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Anupam Thakur

Assistant Profesor (M.A.I.T.), M.E.(Thapar University), B.Tech(M.A.E.)

Intro- An overview of CNC machines

There are hundreds of jobs out there that you may be surprised to learn about.
When you are looking for the perfect career for yourself, you should look in
unexpected places and consider various paths so that you can find something
truly interesting, such as CNC Machining.

With the increased activity in the American manufacturing industry comes an

increase in job opportunities. Employers are projected to add more than 40,000
jobs for skilled CNC Machining technicians over the next seven years*, making
this a prime time to explore this exciting, rewarding career path!

What is CNC Machining?

Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) Machining is a method used to perform

a wide range of manufacturing tasks, which are all carried out by computerized
devices. With the help of Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided
Machining (CAM) in the late 1970s, CNC machines replaced the old-school
manual machines.

The new CNC machines were able to be controlled by programming language to

carry out a wider variety of tasks with greater accuracy. These machines also
allow for a more automated control, which improves productivity.

Why is CNC Machining necessary?

CNC machine operators work in a wide variety of fields. People from all different
pursuits, such as hobbyists and even military groups, take advantage of the cost
savings accrued by using CNC machines to turn raw materials into final
products. The machines are faster, more efficient and safer, too.

CNC Computer Numerical Control machines are widely used in manufacturing

industry. Traditional machines such as vertical millers, centre lathes, shaping
machines, routers etc. operated by a trained engineer have, in many cases,
been replaced by computer control machines.


1. CNC machines can be used continuously 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
and only need to be switched off for occasional maintenance.

2. CNC machines are programmed with a design which can then be

manufactured hundreds or even thousands of times. Each manufactured
product will be exactly the same.

3. Less skilled/trained people can operate CNCs unlike manual lathes / milling
machines etc. which need skilled engineers.

4. CNC machines can be updated by improving the software used to drive the

5. Training in the use of CNCs is available through the use of virtual software.
This is software that allows the operator to practice using the CNC machine
on the screen of a computer. The software is similar to a computer game.

6. CNC machines can be programmed by advanced design software such as

Pro/DESKTOP , enabling the manufacture of products that cannot be made
by manual machines, even those used by skilled designers / engineers.

7. Modern design software allows the designer to simulate the manufacture of

his/her idea. There is no need to make a prototype or a model. This saves
time and money.

8. One person can supervise many CNC machines as once they are
programmed they can usually be left to work by themselves. Sometimes only
the cutting tools need replacing occasionally.

9. A skilled engineer can make the same component many times. However, if
each component is carefully studied, each one will vary slightly. A CNC
machine will manufacture each component as an exact match.

1. CNC machines are more expensive than manually operated machines,
although costs are slowly coming down.

2. The CNC machine operator only needs basic training and skills, enough to
supervise several machines. In years gone by, engineers needed years of
training to operate centre lathes, milling machines and other manually
operated machines. This means many of the old skills are been lost.

3. Less workers are required to operate CNC machines compared to manually

operated machines. Investment in CNC machines can lead to

4. Many countries no longer teach pupils / students how to use manually

operated lathes / milling machines etc Pupils / students no longer develop
the detailed skills required by engineers of the past. These include
mathematical and engineering skills.


In Industry it is not efficient or profitable to make everyday products by hand. On

a CNC machine it is possible to make hundreds or even thousands of the same
item in a day. First a design is drawn using design software, then it is processed
by the computer and manufactured using the CNC machine. The machine
featured below is the BOXFORD DUET. This is a small CNC machine and can be
used to machine woods, plastics and aluminium. In industry, CNC machines can
be extremely large. The Duet is one of the smaller CNCs and is ideal for use in

Have a look at the photograph on the right. Can you imagine how long it would
take a skilled worker to carve this shape out of wood or a soft material it
would probably take a full day. We will be going through its manufacture, one
step at a time using a CNC machine (next page). How long do you think
manufacturing this product with a CNC machine will take ?

