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Home / Driving Predictive Maintenance With a Driven Tool Holder

Driving Predictive Maintenance With a Driven Tool Holder

Sensor-enabled quick-change solutions help shops go beyond the maintenance schedule.

Posted: June 15, 2023

Driven tool holders, such as the Coromant Capto DTH Plus from Sandvik Coromant, minimize costly downtime by alerting operators when service is needed.
Equipped with embedded sensors and Bluetooth connectivity, Coromant Capto DTH Plus tool holders capture useful tool holder data to enable predictive maintenance.
A new generation of driven tool holders uses embedded sensors to gather data in real time and transmit via Bluetooth to a tablet or computer outside the machine.
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SAFETY & MAINTENANCE

In the modern shop, machine uptime is critical to meet the ever-increasing demands on the metalworking industry. Shorter lead times, tighter tolerances and rising costs of production all contribute to a more competitive environment, where efficient, uninterrupted productivity is essential to success.

To keep machines running at peak performance, it’s critical to have an effective maintenance strategy. The traditional method for avoiding downtime is preventive maintenance. Workshops plan maintenance on a regular schedule — usually once or twice a year — to hopefully catch problems before they occur. This approach is a more active way to circumvent failures caused by the natural wear of tools, tool holders or machines. However, it doesn’t account for all the variables on the workshop floor that can lead to stoppage.

This creates a common conundrum for many manufacturers. When is the optimum time to service equipment? Too late, and tools are overused and prone to damage. Too soon, and it leads to wasted resources. The reality is that when maintenance is driven by schedules, not by need, efficiency doesn’t stand much of a chance.

Fortunately, shops have access to a more effective solution — predictive maintenance. By leveraging real-time monitoring and data analysis, operators and production managers can get a clear picture of the health of their machines. They can then use that insight to predict a failure and take proactive measures, based on need, to fix problems before they start.

Terms like Industry 4.0 or Big Data may sound intimidating or expensive to some production managers. But the truth is predictive maintenance is much more accessible than most shops realize. New technologies are lowering the barrier to entry to data-driven maintenance.

Smart Tool Holders Provide Predictive Insight

One area where machining operations can make new strides in predictive maintenance is in their driven tool holders. A driven tool holder has internal gears to drive rotating tools and is installed on a live station of a machine turret. These holders can come with quick-change capabilities, but they’ve never before offered the smart functionality needed for predictive maintenance.

Now, a new generation of driven tool holders, such as the Coromant Capto® DTH Plus from Sandvik Coromant, uses embedded sensors to gather data in real time and transmit via Bluetooth to a tablet or computer outside the machine. With these latest advances, operators can now monitor the tool holder to get real-time information about the health of the unit.

The sensors provide crucial information, such as the temperature of the tool holder, vibration levels, rpm and the direction of rotation, as well as historical information about the equipped tool, which tells the user when it is time to send the unit in for service. This data is useful not only for assessing the health of the tool and tool holder, but also for minimizing costly downtime and optimizing cutting speeds for longer tool life. And with quick-change functionality, the time operators spend on measuring, setup and tool change is kept to a minimum.

Larger machining operations will also find a distinct advantage to using sensor-enabled tool holders. Now, they can monitor every machine’s performance at a glance to get a view of overall asset health across the factory floor, enabling unmanned and failure-free operations.

These new capabilities dramatically expand the range of benefits of using quick-change solutions. With previous generations, asset health had to be analyzed manually, requiring the sharp oversight of a seasoned operator. Now, miniaturized embedded sensors coupled with Bluetooth communications do the work.

Instead of scheduled maintenance once or twice a year, workshops can now use smart driven tool holders to make informed decisions about when to schedule a maintenance stop based on need, not interval planning.

Questions, visit: https://fabmetalmag.com/n4p

www.sandvik.coromant.com

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