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Historical Perspective The development of numerical control owes much to the United States air force, which recognized the need for developing more efficient manufacturing methods for modern aircraft. Following World War II, the components used to fabricate jet aircraft became more complex and required more machining. The concept of NC was proposed in the late 1940s by John Parsons of Traverse City. Michigan. Parson recommended a method of automatic machine control that would guide a milling cutter to produce a thru axis curve in order to generate smooth profiles on the work-pieces. In 1949, the U.S Air Force awarded Parsons a contract to develop new type of machine tool that would be able to speed up production methods. Parsons sub-contracted the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop a practical implementation of his concept. Scientists and engineers at M.I.T built a control system for a two axis milling machine that used a perforated paper tape as the input media. This prototype was produced by retrofitting a conventional tracer mill with numerical control servomechanisms for the three axes of the machine. By 1955, these machines were available to industries with some small modifications. The machine tool builders gradually began developing their own projects to introduce commercial NC units. Also, certain industry users, especially airframe builders, worked to devise numerical control machines to satisfy their own particular production needs. The Air force continued its encouragement of NC development by sponsoring additional research at MIT to design a part programming language that could be used in controlling N.C. machines. In a short period of time, all the major machine tool manufacturers were producing some machines with NC, but it was not until late 1970s that computer-based NC became widely used. NC matured as an automation technology when electronics industry developed new products. At first, miniature electronic tubes were developed, but the controls were big, bulky, and not very reliable. Then solid-state circuitry and eventually modular or integrated circuits were developed. The control unit became smaller, more reliable, and less expensive. Introduction to CNC Computer Numerical Control Computer numerical control (CNC) is the numerical control system in which a dedicated computer is built[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


into the control to perform basic and advanced NC functions. CNC controls are also referred to as softwired NC systems because most of their control functions are implemented by the control software programs. CNC is a computer assisted process to control general purpose machines from instructions generated by a processor and stored in a memory system. It is a specific form of control system where position is the principal controlled variable. All numerical control machines manufactured since the seventies are of CNC type. The computer allows for the following: storage of additional programs, program editing, running of program from memory, machine and control diagnostics, special routines, inch/metric, incremental/absolute switchability. CNC machines can be used as stand alone units or in a network of machines such as flexible machine centres. The controller uses a permanent resident program called an executive program to process the codes into the electrical pulses that control the machine. In any CNC machine, executive program resides in ROM and all the NC codes in RAM. The information in ROM is written into the electronic chips and cannot be erased and they become active whenever the machine is on. The contents in RAM are lost when the controller is turned off. Some use special type of RAM called CMOS memory, which retains its contents even when the power is turned off.

CNC milling machine 1.2. Direct Numerical Control In a Direct Numerical Control system (DNC) system, a mainframe computer is used to coordinate the simultaneous operations of a number NC machines as shown in the figures 2 & 3. The main tasks performed[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


by the computer are to program and edit part programs as well as download part programs to NC machines. Machine tool controllers have limited memory and a part program may contain few thousands of blocks.So the program is stored in a separate computer and sent directly to the machine, one block at a time. First DNC system developed was Molins System 24 in 1967 by Cincinnati Milacron and General Electric. They are now referred to as flexible manufacturing systems (FMS). The computers that were used at those times were quite expensive.

DNC system

DNC system Advantages & Disadvantages of CNC machine tools

Manually operated milling milling machine

Computer controlled machine milling machine[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


