Simulation software optimizes milling processes

Project duration: 2019/02/01 until 2021/01/31

In the drive to digitalize production, milling operations are increasingly being complemented by software systems which facilitate the design process. The aim is to improve product quality and achieve significant reductions in manufacturing costs. Although simulation software can help to improve the milling process technologically, its potential is not yet being fully exploited and as a result, milling processes continue to be conducted under sub-optimal process conditions. Consequently, tool costs are high and product quality lags well behind the realms of what is technically possible.

Simulation and "Grey Box Model"

The Fraunhofer IPT has its own simulation tool which calculates the amount of material the milling tool has removed from the workpiece. The simulation permits important influencing variables, such as contact length, cutting speeds and chip thickness, which characterize the milling process, to be determined before production commences. On the basis of the simulation results and experimental wear investigations, the software generates a "Grey Box Model", consisting of one analytical wear model and an artificial neural network (ANN). Using this model, the wear sustained by the tool can be determined in quantitative terms. Consequently, when the milling operation is being designed, tool wear can be forecast with pinpoint precision on the basis of the simulation results and some material parameters. Thus, "CAMWear" improves the outcomes of milling operations since it predicts the exact point in time at which the tool needs to be changed well in advance – back at the process planning stage, in fact.

Advantages of "CAMWear" at a glance

  • Higher process reliability achieved by taking account of the tool wear status
  • Improved surface quality of the workpiece as removal marks caused by sub-optimal tool change positions can be eliminated
  • Lower tool costs arising from longer use of the tools deployed
  • Increased reliability in planning tool utilization
  • More economically efficient milling processes
  • Lower number of microscopic wear measurements required in order monitor tools
  • Reduced finishing costs due to higher levels of surface quality.

Projekt Duration

2019/02/01 until 2021/01/31

Project Partners

  • FVP, Forschungsvereinigung Programmiersprachen für Fertigungseinrichtungen e.V.
  • Members of the project support committee from industrial organizations

Project Funding

The project will be funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) as part of the German Federation of Cooperative Industrial Research Associations (AiF)  under the "Otto von Guericke" Funding Initiative.