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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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Structured blue light scanning on a metal part

Exact Metrology Employee Discusses Additive Manufacturing

Greg Groth, the Brookfield, Wisconsin Division Manager, was part of a panel discussing additive manufacturing, its challenges and opportunities

Greg Groth
Greg Groth

Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company and a comprehensive 3D metrology service provider and hardware sales company, had one of their employees give a presentation on 3D scanning and how to use it. Greg Groth, the Division Manager at the company’s Brookfield, Wisconsin location, presented at Rapid+TCT, North America’s largest additive event. Held recently at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, Groth was part of a panel discussion entitled “3D Scanning: Why do it and how.”

He discussed Exact Metrology’s capabilities, with an emphasis on CT technology. Groth also cited how CT fits into the company’s business model and how it supplements additive technology. In addition, the discussion covered the challenges that arise with complex additive parts and the need to incorporate 3D scanning into the quality process that validates parts.  He also shared several examples of complex projects Exact has performed over the years.

A color map comparison of a 4mm titanium screw, using CT scanning.
A color map comparison of a 4mm titanium screw, using CT scanning.

When talking about additive manufacturing today, Groth said that there is a growing need for evaluation of additive parts once they are made. “We are naïve to the thought that even though additive circumvents the traditional manufacturing restrictions (draft/shrink) when making parts, the end result part is not perfect.”  He added that these parts need to be validated. Due to the fact that additive parts are so complex, inspecting them is a challenge. Thanks to CT scanning, this has become easier.

Even though CT technology has helped capture internal geometry for additive manufacturing better than other methods, there are still limitations of material penetration. Part design should think about the way the part will be inspected, whether using contact or non-contact measurement techniques.

Depending on the complexity of the part, most additive substrates can be scanned using structured light or laser scanning. However, complex powered metal substrates are feasible for CT scanning if their material properties and scale don’t impede the penetration of the X-rays on the CT scanner. The denser the material, the more power is required.

In conclusion, Greg Groth said, “I think all additive markets can find value in the scanning and validation process. With the wide variety of scanning technology available, I don’t think any market is untouchable.”


Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company, is ISO9001, AS9100 Certified as well as ITAR Registered. 

Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company, with facilities in Cincinnati, Ohio, Moline, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, plus affiliated offices throughout the country, is a comprehensive metrology services provider, offering customers 3D and CT scanning, reverse engineering, quality inspection, product development and 2D drawings. The company also provides turnkey metrology solutions, including equipment sales and lease/rental arrangements.   

In-Place Machining Company: On-Site Machining Solutions In-Place, Any Place in the World.

In-Place Machining Company, with facilities in Wisconsin, Washington, Virginia, Ohio, California, and Ontario, Canada, is the premier provider of high-precision engineered on-site machining, metrology, and large scale cutting & drilling services for a wide range of renewable energy, aerospace, industrial, and military customers throughout the world.

For more information, please contact: 

 Greg Groth
20515 Industry Avenue 
Brookfield, WI 53045 
Phone: 262-533-0793
www.exactmetrology.com
gregg@exactmetrology.com

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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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Exact Metrology Reverse Engineers an Impact Driver Body

Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company and a comprehensive 3D metrology service provider and hardware sales company, recently reverse engineered an impact driver body.  

Impact Driver Body

Reverse engineering involves digitally deconstructing products to extract design information from them. Thus, users can determine how a part was designed so that it can be recreated. Although the process tends to imply that 3D scanning will be used solely for product design, it can be used to address many other engineering functions. These include product design and manufacturing, facilities maintenance and plant engineering, architectural and civil engineering and custom manufacturing.

While there are many ways to reverse engineer, CT scanning was used due to plastic nature of the impact driver body. CT excels in digitalizing small plastic parts. This impact driver body was scanned using the ZEISS METROTOM 6 scout. This CT scanner digitizes complex parts including the internal geometries at the finest level of detail. Users obtain a complete 3D image for GD&T analysis or nominal-actual comparisons.  The combination of a 3k detector and 225 kV X-ray enables ZEISS METROTOM 6 scout to provide high contrast, high-resolution measurement results and exceptional sharpness of detail. As a result, even the smallest defects in the part become visible and can be analyzed to the last detail. Furthermore, CT scanning quickly captures data and one scan can be used for void analysis, inspection, volume porosity, etc.  A 5-axis kinematics with integrated centering table helps clients optimally position the part in the measuring volume and the control of the device and the metrological evaluation of the data are combined in a single software package, making additional software or intermediate steps redundant.