Some of the dominant advantages of the CNC machines are: CNC machines can be used continuously and only need to be switched off for occasional maintenance. These machines require less skilled people to operate unlike manual lathes / milling machines etc. CNC machines can be updated by improving the software used to drive the machines Training for the use of CNC machines can be done through the use of virtual software. The manufacturing process can be simulated virtually and no need to make a prototype or a model. This saves time and money. Once programmed, these machines can be left and do not require any human intervention, except for work loading and unloading. These machines can manufacture several components to the required accuracy without any fatigue as in the case of manually operated machines. Savings in time that could be achieved with the CNC machines are quite significant. Some of the disadvantages of the CNC machines are: CNC machines are generally more expensive than manually operated machines. The CNC machine operator only needs basic training and skills, enough to supervise several machines. Increase in electrical maintenance, high initial investment and high per hour operating costs than the traditional systems. Fewer workers are required to operate CNC machines compared to manually operated machines. Investment in CNC machines can lead to unemployment. Applications of NC/CNC machine tools CNC was initially applied to metal working machinery: Mills, Drills, boring machines, punch presses etc and now expanded to robotics, grinders, welding machinery, EDM's, flame cutters and also for inspection equipment etc. The machines controlled by CNC can be classified into the following categories: CNC mills and machining centres. CNC lathes and turning centers CNC EDM CNC grinding machines[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


CNC cutting machines (laser, plasma, electron, or flame) CNC fabrication machines (sheet metal punch press, bending machine, or press brake) CNC welding machines CNC coordinate measuring machines CNC Coordinate Measuring Machines: A coordinate measuring machine is a dimensional measuring device, designed to move the measuring probe to determine the coordinates along the surface of the work piece. Apart from dimensional measurement, these machines are also used for profile measurement, angularity, digitizing or imaging. A CMM consists of four main components: the machine, measuring probe, control system and the measuring software. The control system in a CMM performs the function of a live interaction between various machine drives, displacement transducers, probing systems and the peripheral devices. Control systems can be classified according to the following groups of CMMs. 1. Manually driven CMMs 2. Motorized CMMs with automatic probing systems 3. Direct computer controlled (DCC) CMMs 4. CMMs linked with CAD, CAM and FMS etc. The first two methods are very common and self explanatory. In the case of DCC CMMs, the computer control is responsible for the movement of the slides, readout from displacement transducers and data communication. CMM are of different configurations fixed bridge, moving bridge, cantilever arm figure 21.5(a), horizontal arm and gantry type CMM as shown in figure

Cantilever type CMM CNC welding machines:

Gantry type CMM[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


4 axis CNC Tig welding machine The salient features of CNC welding machines are: Superior quality and weld precision. These machines are also equipped with rotary tables. Weld moves, welding feed rate, wire feed, torch heights & welding current can be programmed. CNC welding machines are used for laser welding, welding of plastics, submerged arc welding, wire welding machines, butt welding, flash butt welding etc. These machines are generally used in automobile work shops Cost of these machines will be twice than the conventional welding machines. CNC EDM & WEDM machines: EDM is a nontraditional machining method primarily used to machine hard metals that could not be machined by traditional machining methods. Material removal will be taking place by a series of electric arcs discharging across the gap between the electrode and the work piece. There are two main types- ram EDM & wire cut EDM. In wire-cut EDM, a thin wire is fed through the work piece and is constantly fed from a spool and is held between upper and lower guides. These guides move in the x-y plane and are precisely controlled by the CNC. Wire feed rate is also controlled by the CNC.[13-05-2011 00:19:32]



Wire cut EDM

Classification Of CNC Machine Tools 2.1.Based on the motion type Point-to-point & Contouring systems There are two main types of machine tools and the control systems required for use with them differ because of the basic differences in the functions of the machines to be controlled. They are known as point-topoint and contouring controls. Point-to-point systems Some machine tools for example drilling, boring and tapping machines etc, require that the cutter and the work piece be placed at a certain fixed relative positions at which they must remain while the cutter does its work. These machines are known as point-topoint machines as shown in figure 1 (a) and the control equipment for use with them are known as point-topoint control equipment. Feed rates need not be programmed. In theses machines tools, each axis is driven separately. In a point-to-point control system, the dimensional information that must be given to the machine tool will be a series of required position of the two slides. Servo systems can be used to move the slides and no attempt is made to move the slide until the cutter has been retracted back. Contouring systems (Continuous path systems) Other type of machine tools involve motion of work piece with respective to the cutter while cutting operation is taking place. These machine tools include milling, routing machines etc and are known as contouring machines as in figure 1 (b) and the controls required for their control are known as contouring control. Contouring machines can also be used as point-topoint machines, but it will be uneconomical to use them unless the work piece also requires having a[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


