View Full Version : To go CNC or not?

09-16-2007, 07:00 AM
We have had a Tool Grinding business for over 45 years. The name of the company is DKJ Tool Grinding in Fort Worth Texas. Several employees have recently retired. We are a small operation that has found a niche in the regrinding and specialty cutters. We currently have 4 employees that are very talented in operating manual KO-Lee grinders. We resharpen every kind and type of end mills on the O.D., I.D., ends and radius...tapered end mills, step drills and end mills with multiple diameters, etc. Milling cutters, carbide tipped saw blades, etc. We are a one stop sharpening and grinding shop. We do hundreds of end mills, roughing end mills, etc. Ok, enough background info. I need to decide via a ROI/Cost analysis if it would be profitable for us to purchase an ANCA CNC Tool and Cutter Grinder. I want to free up the talented machine operators from the repetition regrinding/sharpening so they can work on tasks that are more profitable. Where can I get more cost analysis/ROI info? I want to expand the business but have to justify any capitol expenses. I want to thank you in advance for you help and guidance in this endeavor. Thank you.

09-16-2007, 08:45 AM
I'm not sure If this will help?

I run a Schutte WU305 5-axis cnc toolgrinder, The things we sharpen most are Guhring RT100 point & thinning, most times I take off 2.5mm (more If it's beat up) in 6 passes on the point, then do the thinning in 1 pass.

The cycle time is approx. 4.5 min. , that includes:

Load the drill by hand & tighten collet
Probe the drill length & flute location
Sharpen Point
Unload Drill

I think you should talk to Anca rep., maybe send them a couple of endmills, for them to sharpen & see what they say the cycle time is (should be less than 10 min.) for a basic endmill.

Also plan on hiring a full time cnc operator, for each shift to keep the cnc running.

We run our machine 24/7, we also sharpen tons of ID form tools, OD form tools with chipbreakers.

Our machine was paid for in 2.5 years ($250,000.00), that includes all the fixtures & High preasure coolant filtering system (which is as large as the actual cnc machine :) )

What is the largest quantity of a single type of tool you might run (ballpark)?


09-16-2007, 08:54 AM
I did find this http://www.anca.com/Applications/Cuttingtools/SpiralFluteTap.aspx

That cycle time is very close to what I said in my last post (should be less than 10 min.), thats actually very good considering they are dressing the wheel in cycle!

Tool Description:
1 5/16 Spiral Flute Tap
Whitworth tap with 55 deg. thread.

Tool Application:
Tap application

Tool Material:
High-speed steel (HSS)

Grinding Setup:
Machine: TapX
Coolant Medium: oil

Grinding Operations:
1. Digitize end of tool
2. Formed flute from solid
3. Dress chamfer wheels
4. Tap chamfer
5. Tap chamfer 45 degree
6. Tap threading
7. Thread cresting
8. Tap threading - finishing

Special Requirements:
TapX Tailstock

Cycle Time (estimate):
10 minutes 55 Sec

Other Comments:
1 5/16 Spiral Flute Whitworth tap with 55 deg thread. Surface finish was exceptional. The tap was ground using Norton Aulos TGX80-VB34 for fluting and Norton 3SGA100UB31 for chamfer and thread. 16 Bar pump delivering 160 lpm.


terry nelson
09-16-2007, 05:12 PM
I don't believe your profit would be immediate, based on the initial cost of the machine, cutting oil, and grinding wheels needed. That, and the learning curve of at least 4 months, for someone with no cnc experience, but a good understanding of cutting tools, and pc's. Everything would depend on your shops ability to cover these expenses, until the time your machine was up to speed.

Once running though, the roi would depend more on the type of work, and volume your company does. Also, there are so many options which could affect your bottom line, more spindle hp, tool loaders(for lights out operation) additional software, for different types of tools, etc.

I've done this research, and made the machine purchase for the last company I worked for, and it can get involved. I have since went out on my own, and now own my first 5 axis t&c grinder, as well as 3 wire edm's, and a cnc dedtru.

Anca make's a good machine, but all of the machine dealers are kind of vague, when it comes to your total cost's of owning one. Also, being your first machine, support would be critical. And if you do make the purchase, it could open other possibilities for different types of work. But then you may have to look into support equipment as well.

If you would like to discuss this more, pm your number, and a good time to call. I'm not a machine dealer, just a small shop, like you.
Hope this helps,

09-18-2007, 09:27 AM
this is from a walter cnc grinder, maybe not what you want, but the info
should help you decide.

10-03-2007, 09:07 AM
hi fell across this. we use a local tool and cutter grinder co, they used to be like you. they took the plunge and got a anca grinder i thought they paid $750 000au, once they got the hang of it they didnt look back! a teach lathe and 2 vmcs a bit later. sold all there old gear down sized there factory and doing great (no more handles)they do a bit more general work for divercity we now use them for all our cnc turning. being in Melbourne Aus anca are only 2klms from us so it was easy for them... they are very happy with the grinder though,i dont know what model they have

11-13-2007, 09:27 PM
Rollomatic and Walter both have CyberGrind or VirtualGrind software that, once you enter all of the parameters, show you what the tool will look like and damned if it doesn't. Real close on the first two tools. You can quickly build up a library. We've had good experience with the many we have.