SBIR Phase I: Intelligent Tool Wear Monitoring

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

VeritasCNC, Inc.
201 Stable Road
Carrboro, NC 27510
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This Small Business Innovative Research Phase 1 project will investigate the confluence of process verification and tool wear technologies. Process verification - physics-based analysis and optimization of the machining process and sequel to purely geometric NC verification - can significantly improve the reliability and productivity of 21st Century manufacturing. Physics-based systems are based on tool force modeling and depend critically on input process model parameters called cutting energies. As the tool wears, these cutting energies and associated tool forces can double or triple, invalidating recommended cutting conditions based on sharp tool parameters, leading to broken tooling and disruptions in manufacture. This project will monitor spindle power to determine the cutting energies in situ, providing accurate updated model parameters and tool forces. Most importantly, in addition to providing reliable tool forces, the updated cutting energies may provide valuable tool wear information. In contrast to current commercial tool monitoring systems, the proposed system does not require laborious user-directed learning experiments. Following on some preliminary experiments, this effort will investigate whether the absolute value and time dependence of the cutting energies can be used to inform the user of the dominant wear mechanism, the extent of the tool wear and the expected remaining tool life. NC verification (virtual machining validating the part geometry) has become an ubiquitous technology. Process verification, based on tool force modeling, in principal can provide valuable guidance in setting optimal machining conditions. In practice, very few such