandard Finish
Surface Finish (µm Ra)0.2000.4000.200
Cycle Time26m : 24s56m : 00s26m : 20s
Edge Corner Radius (µm)9.456.253.22

Figure 3: Comparison data obtained for multiple tests

Additionally, the cutting edges were 3x keener on the ANCA created tools as opposed to the laser ablated tools. Keen cutting edges are very important in the manufacture of aluminium and composites as they reduce burring while increasing surface finishes. In composites, keen cutting edges also reduce the risk of delamination during machining.

The key take-away from this testing was that not only is the ANCA EDG with the new ANCA Motion SparX Erosion Generator well suited to all types of PCD and the varying associated industries, but that erosion processes utilizing power electronics with high current and high frequency simultaneously positions the ANCA EDG squarely in the sights of both traditional erosion and laser technologies.


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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ANCA’s newest Smart Factory tool, LaserUltra, is 70% faster measuring tools

Recently launched at Eastec 2021, LaserUltra dramatically increases capacity and reduces waste through highly accurate and fast in-process measurement and compensation

ANCA leads the market in inventing, developing, and offering its customers the latest technology to realize the benefits of automation and lights out manufacturing. LaserUltra is the next generation of the highly popular LaserPlus, an in-process measurement technology only available with ANCA that gave customers the power to operate unmanned overnight with confidence they could retrieve their finished tools the next day within specification. LaserPlus was itself a game changer for the industry and already significantly faster than external tool measurement processes.

The 70% reduction in measurement time compared to Laser Plus is achieved through the new Analog measurement. The Analog measurement is a continuous edge scan instead of number of digital points along the cutting edge. This process also eliminates variations caused by machine standing idle, errors due to manual wheel corrections and the requirement of skilled operators.  In its place LaserUltra has increased accuracy, productivity, and reduction of scrap.

ANCA’s LaserUltra allows the measurement of tool geometries to tolerances of 0.002mm without removing the tool from the grinder, saving time in the manufacturing process, and ensuring maximum accuracy in measurement is maintained over large batch grinding.

Pat Boland, ANCA Co-Founder said: “The intersection of 5 axis milling machines, advanced CAD/CAM software and advanced profile geometry cutting tools is revolutionizing the Die and Mold and Aerospace machining industries. ANCA’s Laser Ultra tool measurement system together with RN34 software gives tool manufacturers all they need to manufacture complex profile endmills productively to outstanding accuracy.”

LaserUltra offers customers:

  • Greater accuracy due to the continuous edge scan rather than a number of points.
  • Several new ToolTypes like Barrel shape cutters and Lens shapes are included with LaserUltra measurement cycles.
  • New operations like runout compensation and enhanced functions.
  • Larger working envelop means larger diameters and length of tools can be measured.
  • The measurement reports have been modified to suit customers’ requirements.
  • Eliminates errors caused by manual compensation process.

Thomson Mathew, ANCA Software Product Manager said: “gone are the days of manual or external measurement and compensation for critical dimensions or profile forms due to wheel wear or other grinding factors as LaserUltra can measure and compensate within a couple of microns. All this is done in process without taking the tools out of the machine with complete control of process stability and capability. These measurements are displayed at various locations to give our customers complete visibility and trust in their grinding process.”

LaserUltra is an automatic OD, profile measurement and compensating system for ANCA’s TX, MX and FX machines. It is ideal for measuring and compensating tools to maintain tight tolerances (0.002mm) in unmanned production grinding. The in-process measurement is available in both digital and analog for fast and accurate measurements to enable productivity and performance improvements.

It is permanently mounted inside the machine and will not interfere with typical grinding processes and accessories. Using the laser, the operator can perform accurate in-process measurement and compensation without removing tools from the machine.

Thomson continues: “It gives customers flexibility to service multiple markets, supporting a large range of cutting tool applications, for example, all types of endmills or step tools — including profile, compression routers and Threadmills and several more. Furthermore, different versions of LaserUltra can cover large diameter ranges and various lengths depending on user cases. And finally, LaserUltra can generate reports which can be configured depending on customers’ requirements.”

