Tool Monitoring: A Must for ‘Lights Out’

Untended, lights-out manufacturing is often the goal for machine shops. To do this effectively, while producing quality parts, a reliable monitoring system must be in place to prevent tool crashing and breakage and ensure proper part transfer.

Lori Beckman

Untended, lights-out manufacturing is often the goal for machine shops. To do this effectively, while producing quality parts, a reliable monitoring system must be in place to prevent tool crashing and breakage and ensure proper part transfer.

One company used free space monitoring after experiencing several tool crashes on its CNC lathe and paying $100 per crash. This monitoring system can be used in reverse logic, where an unobstructed space is allowed to be the accepted condition, while an obstructed space will generate a fault. This feature is useful for part ejection, especially for CNC lathes with a subspindle. Read “The Benefits of Tool Monitoring” for the whole story and more information about this type of monitoring.

When dealing with high production precision parts manufacturing using smaller cutting tools, reliable sensors are especially critical. Monitoring with induction coils, force monitoring on multi-spindle machines and sound sensors are some of the types of systems available for small tools. These monitors are explained in “Reliable Monitoring for Small Parts.”

Tool sensor technology continues to evolve as manufacturers look to remove process variation from metalcutting. Producing bad parts or tool breakage is too costly a matter for a machine shop to ignore. Tool monitoring can be the answer.


















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Reliable Monitoring For Small Tools

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