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Clamping Down on Tool Run-out

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Trends within the tool manufacturing industry have changed over the years. Development of new materials and manufacturing methods such as high speed milling means customers are demanding better tool performance. This has resulted in new tool geometries and greater accuracy.

One of the key factors in precision tool manufacturing is tool run-out. Ten years ago 10 microns tool-run out was considered acceptable, then the market demanded 5microns, and now the latest expectation is often as tight as 3 microns.

For tool manufacturers that demand exceptional tool run-out ANCA recommends the Precision Clamp Steady as it helps reduce both tool run- out and deflection.

Precision Clamp Steady shown with micro-adjust pop-up steady

The Precision Clamp Steady is an accessory for the ANCA RX7and MX7 tool grinders that acts to support the tool blank to achieve exceptionally tight run-out specifications. Whilst it has been available since 2006, ANCA have continued to refine and improve its usability and accuracy so that ANCA now guarantee less than 3 microns run out on a tool blank, measured at 50mm from the collet face (RX7/MX7 model only).

Remove Both Clamping and Deflection Sources of Tool Run-out


As the name suggests, the Precision Clamp Steady consists of two distinct items – the V-block Clamp and the Steady – each with its own separate function.

The V-Block Clamp combats both axial and radial run out, the errors caused by the tool not running true to the centre line during rotation. It does this by fixing the tool between an overhead clamping finger and a V-block. Downward pressure by the finger causes the tool to run true to the V-block channel, deterring any tendency for the tool to rotate off-centre.

At the other end of the tool, the Steady combats deflection, the natural tendency for the workpiece to be pushed away under the load of the grinding wheel. By securing the end of the tool in a V-shaped shoe, the Steady provides the support needed to resist deflection.

Precision Clamp Steady shown in Cim3D

Together, the two units make-up a system that has proven to be capable of achieving a consistent run-out of less than 3 microns measured at 50 mm from the end of the collet. The great advantage of the Precision V-Block Clamp and Steady is that the system is capable of keeping this level of accuracy across an entire batch of tools.

Thanks to fine adjusting mechanisms that ensure complete degrees of freedom and accuracy, the system is simple to set up and can be used for tools in the diameter range 1 to 13mm.

If need be, the two separate components can be used independently of each other, which is ideal for short tools typical in the micro tool range.

The Precision Clamp Steady is available as a new machine, or aftermarket, option on the RX7 and MX7 models in the ANCA CNC tool and cutter grinder range.

13 June 2011