LaserUltra Digital versus LaserUltra Analog

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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Reduce runout with ANCA’s new complete tool runout compensation

A new option in ToolRoom cures runout woes and helps to increase tool life and productivity

Total indicator runout (TIR) is a term often used in manufacturing, especially when dealing with rotating parts such as cutting tools, particularly endmills and drills. TIR is defined as the difference between the maximum and minimum values measured across an entire rotating surface about a reference axis.

Manufacturing high quality, high performance tools requires the Total Indicator Runout to be perfect or minimal for overall tool life and surface finish. Runout on blanks before grinding can be achieved by either spending a certain amount of time for work holding setup or alternatively, compensating the runout in software. The latest software update of ToolRoom has an option to apply complete tool runout compensation when needed.

Runout creates uneven chip loads due to uneven contact on the workpiece. The result, as pictured above, is that some flutes get way too much load and wear fast while others get too little. This is not an optimal situation for endmills during machining. Not only do tools with runout have shorter tool life, they tend to be unbalanced and more prone to breaking. Additionally, they vibrate and cause chatter, increase spindle load and result in a bad surface finish on the workpiece.

On the contrary, even cutting flutes result in longer tool life, better surface finish and accurate finished parts.

Circular runout controls only a particular circular cross section of an endmill, while total runout controls the entire surface of the endmill which includes the outer diameter and endface. There are two kinds of runout: Radial and Axial. Radial runout is when the axis of rotation is off-center from the main axis, but still parallel. Axial runout is when the axis of rotation is tilted to some degree from the main axis, meaning the axis of rotation is no longer parallel to the main axis.

On an ANCA tool and cutter grinder, runout is measured by rotating the blank around the A-axis (headstock) and using the Renishaw touch probe. The latest update in ToolRoom RN34.1 release contains the total tool runout measurement and compensation operation in iGrind as an option. This is an addition to the existing axial runout compensation.

The runout measurement and compensation can be performed on a blank or a pre-formed blank. A pre-formed blank is a tool that has flutes ground, for example tools requiring re-sharpening. Endface compensation is used for axial runout by digitizing a single point close to the end of the tool. Only the endface operations are supported for this type of compensation.

Total runout or full compensation will measure and compensate radial and axial runout. This is mainly used while manufacturing and two points are digitized. One is near the end of the tool and the other at shank end. With the digitizing results, users are able to convert the grinding to the centerline of the blank rather than the centerline of the A-axis.                                                   

When an endmill is in rotation it is important that each tooth cuts at the exact same spot along the workpiece for longer tool life and efficient cutting. Every tool in the batch can be measured and compensated for runout to ensure the entire batch is within tolerances.

Runout in drills and reamers will result in oversized holes. This can be avoided by using the runout compensation. The chart below shows the compensation test results.

All length values in above chart are in mm
Resultant runout from compensation under 1 Micron

It is important to note that accuracy starts with the quality of blank. Contrary to popular belief, carbide blanks can be out of round bent or tapered. Ensure that the blanks are checked for size and accuracy, cleaned, and chamfered at insertion end. Blanks should be within 0.001mm (0.00004”) in straightness and 0.0005mm (0.00002”) in roundness to achieve the above accuracy.

Manufacturing challenges due to runout is a persistent pain point for many precision tool manufacturers. This new feature addresses this problem and will give users the assurance they need to manufacture high quality tools – ensuring that the hundredth endmill produced will be equally as good as the first.

The new complete tool runout measurement and compensation operation is now available as an option in the latest ToolRoom update for RN34.1 release. Customers will benefit from increase in productivity due to the reduced collet and collet adaptor setup time, and reduced scrap from zero rejections due to runout.


