The Rise of Automation in Manufacturing

As the manufacturing industry continues to develop, there is increased pressure on organisations to achieve perfection in production. Components must be produced with exceptional accuracy whilst meeting critical lead times.

Boring operations are equally as stringent, organisations need bores to be machined with micron accuracy, meeting and maintaining critical tolerances in both low and high volume manufacturing operations.

In order to gain an advantage in production, many industry leading organisations move away from manual, human operations to automated systems.

ActiveEdge — Automatic Compensation for Boring Operations

Rigibore’s ActiveEdge boring solution allows automatic compensations to be made to the tools cutting edge using wireless technology.

ActiveEdge tooling can be integrated with a gauging or probing device, allowing CNC programs to monitor bore sizes and adjust accordingly as part of a closed loop boring system.

The Process

  1. Initial Bore — Firstly, A hole is bored using the ActiveEdge boring tool.
  2. Measurement — The bore is measured using a probing or gauging system, the measured diameter is then translated and saved in a variable in the CNC machine.
  3. Assessment — This measured diameter is assessed against a set of Statistical Process Control (SPC) macros that run on CNC machines, setting an upper and lower control limit on bore sizes.
  4. Adjustment — If bore sizes are not within this user defined parameter, an automatic compensation request is sent directly to the ActiveEdge tool, which adjusts to ensure the next machined bore is returned to nominal size.

Fig.1 — ActiveEdge Closed-Loop Boring Diagram

Why Automate?

ActiveEdge tooling has created sustained performance benefits for industry leading organisations on a global scale, here are some of the important benefits this automated process delivers.

Factor Importance ActiveEdge Solution
Increase productivity Organisations must create a streamlined manufacturing process to increase output and meet critical lead times. Diameter changes are made without removing the tool from the machine carousel, dramatically reducing cycle time.
Reduce labour requirements Whether it is a general shortage of labour or the cost of skilled labour to achieve accuracy, organisations can experience a number of difficulties with regards to staffing. The ActiveEdge tool automatically adjust to account for insert wear, material inconsistency and temperature change. This removes reliance on skilled operators to be present and perform manual adjustments.
Health and safety improvements Organisations must adhere to legislation, taking steps to ensure worker safety throughout the manufacturing process. The ActiveEdge performs adjustments without the operator entering the machine spindle, removing risks associated with injury.
Control production process In order to achieve continuous machining improvements, organisations must ensure an accurate, consistent and repeatable boring process. ActiveEdge tooling sets predetermined upper and lower warning limits on bore sizes. This ensures a narrow tolerance band, with low deviation of bore sizes and a higher Cpk.
Remove errors Organisations strive for exceptional component accuracy, meeting precision tolerances. Industries such as aerospace and automotive both machine components of extreme value, and subsequently can not risk scrap. ActiveEdge tooling can perform a trial cut, using this data to correct any inaccuracies and achieve the required diameter on the finish bore with absolute accuracy. This method guarantees complete confidence to produce the perfect bore. By automating bore sizes, the ActiveEdge tool achieves accuracy which is not possible by manual adjustment measures.

Learn more about ActiveEdge

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