A new sensor has been developed to automatically detect face-milling insert fracture, chipping, and wear. With a befitting PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride) sensor, and an optical transmitter based on frequency modulation technique, a miniature sensor, with little influence on the cutting process, was positioned very close to the cutting site. Due to this closeness, the state of the insert can be reliably recognized with extremely simple and fast algorithms. A tool wear index which is sensitive to wear but insensitive to cutting conditions, a tool fracture index, and a chipping recognition scheme based on a linear pattern classifier have been developed and proven to be effective by experimental data.

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