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Tool Monitoring Adaptive Control

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Tool Data Management System

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Automated Tool Wear Compensation Software

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CNC Sensor Analysis System

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In addition, we are the official distributor of Blum-Novotest products in the greater Northeastern United States.

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In-Process Measuring Technology

Home » Tool Wear Condition Monitoring Systems for CNC Machining

Tool Wear Condition Monitoring Systems for Manufacturing

Tool Wear Drill_Caron Engineering

Tool wear is the gradual degradation of a tool's cutting edge caused by repeated use in a CNC machine. Tool wear is a natural part of the machining process and can be caused by several factors. The most common cause of tool wear is the cutting action of the tool against the workpiece material. This causes friction between the two surfaces, generating heat, which inevitably causes the tool to wear down over time. Other factors that can contribute and accelerate tool wear include:

  • Tool material and hardness
  • Tool geometry
  • Cutting speed and feed rate
  • Workpiece material and hardness
  • Tool holder design and condition

Real-Time Tool Wear Detection

In CNC Machining, having real-time visibility of how the tool is wearing over time can help you make more informed decisions about when to replace a tool, which can save you money by extending the life of your cutting tools, and provide valuable data about the efficiency of cutting programs. The best way to do this is by using a real-time tool wear monitoring system.

Using a tool wear monitoring and breakage detection system like Caron Engineering's Tool Monitoring Adaptive Control System (TMAC), you can gain more control over the life of your cutting tools. This type of system also protects the machine in the event a tool is worn past the acceptable limits or if the tool breaks during cutting. TMAC is a real-time tool wear and breakage detection system that takes in data from a variety of high-resolution sensors to accurately measure the wear of the cutting tools over time by comparing the learned cutting data to user-defined wear parameters. A major benefit of a system like TMAC is that it interfaces directly with the CNC control to make automatic corrective adjustments when anything happens outside the acceptable cutting thresholds. For instance, stopping the machine, sending remote notifications, adjusting the feed rate, or calling redundant tooling when parameters are exceeded, to avoid costly downtime.

TMAC Power Wear Limit screenshot

This direct interface to the control is a major benefit of a tool wear and breakage detection system like TMAC, because it affords being able to step away from the machine knowing that TMAC will take action if anything happens. TMAC will instantly recognize a change in the signal from a monitored sensor which exceeds the user defined limits that would result from a tool breaking or improperly loaded tooling or material, and immediately stop the machine within 5 milliseconds of the extreme condition, before damage can occur. With TMAC, some manufacturers have even honed their cutting parameters to the point of confidently running their tools to 95% of their useful life. TMAC makes this possible because it is calculating the amount the tool is wearing over time by measuring the work performed by the cutting tool, and not just expiring a tool based on part count or time in cut.

Process Automation

There is growing familiarity with automation systems outside the actual cutting process, but TMAC takes control of the automation during the cutting process. This is an enormous advantage for customers who want to start running their machines unattended. With TMAC, customers can rest easy knowing that if anything happens, the system will intervene to protect their investment.

Another big advantage of the TMAC system is its adaptive control capability. TMAC can take control of the machine tool feed rate to automatically regulate the feed rate during cutting. TMAC learns the optimum power for each tool and cutting section and then adjusts the feed rate in real-time to maintain a constant spindle motor power, as material and cutting conditions change. For lighter power cuts, TMAC can speed up the feed rate, and then decrease the feed rate through higher power or higher engagement cuts. This optimizes cutting performance to not only reduce cycle time with low power cuts but also increase tool life by maintaining a constant spindle motor power during cutting.

TMAC Adaptive Control_Caron Engineering

Tool Monitoring Data Optimizes Cutting Programs

TMAC Data Viewer screenshot

The data provided by the TMAC system also makes it very useful for optimizing cutting programs. You can view the details of any cut, overlay similar cuts, and even access the CNC position data at any point in the cut with a simple click on the screen. This makes it easy to identify anomalies in the normal cutting operation and see areas for improvement. Many customers are also using this data to identify which tooling vendors produce the highest quality tools, by comparing the tool wear and tool life information. This has resulted in significant cost savings for many TMAC users, who no longer waste their money on poorly made tooling that wears out quickly.

TMAC is a great tool for manufacturers who are looking to adopt automation, increase their productivity and maximize the life of their cutting tools. The TMAC system can be used with any type of machine, including mills, lathes, machining centers and more. It’s ideal for medium to large job shops that are embracing automation to run light or unattended operations. For those shops needing lighter tool monitoring requirement, Caron Engineering offers a second option in their CNC Sensor Analysis System, DTect-IT.

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