contouring operation to be performed on it. These machines require simultaneous control of axes. In contouring machines, relative positions of the work piece and the tool should be continuously controlled. The control system must be able to accept information regarding velocities and positions of the machines slides. Feed rates should be programmed.

Point-to-point system

Contouring systems

Contouring systems Based on the control loops Open loop & Closed loop systems Open loop systems: Programmed instructions are fed into the controller through an input device. These instructions are then converted to electrical pulses (signals) by the controller and sent to the servo amplifier to energize the servo motors. The primary drawback of the open-loop system is that there is no feedback system to check whether the program position and velocity has been achieved. If the system performance is affected by load, temperature, humidity, or lubrication then the actual output could deviate from the desired output. For these reasons the open -loop system is generally used in point-to-point systems where the accuracy requirements are not critical. Very few continuous-path systems utilize open-loop control.[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


Open loop control system

Closed loop control system

Open loop system Closed loop systems: The closed-loop system has a feedback subsystem to monitor the actual output and correct any discrepancy from the programmed input. These systems use position and velocity feed back. The feedback system could be either analog or digital. The analog systems measure the variation of physical variables such as position and velocity in terms of voltage levels. Digital systems monitor output variations by means of electrical pulses. To control the dynamic behavior and the final position of the machine slides, a variety of position transducers are employed. Majority of CNC systems operate on servo mechanism, a closed loop principle. If a discrepancy is revealed between where the machine element should be and where it actually is, the sensing device signals the driving unit to make an adjustment, bringing the movable component to the required location. Closed-loop systems are very powerful and accurate because they are capable of monitoring operating conditions through feedback subsystems and automatically compensating for any variations in realtime.[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


Closed loop system Based on the number of axes 2, 3, 4 & 5 axes CNC machines. 2& 3 axes CNC machines: CNC lathes will be coming under 2 axes machines. There will be two axes along which motion takes place. The saddle will be moving longitudinally on the bed (Z-axis) and the cross slide moves transversely on the saddle (along X-axis). In 3-axes machines, there will be one more axis, perpendicular to the above two axes. By the simultaneous control of all the 3 axes, complex surfaces can be machined. 4 & 5 axes CNC machines: 4 and 5 axes CNC machines provide multi-axis machining capabilities beyond the standard 3-axis CNC tool path movements. A 5-axis milling centre includes the three X, Y, Z axes, the A axis which is rotary tilting of the spindle and the B-axis, which can be a rotary index table.[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


Importance of higher axes machining : Reduced cycle time by machining complex components using a single setup. In addition to time savings, improved accuracy can also be achieved as positioning errors between setups are eliminated. Improved surface finish and tool life by tilting the tool to maintain optimum tool to part contact all the times. Improved access to under cuts and deep pockets. By tilting the tool, the tool can be made normal to the work surface and the errors may be reduced as the major component of cutting force will be along the tool axis. Higher axes machining has been widely used for machining sculptures surfaces in aerospace and automobile industry. Turning centre: Traditional centre lathes have horizontal beds. The saddle moves longitudinally and the cross slide moves transversely. Although the tools can be clearly seen, the operator must lean over the tool post to position them accurately. Concentration of chips may be creating a heat source and there may be temperature gradients in the machine tool. Keeping the above points in view, developments in the structure of the turning centres lead to the positioning the saddle and the cross slide behind the spindle on a slant bed as shown in the figure.4. Chips fall freely because of slant bed configuration and is more ergonomically acceptable also from operators point of view.

