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ANCA launches TapXmicro - Single setup grinding of micro taps 3mm and under

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The new TapXmicro delivers superior quality achieving a pitch diameter Cpk of over 1.5 when batch grinding M1.4 x 0.3mm taps

Increasing demands for mobile devices and changes in materials are resulting in a higher consumption of thread tapping tools. Designed solely to service this market the TapXmicro brings the complete grinding package into one machine.

TapXmicro Product Manager, Duncan Thompson comments: “Almost 15 years ago ANCA launched its TapX machine, an innovation for the tap grinding industry that delivered complete tap grinding in a single setup. Building on this success, ANCA is pleased to announce the release of the TapXmicro, targeted at grinding micro taps 3mm and under.”

“When considering applications for micro taps (which can be considered as taps under M3, and can go below M1 with a thread pitch of 0.25mm), people might think of the watch making or jewellery industries, but applications for micro taps are much broader. In fact, items within arm’s reach of you right now – smart phones, glasses and consumer electronics now consume most micro taps. In fact, anywhere that miniaturisation of components is taking place is likely to see the use of micro taps, which has seen unprecedented demand over recent years. This means the opportunities for manufacturers with the capability for making such tools are large and continue to grow.”

Traditional tap manufacturing requires multiple grinding operations performed on separate dedicated machines. Combining the process into one achieves significant productivity improvements as customers no longer need to consider issues of work-in-progress management, long machine setup times and tool quality when tools were moved from one machine to the next. The TapX has been designed to address these challenges, making small batch grinding of taps commercially viable.

Duncan continues: “years of working with tap manufacturers has given ANCA a unique depth of understanding of the challenges tap manufacturers face. This experience means we have created a dedicated solution to the unique aspects of micro tap grinding – something which has never before been available on the market.”

Based off ANCA’s proven MX Linear machine platform, the 5-axis TapXmicro brings together all the tooling and software required to support complete tap grinding for sizes under M3. It includes grinding wheel pack changers for up to six wheel packs, dressers for all grinding wheels, between centre work holding that included a flexible compensating chuck system as well as CNC controlled tailstock, wheel balancing and automatic tool loading.

Of equal importance is the software that simplifies the programming of all aspects of a tap. Clever features such as form tap profile editor mean virtually any tap geometry you can imagine can be ground with the ANCA tap application software. In addition, CIMulator3D that means the complete grinding process and tool geometry can be validated off line before grinding an actual tool. This greatly reduces real machine setup time and scrap tools.

Duncan continues: “in the end, what matters most is the quality of taps being produced, and this is where the TapXmicro has proven itself. In a customer trial of batch grinding M1.4 x 0.3mm taps, the pitch diameter results delivered a Cpk of over 1.5. Inspection of tool thread relief surface finish too, showed excellent results.

“The TapXmicro was a logical extension of our tap grinding capabilities, and I am confident customers will find the versatility of the machine for micro taps up to M3, will achieve a swift return on investment,” Duncan concludes.



TapXmicro Key Benefits

• Produce a micro tap, complete, in one cycle and single chucking
• HSS or carbide taps
• Dedicated workholding solutions for holding taps with a square tang or round shank 
• Dedicated workholding ensuring low run out and repeatable grinding results
• On machine wheel dressing capability ensures tool consistency in batch grinding 
• ANCA’s proven iTap software for quick and flexible programming 
• Dedicated loading solutions for high volume unmanned production 
• Wheel dressing with either plunge to formed dresser, or profile generation
• Short cycle times and high productivity


24 April 2019