ANCA is launching new technology to bring new benefits to its customers with the LaserPlus system on their EDGe machine. The EDGe is used to erode PCD cutting tools, which in turn are widely used in aerospace, automotive, electronics and wood industries.
Duncan Thomson, ANCA product manager, said: "The LaserPlus technology on our high performing EDGe machine is helping our customers achieve much better accuracy and reduce waste. It ensures all tools in a batch stay within target tolerances, regardless of external influences such as wheel (electrode) wear or machine growth due to thermal variation. The result is improved tool consistency, quality and reduced scrap tools."
ANCA's EDGe machine includes its proprietary eSpark generator for optimal PCD erosion results. That means that on the one-wheel spindle, two wheel packs support both erosion and grinding operations, making it a highly versatile machine. The addition of LaserPlus further enhances the machine's capabilities for customers.
First introduced on ANCA's tool grinding machines, the LaserPlus system allows newly ground tools to be automatically measured in the machine using a non-contact Blum laser system. Then if required, compensation is automatically applied to subsequent tools in the batch.
Duncan continues: "For customers manufacturing PCD cutting tools the laser technology provides real value due to the unique challenges involved with the process of electro-discharge grinding (EDG)."
"Without touching the PCD cutting edge, LaserPlus is able to measure a cutting tool feature before the final erosion pass. By doing this, the technology can identify any variation; which may, for example, be the result of thermal drift or wear on the electrode; from the nominal size and account for this in the final finishing pass. The result is that the finished tool geometry is guaranteed to be on size," he concluded.
For manufacturers of PCD tools where the cost of a PCD tool blank is considerably higher than equivalent carbide, having the security of knowing you can run a batch of tools unmanned and have none scrapped is valuable indeed.
LaserPlus also brings useful features such as automatic generation of a cutting tool measurement report that can be sent together with the tool to ensure your customer quality assurance expectations are met.