Total Machine Condition Monitoring, Optimization, and Control with TMAC 3.0

Caron Engineering is set to officially release a new version of their flagship Tool Monitoring Adaptive Control system, TMAC version 3.0, later this year. TMAC not only monitors tool wear and breakage, but with the numerous sensor options and dedicated high-speed processor, TMAC is capable of real-time machine tool condition monitoring, optimization, and control.

TMAC monitors true spindle motor power to detect tool wear and breakage.  By measuring tool wear in real-time, TMAC will automatically expire a tool if excessive wear is detected (and can signal a redundant tool) or immediately stop the machine and retract the tool in the event of breakage. This direct interface with the CNC control allows machines to run unattended.

TMAC Adaptive Control option overrides the machine tool feedrate to automatically make adjustments based on the cutting power load of the tool.  Thus, TMAC is increasing the feedrate with low power cuts and decreasing with high power cuts and as tools wear.  By making real-time adaptive control feedrate adjustments TMAC optimizes the cutting process, extends tool life, and reduces cycle time up to 60%.

Caron Engineering’s TMAC system was initially developed in 1990 and has become a market leader in tool monitoring by uniquely monitoring true motor power instead of current (as is common of most tool monitoring systems).  Its ability to make real-time feedrate adjustments through variations in material using adaptive control is a feature that has been coveted by many CNC manufacturing industries to boost production.

TMAC has a dedicated high-speed processor. The CNC control only allows a small amount of processing power for applications like tool monitoring and adaptive control. By using a separate processor, TMAC handles a large number of high-speed sensors simultaneously, allowing instant reaction and automatic corrective adjustments to conditions through real-time CNC machine interfacing.

TMAC version 3.0 has a more intuitive interface, and the processor houses its own web-server to allow remote real-time monitoring from any network connected device (including smart phones). The views are completely customizable for monitoring multiple channels simultaneously.  Users can also access all instances of TMAC on a shop floor from a single browser.

Caron Engineering’s multi-range sensors allow TMAC to automatically scale the display to the appropriate monitoring range, for optimal sensor resolution. In addition to power, TMAC can monitor tool wear and breakage using vibration sensors, and even embed strain gauge sensors in micro tools to monitor the slightest cutting operations. Additionally, TMAC can monitor coolant flow, coolant pressure, and spindle speed.

All events and historical data are automatically saved and can be exported for analysis.  Using the TMAC viewer, users can overlay cutting data to compare cuts, interrogate alarms and events, access historical tool wear data, and even analyze bearing health with the bearing analysis feature.

Caron Engineering’s MTConnect Manager enables data collection from TMAC (and all other Caron Engineering products), to easily communicate with any shop floor automation software that supports the MTConnect protocol.

Customers typically see a positive ROI within the first couple months of implementing TMAC…and in some cases, just days or hours.