RoboMate Vision System


New RoboMate Vision System for detecting coolant holes

 Vision System.JPG

The new RoboMate Vision System detects internal coolant holes on drills that deliver coolant directly to the tip of the drill. The RoboMate Vision System uses the robot to place the drill under the camera before loading it into the machine. The camera ensures it is loaded into the collet in the correct orientation for flute grinding. This is a faster option than using touch probe digitising of coolant holes.

RoboMate Vision System reduces manufacturing time

When manufacturing drills with coolant holes, the position of the holes must be known so the drill flute does not break into the through holes. The drill hole positions must be identified and the drill set at the correct orientation prior to flute grinding. This is typically done inside the machine with a touch probe, but this adds to the grinding cycle time. The vision system is an automated inspection process using a camera in the RoboMate loader to locate the coolant hole positions. The coolant hole position data is then transferred from the RoboMate loader to the machine grinding program and the flute grinding operation can begin immediately.
RoboMate is a Robotic automation system available on all ANCA tool grinders except for the FastGrind. ANCA has integrated a Vision recognition system using a Cognex camera inside RoboMate. By integrating the vision system with RoboMate, inspection and coolant hole location is determined outside of the grinding process reducing overall manufacturing time.

Vision System snapshot.png

As shown in the above image, the tip of the tool should appear white (or close to white) while the coolant holes appear darker in colour (or black).

The Vision system takes a snapshot of the tool and then analyses the image. The system identifies the different contrasts between the light and dark areas. The coolant holes are then detected by searching for dark areas on the tool. The Vision system can recognise and locate coolant holes as small as 0.1 mm (0.003”) diameter. The camera used with the Vision system can capture an image and locate two coolant holes in less than 10 seconds (with the machine still grinding while the Vision system inspects a tool).

The Vision system can also manage scrap or rejected tools. Tools that do not meet specification, or tools where a coolant hole can’t be detected, will be rejected and stored in the reject station. If a total of six tools are rejected in a batch the schedule is cancelled. In addition to measuring coolant holes, other types of tools can be detected and measured using the Vision system.


The Vision system requires an Ethernet connection for communication and power to the camera. RoboMate is supplied with an Ethernet router as standard. The latest patch of ToolRoom 2012 is required to run the Vision System. The Vision system option can be enabled through the RoboMate software under the Job Setup menu as shown in the below image.

RoboMate software for Vision System.png


Compatible machines with the Vision System

The Vision System is available on the TXcell, TX7, MX7, MX5, GX7 and RX7 tool grinders. Retrofitting is possible on machines that have RoboMate fitted, however a CNC upgrade may be required to run ToolRoom 2012.


Tool type: Drills and endmills

Material: Carbide

Diameter range: 3 mm - 16 mm

Length range: 60 mm - 300 mm

Number of coolant holes: 2

Detection of coolant hole sizes: 0.1, 0.3, 0.5 mm diameters

Point angle range: 120° - 140°

Method of cleaning the tool: Air Blast

Key Benefits

  • Automated detection of coolant holes
  • Operator intervention not required
  • Offers a repeatable and consistent process
  • The tool is orientated to the collet prior to grinding
  • Reduced set-up times
  • Saves cycle time by not probing coolant holes inside the machine
  • Non-contact measuring means no tool damage possible
  • Management of scrap tools
  • Higher efficiency and productivity


Download Vision System flyer