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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Insert Manufacturing Made Easy

Set up for accurate, consistent and automated insert grinding and diversify production

Solid endmill and drill production is a highly competitive market, making it challenging to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Inserts for milling and drilling applications offer various advantages over solid carbide tools, but present unique challenges in manufacturing. For those that successfully master the production of insert tools, new market opportunities can be yours. ANCA’s insert grinding solutions may just be the answer you need to take this step.

Inserts appeal to users of tools, firstly because one tool body can take a variety of inserts, making them very versatile. Additionally, the cost of replacing just the insert is significantly less than an entire solid carbide tool. For insert manufacturers however, the challenge is automated production of these uniquely shaped parts.

The ANCA Insert Solution, based on the MX tool grinding machine platform, offers work-holding, automation and supporting tool programming software to produce a diverse range of rotary endmill and drill inserts. Inserts that feature common locating datums and clamping features are an ideal fit for the ANCA Insert Solution. 

ANCA’s unique Insert Chuck provides the foundation of insert grinding capability.  Its versatile design means one chuck can hold a variety of inserts with precise repeatability and necessary rigidity during the grinding operation. Onto the standard chuck, interchangeable jaws are fitted in minutes. These jaws are custom designed based on the insert datum and holding features, as well as considering wheel clearance for necessary grinding operations. ANCA will work with you to design jaw sets that cover your complete insert design and size range. 

Economical production requires automation. For insert grinding, the RoboMate robot loading system is kitted up with the dedicated pallets and grippers for unattended manufacturing. As with the chuck jaws, ANCA will collaborate with you to design a range to pallets and grippers that suit your inserts. 

Comprehensive and flexible programming software is the final element needed for insert grinding. As always, ANCA has it covered with iGrind – our industry-leading tool programming software, that caters for various special endmill and drill insert geometries. In addition, special digitizing routines will determine the datum location and exact position of the insert before commencing the grinding operation. This ensures the insert production batch remains accurate and consistent, delivering quality results expected in the market.

Finally, with production flexibility in mind, the insert grinding system can be easily switched over to solid carbide tool production, meaning a given grinding machine is not locked into production of just one tool type. By switching the Insert Chuck for PremierPlus collet system, and replacing RoboMate pallets and grippers, the transition to solid tool production can be done quickly and efficiently, ensuring your machines productive grinding time is maximized and adaptable to your market demands.

The insert grinding solution is offered not only on new machines, but can equally be retrofitted on existing MX machines. Setting up for diversifying your cutting tool product portfolio to include inserts has never been easier. Having alternate production capabilities that can quickly be adapted to meet customer demands is a winning long-term strategy for the success of your tool grinding business. 


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

Cerin SpA, a pioneering Italian cutting tool manufacturer is pushing what is possible, exploring exotic nickel alloys to set the future of tool technology

Cerin invested in ANCA technology to take on these challenges and succeed – achieving precision, repeatability and stability in their grinding

Ivan Cuscov, Plant Director started at Cerin SpA ten years ago as a mechanical engineer and today is responsible for production. Ivan said, “Cerin was founded in 1971 by Mr. Cerin and my father joined the company a few years later. We were one of the first Italian companies to work with solid carbide and today serve many industries, from aerospace to construction, shipbuilding, energy and automotive.”

“Half our sales are in Italy and the other half abroad, mainly exporting to Germany but also Russia and Japan, China and England. Our customers choose to work with us because we manufacture a good product. If you ask our customers to say something about CERIN, they will only say, ‘A Cerin tool is a good tool.’ And that’s what I think is what makes us successful.”

“From the beginning we never worked with high speed steel as we had a feeling that solid carbide was the technology of the future and so we tried to make the biggest step possible into the future. It was very challenging at the time as there was limited knowledge on how to use solid carbide. Many people in the industry didn’t know of diamond wheels and thought of diamond as a jewel and not a grinding material!”

“We were a pioneer with many challenges working in unknown territories, but on reflection, I would say that taking on this challenge was key to our success.”

