Machine monitoring based on measurement data enables optimized manufacturing processes.

Process monitoring and control for machining

High productivity combined with low manufacturing costs and high workpiece quality are essential prerequisites for sustainability, profitability and competitiveness. Especially when the materials involved are difficult to machine, tool lifetimes can vary greatly – which in turn affects product quality. Even today, in the age of digitalization, manufacturing companies are still heavily dependent on the personal know-how of employees who evaluate, adapt and improve processes based on individual experience and historical data. In times of skilled worker shortage and increased fluctuation in manufacturing, this leads to a higher risk that valuable know-how is lost, and independent assurance of process quality becomes increasingly difficult.  

A reliable machining monitoring provides valuable real-time insights into the current process and thus the basis for reliable, productive and reproducible manufacturing processes which leads also to the right decision-making for short and long-term improvement. Ideally, with the monitoring of machines and processes, abnormalities in the highly dynamic machining processes allow users to react instantly and secure high productivity, decrease the scrap rate, and increase tool life-time. Therefore, continuous machine and process monitoring with reliable sensors are essential. In addition, good process documentation based on the monitoring data and measurement histories can generate additional process knowledge, thereby contributing to effective trainings and increased competencies. This can also be used for objective assessments when setting up and benchmarking processes, production lines, and factories. Moreover, it also supports the machine operator in achieving the required qualities quickly and reliably, regardless of individual experience.

Tool wear monitoring

Know the condition of your tools – and replace them in time. There is a significant correlation between the wear of cutting tools/abrasives and forces and vibrations. Moreover, the achieved product quality and selected cutting data (how fast the cutting process can be performed) relates to the wear of the cutting tool/abrasive as well.

Detect abnormalities

Optimize your process through knowledge building. Manufacturing processes are often designed according to heuristic rules that make the process safe but often do not achieve optimal performance. Piezo-based process monitoring continuously generates high-resolution data that allows a long-term assessment of the system load and can be used to identify optimization potential. By gradually adjusting the parameters, processes can be safely brought to their performance limits. Moreover, by building control loops, manufacturing equipment can react and adapt – not only to the wear of the machine and cutting tools, but also to unexpected abnormalities with respect to the machine and the process. 

Increase productivity

Process optimization through knowledge building - Manufacturing processes are often designed according to heuristic rules that are process safe but often do not achieve optimal performance. Piezo-based process monitoring continuously generates high-resolution data that allows a long-term assessment of the system load and can be used to identify optimization potential. By gradually adjusting the parameters, processes can be safely brought to their performance limits in this way. Moreover, by building control loops, manufacturing equipments can react and adapt themselves upon not only wear of machine and cutting tools but also on machine and process unexpected abnormalities.

Reduce costs

Decrease the human/machine ratio in new production lines. Sensor solutions for monitoring machines and processes can capture even small and highly dynamic events (expected and unexpected). Since several machines can be monitored and controlled from a single place thanks to the availability of digital “live data”, the number of operators and other supporting functions can be decreased. This will in turn lower the operating cost.

Moreover, once machine and process reliability is improved thanks to monitoring and control of the manufacturing process, the scrap ratio and/or poor quality and related cost will also decrease.

Improved and more effective competence building

With the help of monitoring and control technology, the digital twin of the entire manufacturing chain can be built. This digital and well-structured data environment improves constantly and enables users to create suitable documentation and other educational tools to increase the skills of workers and managers on various levels.

Good decision making

Thanks to the connected ERP systems of suppliers, manufacturers and customers, the demand on delivery precision is increasing continuously. By monitoring and controlling the manufacturing status, the delivery to the customer can be improved. Moreover, the available data from different manufacturing sites will enable meaningful comparisons and status reporting, as well as improved forecasting and manufacturing/company planning. Thus, decision-making can be improved – not only in factories, but also in management and with respect to the supply chain

Kistler offers measurement solutions for recording and monitoring highly dynamic machining processes based on forces (force and strain), acoustic emissions and vibrations. The company’s robust measurement technology is directly connected to the machine control system and is suitable for applications in harsh environments.

Moreover, Kistler also offers smart maintenance services and trainings in machining applications, CNC machine evaluation and Machining Excellence.

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