Slant bed turning centre Based on the power supply Electric, Hydraulic & Pneumatic systems Mechanical power unit refers to a device which transforms some form of energy to mechanical power which may be used for driving slides, saddles or gantries forming a part of machine tool. The input power may be of electrical, hydraulic or pneumatic.[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


Electric systems: Electric motors may be used for controlling both positioning and contouring machines. They may be either a.c. or d.c. motors and the torque and direction of rotation needs to be controlled. The speed control of a d.c. motor can be done by varying either the field or the armature supply. The clutch-controlled motor can either be an a.c. or d.c. motor. They are generally used for small machine tools because of heat losses in the clutches. Split field motors are the simplest form of motors and can be controlled in a manner according to the machine tool. These are small and generally run at high maximum speeds and so require reduction gears of high ratio. Separately excited motors are used with control systems for driving the slides of large machine tools. Hydraulic systems: These hydraulic systems may be used with positioning and contouring machine tools of all sizes. These systems may be either in the form of rams or motors. Hydraulic motors are smaller than electric motors of equivalent power. There are several types of hydraulic motors. The advantage of using hydraulic motors is that they can be very small and have considerable torque. This means that they may be incorporated in servosystems which require having a rapid response. Major Components Of A CNC System Construction of CNC machine tools Any CNC machine tool will essentially consists of the following parts: Part program: A part program is a series of coded instructions required to produce a part. It controls the movement of the machine tool and on/off control of auxiliary[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


functions such as spindle rotation and coolant. The coded instructions are composed of letters, numbers and symbols. Program input device: The program input device is the means for part program to be entered into the CNC control. Three commonly used program input devices are punch tape reader, magnetic tape reader, and computer via RS232-C communication. Machine Control Unit: The machine control unit (MCU) is the heart of a CNC system. It is used to perform the following functions: Reads the coded instructions. Decodes the coded instructions. Implement interpolations (linear, circular, and helical) to generate axis motion commands. Feeds the axis motion commands to the amplifier circuits for driving the axis mechanisms. Receives the feedback signals of position and speed for each drive axis. Implement auxiliary control functions such as coolant or spindle on/off and tool change. Drive System: A drive system consists of amplifier circuits, drive motors, and ball lead-screws. The MCU feeds the control signals (position and speed) of each axis to the amplifier circuits. The control signals are augmented to actuate drive motors which in turn rotate the ball leadscrews to position the machine table. Machine Tool: CNC controls are used to control various types of machine tools. Regardless of which type of machine tool is controlled, it always has a slide table and a spindle to control of position and speed. The machine table is controlled in the X and Y axes, while the spindle runs along the Z axis. Feed Back System: The feedback system is also referred to as the measuring system. It uses position and speed transducers to continuously monitor the position at which the cutting tool is located at any particular instant. The MCU uses the difference between reference signals and feedback signals to generate the control signals for correcting position and speed errors. Machine axes designation Machine axes are designated according to the "righthand rule", When the thumb of right hand points in the[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


direction of the positive X axis, the index finger points toward the positive Y axis, and the middle finger toward the positive Z axis. Figure 10 shows the righthand rule applied to vertical machines, while Figure 3.1 applies to horizontal machines.

Right hand rule for vertical and horizontal machine CNC Systems Mechanical Components The drive units of the carriages for tool or work found on numerically controlled machine tool s are generally the screw & the nut mechanism. The following are the types of screws and nuts used on NC machine tools which provide low wear, higher efficiency, reduced friction and better reliability. Recirculating ball screw The recirculating ball screw assembly shown in figure 4.1 has the flanged nut attached to the moving chamber and to the screw to the fixed casting. Thus any rotational movement of the screw will displace the moving member and the screw to the fixed casting. These recirculating ball screw designs can have ball gages of internal or external return, but all of them are based upon the Ogival or Gothic arc In these types of screws, balls rotate in between the screw and nut and convert the sliding friction (as in conventional nut & screw) to the rolling friction and hence reduce wear and increase the reliability of the system. The traditional ACME thread used on conventional machine tool has efficiencies ranging from 20% to 30% whereas the efficiencies of ball screws may reach up to 90%.[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


