Superior performance machines powered by ANCA Motion’s LinX® Linear Motor

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ANCA Machine Tools (hereafter referred to as AMT) has been servicing customers manufacturing precision cutting tools and components across a diverse range of industries around the globe, including automotive, aerospace, electronics and medical, for over 48 years. Founded by Pat Boland and Pat McCluskey 48 years ago in Melbourne, AMT has grown into a truly global organisation with manufacturing sites and branch offices in all the major continents.

Today, AMT is a market leader in quality CNC grinding machines. AMT’s success results from its continuous development of cutting-edge technology and a focus on innovation. Continuing in that tradition, AMT launched several new machines during the past eight years, aiming to strengthen the value proposition they offer customers. Significant inclusion to their range are the FX Linear and MX Linear machines. Both machines are powered by LinX® Linear Motor (International Patent Pending) developed by ANCA Motion, a sister company of AMT.

Figure 1 – ANCA Motion’s LinX® S-Series Linear Motor

Before FX Linear and MX Linear machines, AMT had been silent observers of linear motor technology for many years. “AMT was aware of the benefits that linear motors can bring. Over time the ball screws can wear even on the best machines, and you have to consider backlash and the loss of preload.” Simon Richardson, AMT MX platform product manager said, “When installing and aligning a ball screw on a machine, tighter tolerances are required over the entire length of the ball screw when compared to fitment of linear motors.”

Figure 2- AMT’s FX LINER and MX Linear Machines

However, AMT has resisted using linear motors for quite a long time. Philip Wysocki, Electrical systems engineer in AMT said, “The traditional linear motor is flat in construction, which creates many issues when implementing these motors on machines.” Machines with flatbed linear motors typically require a separate chiller for thermal stability, and the attractive force between coil and magnet bed creates tremendous downforces on the bearings, making everything wear faster and decreasing efficiency. In addition, flatbed style linear motors used in grinding machines typically have a back-iron in their magnetic circuit, further increasing the downforces and creating cogging.

Figure 3 - ANCA Motion’s LinX® S-Series Linear Motor

Until the arrival of breakthrough innovation, ANCA Motion’s cylindrical LinX® Linear Motor, AMT believes that they saw a technology they felt confident to adopt into their tool grinding machines. LinX® Linear Motor overcomes all the problems related to flatbed linear motor and delivers superior performance thanks to its state-of-art cylindrical design.

ANCA Motion’s LinX® Linear Motor consists of a shaft containing magnets and a forcer containing wound copper coils. The symmetric design results in zero attractive forces between the forcer and shaft, significantly reducing the loading requirement on support bearings. The thermal barrier design separates and removes heat from the motor, eradicating thermal growth for the machine. “Thanks to its excellent standalone thermal stability, AMT’s machines don’t require a dedicated chiller for the LinX® Linear Motor! This is a huge advantage over competitors’ flatbed motor-based machines, significantly reducing the power usage and space occupation,” said Simon.

With LinX®’s simple construction, non-critical air gap and no physical contact between shaft and forcer, machine manufacturers can significantly simplify installation, reduce maintenance and extend machine life. The LinX®’s design allows it to replace ball screws in existing machines easily and makes the machine design process a lot smoother. “Due to its simple construction, the shaft ends will only require one or two supports depending on their orientation. Not only has the axis installation time been significantly reduced by more than 200% compared to ball screws, but the installation of LinX® motors is much safer than flatbed linear motors,” Philip continued.

Figure 4 – Surface finish comparison

The ironless design of ANCA Motion’s LinX® Linear Motor and even force over the entire stroke bring out unprecedented motion performance, and because of its direct drive nature, the motor can track motion commands more accurately and repetitively to achieve a much better surface finish. With LinX® linear motor, you don’t need to worry about cogging, backlash or reversal error. The tool’s surface finish ground by a LinX® powered machine is significantly better than the result from a best-performance ball screw machine. You can see the tangible difference easily. This is just unbelievable when you are talking about microns! In addition to the improved surface finish, the LinX® Linear Motor enhances the cycle time due to its higher acceleration and faster traverse speed.

Overall, ANCA Motion’s innovative LinX® Linear Motor provides improved performance at a lower cost and efficiency than ball screws and flatbed linear motors. The standalone thermal stability, high speed and acceleration, zero down forces and the ability to achieve IP67 protection make LinX® an ideal solution for machine tools.

After the launch of FX Linear and MX Linear machines, LinX® powered machines have been installed in various regions worldwide. AMT customers are delighted with the performance of these machines. As a designer and manufacturer of flexible motion control systems, ANCA Motion will continue to deliver innovative products to support its customers’ ongoing success.

About ANCA Motion
ANCA Motion enables customers to become technologically and cost-competitive globally through a close partnership that begins from the development stage and continues through the product's life. Our unique software modules and patented technology allow customers to configure these components into efficient and innovative solutions. With the engineering head office in Australia and a global presence in more than 40 countries worldwide, ANCA Motion can provide service and support when and where needed.

8 September 2022