An increasing number of newly developed and increasingly difficult to machine materials have created new challenges in the cutting technology industry. In particular these materials are high-temperature alloys and composites, which beside their high hardness put the tools under high thermal strain. At the same time manufacturing technology must now put a strong emphasis on environmental issues and sustainability, which challenges conventional cooling methods. By using a self-learning adaptive process control it is possible to stabilise the machining conditions. This will not only improve part accuracies and productivity but also enable the economical cutting of a larger range of materials by minimising tool wear.
Process control systems with adaptive and self-learning characteristics have thus far concentrated on the analysis of cutting forces and manipulation of the kinematical process parameters. The ConTemp project is focusing on controlling and stabilising the tool temperature. To make an effective temperature control possible it is necessary to develop a self-learning platform that analyses the process as well as a cutting tool that enables the machining system to monitor and influence the temperature of the workpiece and cutting tool to prevent part damage and tool wear.
The control system will consider its knowledge of the material's cutting behaviour and the geometrical and kinematical parameters of the process to estimate dynamic process conditions. The knowledge base is fed during the process by constantly monitoring the measured temperatures. By estimating the process conditions the system is especially well suited for small batch production where time consuming optimisation procedures can be reduced by the self-optimising control. The tool system is based on a novel closed circuit internal micro cooling device that enables an effective temperature control of the tool as well as the measurement of temperatures. Calculation, simulation and modelling of this tool must be applied for optimisation of the design of the tool and the control system. Beyond the scope of the project the platform may be expanded to use different types of sensors and also control other process parameters. The internal cooling approach also offers the possibility to influence temperature and lubrication independently.
The ConTemp project thereby constitutes the development of a new generation of high performance intelligent and environmentally friendly cutting tools. The optimisation of machining parameters such as feed and cutting speed permits the reduction of machining times and costs through a decrease of manufacturing times. To allow the improvement of these parameters beyond the state-of-the-art, developments on the classic dry machining process must be made. Through ConTemp the application of cooling lubricant is avoided by a closed internal cooling system. Through this dry machining approach the high costs for the provision and disposal of the cooling lubricant are drastically reduced and environmental damage is also minimised, thus taking a step towards sustainable manufacturing. By an estimation of one of the ConTemp partners, PSFU, the potential reduction amounts to 20 % of the production costs. With effective cooling it may become possible to keep the tool in a safe temperature range to enable the application of diamond coatings in the machining of ferrous materials. Currently the application of diamond tools in machining of ferrous materials is limited to polycristalline diamond (PCD) inserts for finishing operations. Furthermore, in conventional processes with cooling lubricants, the temperature difference between the hot chips and the cooling lubricant leads to wear on the cutting edge of the tool caused by micro-cracks. This thermal shock damage is avoided by the internally cooled system and thus tool life and part accuracy are increased.
The innovative system will be designed for easy integration into existing machine tools. This approach enables SMEs to profit from the economical as well as the ecological advantages of the new technology. It also prepares SMEs to meet the rising demand for the machining of innovative materials with tailored properties such as high hardness and wear resistance combined with reduced weight. Unfortunately these desirable material properties are often combined with difficulties in machining. As a result the machined surface qualities are either inacceptable or cannot be manufactured economically. The development of new tools and strategies is therefore a major challenge for the European economy to maintain a leading position in the use of advanced materials.
The following innovations are expected as a result of the project:
Development of a self-learning platform
Analysis and estimation of process conditions
Self-optimisation of different manufacturing tasks
Development of a new tool system
Micro structured high performance cooling device
Easy to integrate into existing manufacturing systems
Higher stability of the cutting process
Longer tool life by minimised thermal shock
Higher quality of the produced parts, reduction of sub-surface damage
Less ecological impact by avoiding cooling lubricant
Economical machining of new workpiece materials
Therefore, the project will lead to high value innovative products, high value manufacturing capability and enable an adaptive manufacturing process. Environmentally friendly and sustainable machining will also be enabled by the ConTemp project.
36-month Review meeting
18th and 19th October 2012
location: London (GB)
Second issue of ConTemp
newsletter is available
Please contact the coordinator
for subscribing the newsletter
04th July 2012
location: Munich (GER)
Technische Universitšt Berlin
30-month Consortium meeting
22nd and 23rd May 2012
location: Orbassano (IT)
Centro Ricerche Fiat S.C.p.A.
20th November 2011
location: Frankfurt/Main (GER)
C.F.K CNC Fertigungstechnik
24-month Consortium Meeting
02nd November 2011
location: Milano (IT)
Wolfram Carb SpA
20th October 2011
location: Kriftel (GER)
C.F.K. CNC-Fertigungs- technik Kriftel GmbH
First issue of ConTemp newsletter available
For subscribing the newsletter please contact the coordinator
18-month Midterm Review
27th/28th June 2011
location: Berlin (GER)
Technische Universitšt Berlin
25th/26th November 2010
location: Innsbruck (A)
10th/11th May 2010
location: Uxbridge (GB)
21th April 2010
location: Hannover (GER)
Technische Universitšt Berlin