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10th WSEAS Int. Conf.

on AUTOMATIC CONTROL, MODELLING & SIMULATION (ACMOS'08), Istanbul, Turkey, May 27-30, 2008

Optimal feedrate scheduling for a reconfigurable lathe


EPUREANU A., MARIN F.B., MARINESCU V., BANU M., CONSTANTIN I.
Manufacturing Science and Engineering Department
Dunarea de Jos University
47, Domneasca St., Galati
ROMANIA
alexandru.epureanu@ugal.ro

Abstract: - This paper presents a virtual machining algorithm that optimizes federate scheduling aiming to
improve the efficiency of cutting process. The manufacturing machine considered is a reconfigurable machine,
configured as lathe with a specific architecture. A geometric searching procedure is proposed to find the
parameter values corresponding to cutter locations along tool path during generation of the final surface.

Key-Words: - feedrate scheduling, reconfigurable machining system, numerical control, optimal control,
virtual machining

1 Introduction modules geometry) are stored in the machine


Nowadays, companies building manufacturing database.
machines must face fast changes happening on The reconfigurable “plug-and-play” machine
technical, commercial and economical fields. These kinematics and dynamic modeling algorithms need
emerging evolutions are the following: to be developed. These algorithms are the basis for
- economy globalization, with the consequence the the control and simulation of reconfigurable
emphasis of competition; manufacturing system. The concept of machine
- individualization of needs, what means products configuration optimization is introduced for the
customization; effective use of the rapidly reconfigurable machine.
- capital dynamization, generating high requirements In this paper we are introducing a new approach for
concerning investment efficiency; optimal federate scheduling applied to
- high versatility of small companies, for fast reconfigurable machine with specific architecture.
adaptation to market. At the time, the companies Feedrate schedule optimization problems are the
responses to these changes are based on the idea of subject to several possible criterions, building the
extending some of the attributes of classic framework for surface generating model. The
manufacturing system to define reconfigurability. common restriction used in feedrate scheduling is
Whereas Dedicated Manufacturing Systems (DMSs) constant material removal rate (MRR), [3]. In the
have been designed to produce a specific part and MRR based approach, feedrate is dependent to
Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMSs) are either average or instantaneous volumetric removal
designed to accommodate a large variety of parts rate. Secondly, the restrictions are based on the
even though the parts are not specified at the system process mechanics [4]. In this case using force based
design stage, the Reconfigurable Manufacturing models, the feedrate is set to values which keep
Systems (RMSs) combines the advantages of DMS either average or instantaneous machining forces to
and FMS providing an suitable solution[1][2]. It is an allowable level. These models computes either
defined the new peculiar manufacturing system, MRR or force values as a minimum allowable
reconfigurable manufacturing system, using six key values, and are maintained at a constant level during
characteristics: i) universatility, ii) convertibility; iii) processing.
integrability; iv) scalability; v) diagnosability; vi) The disadvantages of keeping at allowable level are
customisation.These systems are designed to adapt in the first place, the efficiency is lowered and
manufacturing to mixed products and volumes. The secondly, the optimization is incomplete performed,
reconfigurable machine is conceived with standard as it does not take into account several variables in
and inter-operable components including actuated the process such as chip width (determining risk of
modules, fixtures and tools to be assembled into the chatter), roughness or chip thickness (determining
machine with arbitrary architecture and degrees of force overloading).
freedom. The informations describing modules and Commonly used CAM programs and NC code
tools (for instance, the shape of the tools and the generators are based on geometric and volumetric
analysis, but they do not concern the current blank

ISBN: 978-960-6766-63-3 108 ISSN: 1790-5117


10th WSEAS Int. Conf. on AUTOMATIC CONTROL, MODELLING & SIMULATION (ACMOS'08), Istanbul, Turkey, May 27-30, 2008