Cerin continues to invest in their pioneering culture to stay ahead of technology change

“At Cerin we try our best to understand our customers production requirements. If the customer has a problem, we look at their machining process — how the machine works, how the workpiece is placed on the machine, and what are the critical issues, vibration and so on. We have even built a Development Center to try new materials and new machine technology.”

“Currently we are looking into the exotic nickel alloys or otherwise called high temperature alloys – which are still niche materials, but we think it’s important to understand given the increasing requirement for energy efficient engine performance. For these applications, high performance requires higher thermal mechanical properties and that is driving tool technology.”

“These materials are particularly critical mainly for heat generation and elastic to plastic transition. Cutting those materials requires specific coating and sometimes a specific combination between solid carbide coatings and dedicated geometries.”

Tool makers must consider the entire development life cycle

“A good tool is the combination of elements. The right geometry and the combination between carbide and coating. Developing a new tool might require a few weeks to many months. The first technical work is designing and testing a basic tool of a certain length and diameter, which fulfills the initial targets. After that you need to organize the whole commercial offer, extend the tests to the rest of the product family, and of course create the stock availability.”

“Over the weekend we mainly produce standard tools and in some areas with unmanned shifts which helps us contain costs, increasing our capacity. Our operators create optimal production conditions, looking at correct machine and grinding wheel set ups. Our attention to detail when setting up processes means we can guarantee quality.”

“Our quality control department is responsible for checking tools during and after production. We have the complete traceability of our production batches and at any time can retrieve design information, even look at the raw materials.”

ANCA technology offers precision, repeatability, and stability – all essential for lights out manufacturing

“In our machine center we have a MX7, MX7 Linear, FX7 Linear, GX7, TX7 and even a TG7.   At the moment we are mainly using ANCA machines for standard and cylindrical endmills and we keep the FX7 and one MX7 linear for mixed production of endmills and drills.”

“Precision, repeatability and stability are two advantages of using ANCA machines and over the years we have found ANCA machines to be thermally stable with a wide range of technology offered. A stable grinding machine is very important for unmanned shifts to keep tolerances and tool dimensions under control. In fact, repeatability means that we have the grinding process under control and can be confident with the quality of the end product we deliver to our customers.”

iGrind is a very good software package mainly because of flexibility and because it allows you to do many different things easily. iGrind is great for cylindrical grinding to profile tools and especially with tool segments where you can split the tool operations as much as you want. We also use ANCA’s
ToolDraft in combination with AutoCAD.“

“We have been recently using iView with a camera for profile tools and it looks promising because it is a good way to control the tolerance of a complex tool all along the profile. If a profile is being controlled at a single point it is too difficult if you are trying to keep a whole profile within a certain tolerance to a few microns. For that you need a specific device and iView is very interesting.”

“Our operators are happy with the Wheel Probe which references the grinding wheel directly on the machine. The benefit using the probe is that you don’t need to waste any time with an external preset and can make your measurements directly on the machine. And you don’t need to mount and dismount the wheel before and after measuring because that of course might change the basic reference a little bit. So you’re going to measure the wheel in the same place where the wheel will work.”


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

Diversify your wood tool grinding on ANCA FX machines

ANCA machine innovation and software combine for a complete package for producing woodworking tools, reducing set-up times

By Simon Richardson, Product Manager, ANCA

ANCA is well known for offering standard and special custom solutions for their customers. When ANCA designs a custom solution, we give our customers tailored and diverse options with shorter set-up times. In an increasingly challenging market, companies grinding tools are always looking at innovative products and diversifying into different sectors using existing or new machinery.

On the affordable FX grinding machines, ANCA has developed a new product which provides more flexibility and capability for unattended production of wood tools. Special tooling systems for FX5 and FX7 machines offer the ability to easily change automated production between woodworking profile blades, used to form skirting boards and architraves, and solid round shank tools such as routers and drills used in production of furniture and cabinetry. In addition, companies focusing predominantly on engineering tools can consider adding woodworking blade profiles to their product portfolio. 

