Company News

AGS announces near record year for 2020

Innovative grinding technology since 1895

2020 proved to be a near record year for machine sales for Coventry based Advanced Grinding Solutions (AGS) despite the many obstacles that all of industry has faced.

In early 2020 as travel was curtailed, AGS put into place use of all the major video conferencing platforms and liaised with its various principals to ensure that as close a contact as possible could be kept with its customer base. In carrying over lots of projects from 2019 and bearing in mind that at the time its average machine tool delivery time was well in excess of 6 months, then it was always the case that 2020 was going to be busy. New projects have been handled and further sales made due to the success of machine manufacturers such as Rollomatic who brought out their Rollomatic Digital World; see – to allow customers to enter into a virtual world event showcasing all of their machines and applications and to then have the ability to join with a Rollomatic specialist for a one-to-one live discussion regarding the equipment they are interested in. Launched last November this event was intended to only be used occasionally as a replacement for some of the cancelled machine shows but due to the high uptake Rollomatic has decided to keep it fully open online.

Rollomatic continued to lead the way in 2020 with numerous deliveries being made on machines ordered in the final quarter of 2019 and with additional sales added throughout 2020 which culminated in an order from a new customer in October for 4 machines worth in excess of £1.5m to a large subcontractor based in Eire involved in the manufacture of medical components. A further two Rollomatic grinding machines were also sold in late 2020 for the manufacture of press pin tooling and are currently under build. All Rollomatic grinding machines come with their industry leading 3 years unlimited hours parts and labour warranty.

AGS enjoyed receiving a block order for the 4 machines comprising of three multi axis Rollomatic CNC grinding machines and a Tschudin Cube CNC centerless grinding machine. This was enabled with trials being conducted over at Rollomatic in Switzerland and with remote presentations of those results back to the customer in Ireland. The three Rollomatic machines were just recently installed and the Tschudin machine is currently undergoing its final grinding trials in Switzerland. The machines are equipped with Comat filtration systems, also represented by AGS, to guarantee the highest levels of filtration with minimal running costs.

Chris Boraston, MD at AGS comments that the sale of the Tschudin machine was especially pleasing because this is a new generation of centerless grinding machine that first received its world-wide debut at the last EMO exhibition and the sale marked the first one AGS has supplied. The Tschudin Cube machine benefits from a highly radical design that sets it apart from all other centerless grinding machines as was acknowledged by it winning the prestigious Red Dot Design Award 2020. The Red Dot jury commented that thanks to an innovative layout, the Cube machine is both ergonomic and efficient at the same time. With more than 6,500 submissions from more than 60 nations in 2020, the Red Dot Award is one of the biggest design competitions in the world.

The high precision, three-axis Tschudin CNC grinder forms a perfect symbiosis with the integrated robot, allowing for small batch production to be automated and enabling further increases in the machine’s productivity. The automation solutions enable users to achieve significant productivity gains and the machines particularly quick and flexible changeover times help to minimise machine downtime. What sets the Cube machine apart in particular is its exceedingly small size and radical open design for easy access. Users only need access to the rear of the machine to perform maintenance and servicing tasks, which means that several machines can be positioned together without any gaps. The philosophy when developing the machine was to have minimal area and maximum efficiency.

The grinder can be manually loaded in a very safe and ergonomic way outside of the grinding zone both by right-handed and left-handed users – a feature for which a patent been applied for. The machine has a unique design with digitalized set-up and grinding processes to ensure the highest possible process stability and machine availability.

Linear direct drives on the X, U and W axes ensure flexibility and productivity with the Cube being specifically developed for the grinding of small components with part diameters of up to 20mm.

The Cube’s simple and low-maintenance machine design helps to reduce operating costs. The natural granite machine base and upper structure guarantee the best thermally stable, high-precision and safe grinding processes. One major benefit of the machine is that it allows for the easy and safe CE-compliant loading and unloading outside of the grinding zone. Tschudin's "easy" software, which the company developed in-house, makes the machine easy to operate and automate. The patented, movable workpiece support ensures process options such as the rough and finish grinding in one cycle and the grinding of sharp edges with precise radii. Areas of application include plunge-cut grinding, grinding of several parts in a single cycle, oscillation of the component during grinding and throughfeed grinding. This versatility means that the Cube is suitable for a wide range of applications.

Rollomatic, whose machines produce more cutting tools in the UK and in Eire than any other, have continued to expand and to bring out new machine models such as their new NP50 cylindrical grinder with the first UK end user, Samwell Tools in Poole, taking delivery of theirs in early 2020.

The medical tools industry, with its large base in Ireland, continues to invest in Rollomatic GrindSmart 6 axis grinding machines that give unparalleled levels of efficiency, productivity with uptime reaching rates of 99%. These machines, that are equipped with linear motors, provide quality benefits such as enhanced surface finishes and with the linear motors themselves being cooled by the same oil used as the coolant oil ensures consistent thermal stability. The medium sized 630 machine range allows tools from 0.1mm to 20mm in diameters to be manufactured and as standard include high-speed automatic tool loaders that can accommodate in excess of 1,300 tools. Furthermore, a patented shank guide with steady rest support allows parts to have a concentricity of under 0.002mm and the 6-axis design gives unparalleled levels of flexibility whilst allowing, for example, the perfect grinding of spheres.

The Comat filtration systems provide the best obtainable degrees of filtration and indeed samples taken a few weeks into production of the Rollomatic machines in Ireland have recently been analyzed and the laboratory results found to be easily within the NAS 7 band which is better than most virgin unused oil. Today, more than 20,000 machines use Comat Filtration Systems, with more than 120,000,000 litres of metal working oil being super-filtered every single day. Comat operate globally and have a 30-year history in developing the most advanced filtration systems that are available. Comat's Superfiltration Technology uses continuously regenerating filtering media to ensure that particles larger than ≤ 2-3μm are removed from cutting fluids and the fluid is maintained at a stable desired fixed temperature. Oil that is filtered by Comat systems does not need to be replaced and many clients report that they have never changed the oil for up to 20 years (save top-ups).

Chris Boraston concludes that despite the obvious obstacles in having to do more grinding trials and machine acceptances remotely, and with customer visits curtailed, and despite the obvious issues in installing machines remaining, its Principals have more than met the challenges that they have faced. The uptake of the digital platforms, some of which have been around for years, has been fully embraced and allow for ever more efficient meetings that for us often includes engineers from three of four different countries all being able to link up together on-line without difficulty. With Rollomatic having UK based service support this of course has further helped as has the use of 24/7 remote monitoring technology as is used on the Comat filtration systems and on most of the machines. Indeed, Rollomatic’s Smart Connectivity platform that covers the concept of autonomous grinding, machine connectivity, unattended production and communication exchange systems has been in operation for quite a time now and has the Rollomatic RMonitor; a machine monitoring software that gives users a real-time production cockpit to improve productivity, provide scheduling flexibility and to display manufacturing history. Industry was already changing and adopting and embracing new technologies at a pace we had not seen before and the current pandemic has simply increased this pace of change still further.

For further information please see contact AGS on +44 (0) 2476 22 66 11


Our range of machines is supplied to numerous companies all around the world and the leaders in industry use these to great affect.
We have many thousands of worldwide references but customers that we have supplied equipment to here in the UK include, amongst others:

Unit 80 Hotchkiss Way
Binley Industrial Estate, Coventry, CV3 2RL
+44 (0) 2476 22 66 11
Mon-Fri 9:00am-5:00pm