Accelerating SME Development through Machining 4.0

iSentioLabs Case Study

Context & Aim

In this Machining 4.0 community, it is well known that the emergence of sensorisation and digitalisation in machining is a disruption for industry and changes the competitiveness of SMEs and industry.

iSentioLabs is an Irish technology start-up company that has been developing novel wireless passive smart tools that allow the “feeling” the cutting tool is experiencing when cutting metal to be quantified. The smart tool product is suitable for direct production use, fitting into standard holding systems such as Capto and others. Being wireless, passive with no power requirement on the sensor side, and integrating into standard holding systems overcome the 3 main barriers to implementation of instruments tooling, and therefore change the approach from being an “instrumentation/sensorisation of a tool” to “smart tool” and therefore making data a standard part of machining rather than a “special” setup.


Development of the iSentioLabs smart tooling and diagnostic system needs to be undertaken in the context of real-world machining challenges, and therefore this research and development work needed to be undertaken with state-of-the-art machine tools and with industry experts in the field from the IMR team. iSentioLabs needed the expertise to push the machine tool to the limits and the flexibility to reconfigure test setups rapidly, all of which were available at IMR.


iSentioLabs implement two smart tooling solutions, external turning/threading as well as boring during the development and investigations at IMR. A diagnostic suite was developed to allow operators to be able to analyse in real-time the experience the cutting tool is having and then adapt and adjust the machining strategy.


The insight from the smart tools and diagnostics demonstrate that tool paths can be optimised to the specific targets of high productivity, long tool life, high-quality surface finish, or combinations of all of these metrics. The ability to quantify tool performance online and in real-time and in real-world production situations is now available as a demonstrator in IMR for other Irish industry clients.


For iSentioLabs, the main impact was the ability to accelerate our development pace with access to the IMR machine tools and IMR machining expertise in-house. Furthermore, the IMR site now serves as the demonstrator site for iSentioLabs in Ireland, and the contacts through the Machining 4.0 project have been a great opportunity to have potential demonstrator sites in each country of the project partners.

“As a technology start-up company iSentioLabs develop novel smart tools for monitoring and diagnostics in machining applications. The opportunity through the Machining 4.0 project to work with IMR on accelerating our development work and engaging in industry-oriented investigations was a key enabler to moving us forward. The network nationally and internationally also opened doors for us and specifically the interest shown from the Machining 4.0 partners in the UK and Europe was very encouraging for us.”

Dr. Garret O’Donnell, CTO, iSentioLabs

iSentioLabs as a client of IMR and beneficiary of Machining 4.0 gained by accelerating our development pace significantly and we hope to continue collaborating with IMR after Machining 4.0. However, a wider benefit has also been identified, whereby this monitoring technology is now available to IMR client companies who are looking for a competitive edge, and who are trying to find their way into Digitalisation and push the traditional boundaries. The demonstrator setup on the Doosan turning centre in IMR is the first open-access setup in Ireland with monitoring and represents the ambition of IMR to be a showcase for emerging technologies


Design for Manufacturing