One important strategy in remaining competitive in your business today is ensuring you have the tools to adapt to your shifting markets; having the flexibility to adopt new technologies and reaping the benefits that they offer. Punch manufacturers around the world know this fact and are seeing the benefits of using ANCA TX7 Linear and TXcell Linear for their production needs.
To begin with, TX7 Linear or TXcell Linear needs to be kitted up with the right tools and accessories to do the job. ANCA has developed several accessories and options that explicitly meet the needs of the punch grinding application.
- iPunch: Dedicated punch programming software gives you complete flexibility on punch geometry and grinding process parameters.
- iBalance: On-machine wheel balancing software.
- Rotary wheel dresser units fully supported by ANCA dressing software deliver in-process dressing to keep your wheels running true and sharp.
- Auto-adjusting coolant nozzles that change position as the wheel diameter reduces.
These accessories are necessary for any good punch-grinding machine. So, what makes punch grinding on ANCA TX7 Linear so different?
Starting with the basics, TX7 Linear is a 5-axis grinding machine, compared to the 3-axis grinder more traditionally used for punch manufacture. Having these extra degrees of freedom on your grinding machine translates to greater freedom in what applications you can put through it.
In the case of punch manufacture, a traditional punch grinding machine would have been capable of grinding only the outside form of the punch with a single wheel. The TX7 Linear now offers you so much more. Punches will typically have a series of separate machine operations that need to be performed to complete the tool.
So, what operations on the tool require all the additional investment and effort?
After OD grinding a punch may require a roof-top or whisper shear on the punch. Additionally, a tool index mark or feature may also need to be included near the shank of the tool. Typical punches include a single radius dressed into the grinding wheel to create a gentle transition between the punch section of the tool and its shank, but in some cases, additional reinforcement radii are added. Finally, there is the inclusion of ejector holes in the end face of the punch that requires not grinding but drilling operations.
With two-wheel packs available on the 5-axis TX7 Linear, undertaking several of these operations in a single set-up is now possible. But take the next step to a TXcell, with its offering of nine up to 24-wheel packs, and all these operations can now be done in a single set-up, something that was never possible on a standard punch grinding machine.
The TXcell robot used for changing wheel packs is also used for automated loading of tools, which means you can keep it running for those unattended shifts. Having more than one wheel pack on the machine brings other benefits too. By using different roughing and finishing wheels, grinding operations can now be optimized for stock removal or fine surface finish.
The TX7 Linear and TXcell Linear are also ideally suited to the use of CBN grinding wheels. Using a much smaller wheel diameter (up to 8 in. (200 mm) on TX7 Linear and 12 in. (300 mm) on TXcell Linear), CBN not only delivers superior grinding feed rates compared to conventional abrasives but also requires less frequent wheel dressing. Both properties ultimately save you time and money.
Many customers manufacturing punch tools can demand the highest possible accuracy in terms of dimensional tolerances and surface finish quality. The TX7 Linear and TXcell Linear machines can meet these demands easily to grind punches within 2 to 3 microns with a surface finish of less than 0.1 Ra (Roughness Average).
Keyhole Punches—a Key Benefit of ANCA’s Premium TX Machines
The TX7 Linear and TXcell Linear have one final trump card to offer the punch grinding application: keyhole punches. These punches typically feature much more complicated OD profiles including concave forms and require a fundamentally different approach to grinding them. Small diameter wheels with form profiles and run at high RPM; the TX Linear machines handle this with ease.
Dedicated keyhole punch software allows you to control every detail of the keyhole punch geometry and grinding process. This means the possible punch applications on TX7 machines have been opened to an entirely new segment of the punch-grinding market, giving you more opportunities to be making money from your investment.
In fact, if businesses in the punch-grinding industry turns down to such a point the machine has spare time available, then re-tooling your machine to ANCA’s bread and butter application of drill or endmill manufacture is a simple exercise.
ANCA’s TX7 Linear and TXcell Linear offer you a complete step forward in enhanced punch production flexibility and automation. Diversity like this not only opens new markets and business opportunities but also delivers future commercial security.