The VICE: This holds the material to be cut or shaped. Material must be held
securely otherwise it may fly out of the vice when the CNC begins to machine.
Normally the vice will be like a clamp that holds the material in the correct

The GUARD: The guard protects the person using the CNC. When the CNC is
machining the material small pieces can be shoot off the material at high
speed. This could be dangerous if a piece hit the person operating the machine.
The guard completely encloses the the dangerous areas of the CNC.

The CHUCK: This holds the material that is to be shaped. The material must be
placed in it very carefully so that when the CNC is working the material is not
thrown out at high speed.

The MOTOR: The motor is enclosed inside the machine. This is the part that
rotates the chuck at high speed.

The LATHE BED: The base of the machine. Usually a CNC is bolted down so that
it cannot move through the vibration of the machine when it is working.

The CUTTING TOOL: This is usually made from high quality steel and it is the
part that actually cuts the material to be shaped.
1. Draw a small CNC machine and label the most important parts.

2.List the safety factors that people must be aware of before they operate a
CNC or similar machine.


CNC means Computer Numerical Control. This means a computer converts the
design produced by Computer Aided Design software (CAD), into numbers. The
numbers can be considered to be the coordinates of a graph and they control
the movement of the cutter. In this way the computer controls the cutting and
shaping of the material.

The way coordinates are used can be seen opposite. The X, Y and Z axis control
the movement of the cutter on a 3D CNC machine. This allows materials to be
machined in three directions (3D manufacture).

The plastic block shown below has been shaped on a CNC machine. It
started as a cube.

The design (produced on CAD, Computer Aided Design software) has been
converted into coordinates. The cutter is instructed to go from one
coordinate to another. A simple plastic block such as this may have a
thousand coordinates.

For example, point A on the plastic block has coordinates 18, 8, 23 (see
diagram). The block is composed of thousands of coordinates and the cutter
goes from the first set of coordinates to the second set to the third set and
so on, until it has completed the thousand coordinates. As the cutter is
spinning at high speed, and travels through all the sets of coordinates, it cuts
and shapes the block, as it goes along.


A CNC production facility needs three pieces of equipment:

A Computer:

The computer is used to draw the design. CAD Computer Aided Design
software is used for this purpose. However, the design is only a picture and the
CNC machine cannot use this to manufacture the product. The computer
software must also convert the drawing into numbers (coordinates) that the
CNC machine can use when it starts to cut and shape the material.
An Interface:

A computer cannot be directly connected to a CNC machine. The computer is

connected to an interface. Modern CNC machines have a built in or integral
interface, which appears part of the CNC machine. This circuit converts the
signals from the computer to a form that the CNC machine understands. Older
CNC machines have a separate box called the interface. The signals are in the
form of digital signals when they are sent to the CNC machine.

CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Machine:

The signals from the interface control the motors on the CNC machine. The
signals determine the way the vice moves. The vice moves in three directions X,
Y and Z. (Horizontally, vertically and depth). The signals also control the speed
of the cutting tool.

The whole process of designing and making an item on the CNC machine can
be split into three aspects INPUT-PROCESS-OUTPUT. The diagram below
explains this system.


(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-to-point and contouring
Point-to-point systems:

Some machine tools for example drilling, boring and tapping machines etc,
require the cutter and the work piece to 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-to-point machines as shown in figure 22.1 (a) and
the control equipment for use with them are known as point-to-point control
equipment. Feed rates need not to be programmed. In theses machine 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 involves motion of work piece with respect to the
cutter while cutting operation is taking place. These machine tools include
milling, routing machines etc. and are known as contouring machines as shown
in figure 22.1 (b) and the controls required for their control are known as
contouring control.
Contouring machines can also be used as point-to-point machines, but it will be
uneconomical to use them unless the work piece also requires having a
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.

