Vibrations, chatter marks and tool failure that have robbed many machine operators of sleep will soon be a thing of the past: With the smart iTENDO hydraulic expansion toolholder, SCHUNK, Inc. (Morrisville, NC) and startup company Tool It GmbH (Vienna, Austria) present the world’s first intelligent toolholder that monitors the machining process directly at the tool and allows real-time control of the cutting parameters. This intelligent toolholder integrates process monitoring directly where the chip is formed in a “closest-to-the-part” strategy: The intelligence is integrated directly into the first wear-free element of the machine equipment that is closest to the workpiece. The smart tool is offered in combination with TENDO hydraulic expansion toolholders, allowing complete documentation of process stability, unmanned limit value monitoring, tool breakage detection, and real-time control of the speed of rotation and feed rate.
Toolholders using integrated process intelligence have the same interfering contours as conventional toolholder mountings. The use of cooling lubricant is still possible. Equipped with a sensor, battery, and transmitting unit, the intelligent system records the process directly in the tool, transmits the data wirelessly to a receiving unit in the machine room, and from there via cable to a control and evaluation unit, where the data is analyzed. An algorithm continuously determines the ideal parameters for process stability. Depending on the particular application, a web service can be used to define both the exact limits and corresponding reactions if they are exceeded. The entire process’s data remains within the closed control loop of the machine, ensuring the highest possible data security. During machining, the intelligent toolholder permanently analyzes the machining process. If the process becomes unstable, it can either be stopped in real-time and reduced to previously defined basic parameters without the intervention of the operator, or adapted until the cut returns to a stable range.
The system enables complete documentation and limit value monitoring, as well as an improvement of the machining quality by automatically adjusting the cutting data during vibration. Moreover, the intelligent toolholders additionally enable an analysis of the tool condition as well as increase the metal removal rate. The system is extremely easy to retrofit without the need for modification or replacement of machine components. Since the algorithms run autonomously and the operator defines only exact limit and reactions, no expert assessment of the data is necessary. Instead, the system manages the process autonomously and in real-time based on the specifications.
SCHUNK, Inc., 211 Kitty Hawk Drive, Morrisville, NC 27560, 800-772-4865, Fax: 919-572-2818, www.us.schunk.com.
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