Robotic Gripper Leader Schunk Delivers New Sensory Hydraulic Expansion Toolholder

August 28, 2020 by Ben Stepanian

Schunk aims to simplify and optimize their tooling to help industries achieve the precision and accuracy required to mill parts.

Industrial processes require precise calibration for the sound production of items. Schunk has released a high tech, hydraulic expansion, tool holder for mill bits that will ease industrial processing.

The iTENDO is a smart tool holder that provides the machine and operator with live feedback to optimize the milling process. The improved performance offered by the tool holder will ensure that less failure and downtime will occur. 


The New Tool Handler

Mems devices have become so advanced that engineers at Schunk were confident that they could be integrated into tool holders and record data. The tool holder is battery powered and contains a sensor that can monitor the machining process, real-time feed rate, and mill bit RPM control.


The smart iTENDO tool handler from Schunk. Image courtesy of Schunk.

The device's battery life can last up to 10 hours while in use and can last 14 days idling in a tool rack. The data that the device records is transmitted wirelessly to a Bluetooth receiver and forwarded to a force sensor system controller. The device can sense when the spindle starts to vibrate and can pause or cancel the process before any failure occurs.

The tool holder can contain these mems devices without making a cumbersome casting for packaging and won't require specific parameters to operate. Schunk claims that this device has proven performance for milling, drilling, countersinking, and deburring parts.

As advanced as this device is, Schunk has made sure that the tool holder meets the standard HSK-A 63 interface suitable for clamping diameters of 6 mm to 32mm and a length of 130 mm. Using this standard ensures that the iTENDO can be used and integrated into any current running automated milling machine.


The standard HSK-A 63 interface. Image courtesy of Schunk.


The tool holder is suitable for processes that require coolant and can operate up to 10,000 RPM. The Bluetooth transmission of data is an intuitive browser-based system so that the operator can view real-time results via tablet, smartphone, or PC. The tool holder can also operate in a central control system via a cloud solution.


Industry 4.0 Optimization

This device's game-changing feature is that a process can start via a local connection without the operator being on site. This means that no preliminary in-person calibration of the machine is required, and it can begin milling a part within two hours.

Another configuration that this system provides is that the dashboard can be connected to a digital or analog I/O to trigger alarms for the on-site technicians to address in the event of a failure or irregularity. Another critical configuration of the system is that it can operate with Siemens' latest control system via OPC UA.

This device is an advanced version of Schunk's iTENDO line of tool holders. The iTENDO also features ridges inside of the chuck of the tool holder to minimize mill bit slippage. This is important since most mill tool holders utilize friction clamps. The ridges are meant to collect any dirt and grime that may interrupt the tool holder's torque transmission to the selected bit.