Versatility to cover very different tool types starts with the work holding, where two options are offered: a blade chuck to hold flat profile blades, or a PremierPlus collet chuck for holding round shank tools.

Both systems are actuated with the same pull stud mechanism, so switching between the two systems is done in minutes.

Robot automation, too, has been configured to allow easy change between profile blades and round shank solid carbide tools including spirals, compression routers and drills. All without having to change grippers or re-teach robot positions. Simply change over the pallets to suit the tool type and size, and you are ready to start unattended production! Automated loading of blades up to 80mm wide x 40mm high is possible, while with hand loading, blades up to 120mm x 40mm high can be accommodated.

FX is offered with grinding spindle power options from 12kW up to 19kW, giving the ability to grind solid routers or drills comfortably up to 12mm, and perform heavy stock roughing on thicker profile blades. Flexibility is enhanced with 2 wheel packs as standard, but options for up to 6 are available. This ensures the right wheel pack configuration is ready to use, with zero downtime when changing between tool types. Additionally, separate touch probe solutions are offered to allow fast and accurate measurement of your profile blade datums and round shank tools.

LaserPlus is a recommended option for those making solid routers and compression routers where diameter control is a critical element of your tool quality. Mounted inside the machine, LaserPlus is a non-contact system for automatic measurement and compensation of tool diameter. For compression routers, it will even measure both up and down cut sections to ensure they are consistent.

ANCA completes the package with a suite of flexible and user-friendly software options to cover diverse tool production needs. 

  • Blade grinding software includes blank and finished profile definition with DXF import, slice roughing for fast removal of bulk stock material before the final profile relief passes. 
  • Compression router software gives complete flexibility to program up and down cut sections ensuring correct overlap on two or more flutes.
  • Standard endmill and drill software packages are easily adapted to wood cutting tool geometries including up and down cut spiral routers and drills.
  • Profile software opens scope to also manufacture brazed carbide profile routers.
  • CIM3D, ANCA’s leading simulation software allows offline checking of tool geometry and the grinding process before starting actual tool production.

ANCA’s wood tool production package for the FX5 and FX7 offers outstanding flexibility for unattended production on ANCA’s most affordable tool grinding machine.


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 to launch AutoMarkX, an automated laser marking system at EMO 2021

Winner of ANCA Tool of the Year revealed live at EMO and see a tailored skiving cutter machine GCX to service the booming Electric Vehicle market

As the cutting tool industry moves towards more complex geometries and away from standard tools, manufacturers are needing to find new solutions. Often referenced as special tools, ANCA will showcase the technology, software and automation at EMO Milano 2021 that enables customers to design and grind multiple tool types in one batch, making special tools a more profitable strategy.

Patrick Boland, ANCA Co-Founder said: “Customers are after more productivity, higher accuracy, and increased process stability. There is great interest in automation, Industry 4.0, and technologies that can digitally connect all aspects of production. What’s new at ANCA is what we call AIMS, or the “ANCA Integrated Manufacturing System.” It’s the overarching platform under which we’ll be releasing software and hardware though the coming years. At the top is a suite of management software, and underneath is all the hardware necessary to grind, measure, and process complex cutting tools.”

“We are proud to have our new AutoMarkX laser marking system on the stand at EMO, a machine that further simplifies tool manufacturing process by achieving greater efficiencies and reductions in simple manual tasks. Compatible with ANCA’s flexible software suite, AutoMarkX automatically loads tools directly from grinding machine pallets to be laser marked. ANCA’s own technology is designed for integration with AIMS (ANCA Integrated Manufacturing System), to automatically receive and dispatch pallets using an AMR (Autonomous Mobile Robot) while connectivity to the AIMS Server provides the data to be marked on the tools,” Patrick concluded.