(a) Point-to-point system

(b) Contouring system

(c) Contouring systems

(2) 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.
(a) Open loop control system (b) Closed loop
control system

(c) 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 feedback. 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 real-time.
(d) Closed loop system

(3) 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

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.

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 centers lead to the positioning the
saddle and the cross slide behind the spindle on a slant bed as shown in the
figure 22.4. Chips fall freely because of slant bed configuration which is more
ergonomically acceptable from operators point of view.

(4) 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.

Electric systems:

Electric motors may be used for controlling both positioning and contouring
machines. They may be either a.c. or d.c. motor and the torque and direction of
rotation need to be controlled. The speed of a d.c. motor can be controlled 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 servo systems which require having a rapid

Precision in NC Positioning
For accurate machining or other processing performed by an NC system, the
positioning system must possess a high degree of precision. Three measures
of precision can be defined for an NC positioning system: (I) control resolution.
(2) accuracy, and (3) repeatability. These terms are most readily explained by
considering a single axis of the positioning system, as depicted in Figure.
Control resolution refers to the control systems ability to

A portion of a linear positioning system axis, with definition of control

resolution. accuracy, and repeatability.

divide the total range of the axis movement into closely spaced points that can
be distinguished by the Men Control resolution is defined as the distance
separating two adjacent addressable points in the axis movement. Addressable
points are locations along the axis to which the worktable can be specifically
directed to go. It is desirable for control resolution to be as small as possible.
This depends on limitations imposed by: (1) the electromechanical components
of the positioning system and/or (2) the number of bits used by the controller to
define the axis coordinate location.


The NC positioning system converts the coordinate axis values in the NC part
program into relative positions of the tool and work part during processing. Let
us consider the simple positioning system shown in Figure. The system
consists of a cutting tool and a worktable on which a work part is fixtured. The
table is designed to move the part relative to the tool. The worktable moves
linearly by means of a rotating leadscrew, which is driven by a stepping motor or
servomotor. For simplicity, we show only one axis in our sketch. To provide x-y
capability: the system shown would be piggybacked on top of a second axis
perpendicular to the first. The leadscrew has a certain pitch p (in/thread,
mm/thread). Thus, the table moves a distance equal to the pitch for each
revolution. The velocity of the worktable, which corresponds to the feed rate in a
machining operation, is determined by the rotational speed to the leadscrew,

Motor and lead screw arrangement in an NC positioning system.

There are two types of positioning systems used in NC systems: (a) open loop
and (b) closed loop, as shown in Figure. An open-loop system operates without
verifying that the actual position achieved in the move is the same as the desired
position. A closedloop control system uses feedback measurements to confirm
that the final position of the worktable is the location specified in the program.
Open-loop systems cost less than closedloop systems and are appropriate
when the force resisting the actuating motion is minimal. Closed-loop systems
are normally specified for machines that perform continuous path operations
such as milling or turning, in which there are significant forces resisting the
forward motion of the Cutting tool

Two types of motion control in NC: (a) open loop and (b) closed loop.
Closed-Loop Positioning Systems

A closed-loop NC system, illustrated in fig. uses servomotors and feedback

measurements to ensure that the worktable is moved to the desired position. A
common feedback sensor used for NC (and also for industrial robots) is the
optical encoder, shown in Figure. An optical encoder consists of a light source
and a photo detector on either side of a disk. The disk contains slots uniformly
spaced around the outside of its face. These slots allow the light source to
shine through and energize the photo detector. The disk is connected, either
directly or through a gear box, to a rotating shaft whose angular position and
velocity are to be measured. As the shaft rotates, the slots cause the light
source to be seen by the photocell as a series of flashes. The flashes are
converted into an equal number of electrical pulses. By counting the pulses and
computing the frequency of the pulse train, worktable position and velocity can
be determined.