Reverse engineering process

Greg Groth, the Division Manager at the company’s Brookfield, Wisconsin office explained that the impact driver body although relatively ubiquitous, presents many challenges in the digital modeling process. One of these challenges includes the complex geometry. The smooth outside ergonomics can be difficult to duplicate and interpret with traditional CAD functionality. According to Groth, “We used a combination of hybrid NURBS (Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines) modeling to duplicate the smooth, sculpted surfaces and combined them with traditional mechanical CAD features to create the part shape.”  Another challenge with plastics components is replicating complete parting lines from the original tooling to make the part. These can zig-zag around the part depending on the geometry and are sometimes omitted or cleaned up at the factory. The final challenge involves compensating for warp and shrink during manufacturing, as injection molding is used. Once the formed part starts to cool, it may change its shape. Predicting the movement and compensating it back to the intended design was time consuming.


Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company, is ISO9001, AS9100 Certified as well as ITAR Registered. 

Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company, with facilities in Cincinnati, Ohio, Moline, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, plus affiliated offices throughout the country, is a comprehensive metrology services provider, offering customers 3D and CT scanning, reverse engineering, quality inspection, product development and 2D drawings. The company also provides turnkey metrology solutions, including equipment sales and lease/rental arrangements.   

In-Place Machining Company: On-Site Machining Solutions In-Place, Any Place in the World.

In-Place Machining Company, with facilities in Wisconsin, Washington, Virginia, Ohio, California, and Ontario, Canada, is the premier provider of high-precision engineered on-site machining, metrology, and large scale cutting & drilling services for a wide range of renewable energy, aerospace, industrial, and military customers throughout the world.

For more information, please contact: 

Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company
Dean Solberg
20515 Industry Avenue 
Brookfield, WI 53045 
Local: 262-533-0800
www.exactmetrology.com
deans@exactmetrology.com

Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company
Steve Young
11575 Goldcoast Drive   
Cincinnati, OH 45249 
Local: 513-831-6620
Toll Free: 866-722-2600
www.exactmetrology.com
stevey@exactmetrology.com

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New SINAMICS PCS Power Conversion System for battery storage systems

  • Siemens presents liquid-cooled, robust power conversion system based upon the proven SINAMICS S120 platform
  • Grid converter comes with certification in accordance with VDE-AR-N 4110 and validated simulation model for easy project planning, optimization and integration into the power grid
Siemens presents SINAMICS PCS, a liquid-cooled, robust power conversion system for battery storage systems.

With SINAMICS PCS, Siemens presents a new power conversion system for battery storage applications.  The SINAMICS PCS grid converter makes locally generated batter power usable for industrial and public power grids.  SINAMICS PCS controls the charging and discharging process of the battery and helps to handle load peaks and grid disturbances via the battery storage, to store the electricity in an energy- and cost-efficient manner, and to bring the energy stored in batteries efficiently and reliably into the grid.

The grid converter is based upon the industry proven technology of the SINAMICS S120 drive platform and works very energy-efficiently thanks to liquid-cooling.  The compact and robust power conversion system includes connection technology and control, line filter, drive and liquid-cooling, and can be easily integrated as a complete system in control rooms or containers.

SINAMICS PCS is certified in accordance with the “Technical Connection Rules” VDE-AR-N 4110, which is valid in Germany. This means that stationary battery storage units can be connected to the public medium-voltage grid with minimal system certification effort.

A validated Matlab/Simulink simulation model simplifies and accelerates the planning, optimization and grid integration of the power conversion system — and thanks to the SINAMICS Startdrive tool in the TIA Portal engineering framework, the grid converter
can be easily integrated into the drive world.  Operating states and system parameters can be read out via the Profinet communication interface, which allows data from operation to be monitored and analyzed and makes precise statements about upcoming service work possible.


