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Some high value components require to be machined in a contamination-free environment, which means coolant cannot be applied during the machining.However, dry cutting condition would lead to tool wear and high cutting temperature, and poor surface quality would thus occur and tool life be shortened.Aiming at high quality surfaces and dimensional/form accuracy, some monitoring methods have been proposed to monitor cutting forces with high precision and the process conditions.
The paper also explores and discusses the implementation and application perspectives of those smart tools against the smart machining requirements from a number of industrial applications, such as micromachining maintained with constant cutting force, extra-high speed micro drilling, and contamination-free machining of medical device or explosive materials [Smart cutting tools are built with autonomous sensing and self-learning capabilities, and operate in-process sensoring and actuation and will thus likely lead to improved part quality and surface roughness, reduced production costs and higher manufacturing productivity.
They are characterized with some distinguished features such as plug-and-play, autonomous operation, self-condition monitoring, self-positioning adjustment, self-learning, compatible with highly automated CNC environments.
Four types of smart toolings have been developed by the authors as highlighted in Figure .
They include the cutting force measurement based smart cutting tool, cutting temperature oriented smart cutting tool, fast tool servo (FTS), and the smart fixtures and smart collets, which are applicable to measure cutting force, cutting temperature, tool positioning and actuation in process, respectively or combined.
A fast tool servo is normally employed to position the cutting tool operating in a dynamic cutting and actuation scenario with a high precision accuracy and wide bandwidth, for precision machining of complex geometrical features in particular.
Smart collets and smart fixtures are essential as enabling machining system devices for smart machining.
Tool wear or tool breakage can also increase the cutting forces and vibrations in the machining system, which will result in poor surface roughness, loss of the form and dimensional accuracy, and even chatter marks on machined surfaces .
In order to avoid such manufacturing defects or tool damages, some devices are designed and developed to measure the cutting forces and cutting dynamics.
Based on the underlying principle and application requirements above, four types of smart tools are developed, including a cutting force based smart tool, a cutting temperature sensing oriented internally cooled cutting tool a fast tool servo (FTS), and smart collets for ultraprecision and micro machining purposes.
This paper presents the design concept, development processes, application principles for the above smart tools, for high precision and micro machining in particular.