Turnkey solutions are often a must for many gear-manufacturing companies, so it makes it all the more important to deal with established experts who can provide this crucial function.
For half a century, the innovative teams behind ANCA have been doing just that.
“We don’t just provide the grinding machine and leave the customer alone; we’re providing the turnkey solution for power skiving manufacturing and more,” said Vadim Zaiser, GCX product manager at ANCA.
ANCA uses advanced software for projects and after-sales management, which is ideal for a globally operating company, ANCA’s teams combine their knowledge in order to react quickly to customer requirements all over the world, especially when it comes to gears, according to Vadim.
“With gear cutters, ANCA wants to satisfy customer needs from the very first work piece they manufacture in the GCX,” he said. “The complex topic of skiving cutters must be broken down to a simple tool design and short machine setup. Power skiving should no longer be exotic like it was when it entered the wider gear manufacturing market 10 years ago.”
ANCA has partnered with esco to provide a software for the gear-cutter design. Both cylindrical and conical shaper and skiving cutters can be designed. The esco PTM software provides a user interface to parameterize the pinion-type cutters and calculate the skiving process parameters using its Technology Module. Furthermore, a feasibility study can be conducted to get a solution if skiving is beneficial for a particular job, according to Vadim.
“With the GCX we are aiming at shortening the machine set-up time, using the data from the design software in the machine control being able to compensate the cutter’s design on the machine with no need to return to the design software — ‘First part must be in tolerance’ is the motto,” he said. “And then with ANCA’s automation solutions you can spare the night and weekend shift.”
Integrated gear tool measurement – IGTM
“ANCA’s integrated gear tool measurement (IGTM) is a state-of-the-art, in-process measurement that confirms that, not only is the finished part within quality specifications, but also that the first part is in tolerance,” he said. “ANCA has developed the GCX to conquer the challenges of grinding pinion-type cutters with the tight tolerances defined in the DIN 1829-2.”
To that end, ANCA has invested in global support for after-sales and machine demonstrations, as well as training and support for the life of the equipment, according to Vadim.
“ANCA teams seek to challenge customers needing CNC grinding applications, and we challenge ourselves to find new solutions for different applications,” he said.
Helping customers with challenges can often be a catalyst to creating new products, and bringing those new products to market to satisfy customer needs is a key part of ANCA’s global success, according to Vadim. Not only that, but working with customers at the get-go has allowed ANCA to address challenges head on while getting the end results its customers have come to expect.
“We listen to the customers’ needs,” he said. “ANCA has built up a big knowledge for special solutions for customers where the application engineers and regional sales managers can learn and see if we can solve a customer’s challenge on the spot.”
If a solution isn’t immediately available, Vadim said ANCA’s experts can request a special action. That could involve the development of new software, new hardware or finding different ways of integrating an existing machine model.
“We are always approaching customers with solutions; we don’t shy away from the challenges,” he said.
This is a key component of ANCA’s vertical integration, according to Vadim.
“With the capability of in-house control development, in-house software, and in-house built machines, we can implement machine hardware components with less engineering challenges,” he said.
This process can sometimes involve a complete design and build from Square One, but more often than not, ANCA has existing equipment and services that can be expanded to satisfy a customer’s needs.
Half century of accomplishments
For a company that’s been around for 50 years, it goes without saying that ANCA has done more than its fair share of advancing the gear-manufacturing industry. In 1986, ANCA developed the touch probe, and in 1991, it developed a manual feed for the machine operator. CIM3D simulation software was introduced in 1998; later came linear motors in 2014. In 2019, digital tool balancing was launched. More recently, the AIMS, ANCA Integrated Manufacturing System, was launched in 2020.
ANCA was founded in 1974 by Pat Boland and Pat McCluskey as Australian NC Automation, according to Vadim, but the company evolved from the very beginning from numerical control machines. In 1986, ANCA’s first 4-axis CNC tool grinder was exhibited at IMTS in Chicago. Then, in 1989, ANCA USA was founded.
That quest for excellence will, no doubt, continue as ANCA works on innovative ways to keep ahead of the trends coming in gear manufacturing, according to Vadim. That means more automation, more specialization, more closed-loop manufacturing, and more smart software that will be used to solve automated manufacturing challenges.
“ANCA has a good foundation of employees and software to offer solutions in digitization of manufacturing,” he said. “At ANCA, we see a strong trend toward manufacturing automation. from pick-and-place operations to a lights-out factory with integrated process control. For a stable continuous grinding process, ANCA can provide solutions for a range of automation challenges.”
Maybe more important than the machines and services ANCA offers is the company’s mission to interact with the next generation of workers and motivate them to enter the gear-manufacturing world, according to Vadim.
“Globally, ANCA tries to recruit people from apprenticeships and universities and offer them vibrant and challenging workspaces at ANCA,” he said. “ANCA already has significant engineering capability in Australia as well as in different engineering departments around the world. We’re seeking dedicated, smart people to join ANCA. It’s a great workplace. It’s challenging, and it’s, most importantly, never boring because of the changing applications. It’s not just the tool and cutter grinders. The applications make up a wide range, because everything must be manufactured by cutting tools, so, therefore, we have widespread applications, widespread geometries, and specific tooling. And with more automation expected, ANCA has more solutions for that dynamic development.”
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