For specific product information and inquiries, send an e-mail to:
mc.us@siemens.com    

Siemens presents SINAMICS PCS, a liquid-cooled, robust power conversion system for battery storage systems.

For more information about SINAMICS PCS, please visit:  http://siemens.com/sinamics-pcs.

Siemens Digital Industries (DI) Siemens Digital Industries (DI) is an innovation leader in automation and digitalization. Closely collaborating with partners and customers, DI drives the digital transformation in the process and discrete industries. With its Digital Enterprise portfolio, DI provides companies of all sizes with an end-to-end set of products, solutions and services to integrate and digitalize the entire value chain. Optimized for the specific needs of each industry, DI’s unique portfolio supports customers to achieve greater productivity and flexibility. DI is constantly adding innovations to its portfolio to integrate cutting-edge future technologies. Siemens Digital Industries has its global headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany, and has around 72,000 employees internationally.

Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 170 years. Active around the world, the company focuses on intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems and on automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries. Siemens brings together the digital and physical worlds to benefit customers and society. Through Mobility, a leading supplier of intelligent mobility solutions for rail and road transport, Siemens is helping to shape the world market for passenger and freight services. Via its majority stake in the publicly listed company Siemens Healthineers, Siemens is also a world-leading supplier of medical technology and digital health services. In addition, Siemens holds a minority stake in Siemens Energy, a global leader in the transmission and generation of electrical power that has been listed on the stock exchange since September 28, 2020. In fiscal 2020, Siemens Group USA generated revenue of $17 billion and employs approximately 40,000 people serving customers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

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Guill Offers Machining and Fabricating Manufacturing Services for Aerospace

For over 55 years, Guill Tool has been providing tooling for the aerospace, extrusion, medical, consumer and commercial, defense, wind, oil and energy industries. Due to its years of experience, the company has a highly skilled team of expert machinists engineers trained in the latest CAD, CAM, CFD and FEA programs. Besides being experts in extrusion tooling, Guill is a major industrial manufacturer who can provide customers with one-stop shopping for their tooling and other select machine shop needs.  

Passenger airplane taking of at sunrise

Today, the company announces its intent to offer merchant machining services to the global aerospace industry.  Tom Baldock will lead this effort at Guill.  He is based at the company’s headquarters in Rhode Island. 

The Guill high quality standards are evidenced by the company’s many certifications, including ISO 9001:2015. Defense certifications include AS9100:2016 (aerospace manufacturing), MIL-I-45208A (inspection system), MIL-STD-45662A (calibration system), JCP Certified (government contracting),  ITAR Registered (export compliant), NIST SP800-171 (cyber security) and others.

As part of this new merchant machining program, Guill offers 5-axis machining centers, high precision machining and full wire EDM capabilities, highlighted by a .008” hole popper.  Guill machines super alloys and exotic metals to close tolerances.  They offer state of the art precision machining of many materials including aluminum, aluminum bronze, HY-80, HY-100, Hastelloy, Inconel, K-Monel, nickel copper, stainless and carbon steel and titanium. Guill continues to invest in utilizing innovative machine tools with the most advanced automation controls and operated by experienced technicians. Guill Tool endeavors to be a cost efficient manufacturer while adhering to a continuous improvement quality program.

Guill CNC milling machines offer resources needed to successfully fulfill the most challenging aerospace parts and tooling to keep aircraft running efficiently and precisely. The precision of CNC turning is offered for quicker production that meets rigorous standards on short and medium runs, regardless of the complexity of the parts. Guill multi-axis machines can produce a variety of sizes, complex engineering and geometric intricacies. Prototype machining and rapid manufacturing enable engineering to develop and innovate solutions with the ability to respond quickly and modify parts. Super alloys and other materials are offered to benefit customers who need new solutions to remain competitive. Finally, wire EDM eliminates the force put on part surfaces. This protects intricate and fragile tooling, plus it provides higher tolerances and accuracy.

