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Optical 3D Metrology Provides Closed-Loop ‘Edge Rounding’

This year’s GrindingHub will take place in Stuttgart from May 14 to 17, 2024. Bruker Alicona will be exhibiting for the first time alongside with Nagel Maschinen- und Werkzeugfabrik GmbH, the world’s leading specialist in honing and superfinishing technology, to present the automated NaPrep cutting edge preparation cell.

NaPrep For Selective and Defined Rounding of Cutting Edges

Selective and defined cutting edge rounding has many well-known advantages: it reduces the risk of chipping and increases quality and tool life; chip removal and the surface finish are also improved. For NaPrep , the honing and superfinishing company Nagel relies on process automation with included quality assurance from Bruker Alicona.

Combined Precision Machining and Robotics

“We have expertise in precision machining and in robotics. It therefore made sense to combine these two areas of expertise,” explains Manuel Kernchen, Product Manager of NaPrep in the Advanced Robotic Solutions department at Nagel. The highlights for the machining industry are multi-faced:

➤ The integrated quality assurance system enables automatic process correction, providing a closed loop

➤ Robot-based process control supports manless shift operation

➤ NaPrep enables automatic wear compensation

➤ Optical sensors are used for workpiece detection and edge orientation

➤ NaPrep offers intuitive operation with simple set-up and teaching methods

The brushing process itself is suitable for round tools with lengths of 35 mm to one meter; the diameters of the round tools for “NaPrep” can be between 1.5 and 20 mm. The robot based automation also offers the advantage that almost all geometries and free forms can be processed.

Optical 3D Metrology Enables a Closed-Loop

‘NaPrep’ is equipped with optical 3D metrology from Bruker Alicona. The integrated EdgeMaster technology enables high-resolution and robust measurements of edge rounding, including evaluation software based on future VDI standards. The automated measurement results can be transferred to the process, enabling automated control within the cell. “Bruker Alicona’s measurement technology is a market leader and much more accurate than tactile methods,” says Kernchen, explaining why Nagel chose the Austrian manufacturer as its partner for “NaPrep”.

Highest Quality For Cutting Tools

In addition to the automated edge rounding cell ‘NaPrep’, Bruker Alicona will also provide insights into its own portfolio cutting edges quality assurance. The EdgeMasterX and the InfiniteFocus G6 will be displayed at this year’s GrindingHub. The brand new FocusX will also be available for test measurements on-site. The Focus variation technology used sets standards not only in terms of edge rounding, but also in the measurement of: reLl edge geometry, sharpness, roughness of the rake face, and over 50 other edge parameters.

The working distance of optical measuring systems in particular is an important factor in the tool industry, enabling accessibility and therefore accurate measurements of sharp edges. Optical metrology enables non-contact, reproducible, and traceable 3D measurements that can be carried out completely independently of the type, material, size, and surface finish of the cutting tool.

Round Tool Alignment Available

The rollout of the new version of MetMaX in spring 2024 will also see the introduction of a new software feature in measurement planning: Round Tool Alignment. This will take automation in the area of round tools to a whole new level. The measuring positions of interest for edge rounding are planned by the operator directly on the tool’s CAD. The next step is to clamp the tool and proceed with the measurement. An automated sensor routine recognizes the orientation of the tool and aligns it with the CAD data. This is possible by thanks to the combination of an optical sensor, the automated nosepiece, and software intelligence to determine the orientation of the cutting edge. The 3D measurements and evaluations of the edge rounding are then carried out according to the positions defined on the CAD.

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