Intelligent monitoring technology aims to make industry more efficient

Infrared Image Machine Tool
The fact that the system can detect problems in real time could be a real advantage.

Researchers at Nottingham Trent University have developed a new artificial intelligence system which reportedly detects problems with cutting tools on manufacturing lines with 100% accuracy.

Led by Professor Amin Al-Habaibeh of the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, the study found that by combining infrared cameras and artificial neural networks it was possible to consistently detect when cutting tools were broken or missing.

According to the University, the technology, which does not require any contact with the manufacturing machinery, could provide “live feedback via computer to alert operators in order to help prevent catastrophic tool damage.”

The study was supervised by Professor Al-Habaibeh and Professor Ahmad Lotfi, of the university’s School of Science and Technology, and developed by PhD researcher Milad Elgargni.

A professor of intelligent engineering systems, Al-Habaibeh commented: “This could be a very efficient method for manufacturers to maintain the productivity of their manufacturing lines and the quality of their products in an automated way.

“The real advantage is that the system can detect problems in real time, which is difficult to achieve by common methods. Because the artificial intelligence system can learn, it’s possible for it to monitor various cutting tools, making it flexible for consumers to use.”

Elgargni added: “As the technology is based on using a simple infrared camera, it should be easy for manufacturers to put it in place without any upheaval in relation to their existing  equipment.

“We believe, also, that it would be possible to develop the technology further to help detect gradual tool wear, which would help provide operators with increased awareness of the condition of the tools.”