ANCA, a Melbourne-based manufacturer of CNC grinding machines, has developed a hybrid 3D printing system for manufacturing custom-designed machining tools.
Prior to taking its new platform to market, ANCA will collaborate with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Sutton Tools to improve the 3D printing process. It will also receive support and funding from the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC), a non-profit organization dedicated to growing advanced manufacturing in Australia.
“Australia’s future prosperity lies in advanced manufacturing, in making complex things. It is the answer to many of the challenges that face us be it energy, efficiency, resources, productivity, and value,” comments Managing Director of AMGC, Jens Goennemann.
“What ANCA, CSIRO and Sutton Tools have developed is a better value product that uses less raw material, is more durable and is manufactured here.”
The hybrid additive manufacturing machine platform
Founded in 1974, ANCA has grown to become a leading manufacturer of CNC grinding machines, motion controls and sheet metal solutions, with over 1,000 employees working within the firm. Its global headquarters are located in Melbourne, and 99 percent of the company’s products are exported to overseas customers in over 45 countries. The company has offices in the UK, Germany, China, Thailand, India, Japan, Brazil and the USA.
ANCA has now developed a new production platform that leverages both additive and subtractive manufacturing technologies in order to provide custom-designed Tungsten-carbide cutting tools in a single machine. As such, ANCA has designed the machine to manufacture tools more economically than traditional methods for the global $2.2 billion cutting tool market.
The hybrid manufacturing project builds on previous research and development between ANCA and CSIRO. Both were engaged in a six-month pilot program funded by the Victorian Government’s Boost Your Business voucher scheme. Working together, ANCA and CSIRO have demonstrated that tools could be made cheaper through improved production efficiencies compared to traditional Tungsten products using additive manufacturing.
Once the project is complete, ANCA will be able to commercialize its new hybrid additive manufacturing machine platform, with the aim of filling a gap in the global tooling market.
“Such a complex project and process wouldn’t be possible without the support of trusted partners such as CSIRO, Sutton Tools and AMGC,” ANCA’s research and technology manager, Dean McBain, added. “We rely on working with organisations like CSIRO who have the laboratory, equipment and knowledge that we do not have. Sutton Tools are also hugely important as they provide practical input from the end-user perspective. Collaborating with others is vital and it makes sense to partner with organisations like them.”
CSIRO and 3D printing in Australia
CSIRO is an Australian federal government agency responsible for scientific research. Its chief role is to improve the economic and social performance of industry; it has engaged in a number of 3D printing projects, in turn helping to advance the Australian 3D printing market. Its efforts include the development of an advanced manufacturing roadmap for the Australian government, and a collaboration with Australian 3D printer manufacturer Aurora Labs to advance and commercialize 3D printing.
CSIRO is also responsible for developing the Titomic Kinetic Fusion (TKF) process being commercialized by Melbourne-based Titomic. Recently, Titomic signed an AUD $25.5 million equipment sales agreement with Composite Technology, a global defense supplier, to provide two if its TFK systems to the firm.
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Featured image shows ANCA machine. Photo via ANCA.