For improving the defects in milling processes caused by traditional spindle bearings, e.g., the dimensional discrepancy of a finished workpiece due to bearing wear or oil pollution by lubricant, a novel embedded cylindrical-array magnetic actuator (ECAMA) is designed for milling applications. Since ECAMA is a non-contact type actuator, a control strategy named fuzzy model-reference adaptive control (FMRAC) is synthesized to account for the nonlinearities of milling dynamics and magnetic force. In order to ensure the superior performance of spindle position regulation, the employed models in FMRAC are all constructed by experiments. Based on the experimental results, the magnetic force by ECAMA is much stronger than that by the traditional active magnetic bearing (AMB) design under the same test conditions and identical overall size. The efficacy of ECAMA to suppress the spindle position deviation with the aid of FMRAC has been verified as well via numerical simulations and practical metal cutting.
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