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Home / A Customized Grinding Solution for Tap Manufacture

A Customized Grinding Solution for Tap Manufacture

High-end tap producers are enhancing designs to meet the escalating market share of specialized materials required by high-tech industries, which calls for customized and tailored designs.

Posted: January 24, 2024

The TapX Linear is a one machine solution specifically designed and integrated with automation to ensure high productivity in mass production.
Flexible, efficient and one-stop tap grinding results in faster tap design, setup, and changeover to reduce lead times and boost competitiveness.
ANCA offers a Tap software program that features a wizard to assist in setting up grinding taps in a few easy steps.
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Projected global demand for products such as taps, dies, and thread forming tools is anticipated to rise from $2.75 billion to $3.42 billion during the next five years, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5%. The high-tech industries, particularly automotive and aerospace sectors, are expected to sustain a significant portion of this growth, accounting for 16% of the overall market demand. Additionally, there is an expected increase in demand from medical applications, which is projected to contribute another 7% to the total market share within the next five years.

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Flexible, efficient and one-stop tap grinding results in faster tap design, setup, and changeover to reduce lead times and boost competitiveness.

Given the impetus from these high-tech markets, tap producers will need to enhance their designs to meet the escalating market share of specialized materials. Notably, composites (expected CAGR of 8.5%) and super alloys (expected CAGR of 7.5%) are anticipated to experience the most substantial growth, necessitating the development of tailored designs in response.

With the boom of automotive and aerospace applications, one leading manufacturer of CNC grinding machines, ANCA, sees great potential for the future of the high-end tap market. The company’s years of experience working with tap manufacturers offers valuable insights into the industry challenges, making it well-equipped to offer solutions. One example is the TapX, a machine specifically designed and integrated with automation to ensure high productivity in mass production. As a one-machine solution with single clamping, one of its benefits is that it eliminates the traditional requirement of needing several grinding machines.

Flexible, precise and efficient one-stop tap grinding is not possible on ordinary grinding machines, as high-speed steel taps, carbide taps, micro taps and non-standard taps require different and detailed solutions. The difference lies in the performance of a single grinding process, a parallel grinding process or a combined grinding process. In addition, several grinding machines are usually required, each performing a specific tap grinding task, whereas a single machine can manage the various processes.

Performing these tap grinding processes on one machine provides results in flexibility. A specially designed machine combined with powerful software ensures a vast range of tap types and sizes can be designed and manufactured in one setup. Combine this with the benefits of quick changeover time and it’s not hard to see how a single machine specifically designed and integrated with automation can increase productivity and reduce lead times.

The production of taps in different materials is an example of how this highly flexible solution can contribute to productivity. Taps are mainly made of HSS and carbide materials, which require high precision, surface finish and reliability for grinding. TapX is suitable for the complete production of HSS or carbide taps. With a single setup, it can grind various types of standard taps, micro taps and non-standard taps. The rigidity guarantees repeatable, high-quality results, and a CNC control plus programmable force of the center ensures reliability of high frequency movements.

A Customized Grinding Solution for Tap Manufacture, Kaine Mulder, TX Platform, ANCA CNC Mchines, CNC grinding machines, TapX, single grinding process, parallel grinding process, combined grinding process, ANCA’s LinX motor technology, one machine solution, thread milling applications, tap grinding process
ANCA offers a Tap software program that features a wizard to assist in setting up grinding taps in a few easy steps.

For example, TapX uses ANCA’s LinX motor technology for all linear axes and direct drive technology for all rotary axes. By eliminating all belts, pulleys, and gears, the result is a machine that is precise and reliable.

Although HSS will remain the dominant material of choice, carbide tools are growing in popularity with the increase in thread milling applications and introduction of more exotic materials. Compared with HSS, carbide offers high rigidity, good machining quality and long service life. Consequently, the production of carbide taps presents challenges for machine productivity, accuracy and dressing of special thread grinding wheels.

A machine with a single clamping optimizes the grinding process. When combined with greater flexibility in wheel selection and process deployment, these machines provide flexibility, reduced costs and increased tap production output. The total setup time for multiple general machines is reduced from three to four hours to one hour for one TapX machine, which significantly reduces lead time for small to medium batch production, urgent order response and customer changes. What’s more, a unique solution for dome carbide taps offers a wider application.

With the efficiency, accuracy and reusability of a single source machine, customers can expand their product range to include spiral, straight flute and forming taps, and even micro parts. Micro taps are mostly used in smartphones, glasses, consumer electronics, aviation and military industries. Any miniaturized part may be machined with a small or micro tap.

In recent years, the growing demand for mobile devices and new materials has led to a sharp increase in the consumption of thread tapping tools, which in turn resulted in an unprecedented boom for machines grinding small or micro taps. This means that manufacturers such as ANCA, who have the capability to manufacture these tools, have great potential to meet the ever-growing market demand. To grind small batches of taps, conventional machines simply take too long to set up. When customers can integrate the entire process into just one machine, it significantly increases productivity through rapid tap design, setup and changeover.

A one machine solution specifically designed and integrated with automation to support the high-end tap market can meet the high demand for high-quality tap products or fulfill the needs of emerging manufacturers in the market. A one machine grinding concept provides faster tap design, setup, and changeover to reduce lead times and boost competitiveness. Gone are the high costs, inflexible production and low productivity due to lengthy machine setups.

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