Recirculating ball screw assembly

Preloaded recirculating ball screw There are two types of ball screws. In the first type, balls are returned through an external tube after few threads. In another type, the balls are returned to the start through a channel inside the nut after only one thread. To make the carriage movement bidirectional, backlash between the screw and nut should be minimum. One of the methods to achieve zero backlashes is by fitting two nuts. The nuts are preloaded by an amount which exceeds the maximum operating load. These nuts are either forced apart or squeezed together, so that the balls in one of the nuts contact the opposite side of the threads. These ball screws have the problem that minimum diameter of the ball (60 to 70% of the lead screw) must be used, limiting the rate of movement of the screw. 4.2 Roller screw[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


These types of screws provide backlash-free movement and their efficiency is same as that of ball screws. These are capable of providing more accurate position control. Roller screws costs more when compared to ball screws. The thread form is triangular with an included angle of 90 degrees. There are two types of roller screws: planetary and recirculating screws. Planetary roller screws: Planetary roller screws are shown in figure 4.3. The rollers are threaded with a single start thread. Teeth are cut at the ends of the roller, which meshes with the internal tooth cut inside the nut. The rollers are equally spaced around and are retained in their positions by spigots or spacer rings. There is no axial movement of the rollers relative to the nut and are capable of transmitting high loads at fast speeds. Recirculating roller screws: The rollers in this case are not threaded and are provided with a circular groove and are positioned circumferentially by a cage. There is some axial movement of the rollers relative to the nut. Each roller moves by a distance equal to the pitch of the screw for each rotation of the screw or nut and moves into an axial recess cut inside the nut and disengage from the threads on the screw and the nut and the other roller provides the driving power. Rollers in the recess are moved back by an edge cam in the nut. CNC Controllers Different types of controllers: There are two types of CNC controllers, namely closed loop and open loop controllers. Controller Architecture: Most of the CNC machine tools were built around proprietary architecture and could not be changed or updated without an expensive company upgrade. This method of protecting their market share worked well for many years when the control technology enjoyed a[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


four-to-five year life cycle. Now a day the controller life cycle is only eight-to-twelve months. So CNC manufacturers are forced to find better and less expensive ways of upgrading their controllers. Open architecture is the less costly than the alternatives. GE Fanuc and other manufacturers introduced control architecture with PC connectivity to allow users to take advantage of the new information technologies that were slowly gaining acceptance on the shop floor. They created an open platform that could easily communicate with other devices over commercially available MS Windows operating system, while maintaining the performance and reliability of the CNC machine tool. CNC Tooling Tool changing arrangements There are two types of tool changing arrangements: manual and automatic tool changing arrangements. Machining centres incorporate automatic tool change (ATC). It is the automatic tool changing capability that distinguishes CNC machining centres from CNC milling machines. Manual tool changing: Tool changing is the non-productive time. So, it should be kept as minimum as possible. Also the tool must be rigidly located in the spindle. The tool must be accurately located in the spindle so as to assure proper machining and should maintain the same relation with the work piece each time it is inserted in the spindle. This is known as the repeatability of the tool. CNC milling machines have some type of quick tool changing systems, which generally comprises of a quick release chuck. The chuck is a different tool holding mechanism that will be inside the spindle and is operated either hydraulically or pneumatically. The tool holder which fits into the chuck can be released by pressing a button which releases the hydraulically operated chuck. The advantage of manual tool changing is that each tool can be checked manually before loading the tools and there will be no limitation on the number of tools from which selection can be made. Automatic tool changing: Tooling used with an automatic tool changer should be easy to center in the spindle, each for the tool changer to grab the tool holder and the tool changer should safely disengage the tool holder after it is secured[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


properly. Figure 6.1 shows a tool holder used with ATC. The tool changer grips the tool at point A and places it in a position aligned with the spindle. The tool changer will then insert the tool holder into the spindle. A split bushing in the spindle will enclose the portion B. Tool changer releases the tool holder. Tool holder is drawn inside the spindle and is tightened.

