Caron Engineering’s New High-Resolution Power Sensor for Monitoring Low Power Cuts

Caron Engineering has been optimizing the machining process for the metalworking manufacturing industry for over 30 years. Specializing in tool monitoring and adaptive control by monitoring true motor power to determine when a tool is worn or broken; has set them apart in the industry as a more precise way of measuring tool wear. Their standard power transducer has a 2 – 90 HP range. This transducer provides valuable resolution above 2 HP, but today’s low-end (0 – 2 HP) sensor readings tend to blur into unusable data which is subsequently of little value.

Caron Engineering’s newest sensor option is a high-resolution (24 bit) USB power sensor. This sensor provides superior resolution at lower power cuts in the 0 – 23 HP range. This higher resolution allows monitoring very small tools (less than 1 mm), right angle heads, and other applications where the measured cutting power is too small to be captured with a typical power transducer.  Specifically, Swiss-type machines are used for smaller, more precise parts, with super-small tools, and thus need more data sampling rates in the low HP range.

This high-resolution power sensor is making its debut on the market as a new sensor option for Caron Engineering’s product DTect-IT; a monitoring system that communicates with custom USB (universal serial bus) sensors to detect machine irregularities. DTect-IT communicates with multiple USB sensor options including vibration, strain, analog, and now, high resolution power. The USB connection offers easier installation and maintenance due to the modular design inherent to USB architecture.

DTect-IT is now capable of monitoring the slightest cutting operations with power. A 1 mm spot drill, (similar to a small needle lightly pricking a finger), is easily detected. A subsequent 1 mm peck drill operation is captured on the monitoring graph, showing each individual peck through the material, with superior resolution.

Caron Engineering has typically monitored micro-tools with strain and vibration sensors. With the new high-resolution power sensor, DTect-IT can detect tool wear and breakage based on the measured power of the small cutting tools. Monitoring can be initialized through the CNC, manually on the DTect-IT touch screen, or via physical I/O. Using limits for wear, extreme, and undercut, DTect-IT can be programmed to alert the user when the power load on the tool goes above the user-defined wear or extreme limit. Using an undercut limit, DTect-IT can also detect an absence of cutting power and alert the CNC if the tool did not perform its operation.

In addition to DTect-IT, Caron Engineering’s high-resolution power sensor will be offered as a sensor option for their Tool Monitoring Adaptive Control (TMAC) system in the near future.