AIMS is the future of optimised cutting tool production applying smart automation that connects sequential tool production processes to offer connectivity across the whole factory
Once again ANCA is on the forefront of innovation with AIMS – ANCA Integrated Manufacturing System. An Industry 4.0 factory wide integration, AIMS is ANCA’s solution for considering the factory as a single machine. Rather than separating workflow into many different elements of design, blank preparation, grinding, laser marking, washing, packing and shipment – AIMS streamlines the entire tool manufacturing process and complementary technologies.
The GrindingHub display demonstrated the main modules of the AIMS system – an AutoSet job preparation station, AutoLine for pallet and tool transfer as well as AutoFetch – a robot responsible for material transfer between processes - pallet and individual tools between job preparation, grinding and tool measurement on ZOLLER measuring machine.
With AIMS, ANCA is responding to common challenges in the tool manufacturing sector of labour cost and availability as well as safety and production efficiencies. Access to skilled staff and the need for elimination of simple, repeatable tasks which could be easily automated – AIMS maximises grinders’ productivity and in general improves OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness). Integration with ERP systems to streamline workflows is also one of the important AIMS features.
The principles of the AIMS system are flexibility and modularity. This means each system can be tailored to an individual customer’s needs using the right building blocks – or modules. It can scale from a purely software-based monitoring solution to a fully automated manufacturing cell.
AIMS is not a single product but rather a suite or ecosystem of interconnected building blocks which can be configured to satisfy an individual customer’s requirements. Customers can build their AIMS system gradually using standalone AIMS Ready components, which can be easily upgraded to fully automatic when required. Customers can tackle their most pressing issues first and stagger implementation over a period of time. This staggered option makes AIMS a feasible solution for customers as they invest in this revolutionary technology and realise the potential for their business.
Jan Irzyk, AIMS Product Manager said: “For the first time ANCA had a working demonstration of an AIMS manufacturing cell at the GrindingHub trade show in Germany. Creating this new solution was a very exciting and fulfilling process and we were delighted to showcase a physical model for customers to understand the potential of AIMS.”
“AIMS can be configured in many ways but for GrindingHub we decided to present an unattended manufacturing workflow of two varieties of endmills on one MX7 machine. An important part of this workflow is closed loop measurement and compensation process using ZOLLER Genius as a measurement station. Depending on an individual customer’s requirements, our system can automatically transfer a tool from the ground batch, clean it, measure required geometries and transfer the results to the respective grinder where grinding parameters compensation is taking place to achieve required dimensional tolerance of the batch.”
TheGrindingHub demonstration highlighted:
- Management of data flow for the AIMS cell with the AIMS Server – a software suite developed by ANCA
- How to start building AIMS capability with a simplified and ergonomic solution for pallet transfer between processes or automated laser marking with AutoMarkX
Jan concluded, “In the not-too-distant future we will be able to demonstrate the AIMS capability in an actual production environment, which is very exciting – so watch this space, there’s much more to come!”