surface shape to be processed. CAM software In order to formulate the problem, to identify the
considers only the nominal dimensions inputted issues involved and to find a solution, we need to
from CAD model [5][6][7]. define several variables according to our approach.
Also planning the isoparametric tool path it is As shown in Fig.1, the insert cutting edge profile
addressed to considerable long paths (due to the G- is divided defining remarkable m points. We are
code limitation and the nowadays machine control addressing to a current remarkable point on the
system architecture) and not for adjacent cutter cutting edge as j point. Similarly as depicted in Fig.2
location resolution. the workpiece profile is divided in remarkable n
It is critical, but often difficult, to select optimal points and we are referring to a current remarkable
cutting conditions to achieve high productivity while point on the workpiece profile as i point.
maintaining high quality of parts. Current cutter location is described by (i,j) pair;
Generating the optimal cutting conditions while i is defining the current point on the
scheduling, described by NC programs, to produce workpiece profile (cutter location), j is current point
the required geometry involves determination of the on the cutting edge profile(cutter profile).. Another
optimal cutter paths and machining parameters. The variable in our optimization program is the variable
common practice is to set machining parameters k, which is the indexing variable for (i,j) pair.
such as feed rate, to constant value for the number of As described below, the reconfigurable machine is
cutter paths, using machinability handbooks and configured as lathe with an additional degree of
experience of skilled machinist. The selected freedom represented by rotation of the tool assembly
parameters are often so excessive limited that (ϕ angle).
efficiency is very low for the machining process. Our search algorithm is using as reference the
In this paper, a searching algorithm is proposed previous cutter location (k-1), as shown in Fig.2,
to find the parameter incremental values of all cutter representing the last selected cutter location.
locations along tool path for the generation of final Consequently, every k position is associated with the
surface. The proposed algorithm includes the ϕ(k), Z(k) and X(k) variable values.
following two main steps: evaluating blank real In the proposed search algorithm we use the
surface shape and searching for adjacent non- current L variable which is the length of active
isoparametric cutter locations, in the conditions to cutting edge (PQ arc), as seen in Fig.2.
meet the the restrictions. Cutting edge
The algorithm shall be embedded in a virtual profile
machining system that optimizes machining process, (j)
based on geometric simulation, to improve the
process efficiency, under the assumption of
reconfigurable machines architecture. (2) (m-1)
Besides the efficient cutting condition scheduling (1) (m)
goal, there is the advantage by using such virtual
machining system, represented by the optimized
choosing of the tool for a specific operation and a
specific blank. The example given is taking into
account a reconfigurable machine configured as a Insert
lathe. However, the algorithm may be extended to shape
all cutting processing.
Paper has the following structure: section 2
present the problem formulation, section 3 contains Fig.1 Insert shape
the problem solution and section 4 summarizes the According to our approach there are several data
main conclusions achieved. to be used as input data:
Firstly, workpiece profile and cutting edge
profile is inputted from their CAD models, as we
2 Problem Formulation assume that all tool modules are described in the
database stored in the reconfigurable machine
2.1 Variables and terms definition
information system.
Secondly, the blank profile is determined by on-
We formulate the problem of optimizing the
machine measurement. Thirdly, it is inputted the
values of cutting processing parameters to improve
restricted variables: allowable force -Fa, allowable L
process efficiency.

ISBN: 978-960-6766-63-3 109 ISSN: 1790-5117


10th WSEAS Int. Conf. on AUTOMATIC CONTROL, MODELLING & SIMULATION (ACMOS'08), Istanbul, Turkey, May 27-30, 2008

–La, allowable chip thickness - aa, allowable


roughness –Ra.

