Monitoring Spindle Bearing Health
Caron Engineering’s Tool Monitoring Adaptive Control (TMAC) now has the capability of monitoring spindle bearing health.
Caron Engineering’s Tool Monitoring Adaptive Control (TMAC) now has the capability of monitoring spindle bearing health. TMAC is a tool monitoring system that provides immediate machine stop and retract when a tool breaks in order to minimize damage. Designed to ease unattended operation, the adaptive control feature automatically adjusts the feed rate to maintain a constant tool load, which reduces cycle time with difficult-to-machine materials, the company says. Additionally, TMAC can monitor vibration, strain, coolant pressure, coolant flow and spindle speed.
For spindle bearing analysis, a vibration sensor attached to the spindle is hardwired to TMAC. The vibration signal is analyzed for the acceleration signature (which indicates the health of the bearings) and the velocity signature (which detects misalignment, imbalance and looseness). The bearing analysis is initiated through the CNC part program. Results are displayed within 5 sec., and TMAC saves reports to a file for analysis. A visual color indicator on the TMAC screen shows the result of the most recent analysis. The icon appears green when the bearings are in good or excellent health, yellow when they need attention and red when they need immediate attention.
Decisions about the cutting tools used in machining operations are arguably among the most important in modern manufacturing.
For two shops in northern Indiana, using MTConnect for machine monitoring was just the start. Both shops are now ready to implement other promising applications.
Introduced at IMTS 2008, this communications protocol for CNC machines and other manufacturing equipment is already helping shops and plants implement effective machine monitoring systems. Although these "early adopters" are motivated by the long-term promise of enterprise-wide efficiency gains, their experience with pilot projects shows that benefits derived in the short term are substantial and worthwhile.