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2010 IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics Montral, Canada, July 6-9, 2010

A Synthesized Methodology for Machine Tool Design Applied to a Reconfigurable Lathe-Mill

Alejandro Aguilar, Member, IEEE and Joel C. Huegel, Member, IEEE

AbstractThis paper proposes a design methodology and presents the results of applying the methodology in the design of a novel lathe-mill reconfigurable machine tool. Considerable research has been conducted in reconfigurable machines yet most of the work has been for mills and not for lathe-mills. The significant increase in efficiency and the reduced investment required for a reconfigurable manufacturing system (RMS) justifies this research. One important contribution of the present work is the design of a customizable and modular machine tool that is capable of performing both turning and milling operations. Moreover, a structured design methodology must be followed in order to achieve this design. Many generic machine design methodologies exist; most of these, however, focus on industrial applications. Thus, another significant contribution is a synthesized methodology for machine tool design specifically tailored to academic and research purposes. The crux of this methodology consists in the computation of the loads caused by the cutting forces. Turning and milling cutting force models provide the load conditions of the machine. With the resulting data, machine elements are selected to meet a 0.05mm part precision specification. The component selection results in CAD drawings which complete the preliminary design phase of the synthesized methodology. These drawings are ready for use in the structural and dynamic analysis of the machine.

I. INTRODUCTION HE main purpose of a machine tool is to provide a rigid structure on which to move the cutting edge of the tool through a predefined trajectory. To accomplish this, many designs have been proposed and constructed. The first machine tools were designed in an empirical fashion. At the time there were few or no machine design methodologies. Rather the designs were built and tested and with each new design, new experience resulted in gradual machine improvements. This method led to functional, durable, and precise machine designs such as the Bridgeport milling machine and the Hardinge lathe. Not surprisingly, many of these machines are still in use today in machine shops around
This work was supported in part by the State of Jalisco, Mexico under the Grant: COECYTJAL PS-2009-1150 and by the Tec de Monterrey Campus Guadalajara. Alejandro Aguilar is with the Biomechatronics Laboratory at the Tec de Monterrey campus Guadalajara (e-mail: Joel C. Huegel is the head of the Biomechatronics Laboratory at the Tec de Monterrey campus Guadalajara (e-mail:

the world. Much of this empirical knowledge has been gathered in books and handbooks like: Lathe Bed Design by Horner [16], and Modern Machine-Shop Practice by Rose [17]. Today, transnational corporations aggressively design and market new machine tools where estimates associate 10% of the United States GDP to metal removal processes [7]. The market size, profit potential, and heated competition involved in the machine tool industry demand fast design times and the use of state-of-the-art technologies like concurrent engineering [8]. According to Katz, et al., the economic potential of reconfigurable systems encourages the research and development of new machine designs [5]. Reconfigurable machine tool (RMT) design is one of the most recent trends in the machine tool industry. Envisioned and defined by Koren et al. in 1997, a reconfigurable manufacturing system (RMS) is: designed for rapid adjustment of production capacity and functionality, in response to new circumstances, by rearrangement or change of its components [4]. This new manufacturing paradigm uses independent machine modules as core components, in contrast to historical flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) that have CNC as their core component. RMS modules are machine tool components with distributed controllers and software. According to Koren and others, the main characteristics required in a RMT are: Customization: the design should match the application, Modularity: the machine should be constructed using modular machine components such as spindles, structures, axes, control, and software, Convertibility: the design should allow quick change-over for current products and future ones, Integrability: the system should easily integrate and quickly accept future technologies, Diagnosability: the system should be prepared to identify situations that generate quality and reliability problems [5]. One of the most representative RMT designs is the arch type. This design was patented by Koren and Kota [9], and successfully implemented by Dhupia [19]. The main idea of this machine is easy reconfiguration; many spindle modules can be attached to a structural arched column in different angles and positions. With this arrangement many different