Fig.3 The reconfigurable lathe

The hardware modules (main spindle, tool


holder, etc) are designed as “plug and play” and are
controlled directly, by-passing the post processing
phase of G-code generation. The control of the
modules is performed by sending simultaneously
successive position of controlled variables X(k),
Z(k), θ(k) and ϕ(k) computed from (i,j) pair.
Part surface generation it is performed by moving
Fig.2 Current and previous cutter locations tool profile along helicoidally generating path,
obtained by combining revolution of the part and the
translation of the tool. The helicoidally path it is
2.2 Reconfigurable lathe description divided, as described above, by coordinates
For a better understanding, the reconfigurable computing of a many successive (i,j) pair points to
lathe hardware configuration and the control system control motors that performs movement of the
is described bellow. machine modules.
Our proposed architecture for the reconfigurable
lathe is composed of virtual processing planning
system, machining database, and “plug-and-play” 2.3 Problem statement
hardware modules. Our objective is to determine (i,j) pair under the
The reconfigurable lathe considered is build out criteria of locally chip area maximization.
of four independent modules, numerical controlled, While the optimization criteria in the MRR and
with independent sensor and motors. These modules force model are the MRR and the force respectively,
are main spindle, carriage, and the rotary tool in our approach the search criterion is the locally
assembly. The reconfigurable lathe, configured for chip area maximized.
cutting of longitudinal profiles, as shown in the In the above two approaches the variable for
picture, is made of the following parts: bed 1, main controlling the process is the feedrate, whereas we
spindle 2, workpiece 3, cutting tool 4, tool holder 5, are using two distinct variables, cutter location
carriage 6, rotary tool assembly 7, cross-slide 8, (point i) and cutter profile (point j). The cutter
slideway 9. The supplementary degree of freedom profile variable is controlled by the additional
represented by rotation of cutting tool is an freedom degree represented by rotary tool assembly.
advantage for tool positioning because by using In the case of MRR model the restricted variable
interpolation for X and Z axes and the rotation of the is the chip area which is set to a minimum allowable
tool it can be achieved peculiar surface processing. level (A<Aa), and in the case of force model, the
Configuration with rotary assembly tool parallel restricted variable is the force (F<Fa). Our approach
with the axis of the spindle can be used for defines four restrictions: (Aa>A(i,j), Ra>R(i,j),
processing complex surfaces such as poly-excentric aa>a(i,j), La>L(i,j)). Concerning system monitoring
surfaces, or cams. our approach considers on-machine blank profile
measurement.
The search technique used in our approach is
exhaustive search by virtual machining.

ISBN: 978-960-6766-63-3 110 ISSN: 1790-5117


10th WSEAS Int. Conf. on AUTOMATIC CONTROL, MODELLING & SIMULATION (ACMOS'08), Istanbul, Turkey, May 27-30, 2008

3 Problem Solution
The main idea of the optimization algorithm is
that, starting with the current i point on the part
profile, generated by j point on the tool, the next i
cutter location and the next j cutter profile are
searched, taking into account the restrictions defined
by the above restrictions, with the objective of
maximizing chip area, in order to increase
productivity.
For generation of certain i point on the workpiece
profile, the tool must be positioned tangent to this
profile in a j point.
For this current cutter position, it is computed the
values of controlled variables Aij, Lij, aij, Rij.
Afterwards it is checked the active cutting edge is
intersecting blank profile. In the positive case the
four restrictions are tested. The accepted positions
are stored. Fig.4 An example for search loop
Fig.4 depictures the generation sequence for final Trajectory from point pair (i=21, j=16) to point
workpiece surface, using optimization algorithm. pair (i=25, j=15), it is described by the points
The point i=21 on the workpiece profile and the i=22,23,24, dividing the helix resulted from one
point j=16 on the cutting profile describes the revolution, in four intermediary steps, with
previous cutter location used for the searching of coordinate X, Z and ∆θ. All intermediary (i,j) pair
next cutter location to be reached when the coordinates are stored with their restricted variables.
workpiece is rotated with 360 degrees.
To achieve this, it is tested one at a time tool In sort, as shown in Fig.4, the proposed algorithm
position for i=22 and the cutter locations that verify contains the following steps.
restrictions are stored. The simulation it is finalized Preparatory steps:
when it is found a i point on the final surface profile, 1) workpiece and tool CAD model are inputted;
for which all j points on the tool profile does not 2) the blank profile is on-machine measured;
verify the four restrictions. Afterwards, it is searched 3) the restricted variables values are inputted in the
pair points for which chip area is maximized for the virtual manufacturing program.
given points ( the found pair is represented by points Scheduling optimizing steps:
i=25 and j=15). The optimization algorithm is 4) the tool profile it is positioned tangent with the
continued searching the next point referred to the final workpiece profile, successively in all points on
last (i,j) pair location. the tool.
5) the four restriction for all tool positions are
tested and for each one the computing results are
stored.;
6) when all conditions are denied, then it is selected
the intermediary position with maximum area;
7) the algorithm is repeated starting with 1) until the
tool reaches the end of the workpiece profile; the
software output is the (i,j) pair coordinates;
9) by processing cinematic configuration of the lathe
the control variables values - X(k), Z(k), θ(k) and
ϕ(k) are obtained and then send to the modules .

