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GF Agiecharmilles has introduced an Intelligent Tool Measurement (ITM) system that provides optical tool measurement at full spindle speed on a range of its High-Speed Milling (HSM) machines.

Achieving and maintaining tool accuracy is vital for manufacturers machining high-precision complex parts and intricate features, but measuring a tool’s accuracy is entirely dependent on the measuring equipment available.

Sometimes, owing to machined chips, debris or coolant sticking to a tool, the measurement results obtained by traditional technology, such as a laser beam, can result in the machine’s control system being given incorrect tool measurement data.

This problem can be solved in some instances by blasting the tool with air but this is not a fail-safe method and giving tools one or more blasts does not guarantee their cleanliness.

GF Agiecharmilles’ ITM system, now available on a range of its HSM machines, addresses this problem by providing optical tool measurement at full spindle speed.

Modern image sensors on the company’s machines measure the tool and analyse its length, diameter, tip quantity and quality, radius and so on.

This data is compared against the real image of the tool, the values of which have been input previously.

Such reference data enables the ITM system to digitally subtract the debris/contamination from the milling or drilling tool and to therefore determine its actual and accurate geometry, providing an absolute Z-reference in the micron range.

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