978-1-4244-8030-2/10/$26.00 2010 IEEE


features can be machined simultaneously in the same workpiece, thereby increasing the efficiency of the machine. Furthermore, when changing the product type to be processed, the machine can be reconfigured with minimal effort. The combination of passive and active degrees of freedom gives the machine a customized flexibility [9]. This customized flexibility promises significant savings in manufacturing, because when a product is replaced for a new one, only the modules need to be reorganized, instead of replacing entire machines. To the authors knowledge little research has been conducted regarding lathe-mill RMTs. For example SungHyun Jang et al. have designed a lathe-mill micro machine tool, but with the main purpose of providing a machine for micro factories [14]. Yuan et al. have designed a lathe-mill RMT for micro machining. They call it local-scale reconfiguration, because the main lathe spindle is fixed, thereby requiring a secondary spindle for milling [15]. To produce a useful reconfigurable machine a design methodology should be carefully followed. In this case, we propose and follow a synthesized methodology in the design, refinement, and future implementation of a lathe-mill RMT. This paper is organized as follows: the next section introduces the synthesized methodology for machine tool design. Section 3 describes the results of following the methodology during the preliminary phase of the proposed machine tool design plan culminating in the necessary machine modules for the lathe-mill RMT design. A discussion of the findings of this work is presented in Section 4. Finally, Section 5 offers the conclusions and describes the proposed future work. II. METHODOLOGY Many general design methodologies exist, but machine tool design demands specific methodologies due to the complex nature of such machines. For a complete and detailed industrial machine tool design plan consult Precision Machine Design, by Slocum [6]. This plan considers every aspect necessary to obtain a functional commercial product. Likewise, Katz and Moon present a general design methodology specifically designed for RMTs [5], [18]. Their methodology requires a module database and machining operation data. Yuans turn-milling machine design loosely follows Moons methodology [15]. Another methodology proposed by Shigley focuses on machine element selection [10], but it is too general and neglects important design aspects. For instance, he does not consider finite element analysis and detail design methods. The synthesized methodology for machine tool design we propose for academics and research is shown in Fig. 1. The three phase methodology is inspired by the concurrent engineering literature [8]. It is more complete than

Shigleys and yet it is more synthesized than Slocums. This synthesis provides the fundamental steps needed for a successful machine design without the overhead time that exists in industrial procedures. The remainder of this paper includes only the preliminary design phase for the lathe-mill RMT, while the refinement and implementation are left as future work. The critical aspects and calculations for each step are included in the next section.
Machine definition Conceptual Design
Load calculations

Determine the type, capacity, precision, power, speed, cost, environment, and feasibility. Propose possible solutions, sketch ideas, and brainstorm. Identify the source and magnitude of the forces acting on the machine. Calculate the power needed for axis and spindle movements and support systems. Select servos, bearings, leadscrews, guideways, and transmissions. Develop the machine structural design and machine element configuration. Check deformations and natural frequencies of structure. Complete the design considering all the components and manufacturability. Build the designed machine tool. Test and evaluate the prototype. Document all the knowledge generated in the process.

Power Requirements
Machine element selection

Machine CAD drawings Structural and dynamic FEA Detail Design Prototype Testing Documentation

Fig. 1. Proposed three-phase methodology for machine tool design in research and academic environments.

III. RESULTS The preliminary design phase of the proposed methodology has been executed. The knowledge obtained through this process results in the lathe-mill RMT design. A. Machine definition Machine specifications and functionality should be determined before any attempt of design is made [6]. When a corporation designs a machine tool, its definition is obtained from the client or market research. While this may be true for industry, in academia projects tend to be defined by funding and research needs. The total budget obtained for this prototype was $10,000 USD, consequently restricting the design to a bench top machine. This machine should be capable of turning and milling with a 750W spindle motor and still meet the desired precision on the order of 0.05mm. B. Conceptual design The conceptual design is fundamental in the design process yet an infinite number of solutions exist for a specific machining requirement. Many concept designs for


RMTs have been developed in the past. They focus, however, only on milling machines [5] [12] [13]. Our purpose is to present a design for a lathe-mill RMT that provides turning and milling with an ease of reconfiguration and flexibility. This machine concept design has the following key elements: Vertical bed for easy chip disposal and reconfiguration, Compact brushless DC motor spindle module, Hydrodynamic slideways with TeflonTM coating for a competitive friction/cost ratio, High efficiency ball lead-screws, Threaded hole matrix on the work table for low fabrication cost, Circular mounting patterns to allow 45 spindle positioning, and 90 angle mount plate to allow milling operations. Figure 2 presents one sketch developed during the conceptual design phase. One of the most significant changes from the conceptual design was to use the headstock linear module as a base, thus providing high stability to the machine.

requires a 3-D cutting model. A turning operation requires three force components Ft, Fr and Fa as shown in Fig. 3.a.


