Tool Life Monitoring

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Have you ever wanted to perform tool life monitoring on your DATRON machine? Well with DATRON V9 Expert you can! Not only can you monitor tool usage, in time or distance, you can also set limits for either. This means if you know your end mill starts to wear after 25 hours of cutting, the DATRON software will automatically change to a fresh tool after that amount of time. This is achieved by using the tool types and check tool functions in your DATRON machine’s software. You can set up a different tool type for each kind of tool you are using to ensure effective tool life monitoring and maximized cutting quality.


Tool life monitoring using data entered in the machining center control software including maximum usage time and distance for each end mill or cutting tool dictates automatic tool changes based on predicted tool wear to maintain consistent cutting quality.
Tool life monitoring during batch milling of this aluminum enclosure ensures continuous cutting quality.


As an example, say I’m batch milling the part shown above and it uses three tools: a 6mm single flute end mill, a 2mm single flute end mill and M5-M10 thread mill. I would set up three tool types, one for each tool.


Tool life monitoring with DATRON milling machine control software guarantees consistent machining quality because tools are replaced based on predicted wear.
With usage parameters set for each tool type, the machine will select a fresh tool from the magazine based on that data.


When setting up the tool types I would give each tool a maximum time or distance. I can then load my tool changer with duplicates for each tool. To set up the tool data, all I would have to do is put the corresponding tool type number in the “type” field for each tool location. All data is then automatically filled out. I would insert the “checktool” function into the top of my program and depending on which setting I choose the software would check the time or path at different intervals during the program. Once the current time or path has exceeded the set maximum the machine would automatically change to a fresh tool of the same type and continue milling from where it left off. The software also flags the dull tool as “worn out” and won’t let it be used.


Tool life monitoring of end mills and other cutting tools using the DATRON machining center control software ensures consistent cutting quality.
Tool life monitoring within the DATRON control software requires setting a maximum time and distance for tool usage which dictates a tool change at the point of predicted tool wear.


Tool life monitoring is key in production situations where manually changing tools all the time isn’t acceptable. This helps to decrease setup and down time of the machine. That means your machine is cutting more of the time and sitting idle less! For more information on how the DATRON Automatic Tool Changer (ATC) with tool-length sensor can be used in tool life monitoring, just fill out the form below to download the White Paper below.


Download CNC Tool Check and Verification White Paper:

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About the Author

Evan is an Application Technician at DATRON Dynamics who works with customers on application optimization and machine training. He began with DATRON as a high school intern through the school's CNC class and he continued with us while he earned a degree in CNC Machining from New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord, NH.

One thought on “Tool Life Monitoring

  1. Instead of keeping up with time or distance why couldn’t you monitor spindle load? I feel this is where many TLM systems fall short.
    Time and cutting distance has there appropriate applications but I can see many instances where load could be applied. Will spindle load or torque not rise as a tool dulls?

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