Sustainability often begins on the factory floors of industry. The best example of this is the cooperation between Mitsubishi Electric and its long-standing partner ANCA Europe GmbH. The principle behind this collaboration is that end users get the best the market can deliver so that they can meet the current and future needs of their customers to the highest degree possible.
ANCA is a leading manufacturer of tool grinding machines. And gearing is becoming increasingly important in the target industries of the company founded in Australia. Shaping of this kind is familiar, for example, from the internal gearing of a planetary gear. However, these shapes are also more susceptible to defects because they are becoming progressively smaller and, in addition, more complex in their contours. The issue of sustainability is a key factor here. The boom in electromobility has led to huge demand for complex gearing (this is a strategic focus). And that’s not all.
For gearboxes in aviation are also being built increasingly lighter and more durable, and energy efficiency is also a major issue here. Even the tiniest components such as pinions can contribute a great deal to this. Engineers in the sector are already stressing the vital importance of gearing.
And now Mitsubishi Electric EDM (electrical discharge machining) is coming into play. Mitsubishi Electric’s EDM machines known as EDM-DRESS are excellent for dressing metal-bonded grinding wheels, which are vastly superior to the resin-bonded grinding wheels still commonly used. They are much more dimensionally stable and allow significantly higher grinding feed rates. This means that the e-mobility-driven challenge of improving precision and efficiency while reducing costs can be met with metal-bonded grinding wheels machined on the Mitsubishi Electric EDM-DRESS.
Skiving is six to eight times more efficient than moulding, more flexible than broaching and is capable of creating internal and external meshing.
As a result, the grinding wheels conditioned on Mitsubishi Electric EDM-DRESS machines enable ANCA machine tools to perfectly meet its customers’ high complexity requirements. This cooperation is of great benefit for all customer groups, especially with regard to the increasingly demanded skiving.
The first successfully implemented joint projects already illustrate the advantages of the EDM-DRESS in daily production. After only a short period of use, customers are reporting enormous improvements in the precision of the manufactured tools, as well as major productivity gains in the triple-digit percentage range.
When Pat McCluskey and Pat Boland founded ANCA over 40 years ago in 1974, they purchased a mini computer for $4,000. Their basic idea was to replace the hardwired controls of the time with a standard computer. Adding the computer to NC thus CNC resulted in a much more powerful and flexible technology than the hardwired logic designs that were current at the time.
Today ANCA is a thriving business with over 1,000 employees and a world leading manufacturer of CNC grinding machines, motion controls and sheet metal solutions. While the global headquarters remain located in Melbourne, Australia; due to the niche market it services, it exports 99% of its products with customers in over 45 countries and offices in the UK, Germany, China, Thailand, India, Japan, Brazil and the USA as well as a comprehensive network of representatives and agents worldwide.
Name and place of company:
ANCA Europe GmbH
72 (ANCA Group: 1100)
1991 (ANCA Group: 1974)
Mechanical engineering company in Weinheim, Baden-Württemberg. Leading global manufacturer of CNC grinding machines, motion control systems and sheet metal solutions. ANCA has changed tool grinding for good with its innovative ideas and technologies.
ANCA Europe GmbH
Im Technologiepark 15
Tel +49 6201 84669 40
Fax +49 6201 87508 13
We have long seen our role as that of partners serving our customers. The cooperation with Mitsubishi has grown naturally, so to speak, and makes sense for all parties involved. We expect further benefits from the current, closer cooperation. And in terms of integration in the meeting of customer requirements. For the user, it is always advantageous when two processes that are in essence so closely linked, such as grinding and dressing, come more or less from a single source. With ever higher expectations of precision, cycle times and geometrical complexity, this is becoming even more important. For ANCA, integration along the process chain is also a strategic focus.
AIMS is, after all, a holistic solution for our customers’ end-to-end toolmaking challenges. In other words, optimised manufacturing with linked-up tool production processes that are integrated into the customers’ IT systems.
And AIMS is a modular and growing concept. This year, at the flagship trade fairs GrindingHub in Stuttgart and IMTS in Chicago, we will be showing the automated, integrated process from job scheduling to the finished ground tool, linked to the company’s systems. This amounts to medium-level integration. Our clear objective is to expand the processes that can be integrated, and this will certainly include dressing with the aid of EDM-DRESS from Mitsubishi in the longer term.
Skiving places high demands on the machine and the tool. The precision and complexity of the profiles demand finely balanced, high-precision processes, which incidentally also applies to other important applications such as other gear cutting tools and even taps. The coordination of the processes and ongoing refinement in the collaborative development process are crucial for users here.
The figures for skiving are impressive – the market has recently been growing at a constant rate of 30 per cent per year. The growth is driven by e-mobility, but also by power generation, for example. In principle, it’s all about greater accuracy and smaller, more closely spaced gear teeth with challenging interference contours. The higher efficiency and accuracy compared to comparable processes are pushing the demand for skiving tools.
Definitely. The existing applications alone are set to grow steadily, considering the social, political and economic importance of e-mobility. But they will certainly be joined by other applications.
EDM dressing is already in a different league than comparable processes, always of course with regard to the process conditions and efficiency. For certain geometries, we know there is no alternative to erosive dressing, but its superior productivity also justifies the investment in an EDM-DRESS from our point of view. Otherwise we would not be so clearly in favour of the product.
As mentioned, it is in line with our higher-level strategy to support our customers fully in all aspects of the overall process of tool production and as comprehensively as possible. This cooperation contributes to this. Our customers appreciate this and also tell us so. For example, a customer planning to launch the production of taps recently paid a visit to us at our Weinheim showroom during our Technology Days. For this customer, the joint presentation including a demo on the Mitsubishi machine on site was of massive value and contributed to his planning security for this strategic step.
ANCA Europe GmbH
Fields marked with a * are mandatory.
Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V.
D - 40882 Ratingen
Tel.: +49 (0)2102 / 486 - 6120
Tel.: +49 (0)2102 / 486 - 7600
Tel.: +49 (0)2102 / 486 - 7700
Tel.: +49 (0)2102 / 486 - 7500