The thread milling cutter is worn out after only a few passes, the quality of the glass surface does not meet the requirements, the machine has repeatedly downtime due to tool breakage. Problems like these in the cutting process are solved by the intelligent TENDO² toolholder. With its 100 G acceleration sensor, the hydraulic expansion toolholder records vibrations directly on the tool, thereby providing users with particularly precise stability data in real time. These enable problems in workflows to be identified and processes to be optimized. Users can then increase their tool service life and improve machining results.
The TENDO² also supports the introduction of new processes within a very short time. This is ensured by documenting and comparing different processes, the sensitive toolholder can find the optimal areas for stable metal cutting. This is how an ideal process can be set up. Thomas Wittkowski, specialist for digital products at SCHUNK, explains: "Customers would prefer a machine that comes directly with the finished process. We can't afford to do that. But iTENDO² allows us to meet the need for more process know-how and makes it easy to implement new work steps."
SCHUNK also wants to make it easy to get started with smart technology. To this end, the company offers the intelligent toolholder in three product packages for different tasks and complexities. The iTENDO² pad package includes the toolholder and a tablet in a handy aluminum case. In the basic version, the hydraulic expansion toolholder sends its data directly to the connected tablet PC. The standard app makes it possible for alarm and trend evaluations to be performed intuitively. The chatter index (10 Hz data) reflects the intensity of the vibrations. Users can use the data to increase the transparency of their processes, compare different workflows and optimize them over the long term. In addition, the package lends itself to adjust the parameters to the new processes. Since the interfering contour of the compact and powerful iTENDO² corresponds 1:1 to that of a SCHUNK standard toolholder, the clever toolholder can be easily replaced by a standard product once the process is set. Extensive reprogramming of the system is not necessary. With the iTENDO², SCHUNK takes the idea of the intelligent toolholder to the next level.
The iTENDO² easy connect package includes a simple data interface. It can transfer measured values of the toolholder to other systems. It offers users the option of using the signals of the iTENDO² for machine or process monitoring. The third iTENDO² pro package goes one step further, offering complete machine integration. Apps for different applications should be offered on an edge device. Partner applications are also possible here. And to round off the package, SCHUNK plans to offer various cloud functionalities in the future to document and control processing and statuses directly in the cloud. This version is currently still under development. All versions are upward compatible. After the uncomplicated test run with the tablet PC version, the switch to automated process monitoring and adaptation is made easy. Speeds of rotation up to 30,000 RPM make it suitable for use in many industries and demanding series operations.
The smart system shows its strengths in industries where the surface quality is important, such as in the aerospace industry. Precision drilling presents a great challenge to the operator, especially with high-performance composites. Absolute process reliability and precision are required here – and that with excellent surface qualities. With combined countersinking of thin-walled large components in the aircraft industry, there is a danger that chatter marks will appear in the counterbore due to increasing tool wear or an unstable setup. In the iTENDO² pad package, the toolholder monitors compliance with the surface quality when countersinking directly on the workpiece. If the vibrations exceed a limit value the connected tablet PC sounds an alarm.
This allows the user to react in time, and thus significantly minimizing rejects in the process. In addition, the use of the clever toolholder saves expensive post-process measurements. With precise process data, quality-relevant characteristics can already be reliably documented and optimized during the machining process. This allows tool service life to be extended and cycle times to be increased. The iTENDO² pad also detects tool wear through changing vibration patterns during the process, for example when using a brush to debur. This is important because the brush needs to be readjusted once it reaches a certain level of wear. If the toolholder identifies the optimal time for this, the tablet PC displays a warning. By making timely adjustments, users can maximize the service life of their deburring brush and optimize the safety and quality of their process.
The smart toolholder also detects tool breakage of very small tools, which are difficult to monitor due to their low cutting forces. The tablet PC informs the user when strong vibrations indicate that the tool is about to break. By exchanging the tool in time, users can avoid damage to the workpiece and unplanned machine downtime as well as high financial losses. Wittkowski explains: "If, for example, a glass optic for a space mirror breaks due to a tool fracture, costs of half a million euros can quickly arise. The iTENDO² helps to prevent this kind of damage."
The iTENDO² battery lasts 10 hours. Replacement is possible through the SCHUNK service. The clamping device experts also take care of assembling the modular system. To start with, the sensory toolholder is available in the size HSK-A63 Ø20x90. Smaller diameters are also possible by using intermediate sleeves. SCHUNK will gradually expand the series to include additional interfaces and diameters.
The company plans to transfer the technology to other tool holding systems in the future, and will also use it in the field of stationary workholding. "After all, process and quality monitoring plays a role in many other areas," said Thomas Wittkowski. "We also plan to use other artificial intelligence elements. We hope this will help us in gaining even more knowledge when it comes to vibrations in the coming years."