A new, versatile, automatic drill sharpening machine manufactured by the US firm, Darex, has been introduced to the UK by sole agent, 1st Machine Tool Accessories. Called XT-3000 Auto, it bridges the gap between a manually operated machine and a fully automated CNC sharpening system.
The automation attachment is factory-fitted to a new unit but can also be retrofitted by 1st MTA to existing Darex XT-3000s in the field. It allows the user simply to align standard conical drills, push the start button and step away. The auto sharpening system regrinds the bits without any further operator intervention, displaying relevant information on an LCD screen. Drills in the diameter range 3 to 21 mm can be processed, although with an adapter, bits up to 30 mm can be sharpened.
The economically priced unit can be used by shop floor staff to sharpen worn drill bits rapidly and consistently, saving the cost of buying replacements, so manufacturers will see a fast return on investment. The high level of repeatability is achieved whatever the skill level of the operator.
Many types of right- and left-hand twist drills can be sharpened for machining metals and non-metallic materials, and adapters are available for step drills, countersinks, brad points and 90-degree points. A novel feature is the unit’s ability to count how many sharpenings it has completed and display the number on the screen, allowing timely maintenance to avoid unscheduled downtime.