Tool holder Tool turrets An advantage of using tool turrets is that the time taken for tool changing will be only the time taken for indexing the turret. Only limited number of tools can be held in the turret. Tool turrets are generally used in lathes. The entire turret can be removed from the machine for setting up of tools. Figure 6.2 a, b & c show.

Six station tool turret

Eight station tool turret[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


Twelve station tool turret Tool magazines Tool magazines are generally found on drilling and milling machines. When compared to tool turrets, tool magazines can hold more number of tools and also more problems regarding the tool management. Duplication of the tools is possible and a new tool of same type may be selected when ever a particular tool has been worn off. Though a larger tool magazine can accommodate more number of tools, but the power required to move the tool magazine will be more. Hence, a magazine with optimum number of tool holders must be used. The following types of tool magazines exist: circular, chain and box type. Chain magazine: These magazines can hold large number of tools and may hold even up to 100 tools. Figures 6.3 a & b show chain magazines holding 80 and 120 tools respectively. In these chain magazines, tools will be identified either by their location in the tool holder or by means of some coding on the tool holder. In the former is followed for identifying the tool, then the tool must be exactly placed in its location. The positioning of the magazine for the next tool transfer will take place during the machining operation.

80-tool chain magazine

120-tool chain magazine

Circular magazine: Circular magazines as shown in figure 6.4 will be similar to tool turrets, but in the former the tools will be transferred from the magazine to the spindle nose. Generally these will be holding about 30 tools. The identification of the tool will be made either by its location in the tool magazine or by means of some code on the tool holder. The most common type of circular magazine is known as carousel, which is similar to a flat disc holding one row of tools around the periphery. Geneva mechanism is used for changing the tools.[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


Circular magazine Box magazine: In these magazines, the tools are stored in open ended compartments. The tool holder must be removed from the spindle before loading the new tool holder. Also the spindle should move to the tool storage location rather than the tool to the spindle. Hence, more time will be consumed in tool changing. Box magazines are of limited use as compared to circular and chain type of tool magazines. Automatic tool changers When ever controller encounters a tool change code, a signal will be sent to the control unit so that the appropriate tool holder in the magazine comes to the transfer position. The tool holder will then be transferred from the tool magazine to the spindle nose. This can be done by various mechanisms. One such mechanism is a rotating arm mechanism. Rotating arm mechanism: Movement of the tool magazine to place the appropriate tool in the transfer position will take place during the machining operation. The rotating arms with grippers at both the ends rotate to grip the tool holders in the magazine and the spindle simultaneously. Then the tool holder clamping mechanism will be released and the arm moves axially to remove the tool holder from the spindle. Then the arm will be rotated through 180 degrees and the arm will then move axially inwards to place the new tool holder into the spindle and will clamped. Now the new tool holder is placed in the spindle and the other in the magazine. Figures 6.5 and 6.6 shows various stages during tool change with a rotating arm mechanism.[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


Rotating arm mechanism

Rotating arm mechanism Tool wear monitoring Most of the modern CNC machines now incorporate the facility of on-line tool wear monitoring systems, whose purpose is to keep a continuous track of the amount of tool wear in real time. These systems may reduce the tool replacement costs and the production delays. It is based on the principle that the power required for machining increases as the cutting edge gets worn off. Extreme limits for the spindle can be set up and when ever it is reached, a sub-program can be called to change the tool. Following figures show tool wear monitoring systems.

