Machining industry has been evolving towards implementation of automation into the process for higher productivity and efficiency. Although many studies have been conducted in the past to develop intelligent monitoring systems in various application scenarios of machining processes, most of them just focused on cutting tools without considering the influence due to the non-uniform hardness of workpiece material. This study develops a compact, reliable, and cost-effective intelligent Tool Condition Monitoring (TCM) model to detect the cutting tool wear in machining of the workpiece material with hardness variation. The generated audible sound signals during the machining process will be analyzed by state of the art artificial intelligent techniques, Support Vector Machines (SVMs) and Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs), to predict the tool condition and the hardness variation of the workpiece. A four-level classification model is developed for the system to detect the tool wear condition based on the width of the flank wear land and hardness variation of the workpiece. The study also involves comparative analysis between two employed artificial intelligent techniques to evaluate the performance of models in predicting the tool wear level condition and workpiece hardness variation. The proposed intelligent models have shown a significant prediction accuracy in detecting the tool wear and from the audible sound into the proposed multi-classification wear class in the end-milling process of non-uniform hardened workpiece.

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