Low-cost tooling insert with sensors created

Posted on 07 Mar 2019 and read 317 times
Low-cost tooling insert with sensors createdAn intelligent low-cost tooling insert, embedded with smart sensors, has been developed at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) to deliver in-process condition monitoring that reduces machining stoppages and improves productivity for UK manufacturers.

The prototype device, developed with Innovate UK funding, allows a machine tool operator to determine the condition of a cutting tool without manual inspection; it is the first ‘plug and play’ system of its kind with no process learning time required on installation.

Hatim Laalej — AMRC machining group technical lead for control systems, sensors and data acquisition (www.amrc.co.uk) — said: “Currently, the task of monitoring the wear on the tool cutting edges is carried out by an operator who inspects the cutting tool using a laser or touch-probe system; this causes machine tool stoppages that result in poor productivity and potentially higher costs.

“Manual inspection also varies according to the skills and experience of the operator monitoring the tool wear. When tools are not changed at the right time, damage can be caused to a workpiece, leading to increased costs due to scrappages and re-work.

“Equally, if tools are changed before the end of their useful life, this can increase consumable costs.

“The cost of the system is relatively low, as it involves using low-cost electronics.

“The device has been designed to be accessible to small- and medium-size companies that are looking for ways to improve the efficiency, performance and quality of their operations, which is vital to improving the productivity of the wider UK economy.”

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