Ft Fr


Fx Fz



(b) (a) Fig. 3. Force components for (a) turning and for (b) milling operations, these are fundamental for the following steps of the design methodology.

A common mathematical model for turning is obtained by relating the cutting forces to the normal cutting pressure [1]. The equations of the model are as follows: Ft = K n Ac [cos( b ) cos( ) + K f (cos( Le ) sin ( ) + sin ( Le ) sin ( b ))] (1) F a = K n A c [ cos ( b ) sin ( ) + K f (cos ( Le ) cos ( ))] (2)
F r = K n A c [ sin ( b ) + K

(sin (


) cos ( b ))]


Fig. 2. A sketch of the conceptual design. A poor concept design will produce poor machine performance.

C. Load calculation After the concept design is complete, the next step is the determination of the machine loads. These load calculations are critical and should be executed with thorough care because all of the subsequent machine structure, element, and actuator calculations depend on them. Three approaches exist to obtain these loads: simulations, experiments, and mathematical models. The simulation software is expensive; moreover, experimental machining generates complex and non-linear forces requiring specialized measuring equipment. Consequently and considering the academic application, a mathematical model can reasonably estimate the machining forces shown in Fig. 3. 1) Cutting forces in turning operations: Metal cutting literature extensively employs the 2-D orthogonal cutting model [7], nevertheless accurate machine tool design

Where:: Rake angle, b: Back rake angle, Ac: Uncut chip area, Kn: Normal cutting pressure, Kf: Effective friction coefficient, Le: Effective lead angle (For further details on calculating Ac, Kn, Kf and Le consult work by Stephenson [1].). This model was used to compute cutting forces for the following maximum turning operation settings: Machined material = 1018 cold-drawn steel, Tool material = tungsten carbide, Feed = 0.1mm, Depth of cut = 0.8mm, Tool nose radius = 3mm, Rake angle = 7, Back rake angle = 6 and Surface cutting speed = 30m/min. Resulting in: Ft= -130.34N, Fa= 353.92N, and Fr= 647.95N. 2) Cutting forces in milling operations: Similar to the three orthogonal force components for turning, Fx, Fy, and Fz components (shown in Fig. 3.b) are obtained for milling. To obtain these forces the quasistatic model of Kline et al. is employed [2][3], described by the following equations.
2b vm = cos1 1 D

(5) (6) (7)

Fx = u s d a f (sin vi cos vi + 0.3 sin 2 vi )

i =1


Fy = u s d a f (sin 2 vi 0.3 sin vi cos vi )

i =1


Fz = 0.3(us da f sin vi ) tan

Where: us: Specific cutting power of the material, da: Depth of cut in z axis, nt: Number of tool teeth in contact with the material, : Helix angle of the cutter, b:Radial depth of cut, vi: Tool rotation angle, v0 vm: Angular range where a tool tooth is cutting, f: Feed per tooth, D: Tool diameter.


The main characteristics in milling operations are the discontinuous force components resulting from the intermittent contact of the cutting edges to the material. The sinusoidal loads found in slot milling provide a representative cutting operation for modeling. The force waveforms, illustrated in Fig. 4, result from slot milling of mild steel with a two-flute 10mm end-mill with the following settings: cut depth of 2mm, feed of 0.05mm per tooth, and a spindle speed of 1800rpm. The maximum force components are rounded up to 650N to satisfy all proposed turning and milling settings.
800 600 Force [N] 400 200 0 -200 -400 0 0.005 0.01 0.015 0.02 Time [sec] 0.025 0.03 0.035

Fx Fy Fz

Fig. 4. Force components obtained by the quasistatic model considering a two flute end mill. The maximum amplitude, under 650N, defines the machine element selection.

