Research Projects

Assessment of Intelligent Predictive Monitoring System (IPMS)

The Intelligent Predictive Monitoring System (IPMS) is a new technology developed by the Mechatronics group of SIMTech. It can be installed on machine-tools for real-time tracking of cutter life during machining processes. The aim is to reduce the machining failure rate and maximise the lifespan of the cutters. In this project, cost models based on process-based cost modelling approach were created for machining processes with or without IPMS. The models are applied to case studies to benchmark the performances. A series of tests and analyses have identified the critical cost factors and their behaviour, and revealed its value propositions for critical decisions in its commercialisation. 

Solution

1) Model the machining process using Process-based Cost Modeling (PBCM) methodology

2) Carry out sensitivity analysis of the machining process under various process conditions

3) Analyze the results and calculate the Return of Investment (ROI) results of the machining cutter life under various working condition.

BenefitsThis study is to find the economical possibilities of the IPMS application in machining process via assessment method.
Applications

IPMS has been evaluated by local machining tool companies for Singapore aerospace industry

Problems Addressed

Most of the major aerospace engine components are usually made of high-resistant and tough material such as Inconel 718 and titanium alloy. In the machining of these key components, a cutter is subjected to extremely arduous conditions, high surface loads, and high surface temperatures. As such the cutters need to have high toughness, strength, wear resistant and hardness to withstand fluctuating forces at extreme temperature. Several on-site studies were conducted with major engine components manufacturers in Singapore together with the cutter manufacturers. 

Some of the key research challenges faced by the major aero-engine component and tool manufacturers of nano-composite coated tungsten carbide cutters for the machining of aero-engine component material are given below:

  1. Inability to accurately predict the cutting faults and tool life based on difference conditions.
  2. Inability to estimate finishing roughness or surface removal rate.
  3. Inadequate knowledge to comprehensively develop the best cutter geometry together with the ideal parameter (cutting speed, feed/tooth, axial depth and radial depth of cuts) for the machining of complex aero-engine components.
  4. High difficulty in meeting lead-time required to design, fabricate, inspect, conduct test and make pricing recommendation whenever a new workpiece material, functional coatings and surface profiles is given.
  5. Insufficient scientific evidence to certify the performance of each cutter and warrant its durability prior to customer delivery
  6. Inability to reuse and reconfigure historical experience for the development of a new cutters based on the performance of preceding generation
  7. Inability to competitively price customized cutters in relation to performance and useful life in a non-destructive and dynamic manner