A key concern in modern day manufacturing is developing a reliable method for monitoring tool health. This involves not only establishing a mathematical method for deriving tool failure, but also developing a reliable method for collecting and transmitting this information. This paper presents a reliable wireless network for collecting, analyzing, and predicting tool failure. The wireless network consists of three remote nodes and one coordinator node. Each remote node is mounted on a 1″ R8 mill tool holder and consists of three major components: an accelerometer, microcontroller, and wireless transceiver. These wireless nodes transmit the Z-axis acceleration (the machines vertical Z-axis) as seen by the tool holder back to a central computer. This computer utilizes LabVIEW in order to collect and analyze the acceleration data. The LabVIEW program also acts as a simple user interface for indicating states of tool failure, along with providing a means for publishing the information to the internet for process monitoring by remote users. The wireless network discussed in this paper is robust, inexpensive, and was found to reliably monitor and predict tool health conditions. The innovative aspect of this work is the ability to use commercial-off-the-shelf wireless sensors to remotely monitor multiple rotational machines from a single location on site and over the internet to off-site locations.

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