D. Power requirements The selection of the spindle motor necessitates the torque and speed for the turning and milling operations. The proposed cutting speed is 30m/min which is the result of turning a 24mm bar at 400 rpm. The spindle power required for the operation is calculated in (8) for turning and in (9) for milling. 7.8(400)2 (8) Pturn = T = = 326W 60 3(1800)2 (9) Pmill = T = = 565W 60
These power calculations incorporate the previously obtained maximum forces. E. Machine element selection Machine elements like slideways, transmissions, bearings, and motors guarantee the functionality of the machine structure. The quality and adequate selection of these elements is of paramount importance in order to achieve the desired machine precision, life, and performance. With these issues in mind, this section presents the selection of essential machine elements. 1) Slideways: Slideways are a key element for machine tool performance. The three most common types of slideways are hydrodynamic, rolling contact and hydrostatic. Each type has its own pros and cons. Hydrodynamic ways, the oldest type, provide excellent damping and shock resistance characteristics due to their large surface area. While their attainable precision is 6 to 10m, their

coefficient of static friction is large, on the order of 0.030.3[1]. Rolling element linear guides are designed to be modular. They can be bolted to the structure, and are suitable for high speeds. While their precision is on the order of 1 to 5m their coefficient of static friction is on the order of 0.001 to 0.01. Unfortunately, they are sensitive to impact loads and are more expensive than hydrodynamic systems [1]. Finally, hydrostatic slideways provide excellent damping capabilities, they have no static coefficient of friction, and have practically no wear and submicron precision is attainable [6]. This type of ways requires a fluid supply with constant pressure to create the lubrication film, hence they are more expensive than hydrodynamic ways. Considering the budget constraints mentioned in section 3.a, hydrodynamic slideways have been selected for all the machine axes, while still meeting precision and friction requirements. The Z-axis ways are rectangular box slides made out of carbon steel and bolted to the bed casting thus providing high rigidity and damping capabilities. Moreover, the carriages must include a system to eliminate play and compensate for wear. The most common solution is the use of gibs with adjusting screws such that both directions will have compensation [6]. For the other axes integral dovetail slides have been chosen as they provide a simple play adjustment through a single gib in a small space [11]. In order to reduce the static coefficient of friction on the hydrodynamic slideways, a special 1/64 TeflonTM coating are bonded to the friction pads and in contact with the slideways [1]. 2) Lead screw: The lead screw converts the rotary motion produced by the servo motors to linear motion of the axes. For the designed machine tool a ball screw was proposed because of its high efficiency (>90%), in contrast with the low efficiency (30%) of an ACME screw. While a precision ground lead screw with a preloaded nut is ideal, the more economic solution uses a rolled screw and a standard nut without preload. The calculated safety factor is 13.3. This value may seem high, nevertheless cutting force loads demand high stiffness. Due to budget constraints, the selected lead screw is a THK 14mm Dia. with a 4mm lead, precision grade: C8 100m/300mm, The ball screw nut is the standard model BTK1404-3.6ZZ. 3) Lead screw bearings: The lead screw bearings, in a fixed-supported arrangement, allow one side of the shaft to slide freely. Subsequently, the arrangement compensates for thermal expansion. Considering the calculated machining forces, the axial load is 650N while the radial load is 115N. A 5200 double row angular contact bearing was selected to bear the entire axial and radial loads of the synchronous belt. This bearing will last ~8720 hours at 1245rpm (5m/s). A 6200-single row deep-grove bearing was selected to match


since the only load for this bearing is a 10N radial load resulting in a life expectancy above one million hours. 4) Spindle bearings: Considering a spindle speed of 3000rpm and the calculated full loads of 650N in all three machine tool axes, a pair of tapered roller bearings (1868518620) adequately provide a life of 11,000 hrs [10]. The indirect mounting arrangement transmits the entire thrust load to the front headstock support. Furthermore, this arrangement allows for the thermal expansion of the shaft by reducing the preload. 5) Axis servo motors: Selection of a servo motor requires a motion profile proposal. For the designed machine tool we have proposed 5m/min as the maximum feed speed and a 521rad/sec2 acceleration ramp to obtain the maximum feed in 0.25 sec. A 1:2 transmission ratio was proposed for the axis to increase the available torque. This ratio also results in a mechanism-to-rotor inertia ratio below 10, thereby ensuring the controllability of the system. The total torque (Ttotal) required for the application is the sum of load torque (TL), acceleration torque (Tacc), and friction torque (Tf). These are calculated as follows: T + T + Tf (10) T = J + L acc = 0.486 Nm