Electric Vehicles

From a CNC tool and cutter supplier’s point of view, Electric Vehicles (EV’s) growth in the market is a challenge as well as a revolutionary opportunity. In 2017, 11.8 percent of cutting tool consumption was for automotive manufacturing. However, the rise of EVs and the associated manufacturing changes will significantly impact this. The machining time required for pure EVs will reduce by 50–75 percent compared with traditional internal combustion engines (ICEs). This will result in a decline in overall cutting tool consumption as ICE vehicles’ production declines.

Xiaoyu Wang, ANCA GCX Product Manager said: “Declining demand for cutting tools is an existential challenge, especially for our customers who serve the automotive industry. However, entering the supply chain of EV manufacture provides many untapped opportunities. The new skiving cutters required for manufacturing the internal gears used in EV transmission is a significant one. About 45 percent of all gear production is for vehicle transmission. The growth in EVs has drastically changed the requirements for the gear cutting and production industries. For example, the high engine speed of up to 20,000 RPM means a higher gear ratio is required to reduce the speed for efficient use in automobiles. Additionally, the complex planetary gear systems are more prevalent in the new electric transmission design.”

Driven by EV’s unparallel 28%~36% growth rate, the skiving cutters used in the high-speed skiving processes are in high demand. Due to their complex geometries, producing solid carbide skiving cutters requires a series of technology and process developments that enable their consistent and repeatable production. ANCA will bring its GCX Linear machine to EMO so customers can understand how it provides a complete solution for manufacturing DIN AA quality solid carbide skiving cutters – the highest in the industry.

Visit ANCA at Stand F10 G09​, Hall 2 to get a demo.

ANCA Tool of the Year

ANCA’s industry first competition is back with the 2021 winner to be announced live at EMO. Last year the industry welcomed the opportunity to show off their skills with almost 30 entries received from across the globe being seen by over 80,000 fans generating over 200,000 engagements on social media.

The competition offers global recognition and generous prizes; celebrating the magic of the cutting tool and the experts who create them.

AutoMarkX

AutoMarkX is an automatic stand-alone laser marking station replacing manual and labor-intensive process. It is AIMS compatible which means it can work in a fully automatic mode without a need for human intervention, if required. The operator can load pallets full of tools and walk away to take care of more productive and value adding tasks. The unit can accommodate a wide range of tool sizes, making it a versatile proposition for many manufacturers. The attractive return on investment (ROI) makes it a logical choice for your tool making businesses.

  • Automatic solution replacing labor intensive task
  • Seamlessly integrated into your ERP and AIMS 
  • Cost-effective laser marking solution with short ROI

GCX Linear

The GCX Linear sets the new benchmark for skiving cutter production. Adapted from ANCA’s proven top-of-the-range CNC grinder platform, the GCX Linear adds tailored features to finish all operations for skiving cutters and shaper cutters in a single setup. With industry-first in-process profile measurement and direct path compensation, ANCA provides a practical closed-loop production solution.

  • LinX ® linear motor technology on X, Y and Z axes
  • In-process dressing with acoustic emission monitoring system (AEMS) and supervised machine learning algorithm
  • Motor temperature control (MTC) minimizes machine warmup time and delivers optimal thermal stability during grinding
  • In-process profile and spacing measurement with analogue probe genuinely leading the industry
  • Direct path compensation without redressing wheel
  • Comprehensive software package including design, simulation, grinding, dressing, measurement and compensation

CPX Linear

Capable of achieving a surface finish better than 0.2 µm (0.000008 in) RA with run-out of less than 2 microns, this four axis grinder for creating tool blanks complements ANCA’s full machine range. The CPX Linear has a large working envelope and powerful grinding spindles, achieving the highest precision and productivity for blank preparation in the market today. Using the PinchPeel method of grinding it offers the same strength, rigidity and thermal stability expected from an ANCA tool grinder.

