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ANCA Sheet Metal Solutions Appoints Nicholas Doyle As General Manager

ANCA Sheet Metal Solutions Appoints Nicholas Doyle As General Manager

Nicholas Doyle replaces Frank Holzer as the General Manager of ANCA Sheet Metal Solutions (ASM) at a time of significant growth for the company. Nicholas brings over 25 years’ experience in leadership, engineering, manufacturing, systems and quality to help strengthen the business.

“It is an exciting time to join ASM as we continue to welcome new customers and take on exciting projects. Moving to the new facility in 2019 brought a new era of professionalism in our 20-year history. As well as a new name and brand, the changes that Frank led in 2019 set up ASM with the capabilities to grow our manufacturing capacity and offer our customers even greater quality solutions,” said Nicholas Doyle, ANCA Sheet Metal Solutions General Manager.

ASM are an Australian owned business and offer a comprehensive set of services integrating cutting-edge sheet metal fabrication equipment with a workforce of qualified manufacturing engineers, technicians and welders. The skilled team, based in Thailand, are practiced in transforming a concept into a well-priced, high quality product.

“We offer a premium service with capabilities in engineering; laser cutting; waterjet cutting; folding and forming equipment; welding and painting; assembly and testing and take a lean manufacturing approach. It is a pivotal time to join ASM, as we build on our foundations to produce high quality metal fabrication products – growing our product ranges and manufacturing team,” Nicholas concluded.

Nicholas, a qualified Engineer, worked as a Mechanical Engineer at Bredo Mators in Melbourne, Australia before joining the ANCA Group as a CAD CAM Engineer. After four years working for ANCA Australia he moved to ANCA CNC Machines Thailand to manage the factory transition into a larger facility and subsequently became the Manufacturing Manager for that new Thailand facility.

Bringing over 25 years’ experience in CNC machining and automation, Nicholas will focus on cost reduction and process improvements and aims to develop a strong ASM team focused on customer satisfaction.


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The Challenges And Opportunities In EV Manufacturing

The Challenges and Opportunities in EV Manufacturing

Xiaoyu Wang of ANCA discusses the new challenges in electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing, how EVs will impact the traditional automotive manufacturing industry, and the new opportunities in this global trend.

Xiaoyu Wang

Founded in the 1974 by two engineers, Pat Boland and Pat McCluskey, in Melbourne, Australia, ANCA has become an industry leader for CNC tool and cutter grinding machines, motion controls and sheet metal solutions. Known for its cutting edge technologies and continuous innovation, ANCA’s comprehensive product line includes the FX, MX and TX series CNC machines, as well as its latest integration and automation solutions with the ANCA Integrated Manufacturing System (AIMS). ANCA sells to a wide range of industries including aerospace, medical, automotive, electronics and tool manufacturers. 

The company’s growth over the past 45-plus years has been driven by a series of innovations that have revolutionised the production of cutting tools and have impacted the whole of manufacturing. Due to the niche market that ANCA services, it exports 99% of its products with customers in over 45 countries. It has offices in the UK, Germany, China, Thailand, India, Japan, Brazil, and the United States, as well as a comprehensive network of representatives and agents worldwide. 

In this interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), Xiaoyu Wang, ANCA’s Product Manager for Gear Tool, discussed the new challenges presented by electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing, how EVs will impact the traditional automotive manufacturing industry, and the new opportunities in this global trend. 


Xiaoyu Wang (XW): From a CNC tool and cutter supplier’s point of view, EV’s growth in the market is a challenge as well as a revolutionary opportunity. In 2017, 11.8 percent of cutting tool consumption was for automotive manufacturing. However, the rise of EVs and the associated manufacturing changes will significantly impact this. The machining time required for pure EVs will reduce by 50–75 percent compared with traditional internal combustion engines (ICEs). This will result in a decline in overall cutting tool consumption as ICE vehicles’ production stops. Recently, General Motors has pledged to stop making gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.

Declining demand for cutting tools is an existential challenge, especially for our customers who serve the automotive industry. However, EVs also provide many opportunities. The new skiving cutters required for manufacturing  the internal gears used in EV transmission is a significant one.

