ToolSense aims to develop, upscale and commercialize Smart Cutting Tools capable of on-line measurement and monitoring of forces, vibrations and temperatures in a machining process. This is necessary as manufacturing industries (for instance aerospace and hydraulic components) face high machining costs. This occurs on one hand because demands on product quality continuously increase; and on the other while manufacturing processes have become more complicated, featuring higher temperatures and pressures.
Improved process control is therefore needed to save costs, especially when utilizing cutting tools under high temperature and/or (mechanical) constraints. These loads, if not managed correctly and optimized, can negatively affect the quality of the products or parts, leading to poor product tolerances, surface and sub-surface defects. In turn, these deficits can lead to malfunctions. But they can also lead to rapid wear of cutting tools or tool failure, resulting in high costs when machines have to be stopped to exchange the tools.
Therefore, ToolSense will develop and test sensor technologies accompanied by optimized tooling, tool materials and tool micro-geometries. These innovations will enhance the optimization of thermal management of (coolant) processes and early detection of tool pre-failure. By integrating and jointly developing these innovations, the technology enables a proper corrective action and implements adaptive and highly automated production systems whilst maintaining a zero-defect policy.
These tools will be implemented within the existing value chain of advanced aeronautic and hydraulic components, where the need for reliable and resilient products and processes are most pressing. The tooling industry, sensor technology experts and component manufacturers will collaborate to achieve this ambitious goal.