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Enabling ‘agile’ manufacturing with new technology

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Many tool manufacturers of small high quality drills have little choice on how to manufacture their product. Constricted to 50-year-old technology the throughput was slow and, because it took up to two days to change set-ups for different drill sizes, it was uneconomical for producing short runs. Material are wasted during the set-up process and when results were inconsistent across a run. The technology is also becoming very costly to maintain.

Furthermore, none of the older machines could complete the all-in-one process from raw material (a metal blank) to finished product (drills up to 6mm).

Partner with the best

 ANCA has been making tool and cutter grinders for over 40 years. We have a strong technical team who on the most part have been listening to our customers needs when deciding what technology to develop. Many of our innovations have changed the market, and the FCP4 is yet another example of where we have developed a technology to meet a real customer need. Drill makers needed a better solution for manufacturing than what was offered 50 years ago. I am sure in its time these machines would have been state of the art but the market has long since passed manual grinding by.

What we were looking for was a machine that could make an HSS drill in around 22 seconds rather than 90 seconds – in other words, high quality but at high production rates to deliver a low value product. However, ANCA CNC software would be ideal for our own application.

The FCP4 delivers is a single solution

The CNC drill machine we built, is a massive improvement over our old technology. For a start, it’s much more compact – commanding considerably less real estate on the factory floor.

Set-up takes just 20 minutes instead of a difficult fit-up ranging 4-48 hours. This means we can produce several short runs a shift, instead of long batches. The benefits of this level of flexibility to our business are that we can now keep a lower inventory and quickly replace sold stock – because it makes Just In Time manufacturing of drills in sizes of up to 6mm possible. This supports our policy of keeping our 17,000-odd catalogue items in stock – a commitment highly valued by our customers.

The set up on the new machine only calls for a single test blank instead of multiple tests. Another advantage is that it’s very precise, with perfect repeatability, so operators can set and forget. It doesn’t ‘wander’ after set up, producing the same results every time. For example, a 4mm drill doesn’t gradually start emerging as a 4.1mm drill over a run. These qualities mean we’re wasting significantly less raw materials.

Best of all, the new generation machine is very fast, greatly reducing process times and therefore cost. Together with reduced changeover times and less wastage, this makes for lower cost per part to benefit both for our own business and those of our customers.

Long-standing industry challenge – solved!

Drill manufacturers in the US, Europe and China are already showing interest in FCP4. As well as its leading-edge ANCA software system. It is a uniquely flexible and eminently well thought out solution to a long-term industry challenge.

26 June 2019