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RFID in Machine Tool Manufacturing

Reliable identification of the work piece and machine tool eliminates expensive waste

Today’s modern machining centers frequently use fully automated CNC programmable systems. These machines are often used to produce application critical and expensive parts; aerospace components come to mind. It is important to guarantee that a part is processed with the right tool, that the CNC controller has received the correct setup parameters, and that the controller is running the proper program.


Machine tool verification with RFID
Machine tool verification with RFID

The exact selection of the right tool is accomplished using an RFID tag that is permanently mounted on the tool carrier. The tool carrier and tool are said to be "married" and form a unit. With this information the work process, the installed tool, and the selected CNC program can be verified.


The RFID system enables the automatic tool changer setup to securely pick the right tool
The RFID system enables the automatic tool changer setup to securely pick the right tool

Using the RFID data, a verification check is performed before the machining process begins. With this process in place, almost scrap-free processing of parts and minimal machine downtime, plus fast, automatic setup and changeover can be accomplished.

This application is particularly well addressed using the IDENTControl Compact interface in conjunction with small read heads and fully-embeddable RFID tags. Those parts can be integrated without the fear of interference. Reliable operation, even under the harshest application conditions, is assured. RFID interfaces supporting commonly available industrial communication networks make this a global solution.

IDENTControl Compact industrial RFID satisfies the requirements of machine tool builders world wide: Robust, reliable, and with support for all commonly-used communication interfaces.