  • AR300 loader
  • Premierplus collet adaptor
  • Overhead top clamp
  • Tailstock (for supporting long blanks)

FX7 Linear

FX7linear Machine -New Color CMYK Software

For customers that require increased flexibility or more spindle power, or the increased automation capacity that a robot can provide, the FX7 Linear offers these. The FX7 Linear offers a wide range of options for those looking to increase productivity and accuracy. Available is an optional 6-station wheel changer for automatic loading of wheel packs and coolant manifolds, and also robot loader options with capacity to load up to 840 tools.

  • Linear motors on X and Y axes
  • AMD5x control system for faster processing
  • HSK40F taper provides increased rigidity and accuracy for improved tool surface finish results

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.

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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On your marks: ANCA’s laser marking options provide time and cost-saving benefits

Get set and go with automated laser marking for streamlined production

Traceability is a fast-emerging trend in the manufacturing industry. It is defined as the ability to retrieve the full history or location of an item or product by means of recorded identification. In the tool making industry, the requirement to trace an individual tool and the ability to determine its usage and/or re-grinding history has become an industry standard, allowing end users to maintain the highest tool quality and productivity. 

In the tool making production process, tool laser marking is a necessary step that not only serves the purpose of providing basic tool geometry information, but also includes information pertaining to tool provenance and regrinding history. A basic requirement of laser marking is to have identification that is clear, and easy to read and understand.

Laser is the technology of choice for tool marking for several reasons. Firstly, laser produces an indelible mark which is crucial for easy identification throughout the lifetime of the tool. The quality is consistently excellent with high contrast and minimal surface disturbance – both of which are important for cutting tool performance. Secondly, laser technology is very mature which ensures consistent high reliability over many years.

A challenge with using standard manual laser marking stations is that it is among the most labor-intensive activities of any company. Automating the laser marking task is a direct solution to address this, with multiple benefits. Automation saves on labor cost, eliminates human error and frees up staff to perform more value-adding activities. After the initial investment, this asset will perform long-term over many years with a very low level of maintenance required.

ANCA offers two automatic laser marking options for a range of applications and individual requirements.

RoboMate LaserEtch

RoboMate LaserEtch is an integrated laser system that can be added to the ANCA RoboMate loader for the TX and MX platforms, allowing laser marking of individual tools in-process. This is a convenient, compact and flexible solution.  After grinding, the tool is automatically laser marked, for example tool ID and graphics such as a company logo – all without any increase to tool takt time. This solution means:

  • No need for additional equipment on the factory floor
  • Reduction of Work in Progress thanks to smart utilization of robot loader idle cycle time
  • Easy to use, friendly software

AutoMarkX

An automatic stand-alone laser marking station, the AutoMarkX is the latest addition to ANCA’s family of tool production solutions. The operator simply loads up to two full pallets of tools and the robot performs the laser marking operations, freeing up staff to take care of other tasks in the factory. The unit can accommodate a wide range of tool sizes, making it a versatile proposition for many manufacturers. 

  • AutoMarkX accepts up to two full pallets of tools, which means you can mark a large batch of tools unmanned.
  • Flexible marking means the message could be etched on a single side of the shank or on opposite sides of the shank as well as at the end of tool. The last option is particularly useful for applications where a unique tool identification code (e.g. Datamatrix) needs to be etched on the tool. Codes like Datamatrix are usually etched on the shank where they risk the exposure to excessive surface wear, rendering them unreadable. The end of tool is the best location to etch this type of code to overcome this issue.
  • AutoMarkX accepts different pallet standards which means it can be easily integrated into your production process and currently used pallets.
  • It is ANCA Integrated Manufacturing System (AIMS) ready

ANCA’s laser marking systems can be integrated into the AIMS Server to become a part of a fully automated production cell. In this case, sequential tool production processes are fully automated right through to laser marking on the tool. AIMS also provides a platform for extended functionality including tool traceability and serialization. 


For further information, please contact:
Johanna Boland
PR and Communications Manager, ANCA
M: +61 407 799 779
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.

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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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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading