Schunk iTendo Toolholder Monitors Machining Processes
The Schunk iTendo toolholder records metal cutting processes, monitors previously defined limit values and enables real-time adaptive control of rotation speed and feed rate.
Schunk’s iTendo sensory toolholder enables high-resolution monitoring for machining processes and real-time control of cutting parameters. The toolholder also comes with an acceleration sensor and electronics.
The iTendo is designed to seamlessly record the metal cutting process, monitor previously-defined exact limit values and, in the event of irregularities, enable real-time adaptive control of the rotation speed and feed rate, among other measures. The intelligent toolholder records data at the tool and transmits it wirelessly via Bluetooth to a receiver unit in the machine room, where a cable forwards it to a control and evaluation unit. According to the company, this system provides more precise process data than other solutions for process monitoring. This information collection is designed to close the loop on industry 4.0 machine processes and take the guesswork out of machine adjustments.
In pilot applications, the intelligent mounting has improved performance for milling, drilling, countersinking and deburring.
The company is standardizing the iTendo for the HSK-A 63 interface with clamping diameters from 6 to 32 mm and a length of 130 mm. The sensory toolholder is suitable for coolant use and designed for speeds ranging to 10,000 rpm. The commissioning and data analysis is carried out via a browser-based dashboard on standard PCs, tablet computers or smartphones.
In the simplest configuration, which operators can implement without machine-side adjustments, the dashboard displays live data from the sensor via a local connection. In a second configuration, a service technician connects the real-time controller to the machine control system via digital or analog I/O for simple alarm triggering and process adaptive control. The third configuration enables additional information exchange with the machine. Users can operate and centrally control any variant via a cloud solution.
Companies concerned about strict quality requirements regularly check toolholder tapers for wear or inaccuracy because these conditions can jeopardize the results of a critical operation. However, a shop can check tapers quickly and reliably with air gages. These devices can be used effectively without special operator training. For measuring taper in a production environment, few other methods can match the speed and performance of air, as multiple-circuit air jets can be placed in very small taper gages.
The retention knob is an unmistakably critical component of the machining process. However, the tightening of the knob itself can lead to the toolholder not seating securely in the machine. You may be losing tool life to knob tightness without even knowing it.
A system to be marketed in 2015 will apply ultrasonic vibration from within the toolholder to reduce cutting force and improve the performance of the cut.