ON-line tool wear monitoring system

Graphical display of tool wear Monitoring system

CNC Work Holding Devices With the advent of CNC technology, machining cycle times were drastically reduced and the desire to combine greater accuracy with higher productivity has led to the reappraisal of work holding technology. Loading or unloading of the work will be the nonproductive time and hence needs to be minimized. So the work is usually loaded on a special work holder away from the machine and then transferred it to the machine table. The work should be located precisely and secured quickly and should be well supported.[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


Turning center work holding methods: Machining operations on turning centers or CNC lathes are carried out mostly for axi-symmetrical components. Surfaces are generated by the simultaneous motions of X and Z axes. For any work holding device used on a turning centre there is a direct trade off between part accuracy and the flexibility of work holding device used.

Work holding methods Automatic Jaw & chuck changing

Advantages Adaptable for a range of workpiece shapes and sizes

Disadvantages High cost of jaw/chuck changing automation. Resulting in a more complex & higher cost machine tool Expensive optional equipment. Bar-feeders cannot be incorporated.

Indexing chucks Figure7.1

Very quick loading and unloading of the workpiece can be achieved.[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


Reasonable range of work piece sizes can be loaded automatically Pneumatic/Magnetic Simple in chucks design and Figure 7.3 relatively inexpensive. Part automation is possible. No part distortion is caused due to clamping force.

Short/medium length parts only can be incorporated. Heavy chucks Limited to a range of flat parts with little overhang. Barfeeders cannot be incorporated. Parts on magnetic chucks must be ferrous. Heavy cuts must be avoided. Jaws must be changed manually & bared, so slow part changeovers. A range of jaw blanks required. Limitation on part shape. Heavy cuts should be avoided.

Automatic Chucks Adaptable to with soft jaws automation. Heavy cuts can be taken. Individual parts can be small or large in diameter. Expanding mandrels Long & short & collets parts of Figure 7.2 reasonably large size accommodated. Automation can be incorporated. Clamping forces do not distort part. Simple in design Dedicated Chucks Excellent restraint & location of a wide range of individual & irregular shaped parts can be obtained.

Expensive & can only be financially justified with either large runs or when extremely complex & accurate parts are required. Tool making facilities[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


required. Large storage space. Work holding for Machining Centres:

Workholding methods Modular Fixtures

Advantages Highly adaptable. Can be purchased in stages to increase its sophistication. Reasonable accuracy. Speedily assembled. Small stores area is required. Can be set-up to a machine more than one part. Proven

Disadvantages Costly for a complete system. Difficult to automate. Skills required in kit assembly.[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


technology Automatic Vices Relatively inexpensive. Can be operated by mechanical, pneumatic, or by hydraulic control. Quick to operate with ease of set-up. Reasonable accuracy. Easily automated. Simplicity of design. Using multi-vices allows many parts to be machined. Proven Technology. Work holding limitations. Clamping force limitations. Jaws can become strained. Work location problems. Limitations on part size.

Pneumatic/Magnetic Relatively Work holding inexpensive. devices Reasonable accuracy. Can machine large areas of the work piece. Quick setups. Easily automated. Simplicity of design. Many parts can be machined at one set up. 4/5 axis CNC work Allows holding devices complex geometric shapes to be machined. High accuracy. Opportunity for one hit machining. Easily automated.

Large surface area is required. Swarf can be a problem. Nonferrous material limitation on magnetic devices.

Costly & limited part geometry clamping. Part size limitations. Usually only one part can be machined. Cannot be fitted to all machines.

Dedicated Fixturing Large & small Large storage parts are easily space required.[13-05-2011 00:19:32]


accommodated. High accuracy of part location. Easily automated. Simplicity of design. Proven technology. Many parts can be machine at one setup good vibration damping capacity.

No part flexibility. Heavy fixtures. Tool making facilities required.

Indexing chucks


Magnetic chucks


Pallets[13-05-2011 00:19:32]

Notes[13-05-2011 00:19:32]