IPN - Instituto Pedro Nunes

IPN     IPN Incubadora

Managing and Maximizing Cutting Tool Life


The need to increase productivity leads the industry to look into areas with the greatest potential for optimization. Cutting tool technology is virtually ubiquitous to the vast majority of the manufacturing industry. The cost of production attributed to cutting tools is 8% or more, and can reach 34% if we take into account rejected products and dead times related to poor management of cutting tools, including the lack of knowledge of the actual level of wear of each tool.


Main Objective:
To strengthen research, technological development and innovation.

The TOOLMAX project aims to produce a tool management solution, consisting of software and a storage solution, whose objectives are to fully exploit the cutting tool lifetime, increase its utilization rate and reduce tool stocks, with consequent gains in efficiency in the production process. As complementary and equally relevant objectives, reducing the accident rate and the increase of the overall quality of produced parts is also intended. The typical company profile target is the mold company, although it is possible to adapt the recommended solutions to different technological scenarios.

Objectives, Activities and Results expected / achieved

Expected results:
• Higher availability of tools (stock management must provide the right cutting tools and in suitable conditions of use);

• Lower tools stock (storage centralization of different tools, optimizing knowledge of the available stock and reducing costs in tool orders);

• Maximization of cutting tools use time (optimzation of cutting tools life cycle, accurately measuring the level of tool wear through PVD sensorization systems (color detection and electrical resistance measurements), as well as surface enhancement with self lubricating and anti-wear hard coatings;

• Maximizing product quality (complying with the quality required by the client).

Goal achieved:
• Storage system of tools with aid of robotic arm.

Project Reference



Intervention Region

Center (100%) of Portugal

Total Investment


IPN Investment


Total Eligible


IPN Eligible


EC Funding – Total


EC Funding – IPN



42 Months

Start Date


End Date


Approval Date



3DTECH – Produção Otimização e Reengenharia, Lda
Instituto Politécnico de Leiria
Instituto Pedro Nnunes
TJ Aços, Lda
NEXNEW – Tecnologias de Informação e ComunicaçãoO, Lda




Life cycle;
Cutting tools;
Stock Management;
Self-lubricating hard coatings for high-temperature applications;
Thin Films sensorization.