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In-Process Measurement System Achieves Tight Tolerances During ‘Lights-Out’ Production

Lights-out manufacturing for cutting tool blank preparation is now even more productive with new ANCA technology – an in-process OD measurement system for the CPX Linear machine. ANCA continues to lead the market in developing new technology so its customers can realize the benefits of automation and higher productivity.

With a large working envelope and powerful grinding spindles to achieve the highest precision and productivity, the CPX Linear is ANCA’s solution for grinding tool blanks in a batch production. Results are measured with Statistical Process Control (SPC) as the quality control methodology, with a CpK of >1.33 on a 0.006mm diametrical tolerance achieved to meet productivity requirements. This quality control system metric proves the grinding process capability of the machine, however the wear on the grinding wheels can influence this result.

Grinding wheels and their composition design drives self-sharpening properties, holding size and shape and is critical to performance, but wheel wear during large batch grinding is inevitable in any grinding process. This can lead to the ground blanks being out of the specified tolerance. A common ‘best practice’ during production is to compensate for the wheel wear manually, but this requires operator availability 24/7, limiting lights-out production capabilities.

The CPX In-Process OD Measurement system delivers a solution that not only enables lights-out production but further increases productivity on tighter tolerances to meet a CpK of >1.33 on a 0.003mm tolerance. It is a quality control system that monitors and controls the OD of ground blanks within a batch production.

The CPX Linear performs batch grinding with high material removal rates and to tight tolerances, however the OD measurement system takes it further thanks to the SPC feature that comes standard with the OD measurement software. SPC is user-defined, and the tolerances along with the Cp and CpK values are constantly monitored, controlled, and reported to the user.

The OD measurement system is permanently mounted inside the machine and only called upon when required. Based on the set tolerances and the frequency of measurement, an accurate in-process measurement and compensation is applied to maintain the blank OD to the nominal diameter.

Santosh Plakkat, Product Manager for the CPX Linear platform says, “At ANCA we are always looking for ways to help our customers increase productivity and achieve better results in their production without compromising on quality. The CPX In-Process OD Measuring System is your productivity partner in grinding large batches of blanks unattended and with automatic process control. The system is flexible with the ability to handle multiple diameters in one setup, making it perfect for complex blank geometries/shapes and longer batch runs.”

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