Effectively Detecting Broken Tools Using BK Mikro Scanners TK91A

In recent years, automation has become a standard in machining cells, especially in CNC machining and fabrication. Integrated monitoring systems, powered by various tools and software, have taken center stage. Amid this, monitoring overall machine health and the condition of each tool is crucial. Early detection of any broken tool can significantly cut costs, prevent production downtime, and machine crashes. That is why the use of a broken tool detection system installed in the tool magazine is important. The BK Mikro TK91A, developed by BK Mikro, stands out as an effective way of detecting broken tools. Trusted and utilized in manufacturing units for many years, it has proven its effectiveness.

The BK Mikro TK91A, a popular model among BK Mikro scanners, has a longstanding presence in industries. Equipped with servo motors, these scanners guarantee precise measurements. This post delves into the features of the BK Mikro TK91A, exploring how it identifies tool defects, enhances operational life, and contributes to efficient process monitoring operations.

BK Mikro TK91A: Factors Pertaining to Operation and Utilization

BK Mikro TK91A scanner is mostly used for detecting broken tools in the tool changers of CNC machines. Here are some points regarding their working, operating parts, and utilization.

  • System Parts and Accessories: The system utilizes a premium controller, TK91A scanner (motor), connection cable, and mounting bracket.
  • Operating Principle: TK91A scanners identify tool lengths by learning the angle the wand travels before contacting the tool tip away from the home position. These lengths are stored in the BK Mikro control memory using binary M-codes or Macros. The controller can store up to 512 tool lengths, controlled by M-code combinations, custom Macros, or Fieldbus (Profibus, Profinet or DeviceNet). After learning the tool lengths, the system determines the angle to check when a specific tool is called. When a tool completes its machining, it is measured upon return to the tool changer. The system issues OK signals if the length is within limits and KO signals if there’s an issue, leading to automatic shutdown in case of identified problems. The system is capable of checking tools with varying lengths up to 22 inches from the shortest to longest in the tool changer. Each of the 512 different tools can have different tolerance ranges set as low as 0.05 degrees. Since the tool is no longer in the spindle when being checked the tolerance should not be set too tight. We are normally looking for breakage of 1mm or more from the tool tip. It’s ideal for checking solid tooling such as drill, taps, end mill and reamers. It does not work for inserted tooling.

Beneficial Features of TK91A

The BK Mikro TK91A scanner typically replaces in machine broken tool detection that can waste valuable cycle time such as lasers or touch off buttons. Since it’s in the magazine area checking typically takes less than 1 second.

  • The TK91A, encased in an anodized aluminum housing, ensures durability by preventing corrosion, oxidation, scratches, and reducing wear and tear. It also enhances aesthetics.
  • With an IP68 protection rating, the TK91A is well-suited for harsh environments, offering high-level protection against both water and oil-based coolants plus solid particles such as dust and dirt.
  • Operating across a wide temperature range from 0°C to +80°C, the scanner adapts to various working conditions.
  • Featuring a maximum wand length of 910 mm and plate dimensions of 250 x 15 mm, the TK91A provides a scanning angle range from 0° to 300°.
  • It easily connects to the control unit using an M12x1 connector with 8 pins.
  • The TK91A scanner can withstand over 10 million sensing cycles, assuming normal deceleration. This refers to the total times the device can sense tool lengths before wear or degradation issues arise, under expected conditions without acceleration or stress.
  • 3 year warranty ensures trouble-free operation.

If you run a CNC machine or manufacturing facility and need a reliable method for detecting tool breakage, consider the TK91A scanner from BK Mikro, available through Techna-Tool. As experts in process and tool monitoring for high-production manufacturers, Techna-Tool offers a free consultation on the scanner’s capabilities for your CNC machining center. Whether you have questions about its functionality or want to discuss your requirements, feel free to reach out to their team via phone, email, or by filling out a short Request for Consultation form. They will guide you through the application of BK Mikro scanners for your manufacturing facility.