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CHPTER 4 Numerical control machine tool (NC)

Chapter contents: 1- Basic components of the system 2- NC coordinate systems 3- Motion Control systems 4- Interpolation methods 5- Problems with Conventional NC 6- CNC 7- DNC 8- Applications of NC 9- Advantages and disadvantages of NC 10- NC Part Programming
Manual part programming Computer assisted part programming (APT, APT Automatically Programmed Tool)

Numerical control:
It is a form of programmable automation in which the mechanical actions of a machine tool or other equipment are controlled by a program containing coded alphanumeric data. The data represent relative positions between the workpiece and work head (e.g., cutting tool) as well as other instructions needed to operate the machine.

1- Basic components of the system 1) Program of instructions. 2) Machine control unit. 3) Processing equipment.
Machine control unit Process equipment


1- Program of instructions Is the detailed step-by-step set of directions, which tell the machine tool what to do. - In machine tool applications, the program of instructions is called a part program, and the person who prepares the program is called a part programmer. - In these applications, the individual commands refer to positions of a cutting tool relative to the worktable on which the workpart is fixtured. Additional instructions are usually included, such as spindle speed, feed rate, cutting tool selection, and other functions. - The program is stored formerly into punched cards, punched tapes. Now, these technologies have been replaced by magnetic tape, diskettes, and electronic transfer of part programs from a computer.

2- MCU
In modern technology, the MCU consists of: a) Microcomputer b) Related control hardware that stores the part program and executes it. It includes components to interface with the processing equipment and feedback control elements. c) One or more reading devices for entering part program into memory. d) Control system software, calculation algorithms, and translation software to convert the NC program into a usable format for the MCU. * Since the MCU is a computer, the term computer numerical control (CNC) is used to refer to NC.

3- Machine tool or other controlled process The machine tool consists of worktable, spindle and the motors and controls necessary to drive them. It also includes the cutting tools, work fixtures.

2- NC coordinate systems It is a standard axis system by which the position of the work head relative to the work part can be specified In order for the programmer to make the sequence of positions and movements of the cutting tool relative to the workpiece, it is necessary to establish a standard axis system by which the relative positions can be specified. NC programming is based on the Cartesian coordinate system (sometimes on the polar coordinate system as well). 2-D coordinate system (zero point, positive and negative directions for the two axes). 3-D coordinate system (zero point, right hand rule, the positive and negative directions, and rotary motions a, b and c). Zero point types (fixed zero, full shift zero, and full floating zero).

The coordinate systems for the drilling and milling and turning machine tools.

y Milling Turning

NC types with respect to the number of axes; Two axes NC, Three axes NC, Four axes NC, and Five axes NC Position determination; - Absolute positioning (x=6 and y=8) and - Incremental positioning (x=4 and y=5).

3-Motion Control systems 1) Point-to-point system (PTP), also called positioning system. 2) Straight cut system 3) Contouring system (continuous-path NC system).

4- Interpolation methods a) Linear interpolation Y = tan (/2) cutter radius. X = tan (/2) cutter radius.

b) Circular interpolation 1) Inside tolerance (chord). 2) Outside tolerance (tangent). 3) Inside and outside tolerance.


Cutter size compensation. Length compensation. Wear compensation. Radius compensation. Offset compensation.

5- Problems with Conventional NC 1) Part programming mistakes The mistakes can be either: syntax errors or numerical errors. It cannot achieve the best sequence of processing steps. 2) No optimal speeds and feeds The conventional NC cannot provide the chance to make changes in the feeds and speeds. The programmer must set the speeds and feeds at the worstcase conditions.

3) Punched tape 4) Tape reader 5) Controller The NC controller is a hard-wire, which can not easy improves, while the soft-wire is easy to improve with out the change in hard-wire. 6) Management information The NC system cannot provide timely information on the operational performance, such as piece counts, machine breakdowns and tool change.

6- CNC 6-1 Features; 1. Storage of more than one part programs 2. Various forms of program input 3. Program editing at the machine tool 4. Fixed cycle and programming subroutines 5. Interpolation 6. Positioning features for setup 7. Cutter length and size compensation 8. Acceleration and deceleration calculations 9. Communication interface. 10. Diagnostics a) Control start-up diagnostics. b) Malfunction and failure analysis. c) Extended diagnostics for individual components. d) Tool life monitoring. e) Preventive maintenance notices. f) Programming diagnostics.