About 45 percent of all gear production is for vehicle transmission. EVs have changed the requirements for the gear industry. For example, the high engine speed of up to 20,000 rpm means a higher gear ratio is required to reduce the speed for efficiency. Additionally, the planetary gear system is more prevalent in the new electric transmission design.

In a planetary gear set, the external gears need to be ground, for which the current production process of hobbing and then grinding can easily accommodate. The problem is with the internal ring gear. Traditionally, the internal gears are produced with shaping or broaching; however shaping is slow while broaching relies on cumbersome tooling. 

Efficiency poses multiple challenges, and EVs noise emission is also of a much higher priority for customers. Some drivers complain that an EV leaves a high pitch ringing in the ear even after driving.  This means gears for EVs need to meet even tighter tolerances. As such the quality requirement has increased from DIN 10 to DIN 6 for the internal gears. The gear industry sees hard skiving as a revolutionary process to produce the millions’ internal ring gears needed for EVs.

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An Industry In High Demand

An Industry in High Demand

Tom Nathan of ANCA explains how demand for carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) growing at 9.3 percent per year leads to huge potential for cutting tool manufacturers. 

Using strengthening fibres embedded in a supporting material has been around since the dawn of time. From mud brick houses reinforced with straw to the first composite bows made with wood, bone and pine resin, it was recognised that composites deliver superior compressive and tensile properties. 

The transportation, low-carbon energy generation, aerospace, defence, civil construction and sporting goods industries have all adopted composites for their high-performance and low weight applications—and the demand continues to grow year-on-year. A report by Credence Research in 2019 estimates a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.3% for Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastics (CFRP) during the period 2017-2025. Growth in the poly-crystalline diamond (PCD) tool market has been double that of standard carbide cutting tools over recent years, making it an outstanding opportunity for tool manufacturers looking to be active at the leading edge of cutting tool technology. 

Tom Nathan, product manager at ANCA, has witnessed the huge increase in inquiries in this area – reflecting a growing demand by tool manufacturers to produce cutting tools to service this market. “Commercial applications for composite materials continues to grow year-on-year with the market space for cutting tools also expanding. With superior strength to weight ratios, CFRP is being used in a wide variety of low weight structural applications from planes, cars, turbines and even drones,” he says.

Cutting tool manufacturers are creating and adopting a variety of cutting tool designs and technologies—developing new tooling for the wide variety of composites used today. ANCA has been working closely with its customers to design innovative solutions that help address these needs, creating new tool geometries and machine technologies that can erode and grind market-leading CFRP solutions.

Understanding the Composite Market

Industries today use a variety of composite-matrix materials (epoxies, phenolics, polyimides) and fibres (carbon, Kevlar, glass) to suit varying applications with very different material properties. In metal cutting, the creation and evacuation of chips serve to remove heat from the point of cutting. In a polymer matrix composite, the matrix tends to be soft but very tough. When analysed at the micro level, machining of polymer matrices does not form chips, but rather a fine ‘dust’ that results from localised micro-fracturing. This matrix dust does not readily dissipate heat from the cutting edge as the matrix material generally has a very low thermal conductivity. 

Nathan states that this creates significant problems when using ferrous (iron) based cutting tools for machining composites. “The increased heat leads to localised thermal expansion and lower yield strength which varies the tool geometry, ultimately leading to premature wear,” he says.

The next challenge comes from the embedded fibres. These fibres are strong, stiff and highly abrasive when machined. Different composite materials utilise different fibre orientation methods to aid the mechanical properties sought. Fibre forms can be unidirectional, fabric weaves, braided or even chopped which makes the composite materials behave very differently when being machined.

To complicate matters more, Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastics (CFRP) can be layered with backing materials comprised of aluminium or titanium to aid strength and rigidity. Alone, these substrates require their own types of tooling geometries, however, varying layers of these materials with matrix composites materials demands tool geometries that can cater for a wide variety of machining operations with dramatically different cutting properties. 

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