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A custom solution for AB Tools: MX7 Linear autoloads and grinds Shear Hog Carbide Inserts with ANCA’s MX7 with RoboMate

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At ANCA our success has been underpinned by listening to our customer’s needs. Rather than only offer a standard product range, we often deliver custom solutions. ANCA’s Engineering team can custom design mechanical, electrical, software and process solutions to enhance the standard product range and meet unique customer requirements.


Simon Richardson, ANCA Product Manager said “developing new technology that directly addresses customers’ requirements, hopefully helping you get ahead of your competition benefits everyone. Our founders are often heard reflecting that some of our greatest product breakthroughs have originated from custom projects.”

More recently, AB Tools, Inc. – a US based specialist tool manufacturer, requested a solution to manufacture special carbide inserts. They were seeing a growing demand for this product and asked ANCA to supply a solution based on an MX7 Linear for autoloading and grinding special inserts as existing machinery and processes were not versatile enough for them to successfully meet their demands.

Alfred Lyon, AB Tools Shop Supervisor said “both Jon Baker, the President at AB Tools, and I were extremely impressed with the whole process. From our own testing to having Simon Richardson come out and scope out our needs and what we wanted to accomplish. Followed by several emails, a discussion with Pat Boland himself and then flying to Melbourne to meet with the incredible Customer Solutions team who then took our requirements and ran with it.”

“Lastly, and probably the most amazing and important part, ANCA sending out engineers to iron out all last-minute details. Basically, our goals were not merely met but exceeded!”
The engineering team was requested to deliver a solution that was able to:
  • Autoload and grind a range of AB Tools shear hog inserts.
  • Perform grinding operations in one setup
  • Meet cycle time requirements

The custom solutions engineering team delivered an enhancement to the ANCA MX7 with Robomate.  New designs developed included:
  • A modification to the loading system with custom pallets to suit the inserts. The custom pallets can hold up to 442 inserts, this capacity can easily be increased by ordering the four pallet upgrade option available on the MX7 Robomate.

  • A modification to the robot gripper head allows the robot to pick up and handle the insert/nail combination.Robot loading software was developed to enable to the machine to pick up the insert and load and unload the nail via an interchange station.

  • Custom anvil nose work holding to clamp the inserts, with the added benefit of a variable force drawbar system.This drawbar allows flexibility to grind different sized inserts and to effectively clamp different sized tooling.

  • A software interface to allow for the adjustment of specified insert parameters including – corner radius, periphery relief angle and rake face dimensions.Digitising software also verifies the insert orientation prior to grinding.

The grinding and loading process is running within the customers parameters. Inserts can be ground in a cycle time of currently less than six minutes.

Alfred concluded “ANCA impressed me from day one. Creating basically a whole new type of machine for AB Tools, Inc. is not merely impressive, it is extraordinary. We could have purchased another machine just like the one we were using but we asked ANCA for help because we wanted to expand our capabilities and simplify our process. This new machine has exceeded both desires.” 


19 November 2019