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Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT

COMPUTER NUMERICAL CONTROL (CNC)

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) - A numerical control system in which the data handling, control sequences, and response to input is determined by an on-board computer system at the machine tool.

Conventionally, an operator decides and adjusts various machines parameters like feed , depth of cut etc depending on type of job , and controls the slide movements by hand. In a CNC Machine functions and slide movements are controlled by motors using computer programs.

For a CNC machine control unit (MCU) decides cutting speed, feed, depth of cut, tool selection , coolant on off and tool paths. The MCU issues commands in form of numeric data to motors that position slides and tool accordingly.

Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT COMPUTER NUMERICAL CONTROL (CNC) Computer Numerical Control (CNC) - A numerical control system

Numerical Control Machines

A numerical control, or “NC”, system controls many machine functions and movements which were traditionally performed by skilled machinists.

Numerical control developed out of the need to meet the requirements of high production rates, uniformity and consistent part quality.

Programmed instructions are converted into output signals which in turn control machine operations such as spindle speeds, tool selection, tool movement, and cutting fluid flow.

Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT COMPUTER NUMERICAL CONTROL (CNC) Computer Numerical Control (CNC) - A numerical control system

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Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT

CNC

By integrating a computer processor, computer numerical control, or “CNC” as it is now known, allows part machining programs to be edited and stored in the computer memory as well as permitting diagnostics and quality control functions during the actual machining. All CNC machining begins with a part program, which is a sequential instructions or coded commands that direct the specific machine functions. The part program may be manually generated or, more commonly, generated by computer aided part programming systems.

Basic CNC Principles

All computer controlled machines are able to accurately and repeatedly control motion in various directions. Each of these directions of motion is called an axis. Depending on the machine type there are commonly two to five axes.

Additionally, a CNC axis may be either a linear axis in which movement is in a straight line, or a rotary axis with motion following a circular path.

Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT CNC By integrating a computer processor, computer numerical control, or “CNC” as it

Motion control - the heart of CNC

The most basic function of any CNC machine is automatic, precise, and consistent motion control.

Rather than applying completely mechanical devices to cause motion as is required on most conventional machine tools, CNC machines allow motion control in a revolutionary manner.

All forms of CNC equipment have two or more directions of motion, called axes. These axes can be precisely and automatically positioned along their lengths of travel.

The two most common axis types are linear (driven along a straight path) and rotary (driven along a circular path).

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Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT

Three Basic Categories of Motion Systems

  • l Point to Point - No contouring capability

  • l Straight cut control - one axis motion at a time is controlled for machining

  • l Contouring - multiple axis’s controlled simultaneously

Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT Three Basic Categories of Motion Systems l Point to Point - No contouring
Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT Three Basic Categories of Motion Systems l Point to Point - No contouring
Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT Three Basic Categories of Motion Systems l Point to Point - No contouring

Absolute Coordinate System

Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT Three Basic Categories of Motion Systems l Point to Point - No contouring
Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT Three Basic Categories of Motion Systems l Point to Point - No contouring

Incremental Coordinate System

Each axis consists of a mechanical component, such as a slide that moves, a servo drive motor that powers the mechanical movement, and a ball screw to transfer the power from the servo drive motor to the mechanical component.

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Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT

These components, along with the computer controls that govern them, are referred to as an axis drive system.

Using

a

vertical

mill machining

center as an example,

there are

typically three linear axes of motion. Each is given an alphabetic designation or address. The machine table motion side to side is called the “X” axis. Table movement in and out is the “Y” axis, while head movement up and down the column is the “Z” axis.

Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT • These components, along with the computer controls that govern them, are referred

If a rotary table is added to the machine table, then the fourth axis is designated the “b” axis.

Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT • These components, along with the computer controls that govern them, are referred

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Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT

Control Systems

Open-Loop Control – Stepper motor system Current pulses sent from control unit to motor Each pulse results in a finite amount of revolution of the motor001” is possible

  • l Open-Loop Limitations –

Control unit “assumes” desired position is achieved No positioning compensation

Typically, a lower torque motor

  • l Open-Loop Advantages Less complex, Less costly, and lower maintenance costs

Closed-Loop Control

Variable DC motors - Servos

»

Positioning sensors -Resolvers

 

»

Feedback to control unit Position information compared to target location

»

Location errors corrected

  • l Closed-Loop Advantages – DC motors have the ability to reverse instantly to adjust for position error Error compensation allows for greater positional accuracy (.0001”) DC motors have higher torque ranges vs. stepper motors

  • l Closed-loop limitations –

Cost

Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT Control Systems Open-Loop Control – Stepper motor system Current pulses sent from control

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Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT

Interpolation

The calculation of successive increments in slide position to reach the programmable point is called interpolation. Common methods of interpolations are linear, circular, polar and cylindrical.

Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT Interpolation The calculation of successive increments in slide position to reach the programmable

Linear

Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT Interpolation The calculation of successive increments in slide position to reach the programmable

Circular

Parabolic

CNC systems classification

  • 1. CNC Machining centres

  • 2. CNC lathe and turning centres

  • 3. CNC for special applications like grinding machines, EDM, EBM etc.

CNC Machining Centers

A machining center can be defined as a machine tool capable of:

 

Multiple operation and processes in a single set-up utilizing multiple

axis Typically has an automatic mechanism to change tools

Machine motion is programmable

Servo motors drive feed mechanisms for tool axis’s

Positioning feedback is provided by resolvers to the control system

CNC Lathe

Automated version of a manual lathe.

