Users and applications should drive tool engineering
As expected, around two-thirds of the companies questioned ranked robustness, operator-friendliness and flexibility as the most important selection criteria for process monitoring systems. Surprisingly, however, 50% of them could not envisage the ways modern process monitoring systems could help them check on the purity of the cooling lubricant or assess various tribological systems in terms of cooling-lubricant strategy or coating technology. Functions of this nature are always useful when difficult-to-machine new materials are involved.
Quite a few respondents (75%) did not wish to spend more than €10,000 on a process monitoring system. Most of them expressed a preference for the system to be integrated within the machine control system.
Tool qualification and development thus are regarded as pivotal factors in further optimising cutting technology, particularly in the case of machining difficult materials. In addition, adapting the cooling-lubricant strategy to harmonise with the tool specification is rapidly gaining in importance. Finally, process monitoring systems will become more important in process design and control. They must, however, be robust, user-friendly and flexible.