ANCA TX Linear Leads the Way in Tackling Long Drill Production Challenges

January 12, 2024 9:59 am

Long drills present several difficulties and challenges in the production process. Their elongated physical size is not the only concern; ensuring accuracy throughout the entire length of the tool can be equally challenging. The extended nature of these drills introduces a host of potential issues that need to be carefully addressed.

 

One challenge is the need to control grinding forces consistently throughout the entire length of the tool. This is crucial because long drills are designed to create holes that are not only accurate but also maintain their straightness over extended distances. The reduction of deflection caused by grinding forces is important. When fluting the drill in the shortest possible time, high feed rates and forces are necessary. It becomes crucial to find ways to minimize deflection while maintaining the required machining efficiency.

Another concern is runout, which refers to the error that occurs when the tool deviates from the center axis at an angle. While a standard setup may allow for an acceptable 5 µm runout for a 100mm tool, the same setup could result in up to 40µm runout for a 400mm tool. Achieving acceptable runout becomes a priority when dealing with such lengthy tools, as it directly impacts the performance of the tool.

Additionally, long drills often feature coolant holes integrated within their bodies. To ensure proper functioning, these coolant holes must be correctly identified by the machine during the machining process, avoiding any damage that could impede their functionality. Managing grinding forces and preserving the integrity of coolant holes are critical considerations when working with long drills.

By addressing the challenges of tool deflection, runout, fluting, and coolant holes, ANCA’s integrated solutions and software capabilities provide a comprehensive approach to effectively produce long drills with accuracy and efficiency.

ANCA’s TX7 is the machine for long drill production

ANCA is the only CNC grinding machine manufacturer with complete vertical integration in its manufacturing process. This integration not only fosters innovation across all aspects of design and production but also enables ANCA to respond swiftly and effectively to demanding requirements with unique solutions.

The TX7 machine’s powerful 37kW (49hp) direct drive spindle, facilitates the efficient grinding of long drills without putting excessive strain on the machine. It boasts a spacious working envelope and a 6th axis with a traveling steady support that can be positioned strategically to provide support in the grinding zone, allowing for the accommodation of tool lengths of up to 480mm. This setup eliminates deflection and minimizes vibrations caused by grinding forces on the tool. It also addresses the issue of runout, as the steady supports enable compensation control to mitigate runout errors effectively.

One of the remarkable advantages of the TX platform is its ability to grind drills from start to finish in a single setup. This capability grants greater flexibility in production, enabling the manufacture of both high-volume tools and highly customized tools on the same machine with minimal hassle. Customers opting for the TX7 model with a robot cell can achieve fully automated manufacturing, unlocking new possibilities and efficiencies for their operations.

 

ANCA’s specialized software for long drills

ANCA offers several software solutions for long drill production. The first is ToolRoom, which provides a drill wizard as a standard feature. This wizard is a great starting point and includes convenient features like wheel pack auto-select. Users can easily add and define coolant holes in the blank editor for simulation. The software also integrates many tool features, including advanced ones like S Gash, K land, C land, and variable helix. The ToolRoom software also includes runout compensation capabilities, providing further adjustments to compensate for runout errors.

For formed flutes, ANCA offers iFlute software. Long drills often require specific flute forms, and iFlute simplifies the process. Users can simply import their DXF file, and iFlute will determine the wheel profile and grinding paths accordingly.

To simulate the tool grind and account for machine features, ANCA provides CIM3D. Users can add all the necessary machine features to the simulation, including a 6th axis, to determine the setup and control before proceeding to the actual grinding process. Not only can users set up the required operations, but they can also optimize the grind from their desk with accurate simulations of all features. CIM3D includes intuitive coolant hole collision detection within the simulation, ensuring that potential issues are identified and addressed beforehand.

ANCA’s comprehensive integration, combined with the advanced features and software of the TX platform, establishes the company as a flexible and agile provider of grinding solutions. With this powerful combination, ANCA effectively meets a wide range of challenging demands in long drill production.

Overview

  • ANCAcrete is a unique ANCA innovation that provides excellent dampening and thermal properties, delivering a robust polymer concrete base with high stability on which to grind
  • 2 position wheelpack changer as standard for quick and easy change of wheel packs in under 8 seconds
  • Bi symmetrical gantry design provides the large TX platform with the high stability required for exceptionally high precision grinding of large tools. This design has the grinding spindle center of rotation on the machine centerline, delivering high rigidity while mitigating the effects of thermal growth.
  • LinX linear motors drive all the linear axes, with a unique counterbalance design to counter gravity for the Z-axis.
  • The powerful 37kw direct-drive spindle are the “muscles” of the machine, with unparalleled strength and creativity to achieve superior surface finish and depth of cut
  • The addition of the 6th Axis (P-Axis) provides support when and where it is needed. Using workholding such as Arobotech offers an automated travelling support at the grind point during production.
  • Measurement options such as probing and LaserUltra, can be utilized throughout the tool production process, from digitizing tool features and compensation to quality control
  • Optional headstock and/or secondary dresser to automatically maintain wheel forms at specified intervals
  • More unique solutions are available through the TXcell automation – including unattended operation, and unique camera systems to detect coolant hole positions on the tool before being loading into the machine for grinding

 

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