Australia’s largest manufacturer of rotary shank cutting tools, Sutton Tools, has gained market share in the highly competitive aerospace industry by producing superior tools using the linear motor technology on ANCA’s MX7.
To gain traction in the aerospace market Sutton’s needed to push the boundaries of what could be expected from a tool machining materials in the aviation industry.
“By really focusing on how we could improve the surface finish, and with the added capabilities of the linear motor, we have created a product that is delivering significant productivity gains for our customers," said Jeff Boyd, Export Manager at Sutton Tools.
"The team are now consistently achieving a longer tool life and faster cycle times in some of the higher strength materials such as titanium, which is a great result.”
“With our new MX Linear machine, we have seen dramatic improvements in the surface finish of the cutting tools. This change has been achieved by moving away from the traditional ball-screw movement on machines to a linear motor. We conducted a direct comparison as we have ANCA ball-screw grinders and have also experimented with different grinding wheel grades and grinding parameters to ensure we are achieving the best possible finish.”
A better surface finish has also allows the company to get better adhesion of coatings, and facilitates a more stable performance of cutting tools, which is important for their customers as it allows them to reduce downtime and stick to schedule.
“A company in France had been buying a competitor's brand but we saw an opportunity to make a better product and win the business. After studying surface roughness of a tool we felt that the linear motor could achieve a higher accuracy of surface finish. We conducted some tests and found that was exactly what we could achieve and now we have a tool that performs better than our competitors," Boyd said.
“To validate our grinding methods, we use an optical 3d scanning technique to measure the area surface roughness on the rake face and the cutting rake on the tools. This means we can manage our quality levels to a level of accuracy which is world class in the industry;” he concluded.
ANCA is well known in the industry for its rigid grinding machines and has combined this with its sister company, ANCA Motion’s, LinX linear motor technology. Tools ground using the linear motor have a consistently high-quality cutting edge and surface finish.
The LinX cylindrical linear motors ensure there is no loss of preload or rigidity when grinding tools and reversal errors are eliminated and higher contouring accuracy can be maintained due to a control algorithm, which is unique to ANCA.