Machining capabilities range from small hole machining of .008” in diameter and machining material measuring up to 15 inches in all axes.

Typical products produced are brackets, latches, engine components, fine hole cooling channels and structural mechanisms. 

For more information, please contact:

Tom Baldock  
Guill Tool & Engineering
10 Pike Street
West Warwick, RI 02893
USA
Office: 401-828-7600
www.guill.com/aerospace

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Siemens and TRAK Machine Tools pave the way towards Digitalization for job shops

SINUMERIK ONE digital-native CNC selected as the control of choice for new line of milling and turning production machines

TRAK Machine Tools vertical machining center-series equipped with SINUMERIK ONE is now available

Siemens announced today that its SINUMERIK ONE CNC platform has been selected by TRAK Machine Tools (Southwestern Industries, Inc.) as the control of choice for their new VMC-series milling and TC-series turning machines.  These new machine tools are intended to work in the high-volume, price-sensitive job shop market.

According to company president Steve Pinto, “TRAK wanted to partner with a large, well-established CNC leader with a global footprint for a new line of production machines, aiming
to reach a new level of digitalization — one that reflected that trend in every area of life today.” 

Throughout the process, Siemens employed a consulting approach, selling the value of SINUMERIK CNC and the entire Siemens portfolio of product, software, communications and cloud-based data analytics. The transition to Siemens CNC was made easier, as conventional programming and HMI with SINUMERIK ONE had the same look-and-feel as the TRAK captive control.  Wanting to offer automation in its portfolio, Siemens gave TRAK Machine Tools a wide range of possibilities, with the digital-native CNC.

Siemens is providing user support by ramping up its standard CNC offerings for the job shop market with SINUMERIK ONE, standard PLCs for mills and lathes, custom HMI screens and
it has worked closely TRAK Machine Tools for training.  TRAK staff including application engineers, sales, service and dealers were offered SINUMERIK online web-based training,
in-person training, and time on the machines for benchmarking and test cuts.  As always, Siemens is offering spare parts, 24-hour service and a quick repair turnaround to support its products and TRAK Machine Tools’ dealers.

Digital Twin of the TRAK VMC7si using Create MyVirtual Machine from Siemens

In the future, TRAK Machine Tools also plans to develop a 5-axis and horizontal CNC offering with SINUMERIK ONE.  The company is looking to brand-label a robot to automate their CNC machine with the SINUMERIK Run MyRobot application, integral to the SINUMERIK ONE CNC platform. 

Brian McMinn, head of the Siemens Machine Tool Systems business, observed, “This development marks the first US-based OEM that has accepted the digital-native CNC concept of SINUMERIK ONE.  At every stage of development — from concept to the Digital Twin of the machine known as Create MyVirtual Machine — to the prototype and runout, Siemens has collaborated with TRAK in a very unique way.  The result is an exciting line of CNC machines that will significantly impact the job shop market, almost immediately.  We are proud to partner with this forward-thinking machine tool builder.” 

Steve Pinto concluded, “Having found the right technology partner in Siemens, we can now offer machine technology solutions to help TRAK customers confidently take the next step into digitally-enabled production.” 

Machine tool builders benefit from the Digital Twin by speeding up development and commissioning times to new levels of quality and efficiency

For more information about SINUMERIK ONE, please visit usa.siemens.com/sinumerik-one.

For specific product information and inquiries, send an e-mail to: cnc.marketing.us@siemens.com   

Siemens Digital Industries (DI) is an innovation leader in automation and digitalization. Closely collaborating with partners and customers, DI drives the digital transformation in the process and discrete industries. With its Digital Enterprise portfolio, DI provides companies of all sizes with an end-to-end set of products, solutions and services to integrate and digitalize the entire value chain. Optimized for the specific needs of each industry, DI’s unique portfolio supports customers to achieve greater productivity and flexibility. DI is constantly adding innovations to its portfolio to integrate cutting-edge future technologies. Siemens Digital Industries has its global headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany, and has around 75,000 employees internationally.

Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of power generation and distribution, intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems, and automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries. Through the separately managed company Siemens Mobility, a leading supplier of smart mobility solutions for rail and road transport, Siemens is shaping the world market for passenger and freight services. Due to its majority stakes in the publicly listed companies Siemens Healthineers AG and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Siemens is also a world-leading supplier of medical technology and digital healthcare services as well as environmentally friendly solutions for onshore and offshore wind power generation. For more than 160 years, the company has innovated and invented technologies to support American industry spanning manufacturing, energy, healthcare and infrastructure. In fiscal 2018, Siemens USA reported revenue of $23.7 billion, including $5.0 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

About TRAK Machine Tools (Southwestern Industries, Inc.)

TRAK Machine Tools is well-known for its ProtoTRAK brand of CNCs and TRAK Machines.  Founded in 1952 as a job shop serving the aerospace industry, it has been manufacturing ProtoTRAK CNCs since 1984 and selling them throughout North American and Europe. TRAK Machine Tools fields direct-to-customer Sales and Service Organizations throughout the United States in many of the areas that have high concentrations of manufacturing.  Where it does not have its own field sales and service, TRAK Machine Tools serves customers via close relationships with independent distributors that share the core values of service to customers and community that has been the key to the enormous popularity of the ProtoTRAK and TRAK brands. The new initiative with SIEMENS will utilize the talents and reach of TRAK Machine Tools beyond the toolroom and into production and automation applications. For more information, please see www.trakmt.com.

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Siemens Partners with Morgan Automation To Supply New “Motion Picture” at Steel Mill

Fully automated non-manned coil handling cranes and coil transfer cars integrated with motion control and communications hardware; zero downtime after six months of operation

Autonomous Coil Yard (ACY) run at major steel company in the Midwest, operated by crane system provided to the mill by Morgan Automation of Alliance, Ohio. Myriad Siemens controls are onboard the system, both hardware and software.

A major U.S. steel mill in Arkansas required an entirely new approach to coil handling for its rolled-to-order production strategy.  Its engineering and materials handling equipment partner, Morgan Automation, devised and implemented a fully-automated, non-manned series of three cranes to work with two coil transfer cars accepting hot coils off the walking beam from the hot mill.  In manufacturing this system solution, Morgan turned to its longtime drives and motion control partner, Siemens, who provided a full complement of drive, plc, safety I/O, power quality meters, PCs, wireless hardware plus communication software and its TIA Portal for commissioning and monitoring on the project.  According to the president of Morgan Automation, Mark Sharamitaro, “The excellent reliability and performance of the Siemens solution on this project was invaluable in helping us achieve complete operational efficiency and zero downtime during the first six months of operation.”

Typical control cabinet houses drives and other hardware to run the crane system.

This greenfield project involved the handling of approximately 1000 coils or 30,000 tons of steel a day at the mill.  A typical coil in this yard is approximately 83” OD x 82” W and weighs 28 tons on average.  As the mill operates on a “made to order” mindset, there is a dual challenge of handling hot coils from the mill and organizing their staging for shipment by truck, rail or barge, with an additional quadrant on the ground for coils heading via the coil transfer cars provided by Morgan to the Pickling Line Tandem Cold Mill (PLTCM) on the premises.  In the proposed and enclosed coil yard, the walking beam would deliver the coils from the hot mill, then the crane grab would secure the individual coil and place it in the coil transfer car or on a saddle in the appropriate quadrant on the floor.  During low production times, the system would defrag the coil assortment into the proper positions to conserve storage space with full tracking in real time.  Each crane has a thermal imaging camera for temp sensing plus a patent-pending laser positioning system. The comprehensive data tracking is clearly displayed in the mill control room with real time KPI calculations. 

The goals for this new autonomous coil yard (ACY) included the indoor facility to reduce rust and corrosion, improved coil handling to meet the shipping protocols, reduced energy costs by eliminating lift truck handling and reducing physical distancing of coils, plus faster location of the coils on their saddles for crane handling into shipment staging areas.  Critical overall was the safety of the personnel, so a system of nine remote I/O cabinets and 21 safety gates was to be implemented.  Integration of the entire operation was to be handled by the proprietary Morgan CEPHAS logistic management system with a rules-based engine for algorithmic decision-making.  All the information management would be transmitted and handled by mill personnel, using the in-house platform and virtual private network (VPN). 

