Understanding the physics of the machine can significantly reduce the time in diagnosing the problem. A standard technique known as Modal Testing (Tap Testing) is used to analyze the frequency, mass, stiffness, and damping of the tool side and part side. Animated mode shapes of the structure can be produced quickly. Along with the cutting parameters and vibration frequencies during cutting, the type of vibration can be determined (Self-Excited Chatter, Resonance, Forced Vibration, or Imbalance). Recommendations change based on the type of vibration is our specialty. Approximately 80% of our solutions take less than 2 days, while 50% of those are less than 4 hours onsite.
Understanding the forces on the tool and part provides the input to estimate the amount of deflection (since stiffness is known from Structural Testing). The loads on the spindle and servo drives can also be determined thus verifying the system is not being overloaded. We have software available to estimate the cutting forces, we can instrument your machine or we can perform test cuts in a lab to determine the forces experimentally using dynamometers.
Understanding the type of wear mechanism using a microscope helps determine the potential cause and assists in recommending an improved tool design or process parameters. If tool life is your problem, a microscopic image of your tool is our first step. We can also run TOOL LIFE TEST TRIALS headed by our industry experts in collaboration with our University Machine Shops. In plant tool evaluation and 6-Sigma Blackbelt studies can be performed to meet customer requirements.
We have the capability to track Power (Single or 3-phase VFD) to analyze the cutting process. We use this in addition to vibrations or acoustics to tackle given problems. Power Monitoring analysis is extremely useful in diagnosing motor/spindle issues, grinding or turning problems.
Finite Element Analysis can be used to improve machine design, fixture design, spindle design, and process design. If our experimental data-driven techniques do not provide enough info, an FEA model will be created and validated by experiment to provide an improved design.
Using the correct cutting fluid, filters, and delivery can significantly impact part cost and quality. We can provide a 3rd party walk through and recommendation that will exceed your typical support from the coolant vendor.