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ANCA’s new LaserUltra increases productivity and reduces waste through highly accurate and fast in-process measurement and compensation

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ANCA leads the market in inventing, developing and offering its customers the latest technology to realise the benefits of automation and lights out manufacturing. LaserUltra is the next generation of the highly popular LaserPlus, an in-process measurement technology only available with ANCA that gave customers the power to operate unmanned overnight with confidence they could retrieve their finished tools the next day within specification. LaserPlus was launched in 2014 and been around for 7 years.

The latest ToolRoom update includes continuous edge scan operations for LaserUltra. LaserUltra is a direct replacement for LaserPlus with enhanced software capabilities. End-users of the product will not notice any difference between LaserPlus and LaserUltra in functionality if they are not using the new software features which includes continuous edge scanning except name changes to some operations.

LaserPlus uses a laser to accurately measure and compensate several features on a cutting tool. This product is extremely beneficial for measuring tools in process to maintain tight tolerances. Measuring and compensating tools inside the machine will enable customers to reduce scrap, maintain tolerances and increase productivity.

Using the laser, the operator can perform accurate in-process measuring without removing tools from the machine. The laser in many cases will reduce the need for using off-line external measuring equipment. The laser used with this system is supplied by Blum Novotest, a market leader in Lasers and measurement technology. LaserUltra replicates all the existing LaserPlus features with additional edge scanning to give customers huge benefits in cycletime savings which directly increases productivity. This product functionality is a first to market from ANCA.

LaserPlus versus LaserUltra measurement methods

The LaserPlus uses a digital method to measure cutting tools along the cutting edge. The operator can choose the number of points based on accuracy and this has a direct impact on cycletime. More points translate to higher cycletime for measurements.

The LaserUltra (LC50-DIGILOG) is the latest measurement system from Blum Novotest with both digital and analog measurement capabilities. Analog measurement is a continuous edge scan which means the operator is not required to enter the number of points. The continuous edge scan is a much faster and accurate process with a reduction in cycletime by up to 75% in most cases. This is a huge benefit for end-users and productivity overall.

Key Benefits
  • Automated measuring with no operator intervention
  • Measurement consistency with reduced set-up times
  • Non-contact measuring means no tool damage possible
  • Automatic tool size compensation and reduces the need for expensive off-line measuring equipment
  • Reduction of scrap tools
  • Higher efficiency and productivity.
  • Reduces the need for expensive off-line measuring equipment
  • Top-bottom measurement maximises accuracy

List of compatible ToolTypes
  • Square Endmill
  • Corner radius Endmill
  • Chamfer Endmill
  • Ballnose Endmill
  • Profile cutters
  • Compression router
  • Lollipop cutters
  • Threadmill (OD Measurement)
  • BSB (Barrel Shape Ballnose)
  • DCREM (Double corner Radius Endmill)
  • Internal Turning Tools

LaserPlus Versus LaserUltra operations (Digital and Analog)
Note: Highlighted in green are legacy operations and in red are purchase options.
Changes to operations

Customers with existing LaserPlus hardware (no LaserUltra and no laser scanning option)
  • Will not see LaserUltra functionality/operations.
  • Operation names still shows LaserPlus.

Customers with new LaserUltra (e.g. new machine) but do not have laser scanning option
  • LaserUltra functionality will be visible but greyed out
  • Naming will reflect the LaserUltra hardware
  • Reports will show LaserUltra even for digital measurements
  • Analog scanning options/operations will be disabled but still visible.

Customers with new LaserUltra and have purchased the laser scanning purchase option
  • Will see the digital and analog functionality and be able to choose from them. 
  • All naming will match the new hardware, e.g., LaserUltra (including operations, reports, etc.)

Customers with new laser and new purchase option but want digital touch operations (e.g. LaserPlus Taper Angle, or OD SPC)
  • All operations show as LaserUltra

Customers with LaserUltra and scanning option, want to do digital measurements on profile (e.g., existing tool files)
  • Will be able to use both analog and digital measurements, so that they can compare the results.
  • If the solution becomes a single operation: when switching between digital and analog, parameter values will be stored for the type of measurement, so that the operator doesn't have to re-enter parameters all the time every time they switch between digital and analog

Customers with two machines, one old and one new, will see LaserPlus on the old and LaserUltra on the new, even though they can achieve the same digital functionality

Customers make a tool file on a machine with LC50 that uses the scanning feature, and moves the tool to a machine with LaserPlus
  • Tool file should still be able to open
  • Warning will be shown when file is opened
  • License won't be available, so scanning option (or operations) won’t be allowed 
  • Same will apply for a tool taken from one LC50 machine with the license to one with an LC50 without the license

1 February 2022