A method is presented for tool tracking in active magnetic bearing (AMB) spindle applications. The method uses control of the AMB air gap to achieve the desired tool position. The reference tracking problem is transformed from the tool coordinates into the AMB control axes by bearing deflection optimization. Therefore, tool tracking can be achieved by an off-the-shelf AMB controller. The method is demonstrated on a high-speed AMB boring spindle with a proportional integral derivative (PID) control. The hypothetical part geometries are traced in the range of 30 μm. Static external loading is applied to the tool to confirm disturbance rejection. Finally, a numerical simulation is performed to verify the ability to control the tool during high-speed machining.

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