With those logistics, performance goals and system integration requirements, Morgan began the process of working with the Siemens team to utilize the full range of product and software options for construction of the optimum materials handling, motion control and data management system for the ACY.   According to Mark Sharamitaro, “We were bringing our established CEPHAS warehouse management system to this challenge and seeking to marry it to a single user interface, driven by the rules established by our customer, so there’s essentially a single bucket of data on each coil.”  In that “bucket” are all the physical characteristics and temperature of the coil plus the determined location for placement.  All these data are transmitted through a series of Siemens SINAMICS drive modules, SIMATIC PLCs and the SINEMA network monitoring server, complemented by WinCC V16 supervisory control for monitoring over long distances.  In addition, Siemens offered its SCALANCE wireless suite of ethernet switches and access points to communicate the ring topology and VLAN data to the mill control room personnel.

Morgan technician programs the Siemens PLC to coordinate with the Morgan CEPHAS system for ACY control

The Siemens SIPLUS controller components were used outside of the e-house because of the higher ambient temperatures, as these devices are built for more hostile environments.  Sharamitaro reported that the Morgan team actually tested these components beyond their published ratings, so his team knew they would perform in this application, especially at the moment when the crane would pick up a hot coil and hoist it up near the trolley with the controls onboard. 

Sharamitaro also noted the need for an embedded quality system to identify secondary coils on the floor and determine their transfer path.  As each coil is grabbed, a full battery of sensors, switches, I/O power supply, drives, PLCs and wireless communication sends information from the crane trolley directly to the control house.  The three 190-ton cranes are thus fully synchronized for handling the incoming coils from the hot mill plus the placement of the coils in the transfer cars and staging lines.  The information feeds the CEPHAS system of Morgan Automation, which makes the algorithmic determinations for each coil, based on predetermined parameters set by the mill.  An extremely efficient and reliable system of coil handling is achieved, as a result. 

Mill personnel (as shown in the video link) cannot access any of the four quadrants in the ACY if the lockout devices are engaged. The ground-based safety system literally “asks” the crane for permission before allowing personnel to access the area. 

CEPHAS logistic management system tracks every coil being handled

Leading the project for Siemens were Roland Najbar, business development manager, as well as Rick Ludlow, account manager, both focused in the crane industry.  Najbar comments on this project, “Once we had the full requirements from Morgan, we went to work assembling our motion control and material handling product and software suites to accommodate them.  The need for fully unattended operation and wireless communication in the mill presented some challenges, but our team responded with a combination of time-tested drive, wireless and PLC products as well as some newer offerings such as the SINEMA network monitoring system.”  He further noted that Morgan took the Siemens offerings to new heights of performance, through the integration with CEPHAS, the Morgan logistic management system that performs inventory tracking and routes every coil from the mill to the shipping stage in a time-sensitive and deterministic order of motion. 

The SINAMICS drives interface with the SIMATIC S7-1500 PLCs on this application to seamlessly distribute data and commands through a network of safety I/O, also supplied by the Siemens crane team. 

Najbar also cited the intentional redundancy in the drive safety and production isolation that allowed the cranes to keep working independently but in a highly integrated manner to achieve a non-stop production environment at the mill.  Through the Siemens SIMATIC S7-1500TF PLC, integrated safety is provided, along with the drives in this system.  The open communication protocol on the PLC allows for C++ high-level language applications, such as protocol converters, database connectivity, complex algorithms such as those on the Morgan CEPHAS system plus integration of crane vision systems and laser trackers. 

CEPHAS system provided by Morgan tracks the position and status of every coil in the ACY, divided by grid location for staging of shipments.

To evidence the energy savings, Siemens also provided its PAC3200 power meters that track and record power consumption ongoing in a system and efficiently communicate data over a network protocol.  Another key component in the Siemens solution here was the SINAMICS S120 Smart Line Module for crane applications, which features onboard regenerative drive.  This feature takes the excess motor power from a crane hoist, for example, during descent and feeds it to another component in the system or back to the grid for trackable energy savings to the customer.  Further, this Smart Line Module has particular application in the crane world, as it features a line-commutated infeed that is enhanced by the use of IGBTs that avoid commutation faults typical of thyristor-based rectifiers.

