Objective

The Shockform team is currently working on a new apparatus called “Intelligent Tools and Abrasives System” that will revolutionize the way abrasives and power tools are used to perform precision work on high value components.

The Challenges

The use of pneumatic power tools and abrasives to grind, polish or modify the surface of components has not fundamentally evolved since the early development of hand power tools.

Operators on the shop floor often have access to only one power tool which is used at its maximum speed with all the different abrasives. However, each abrasive has its own optimal speed for maximum performance. A “XYZ” disk needs to run at 3,000 rpm while an “ABC” pad performs better at 12,000 rpm. Unfortunately, this information is rarely available to operators and if it was, he would be unable to use the abrasive at the optimal speed since his tool is limited to a single speed.

The inadequate use of the abrasives causes three main expensive problems:
• The first is a quality problem with components being overheated, scratched or damaged,
• The second is a problem of productivity as operators need to repair the damaged components or start over again on a new component,
• The third is a problem of safety with abrasive running too fast and bursting during use, injuring operators or co-workers.

The Solution

Shockform is developing an intelligent system that is based on a closed loop communication between the abrasives, the power tool and the operator.

Each abrasive will include a bar code containing information such as the optimal rpm for the use of the abrasive on different materials. This bar code will be read by a bar code scanner on the power tool. The operator will simply choose the material from a list on the monitor of the tool and the power tool will self-adjust to the optimal rotational speed for the abrasive and material of the component. It will also be possible to limit the output of the power tool to a certain level of power as it is currently required by OEMs for surface treatment of more exotic materials.

This new “Intelligent Tools and Abrasive System” will increase the quality, the productivity and the safety of surface operations. These three value propositions are key for all companies with operators doing surface precision work on expensive components.

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