Fig. 5. Classical vertical lathe design configuration, for easy chip disposal. The tools can be arranged in a Swiss type configuration by bolting the tool posts on the hole matrix of the machine table. 90 Angle plate

tr lF TL = = 0 .46 Nm 2 ( eff )

in pulley

Heavy workpiece configuration Fig. 6. Vertical-mill and spindle-repositioned configurations use a 90 angle plate for easy workpiece mounting.

T acc

2 l (12) = J = m + J out pulley + J screw = 0 . 312 Nm 2 l b v (13) Tf = = 12 10 6 Nm 2 ( eff )

Where: J : Inertia, m : Mass, : Acceleration, l : Screw lead, eff: Efficiency, b : Viscous coefficient of friction, v : Speed, tr : Transmission ratio, F: force. This total torque requirement can be met by a servo motor that provides a continuous torque superior to 0.486Nm at 2500rpm, yet maintains the inertia ratio below 10. F. CAD Designs The main goal of the preliminary design phase of the methodology is to obtain the machine CAD drawings. These are fundamental for the structural and dynamic finite element analyses, the refinement of the machine tool detail design, and the subsequent design implementation as per the methodology [6]. The nature of the machine requires the design of individual interchangeable modules, the different combination of which produces the RMT design. The proposed lathe-mill RMT design is composed of four main modules: the spindle, the vertical bed, the angle table and the linear module. These modules can be easily changed to form different machine configurations. Four of the possible reconfigurations, one lathe and three milling, are presented in Fig. 5 and Fig. 6 respectively.

The lathe configuration is a classical vertical bed CNC lathe which uses a threaded hole matrix to accommodate several tools in a Swiss type arrangement. The spindle module, fitted to the linear module carriage, locks in place via the gib set screw. A 5C collet chuck clamps up to 1inch diameter bar stock while a universal chuck clamps larger material. For the simple mill configuration, the linear module carriage unlocks and freely moves. Furthermore, the spindle module can rotate 45 degrees in either direction, thereby allowing the machine to work on features at these angles. Another possible configuration is to bolt the spindle module onto the machine table and to put the workpiece in the horizontal linear slide. With this configuration, heavy work-pieces are not lifted by the vertical axis. G. Preliminary Harmonic Analysis At the time of this publication, the bed of the machine had already been cast allowing a preliminary experimental comparison to validate the finite element simulation. Using the ANSYS software, a harmonic simulation was conducted. Then a hammer impact test was conducted on the real bed casting to obtain the frequency response [19]. In comparing the simulation and the experiment, Fig. 7 shows that the simulated frequency respose is shifted 300Hz to the right because the simulation did not consider the internal damping of the material.


Magnitude [m]

3 2 1 0

x 10



0 x 10












Magnitude [m]

3 2 1 0

Manufacturing range < 600Hz











Frequency [Hz]

