IPN - Instituto Pedro Nunes

IPN     IPN Incubadora

Intelligent tool development


Handling special alloys in cutting operations is a demanding task due to the heat generated during the process. High temperature induces stresses on the tool which is the main cause of tool failure and the production of scrap parts. To assess and overcome this major issue, project Sm@rtEdge aims to develop a sensor for continuous monitoring of the temperature on the tool cutting edge during machine operations. A solution that allows process optimization trough increase tool lifetime and scrap reduction, by performing cutting operations within the correct temperature range, in order to improve the sustainability of the process on the machinability of special/hard-to-machine alloys.


The main objective of SmartEdge was to strengthen research, technological development and innovation.
Development and design of a wear resistant thin film sensor for smart monitoring of machining operations, in-situ. The goal is to achieve a continuous wireless monitoring of the temperature during a machining operation with a sensor system deposited on the cutting edge of the tool which have dielectric, sensor and wear resistant properties.

Integration of a new PVD nitride multilayer system with the cutting tool allows the evaluation of the temperature on cutting edge up to 900°C, maintaining structural and mechanical properties at high temperatures, which combined with wireless data transmission, is a breakthrough for smart machining and autonomous production.

Objectives, Activities and Results expected / achieved

Main Objectives:
• Temperature monitoring system for machining operations with a cutting tool embedded with a thin-film temperature sensor, and a tool holder capable of signal conditioning and data transmission via wireless;

• Deposition of a thin-film temperature sensor on the rake face of a cutting insert positioned close to the tool cutting edge;

• A thin-film temperature sensor suitable for measuring the tool cutting edge temperature within a range between (600-900°C).

Achived Goals:
• In-situ and real-time temperature monitoring system of cutting tools for turning and milling operations;

• Wireless transmission of temperature data during machining operations (in an industrial environment) to a developed software for smoothing device-operator interaction;

• Thin-film electrical, structural and mechanical characterization up to 700°C;

• Assessment of the cutting temperature in real-time while turning the grade 5 titanium alloy Ti6Al4V in an industrial environment, with cutting tools coated with the developed films.

Project Reference



Intervention Region

Center (93,65%) and Lisbon (6,35%) of Portugal

Total Investment


IPN Investment


Total Eligible


IPN Eligible


EC Funding – Total


EC Funding – IPN



39 Months

Start Date


End Date


Approval Date



Instituto Pedro Nunes
Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa




Temperature measurement;
PVD coating;
Thin films;
Wireless integrated sensor.