ISBN: 978-960-6766-63-3 111 ISSN: 1790-5117


10th WSEAS Int. Conf. on AUTOMATIC CONTROL, MODELLING & SIMULATION (ACMOS'08), Istanbul, Turkey, May 27-30, 2008

As seen in Fig.7, when the control is based on


MRR approach, and there is no limitation
concerning the length of the active cutting edge, it is
possible to emerge a situation could cause instable
process (chatter).
Furthermore, there is the possibility to undermine
the roughness or chip width allowable values.

a) Proposed algorithm sequences -F,L,a,R restricted

b) MRR based algorithm sequences


F and R restricted

Fig.5 Algorithm basic steps


Algorithm testing was performed using the
software developed in this research.
It is important to note that the experimental tests
shown in the Fig.6 was executed using arbitrary
scale and on few sequences, for an acceptable c) MRR based algorithm
picture accuracy. F only restricted
. As shown in Fig.6, a) a image is representing Fig.6 Graphical representation of the cutter location
the successive positions of the cutting edge using and cutter profile during virtual machining
our algorithm and lathe architecture, whereas in b)
and c) images it was simulated constant MRR based Some histograms is given bellow to demonstrate
approach with a classical lathe architecture. the performances of the algorithm. In the Fig.7 it is
The yellow and green area depicts the cutting shown the situation seen in Fig.6, c showing the
tool successive position. roughness, chip width and cutting edge length
It was noticed an average efficiency variations for each cutter location, to demonstrate
improvement up to 20%, resulting a higher cutting the necessities of more than one or two restrictions.
productivity. Firstly, compared with the classical Since chip width, active cutting edge length and
case, the additional freedom degree represented by roughness values are greater than the allowable
rotary tool assembly is useful for an increased values for the given example, (see Fig.7, a,b,c
productivity. Secondly, the testing for the four respectively), all four variables are required for the
restrictions, instead of one or two, assures that the establishment of feedrate scheduling. It can be stated
process is correctly performed according to the that is compulsory requirement for using more than
specifications.

ISBN: 978-960-6766-63-3 112 ISSN: 1790-5117


10th WSEAS Int. Conf. on AUTOMATIC CONTROL, MODELLING & SIMULATION (ACMOS'08), Istanbul, Turkey, May 27-30, 2008

one restriction, in terms of process stability and [2] Jaspreet Dhupia, Bartosz Powalka, Reuven Katz,
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reconfigurable machine tool, International
Journal of Machine Tools & Manufacture 47,
2007, 326–334
[3] X1. Hwan Pyo Moon, Equivolumetric offsets for
2D machining with constant material removal
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nternational 2007 Elsevier B.V , Vol.X, No.X,
2007
a) Chip width variation [4]Jeong Hoon Ko, Won Soo Yun, Dong-Woo Cho,
Off-line feed rate scheduling using virtual CNC
based on an evaluation of cutting performance,
Computer-Aided Design 33, 2003, 383-393
[5]Stanislav Makhanov, Optimization and
correction of the tool path of the five-axis
milling machine Part 1. Spatial optimization,
Mathematics and Computers in Simulation 75,
b) Cutting edge length 2007, 210-230
[6]Stanislav Makhanov, Optimization and
correction of the tool path of the five-axis
milling machine Part 2: Rotations and setup,
Mathematics and Computers in Simulation 75,
2007, 231-250
[7] B.S. Soa, Y.H. Jung b,, T.R. Kurfess c, S.M.
Hwang, 5-Axis machining speed enhancement
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Fig.7 Histograms showing undermining allowable
levels

4 Conclusion
Compared with the classical case, the additional
degree of freedom represented by rotary tool
assembly is determining a 20% productivity
increase.
The computation of all four restrictions instead of
one or two assures that the process is correctly
performed according to the specifications, and the
processing parameters are in the allowable range.

Acknowledgement
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial
support of the Romanian Ministry of Education and
Research through grant PN-II-ID_653/2007.

References:
[1] R. Galan, J. Racero, I. Eguia, J.M. Garcia, A
systematic approach for product families
formation in Reconfigurable Manufacturing
Systems, Robotics and Computer-Integrated
Manufacturing 23, 2007, 489–502

ISBN: 978-960-6766-63-3 113 ISSN: 1790-5117