Morgan Automation is sister company to Morgan Engineering and part of the Morgan Industries group of companies, which has served the steel industry for over 150 years.  Morgan designs, engineers, builds, commissions and services its systems.  Morgan Engineering is well known throughout the world as the leading designer of overhead electric traveling cranes, a holder of thousands of patents and designs, and manufacturer of more than 30,000 cranes. In addition to custom overhead cranes for aluminum companies, steel mills, electric power plants, refuse facilities, container handling and general industry, Morgan manufactures equipment such as transfer cars, ladles, scrap buckets, presses, manipulators and large fabrications.  It has been in a close supplier relationship with Siemens Motion Control for over a decade. 

For a full video on this coil handling operation, please click here:

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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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Exact Metrology Scans Sculpture by Tennessee Artist

Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company, a comprehensive 3D metrology service provider and hardware sales company, recently scanned a sculpture by a Memphis, Tennessee artist, Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo, a resident at Crosstown Arts in Memphis.

The sculpture is based on a growing sinkhole that has not been fixed and is getting worse. Cornejo was looking for a metrology company that could capture all the details. An artist friend, who had worked with Exact Metrology in the past, recommended the company to her. After contacting Exact Metrology, Sarah Elizabeth sent her sculpture to the company’s Cincinnati, Ohio location for CT scanning. The sculpture was made so that it could be held.

Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo
Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo

CT scanning is an x-ray methodology yielding 3D results by placing an object on a rotational stage between an x-ray tube and an x-ray detector, rotating the object 360 degrees and capturing images at specific intervals. In order to render the 3D x-ray model of the part or object, the images are then reconstructed. CT visualization software allows users to slice through in any direction to produce optimal views and images required for the analysis of the internal configuration.  CT scanning is the only way to get 3D views inside a part and also the only way to get true dimensional data without cutting up or destroying the object. In addition, very little time is required to capture data and troubleshoot parts. Lastly, a single scan can be used for void analysis, inspection, volume, porosity, reverse engineering, etc.

Powered by CT scanning, company personnel were able to send Cornejo the data she needs to scale it to the purposes of a 10 foot sculpture. The sculpture will be installed on the campus of the University of Memphis. The sculpture is immersive, so visitors will be able to walk into it. It is made of hardware cloth, aluminum fencing, epoxy clay, asphalt from Memphis and acrylic paint. The interior has reflective beads.

Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo is an interdisciplinary artist. Her work proposes a futuristic mythology for humanity where humans have evolved into hybrid beings with animals and insects. She is the co-founder and co-curator of BASEMENT, a provisional artist-run space in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She is also a 2021 New Public Sculpture Fellow with the Urban Arts Commission in Memphis.

Talking about her collaboration with Exact Metrology, Cornejo said, “I came into this project not having much of an idea of what was possible from a 3-D scan but having a sense of what I was hoping to do with it in order to scale up my sculpture from ten inches to ten feet. Exact Metrology was incredibly patient in taking time to learn about the project, asking what I needed out of the final scan, and then talking to me about their recommendations for how to get the information I was looking for out of my maquette. They took time to trouble shoot the different possibilities, communicated with me along the way with some progress scans, and ultimately got me the result I needed to move forward with the piece.


Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company, is ISO9001, AS9100 Certified as well as ITAR Registered. 

Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company, with facilities in Cincinnati, Ohio, Moline, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, plus affiliated offices throughout the country, is a comprehensive metrology services provider, offering customers 3D and CT scanning, reverse engineering, quality inspection, product development and 2D drawings. The company also provides turnkey metrology solutions, including equipment sales and lease/rental arrangements.   

For more information, please contact: 

Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company
Steve Young
11575 Goldcoast Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45249
Local: 513-831-6620
Toll Free: 866-722-2600
www.exactmetrology.com
stevey@exactmetrology.com

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