Product Details Supplier Info More products

Blum Novotest has introduced the Tool Monitor Adaptive Control (TMAC) system, which helps to protect CNC machines while providing valuable information regarding the cutting process.

The TMAC is an addition to the Blum product portfolio that has been developed by Caron Engineering, a technical partner of Blum Novotest.

It is suitable for use in the mould and die, aerospace, automotive and medical industries.

The system reduces the high cost of replacement tools, lost production and rejected parts by effectively measuring tool wear in real time.

It operates on the principle that the horsepower required to cut a part increases as the condition of the cutting edges of the tool deteriorate.

US manufacturers such as Pratt and Witney, Smith and Wesson, John Deere, Smiths Aerospace, Volvo Aerospace, Arvin Meritor, MTU Aero Engines and Stryker Howmedica have all endorsed the product while General Electric Aircraft install the TMAC system on every machine tool.

The TMAC system comprises of a main controller, horsepower transducer, vibration sensor and the TMS display software – all of which can be simply integrated into any CNC machine tool and Windows-based PC.

The software enables the machine to be monitored from the shop floor or remotely from the office.

TMAC can work in conjunction with the Blum laser control system where tool breakage detection and tool wear monitoring is done with TMAC, while tool length and radius measurement, compensation of thermal effects or the deviations caused by high spindle speeds can be done with the laser.

Customers using TMAC and laser systems as a complement to each other can have the complete cutting process under control.

TMAC has a learn mode that learns the tools for each job and their respective horsepower.

In this mode, the operator can set the horsepower limitations for each tool.

For example, a 25 per cent increase in power can be considered as wear, while a 50 per cent increase can be considered as extreme.

This information is relayed to the CNC control to allow corrective action.

To further enhance the cutting process, the adaptive control feature of TMAC will automatically override the feed rate to maintain constant horsepower.

The result, according to Blum, is reduced cycle times, optimised cutting conditions and improved tool life.

The adaptive control system is designed to deal with material variations commonplace in castings and forgings; variations in tooling and tool run-out; variations in coolant flow and concentration; and contour cutting with a continually changing material thickness and cutter load.

It is claimed to reduce cycle times by an average of 10 to 40 per cent by optimising feed rates, reducing feed rates in hard spots and increasing them in soft areas or voids.

This has recently been demonstrated by a UK customer that continually machines large castings and forgings with material variations.

This feature optimises cycle times and still provides limits to protect the machine and tool.

Added to this, a new built-in feature of adaptive control is the ability to control approach and exit feed rates with a fixed value.

The system has vibration monitoring that can be an advantage for non-rotating tools, coolant flow monitoring and a multitude of additional tools to view the tool performance live and gather historical data to compile performance reports.

Blum-Novotest GmbH is recognized as a developer of leading-edge measurement and testing technology, with some 40 years of experience as partner for the worldwide machine tool, automotive and aircraft industries.

The business develops and produces tactile and optical measuring systems for workpiece measurement and tool setting applications in machine tools. Alongside this, Blum develops and manufactures production line integrated measuring and testing solutions.

In addition to the modern, fast growing manufacturing sites near Ravensburg (Germany, BW) and Willich (Germany, NRW) Blum has sales & service subsidiaries in Bordeaux, Como, Birmingham, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore and Shanghai.

View full profile