The equations that define the operation of a closed-loop NC positioning system

are similar to those for an open-loop system. In the basic optical encoder, the
angle between slots in the disk must satisfy the following requirement:

Optical encoder: (a) apparatus and (b) series of pulses emitted to measure
rotation of disk

Basic Components of an NC System

An NC system consist of three basic components: (i) a program of instructions

(ii) Machine Control Unit, and (iii) processing equipment.

The program of instruction is detailed step by step command that direct the
action of processing equipment. In machine tool applications, the program of
instruction is called a part program.

Additional instructions are usually included, such as spindle speed, feed rate,
cutting tool selection. and other functions The program is coded on a suitable
medium for submission to the machine control unit For many years the common
medium was 1-inch wide punched tape using a standard format that could he
interpreted by the machine control unit. Today punched tape has been replaced
by newer storage technologies in modern machine shops. These include
magnetic tape, diskettes, and electronic transfer of part program from a
computer. In modern NC technology, the machine controt unit (MCU) consists or
a microcomputer and related control hardware that stores the program of
instructions and executes it by converting each command into mechanical
actions of the processing equipment, one command at a time. The related
hardware of the MCU includes components to interface with the processing
equipment and reedbuck control elements. The MCU also includes one or more
reading devices for entering part programs into memory. The type of readers
depends on the storage media used for part programs in the machine shop (eg.
punched tape reader. magnetic tape reader, floppy disk drive). The MCU also
includes control system software, calculation algorithms and translation
software to convert the NC part program into a usable format for the MCU),
Because the MCU is a computer, the term computer numerical control (CNC) is
used to distinguish this type of NC from its technological predecessors that
were based entirely on hard-Wired electronics. Today, virtually all new MCUs are
based on computer technology; hence when we refer to NC in this chapter and
elsewhere, we mean CNC.

The third basic component of an NC system is the processing equipment that

performs useful work. It accomplishes the processing steps to transform the
starting workpiece into a completed part, operation is directed by the MCU,
which in turn is driven by instruction, contained in the pun program. In the most
common example of NC, machining, the processing equipment consist of the
worktable and spindle as well as the motors and controls to drive them.
Basic components of an NC system.


The CNC machine differs from a conventional manual machine in several

respects. The principle of operation of a numerical controlled machine can be
explained with the help of Fig. The figure shows a vertical milling machine. For
carrying out an operation like end milling the spindle head is to be positioned in
Z- axis and the table in X and Y coordinate axes. The feed movement is to be
realized by the individual or simultaneous movement of X and Y axes. Thus the
milling machine requires three slide movements, which are usually referred as
axes feed drives. A special feature of a CNC machine is that a separate motor
called a servomotor individually drives each axis. AC servomotors are the
preferred choice for this purpose today. DC servomotors were widely used
earlier. The slides are driven by the servomotors through recirculating ball screw
and nut assemblies. The use of re-circulating ball screw reduces friction,
backlash and wear. The low friction reduces the torque required at the motor
and the lost motion through torsional deflection of the screw. The use of ball
screws also improves the dynamic response of the system. In some modern
designs, particularly in the case of high-speed machines, linear motors are used
in the place of servomotor ball screw combination.
Ball Screw Mechanism

In order to carry out the milling operation on the workpiece the coordinate
information (X, and Y coordinates) of the starting point and the ending point has
to be coded in the NC program. Similarly, the information regarding the direction
of rotation and speed of the spindle, use of coolant, and the feed rate is also
coded suitably. The CNC controller decodes the positioning information coded
in the NC program and the slide is moved to the programmed position at the
required feed rate. Each slide is fitted with a feedback transducer, which
continuously monitors the slide position and compares with the programmed
position as well as the feedrate. The feedback transducer is mounted either on
the slide or on the servomotor and measures the displacement or position of the
slide. For example, let us assume that a hole is to be drilled at the location X =
100.0 and Y = 150.0. The corresponding block of the program is read by the
control system and the necessary inputs are sent to the X and Y-axis
servomotors. These motors drive the respective slides to the commanded
position. When the distance information from the feedback devices equals the
programmed values, the slide movement stops. The input is then given to the Z-
axis servomotor to perform the drilling operation. The system switches on the
motor driving the spindle carrying the drill and commands the Z-axis servomotor
to move at the programmed feedrate into the workpiece till the programmed
depth is reached. The Z-axis feedback transducer ensures the correct depth and
feedrate. The drill is then withdrawn to the desired height and the machine
starts the positioning movements to the next location of the drill. This procedure
thus ensures production of accurate workpieces.

