Smart Cutting Tools for High Precision Smart Machining

Brunel University London Background
Smart cutting tools and smart machining have tremendous potential, which is becoming one of new generation high value precision manufacturing technologies in line with the advance of Industry 4.0. In modern advanced manufacturing, it is becoming an essential trend for machining components with increasing requirements on dimensional/form accuracy, finer surface roughness, productivity, and even delicate surface functionality. Furthermore, for many high value precision machining processes, it is important to use smart cutting tools to carry out the processes in a ‘proactive’ manner, in order to cope with the machining dynamics, process variations, dynamic complexity, improving the machining efficiency and quality simultaneously, and working in a highly competitive smart automation manner.
Technology Overview
This project presents the innovative design and development of two types of smart cutting tools, including a smart cutting tool incorporated with cutting forces in-process measurement function for highly competitive precision machining environment , and a smart cutting tool based on surface acoustic wave (SAW) principle for ultraprecision and micromachining purposes .
Further Detail
Further technical details on the Smart cutting tool shown in Figure 1 can be found in the following research papers: Adaptive smart machining based on using constant cutting force and a smart cutting tool and Design of an instrumented smart cutting tool and its implementation and application perspectives – IOPscience
Benefits
Smart cutting tools can lead to the unique manufacturing advantages and benefits, including:

Improving the component surface finish
Maximizing the cutting tool life and cutting performance
Machining complex geometrized components with improved precision and efficiency, such as thin-wall structures, hollow cylinders or slender shafts
Process optimization in the light of autonomous cutting forces sensing
Enabling self-learning and performance improvement in the process by working with the CNC system
Sensing of the cutting process dynamically, covering cutting forces, chip formation, and interactions at the cutting zone
Acting as the in-process sensor for the process monitoring, automation and continuous optimization.

Applications

High throughput precision turning processes and applications
Cutting tools manufacture
Diamond turning for high value manufacture
Smart diamond turning of freeform surfaced components and devices 

Opportunity
Brunel University is actively searching for a partner to further develop this technology with a view to commercialisation. Additionally Brunel is looking for consultants.

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