Programmed to change tools automatically.

Used for turning and boring wood, metal and plastic

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Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT

CNC Milling machine

Has 3 to 5 axes.

Used for wood, metal and plastic.

Used to make 3D prototypes, moulds, cutting dies, printing plates and signs.

How CNC Works

Controlled by G and M codes.

These are number values and co-ordinates.

Each number or code is assigned to a particular operation.

Typed in manually to CAD by machine operators.

G&M codes are automatically generated by the computer software.

Features of CNC Machinery

The tool or material moves.

Tools can operate in 1-5 axes.

Larger machines have a machine control unit (MCU) which manages

operations. Movement is controlled by a motors (actuators).

Feedback is provided by sensors (transducers)

Tool magazines are used to change tools automatically.

Tools

Most are made from

high speed steel (HSS), tungsten carbide or ceramics. Tools are designed to direct waste away from the material.

Some tools need coolant such as oil to protect the tool and work.

Tool Paths, Cutting and Plotting Motions

Tool paths describes the route the cutting tool takes.

Motion can be described as point to point, straight cutting or contouring.

Speeds are the rate at which the tool operates e.g. rpm.

Feeds are the rate at which the cutting tool and work piece move in relation to

each other. Feeds and speeds are determined by cutting depth, material and quality of

finish needed. e.g. harder materials need slower feeds and speeds. Rouging cuts remove larger amounts of material than finishing cuts.

Rapid traversing allows the tool or work piece to move rapidly when no machining is taking place.

CNC controllers

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Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT

The CNC controller is the brain of a CNC system. A controller completes the

all important link between a computer system and the mechanical components of a CNC machine. The controller's primary task is to receive conditioned signals from a computer or indexer and interpret those signals into mechanical motion through motor output. There are several components that make up a controller and each component works in unison to produce the desired motor movement.

The word “controller” is a generic term that may refer to one of several devices, but usually refers to the complete machine control system.

This system may include the protection circuitry, stepper or servo motor drivers, power source, limit switch interfaces, power controls, and other peripherals.

Commercial CNC controls

Fanuc

Sinumerik (Siemens)

Heidenhain

Haas

Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT  The CNC controller is the brain of a CNC system. A controller

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Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT

Direct/Distributed Numerical Control (DNC)

Direct numerical control (DNC), also known as distributed numerical control (also DNC), is a common manufacturing term for networking CNC machine tools.

Direct Numerical Control

Direct numerical simultaneously control the operations of a group of NC machine tools using a shared computer. Programming, editing part programs and downloading part programs to NC machines are main responsibilities of the computers in a NC system.

Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT Direct/Distributed Numerical Control (DNC) Direct numerical control (DNC), also known as distributed numerical

Distributed Numerical Control (DNC)

In early 1980s, with advancement in computers and communication technologies, engineers realized that in a network of computers there must be a proper co-ordination for operations of a group of CNC machine tools. Hence, Distributive numerical control (DNC) comes into picture. Now, many CNC machines together with robots,

programmable logic controllers, and other computer-based controllers have been integrated into DNC systems to make automated manufacturing systems possible.

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Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT

Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT  On some CNC machine controllers, the available memory is too small to

On some CNC machine controllers, the available memory is too small to

contain the machining program (for example machining complex surfaces), so in this case the program is stored in a separate computer and sent directly to the machine, one block at a time. If the computer is connected to a number of machines it can distribute programs to different machines as required.

Usually, the manufacturer of the control provides suitable DNC software. However, if this provision is not possible, some software companies provide DNC applications that fulfill the purpose.

DNC networking or DNC communication is always required when CAM programs are to run on some CNC machine control.

• Uses a few methods,

  • - the oldest methods used modems, and a mainframe which emulated a tape

reader, to control the NC machine (no storage)

  • - a more recent advance used a local computer which acts as a storage buffer.

Programs are downloaded from the main DNC computer, and then the local

controller feeds instructions to the hardwired NC machine, as if they have been read from tape.

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Dr.K.Balamurugan, ASP/MECH, IRTT

  • - the newer methods use a central computer which communicates with local CNC computers (also called Direct Numerical Control)

• DNC controllers came before CNC machines, but as computer technology improved it became practical to place a computer beside the NC machine, and DNC changed in form.

• Characteristics of modern DNC systems are,

  • - uses a server (with large storage capacity) to store a large number of part programs

  • - the server will download part programs on demand to local machines

  • - may have abilities to,

    • - display and edit part programs

    • - transmit operator instructions and other data needed at the machines

    • - collect and process machine status information for management purposes

• Advantages are,

  • - eliminates the need for NC tapes (the advantages are obvious)

  • - design changes are immediate

  • - NC programs may be edited quickly

  • - can be used to support an FMS system

  • - increase efficiency of individual machine tools

  • - more shop up-time than with stand alone machines

  • - simplifies implementation of group technology, computer aided process planning, and other CIM concepts

  • - reduces peripheral costs with NC tapes

• Disadvantages,

  • - high cost of computer hardware

  • - the number of machines which could be controlled by one computer was limited

  • - computer software was limited for maintenance, scheduling, control, and data collection

  • - a backup computer was usually required

  • - was hard to justify on the basis of downloading parts programs

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