Ample research in RMTs has been documented; nevertheless, few lathe-based RMTs have been studied and designed. Going forward through the design process with a weak conceptual design will lead to several iterations, thus increasing design time and cost. The conceptual design of the lathe-mill RMT has been shown to be feasible and within budget to be manufactured. The versatile and highly reconfigurable design should be proven by the design refinement and tested by prototype implementation as per the methodology. Future work will document this generated knowledge. The designed reconfigurable machine tool provides a rigid structure for turning and milling tool forces. REFERENCES
[1] D. A. Stephenson, and J. S. Agapiou. Metal Cutting Theory and Practice, 2nd ed., Boca Raton Florida: CRC Taylor & Francis Group, 2006, pp.1-3, 86,450-460. R.E. DeVor, W.A. Kline, and W.J. Zdeblick, A Mechanistic Model for the Force System in End Milling with Application to Machining Airframe Structures, North American Conference on Metalworking Research, 1980. W.A. Kline, R.E. DeVor, and J.R. Lindberg, The Prediction of Cutting Forces in End Milling with Application to Cornering Cuts, International Journal of Machine Tool Design and Research, Vol. 22, June 3, 1982. M. G. Mehrabi, A. G. Ulsoy, and Y. Koren, Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems: Key to Future Manufacturing, Journal of intelligent manufacture, Vol. 11 No. 4, august 2000. R. Katz, and Y. Moon, Virtual Arch Type Reconfigurable Machine tool Design: Principles and Methodology, University of Michigan, September 2000. A. Slocum, Precision machine design, Dearborn, Michigan : Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 1992, pp. 17-57, 425-542. M. C. Shaw, Metal Cutting Principles, New York: Oxford Science Publications, 1984, pp. 1-4. M.Scarlett,Adapting to survive, Manufacturing Engineer Aug,1996. Y. Koren, and S. Kota, Reconfigurable machine tool, U.S. Patent #5,943,750, 1999. J. E. Shigley, and C. R. Mischke, Diseo en Ingeniera Mecnica 6th ed. Mexico: Mc Graw Hill, 2002 ch. 11. N. Acherkan, V. Push, N. Ignatyev, and V. Kudinov, Machine Tool Design, University Press of the Pacific. Honolulu, Hawaii,2000,Vol 3. H. Son, H. W. Park, Design and dynamic analysis of three degrees of freedom desk-top reconfigurable machine, IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics, 2009. D. Modungwa, N. S. Tlale, and C. M. Kumile, Design of a Novel Parallel Reconfigurable Machine Tool, Mechatronics, 2008. S. H. Jang, Y. M. Jung, H. Y. Hwang, Y. H. Choi, and J. K. Park, Development of a reconfigurable Micro Machine Tool for Microfactory, International Conference on Smart Manufacturing Application, 2008. W. Yuan, Z. Zhang, X. Fan and L. Sun, "Design and Error Analysis of Reconfigurable Tum-milling Machine Tool," Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Mechatronics and Automation, August 9, Changchun, China. J. G. Horner, Lathe Bed Design, N.Y., The Industrial Press, 1913. J. Rose, Modern Machine Shop Practice, 3rd ed., New York, Charles Scribners Sons, 1901. A. Dashchenko, Reconfigurable manufacturing systems and transformable factories, Springer, 2006, pp. 111-140. Jaspreet Dhupia, Bartosz Powalka, Reuven Katz, and A. Galip Ulsoy, Dynamics of the arch type reconfigurable machine tool, International Journal of Machine Tools & Manufacture, May, 2006.

Fig. 7. The experimental frequency response data (bottom) obtained from the impact test, and the undampened harmonic simulation (top) obtained from finite element analysis show reasonable correlation yet with a 300Hz shift primarily due to the internal damping of the material. IV. DISCUSSION


The proposed synthesized methodology, though fairly simple, is a complete and powerful tool that has been employed to obtain the preliminary design of a lathe-mill RMT. The results are theoretical and will be prototyped and tested in future work. The required time to obtain the design was six weeks, considering one full-time engineer and two students working on the project. To get to the same point in the design process using a detailed methodology, would require more time and human resources, (i. e. Cincinnati Milacron required 9 months to complete the entire process)[8]. For industrial development this is justified and required. For academic purposes, however, this would unnecessarily increase the design time and expense. On the other hand, the design methodology of Moon et al. [5] is too brief; requiring a predefined database of machine modules and a precise knowledge of the target machining operation. The resulting RMT design allows the manufacturing of a wide range of turned or milled parts. While the arch type milling machine can use several spindles in different angles and handle larger work-pieces such as engine mono-blocks, it is, nevertheless, limited to milling operations only. Compared with Sungs micro machine, the proposed lathemill RMT design provides more configurations and can manage work-pieces up to 10kg. Yuans turn-milling machine design sacrifices reconfiguration capabilities by using a fixed spindle unit, thus decreasing the economic potential as compared to our proposed machine. V. CONCLUSIONS The presented synthesized methodology was applied to a lathe-mill RMT illustrating the basic procedure to obtain a design that complies with the desired specifications. Up to this point the proposed academic research design methodology has proven its effectiveness and simplicity.




[6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

[13] [14]


[16] [17] [18] [19]