The feedback transducer used may be analog (synchro resolver) or digital

(encoders). Another classification of feedback transducer is based on their
nature of measurementabsolute or incremental. They are also classified as
linear or rotary depending upon their construction. Linear feedback devices
include optical scales, inductosyn etc. Rotary feedback devices are mounted
either on the ball screw or on the motor shaft and measure the slide position
indirectly. Rotary encoders, optical scales, and synchro resolvers are the
commonly used rotary feed back devices. The measured and the targeted
positions are compared and the servo system ensures that the correct
positioning is achieved to make this error (difference between targeted and
measured positions) zero. The resolution of axis feed drive is usually one
micrometre. Since positioning is done electronically, it is possible to achieve
accuracy and repeatability of the order of 5-10 micrometres even under heavy-
duty cutting conditions. Two servo loops are incorporated in feed drive one for
the position and the other for the feed. In addition to this, the selection of
spindle speed is also under servo control. The principle of operation of the servo
system used in a CNC Machine tool is described below.

Closed Loop System


15 September, 2016


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Automated Material Handling Systems And Advanced Manufacturing Systems

Computer Aided Process Planning
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9650 368 720

Room No.: 247
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Anupam Thakur
Assistant Profesor (M.A.I.T.), M.E.(Thapar University), B.Tech(M.A.E.)

Manual Part Programming

Programming Fundamentals

Machining involves an important aspect of relative movement between cutting

tool and work piece. In machine tools this is accomplished by either moving the
tool with respect to work piece or vice versa. In order to define relative motion of
two objects, reference directions are required to be defined. These reference
directions depend on type of machine tool and are defined by considering an
imaginary coordinate system on the machine tool. A program defining motion of
tool / work piece in this coordinate system is known as a part program. Lathe
and Milling machines are taken for case study but other machine tools like CNC
grinding; CNC Hobbing, CNC filament winding machine, etc. can also be dealt
with in the same manner.

Reference Points
Part programming requires establishment of some reference points. Three
reference points are either set by manufacturer or user.

a) Machine Origin The machine origin is a fixed point set by the machine tool
builder. Usually it cannot be changed. Any tool movement is measured from this
point. The controller always remembers tool distance from the machine origin.

b) Program Origin It is also called home position of the tool. Program origin is
point from where the tool starts for its motion while executing a program and
returns back at the end of the cycle. This can be any point within the workspace
of the tool which is sufficiently away from the part. In case of CNC lathe it is a
point where tool change is carried out.
c) Part Origin The part origin can be set at any point inside the machines
electronic grid system. Establishing the part origin is also known as zero shift,
work shift, floating zero or datum. Usually part origin needs to be defined for
each new setup. Zero shifting allows the relocation of the part.

Sometimes the part accuracy is affected by the location of the part origin. Figure
shows the reference points on a lathe and milling machine.

Reference points and axis on a lathe

Reference points and axis on a Milling Machine

Axis Designation

An object in space can have six degrees of freedom with respect to an

imaginary Cartesian coordinate system. Three of them are liner movements and
other three are rotary. Machining of simple part does not require all degrees of
freedom. With the increase in degrees of freedom, complexity of hardware and
programming increases. Number of degree of freedom defines axis of machine.
Axes interpolation means simultaneous movement of two or more different
axes to generate required contour. For typical lathe machine degree of freedom
is 2 and so it called 2 axis machines. For typical milling machine degree of
freedom is , which means that two axes can be interpolated at a time and third
remains independent. Typical direction for the lathe and milling machine is as
shown in figure.

