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In-machining solutions

​How tool and process monitoring works

The process of transforming a raw material to a finished component is affected by multiple factors that may cause unexpected and unwanted results.

Even in stable machining processes, inevitable disturbances can lead to costly repairs of your machine tool, scrapping of components or sub-optimal use of cutting tools. Examples include:

  • An undetected variation in the hardness of the raw material may increase the wear of the cutting tool, leading to insufficient surface quality.
  • A small collision may occur and is left unreported, eventually leading to larger repair costs or machining issues.
  • Overuse of the machine tool’s spindle can increase downtime costs and create the need for unplanned maintenance.

In a controlled machining process where real-time decisions are based on facts, manufacturers are able to optimize their processes and significantly reduce their manufacturing-related waste.

 

Connected tooling solutions and process monitoring enable you to leverage data to make the right, fact-based decisions and reach more productive machining.


Sensors close to the machining

All machining processes generate physical characteristics of which some can be read directly from the NC control drive values. Collection of other data requires installation of additional sensory equipment close to the machining.

An increasing number of cutting tools are being engineered with the ability to transmit information about the surrounding cutting conditions. Sensors embedded in the tools communicate conditions such as tool temperature and position as well as vibration levels.

Industrial sensors can also be installed in the machine tool. Most often, these are positioned near the spindle or on the clamping unit, but positioning is evaluated from case to case depending on the manufacturer’s applications and specific needs. Sensors inside the machine tool enable monitoring of vibration levels and cutting forces.

Sensors embedded inside a damped turning adaptor communicates current temperature, vibration levels and surface roughness during machining through a wireless protocol.


An industrial sensor mounted on the machine tool spindle picks up vibration levels and transmits a signal for real-time processing.


Setting limits and defining actions

The basic principle of process monitoring and control is that the filtered and amplified signals generated by sensors can be compared with the expected result in real-time.

Process control software have different features that enable manufacturers to define what actions should be initiated if a process deviates from expectations. For example

  • As machining of harder than expected material creates a spike in the cutting tool force, the process control software immediately stops the machining operation, saving the component’s surface quality.
  • Process control software detects minor changes in the spindle’s performance and sends an alert that the spindle may require maintenance before bigger complications occur.
  • Possible downtime costs related to unplanned maintenance is avoided through access to data about the condition of your equipment and maintenance needs.

Deviations from expected machining processes – that without a process control solution would have passed undetected – are programmed to trigger actions, like stopping the machine or sending alerts.


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Highlights

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CAM workflow integration

Partnership is crucial to create the greatest end-user value in digital manufacturing. CNC Software is one of the first CAM companies to integrate CoroPlus® in their Mastercam software. See the film.

Standard tool data

ISO 13399 is the industry standard for tool data exchange.

CoroPlus®

The CoroPlus® portfolio contains several connected solutions made ready for Industry 4.0.

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