Applications in the micromachining range
This new solution is ideal for use in micro-turning processes. Because the deviations in this range are minimal, little can be gained from alternative measurement methods such as monitoring the drive power of the main spindle motor. Likewise, measurement of structure-borne sound cannot be used because it does not deliver constant results with small workpieces. And visual observation also has to be ruled out due to the use of cooling lubricants and the high rotation speeds during the machining process.
Tool monitoring with PTS involves continuous recording of the cutting forces. This data is then evaluated to give customers a trend analysis of the cutting tool’s life expectancy. Thanks to PTS, tool lifetimes can be extended and production efficiency is boosted. Another benefit: machines no longer have to be permanently monitored, so partially unmanned production becomes possible.
“Our tests have shown that in most cases, it’s only the critical tool in a manufacturing process that needs to be equipped with PTS,” according to Gunnar Keitzel, Head of the Cutting Force Business Field at Kistler. “This results in vastly increased tool lifetimes – but that’s not all. Personnel can also be deployed more efficiently. One single employee has an overview of all the processes, so he or she can supervise several machines at the same time.”
The new solution is compatible with standard turning tool holders from Horn. PTS does not require an intervention in the CNC control, so use of the system is not machine-dependent. Thanks to all these features, the Piezo Tool System delivers dual benefits: lower manufacturing costs and increased production capacity.