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Safe Assignment of Workpiece and Tool

RFID Enables Fully Automated Operation of CNC Machining Centers

The Application

Machining operations are usually carried out on CNC-programmed, fully automated machine tools. These sorts of machines require high levels of investment, since the tools used are of high quality and are correspondingly expensive. The same applies to the machined workpieces. Reliable, safe operations with clear allocation of the components involved protect the investment and keep running costs within the planned limits.

The Goal

At the beginning of the machining step, it should be ensured that the workpiece is being machined with the right tool and according to the planned work program. For this purpose, it is necessary to clearly and safely assign the tool, the workpiece carrier, the workpiece, and the machining process. The seamless identification of components helps to avoid waste and to achieve a high level of productivity. 

The Solution

The workpiece carriers and the tool heads are equipped with RFID tags. These are read out by RFID read/write heads at the machining station. The control panel checks the plausibility of the process using the RFID data. Since the workpieces are assigned to a specific workpiece carrier, the system detects whether the workpiece, the tool, and the planned machining process are compatible with each other. Correct assignment is guaranteed. Compact read/write heads, tags with a ferrite core, and the IDENTControl Compact control interface are available for the metal environment and the generally confined conditions.  


Technical Features:
IPH-L2-V1 read/write head for workpiece carrier detection

  • Housing with variable alignment capability
  • 4 x dual LEDs on the corners
  • Degree of protection

IP67 IPH-18GM-V1 read/write head for workpiece detection

  • Thread M18 x 1
  • Connection via V1 (M12 x 1) plug connection
  • Degree of protection IP67

Control interface unit IDENTControl Compact

  • Available for diverse EtherNet and fieldbus protocols
  • Network loop through by means of integrated 2 port switch
  • Up to 2 read/write heads can be connected

Diverse transponders

  • Battery-free read/write tags
  • For fully flush mounting in metal

RFID in machine tool manufacturing

The Benefits

Reliable identification using the RFID system enables both fully automated and safe operation of CNC machinery. The read heads designed for this application can be installed directly in the metal environment. Together with the ferritecore tags, they guarantee safe functioning even under harsh ambient conditions. RFID data can be used for asset management and predictive maintenance. The tag can store process-related data such as the tool operating time. Targeted regrinding or replacement of individual tools can be carried out as required. The IDENTControl control interface is as rugged as it is reliable and can be combined with all control panels. Numerous fieldbus interfaces are available for their connection. 

At a Glance

  • Unique identification of workpieces and tools
  • Reliable assignment of the machining program
  • Safe, fully automated operation of CNC machinery
  • Prevention of waste, safeguarding of productivity
  • Rugged, compact system
  • Wear-free and maintenance-free
  • Data can be used for asset management


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