One platform to manufacture high performance tools

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Australian industry will soon have access to an innovative additive manufacturing process for tungsten-carbide tools, via a nine-month $928,000 project between the CSIRO and a tool manufacturer, ANCA.

Supported by the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC), the technology will enable affordable, high-performance tools to be manufactured using one platform, replacing the current production process of mould pressing, sintering, brazing and grinding.

Now in the advanced phase, the research is focused on refining the additive manufacturing technology ahead of ANCA taking the hybrid manufacturing platform to market.

Dean McBain, Research & Technology manager at ANCA, said the project had the potential to transform the way tungsten-carbide brazed insert tools were made in Australia and across the world.

“ANCA’s collaboration with IMCRC and CSIRO has accelerated the development of an innovative additive manufacturing technology which we believe has the potential to disrupt the $2.2B global cutting tool market,” he said.

“Successful completion of this project will allow ANCA to commercialise the new hybrid additive manufacturing machine platform, grow our workforce and revenue and fill a significant gap in the global tooling market.”

Dr Kathie McGregor, research director for Advanced Materials and Processes at CSIRO, said the project would make metallic additive manufacturing technologies more accessible to Australian industry.

“In keeping with CSIRO’s role of providing high-end research and development support to the Australian industry using state-of-the-art equipment and world class know-how, we have collaborated with ANCA to further develop a unique technology,” she said.

“We expect the outcomes may enable ANCA to diversify and grow its business and provide a boost to the local economy in terms of additional job opportunities and export income.”

Dr Matthew Young, IMCRC’s Manufacturing Innovation manager, said the IMCRC is pleased to be supporting ANCA’s innovation, and contributing to the growth of Australia’s advanced manufacturing ecosystem.

“As ANCA and CSIRO’s R&D partnership demonstrates, additive manufacturing can generate significant benefits for Australian manufacturers, reducing costs and improving speed to market,” he said.

“Once developed, this revolutionary technology can be applied to a range of cutting applications, creating significant global export opportunities and furthering ANCA’s position as a market leading manufacturer of cutting tools and equipment.”

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