Anca Accuracy Down Under: Measuring endmill geometries within +/- 2 microns
CNC machine manufacturer Anca combines leading-edge technology with operating simplicity. The company's Laser-Plus and MX7 Linear tool grinding machine is the winning combination to produce superior-quality, high-performance cutting tools.
In the tool industry, it is known that precision machining of moulds and die-casting requires line-form accuracy of ballnose and corner radius endmills. This accuracy is important for achieving high uniformity of the manufactured component. Australia-based Anca says it provides the technology to produce highly accurate endmill profiles for cutting tool manufacturers.
The company's Laser-Plus is a product for tool measurement. It is meant to improve the grinding accuracy of ballnose and corner radius tools with a built-in laser probe that can measure and compensate tool geometries in the manufacturing process within +/- 2 microns or less.
The second generation of Laser-Plus, according to Anca, has incorporated grinding data from customers that had used the laser in their daily manufacturing processes to develop a better and more accurate product. New enhancements help operators achieve high levels of precision and productivity when grinding cutting tools on the MX7 Linear, Anca says. Measuring and then compensating tools inside the machine in process enables users to reduce scrap, maintain tolerances and increase production.
Grinding corner radius and ballnose on pre-ground OD endmills
Many customers grind large batches of tools with the overall diameter (OD) finished ground, but do not grind the end face. This approach enables tool manufacturers to keep large amounts of OD finished tools in stock waiting for end face grinding (ballnose or corner radius) in smaller batches to meet their customer’s specific requirements.
This strategy shortens lead times and offers improved service to the end user of the tools, Anca says. According to the company, Laser-Plus has the capability to measure pre-ground OD and match the end-face grinding for corner radius and ballnose tools.
Second generation Laser-Plus has an option to digitise long and short flutes separately and find the larger diameter flute (long or short) and compensate. Maximum diameter compensation does not compensate the difference between long and short flutes, rather, it compensates all flutes by the error measured on the maximum set of flutes. In the case of three flutes, the laser digitises all edges separately, finding the largest diameter and then compensates.
In many cases, tool manufacturers need to supply measurement reports with the ground tool to verify tolerances and compliance standards have to be met. Standard to the Laser-Plus feature is the capability to produce a measurement report for ballnose and corner-radius type tools (measurement reports for profile are already available).
One important note is the errors measured on Laser-Plus is based on the nominal arc radius whereas some external measurement device may be based upon the “best fit” profile. This feature is another significant enhancement to enable customers to meet the expected quality protocols demanded by the market.
Laser-Plus, Anca says, takes customers to the next level in terms of usability. The enhancements provide customers more flexibility in the in-process measurement capability inside a grinding machine.