What is it about?

The factory of the future will be one where all the devices are connected and aware of each other’s actions. Led by a data centric approach, they will work together, constantly upgrading the way they function to reduce waste, save energy, and improve their capacity for production. This concept of connecting machines and devices is known as the Internet of all things (IoT). It may be best known to us through our idea of smart homes. IoT applications in industries, though, is different. Most IoT frameworks succeed in collecting data about processes in industries. But human input is required to adjust processes based on these data. This limits the use of IoT technologies, especially for those processes that require instant feedback. One such process is manufacturing. This paper presents an IoT architecture that can optimize the turning operation of a lathe. It can hence extend the life of this cutting tool. The material in a computer numerical control lathe is set to rotate on a spindle. As it does so, a tool cuts and shapes it. For their experiments, the authors added something to the process. They introduced a feedback mechanism. Based on strain readings obtained from the sensors affixed to the cutting tool, this mechanism could predict the wear of the tool. It could then make instant adjustments to the spindle's speed to reduce its wear. In this way, the IoT mechanism could extend the spindle's life by 82%.

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Why is it important?

Manufacturing tools that wear out faster than expected result in delays and higher production costs. Thus, increasing the life of these tools could help a lot. Machines can use this IoT technology to adjust their functioning and extend the life of their tools themselves, based on real time data. What's more, its predictive models are stored on the cloud. This means that it can be scaled and integrated into other machines! KEY TAKEAWAY: The authors propose an IoT framework that can extend the life of a cutting tool by adjusting its speed. This framework could improve the production and output of industries.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: An IoT Architecture for Automated Machining Process Control: A Case Study of Tool Life Enhancement in Turning Operations, Smart and Sustainable Manufacturing Systems, February 2019, ASTM International,
DOI: 10.1520/ssms20190017.
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