Setting up of Origin In case of CNC machine tool rotation of the reference axis
is not possible. Origin can set by selecting three reference planes X, Y and Z.
Planes can be set by touching tool on the surfaces of the work piece and setting
that surfaces as X=x, Y=y and Z=z.

Coding Systems

The programmer and the operator must use a coding system to represent
information, which the controller can interpret and execute. A frequently used
coding system is the Binary-Coded Decimal or BCD system. This system is also
known as the EIA Code set because it was developed by Electronics Industries
Association. The newer coding system is ASCII and it has become the ISO code
set because of its wide acceptance.

CNC Code Syntax

The CNC machine uses a set of rules to enter, edit, receive and output data.
These rules are known as CNC Syntax, Programming format, or tape format.
The format specifies the order and arrangement of information entered. This is
an area where controls differ widely. There are rules for the maximum and
minimum numerical values and word lengths and can be entered, and the
arrangement of the characters and word is important. The most common CNC
format is the word address format and the other two formats are fixed
sequential block address format and tab sequential format, which are obsolete.
The instruction block consists of one or more words. A word consists of an
address followed by numerals. For the address, one of the letters from A to Z is
used. The address defines the meaning of the number that follows. In other
words, the address determines what the number stands for. For example it may
be an instruction to move the tool along the X axis, or to select a particular tool.
Most controllers allow suppressing the leading zeros when entering data. This
is known as leading zero suppression. When this method is used, the machine
control reads the numbers from right to left, allowing the zeros to the left of the
significant digit to be omitted. Some controls allow entering data without using
the trailing zeros. Consequently it is called trailing zero suppression. The
machine control reads from left to right, and zeros to the right of the significant
digit may be omitted.

Types of CNC codes

Preparatory codes The term preparatory in NC means that it prepares the

control system to be ready for implementing the information that follows in the
next block of instructions. A preparatory function is designated in a program by
the word address G followed by two digits. Preparatory functions are also called
G-codes and they specify the control mode of the operation.

Miscellaneous codes Miscellaneous functions use the address letter M

followed by two digits. They perform a group of instructions such as coolant
on/off, spindle on/off, tool change, program stop, or program end. They are
often referred to as machine functions or M-functions. Some of the M codes are
given below.

M00 Unconditional stop

M02 End of program

M03 Spindle clockwise

M04 Spindle counterclockwise

M05 Spindle stop

M06 Tool change (see Note below) M30 End of program

In principle, all codes are either modal or non-modal. Modal code stays in effect
until cancelled by another code in the same group. The control remembers
modal codes. This gives the programmer an opportunity to save programming
time. Non-modal code stays in effect only for the block in which it is
programmed. Afterwards, its function is turned off automatically. For instance
G04 is a non-modal code to program a dwell. After one second, which is say, the
programmed dwell time in one particular case, this function is cancelled. To
perform dwell in the next blocks, this code has to be reprogrammed. The control
does not memorize the non-modal code, so it is called as one shot codes. One-
shot commands are non-modal. Commands known as canned cycles (a
controllers internal set of preprogrammed subroutines for generating
commonly machined features such as internal pockets and drilled holes) are
non-modal and only function during the call.
On some older controllers, cutter positioning (axis) commands (e.g., G00, G01,
G02, G03, & G04) are non-modal requiring a new positioning command to be
entered each time the cutter (or axis) is moved to another location.

Command G- Function and Command

group code Statement

Rapid traverse
G00 Xx Yy Zz

Linear interpolation
G01 Xx Yy Zz Ff


Circular Interpolation in
clock-wise direction

G02 G02 Xx Yy Ii Jj
G02 Xx Zz Ii Kk
G02 Yy Zz Jj Kk

Circular interpolation in
counter- clockwise
G03 Xx Yy Ii Jj
G03 Xx Zz Ii Kk
G03 Yy Zz Jj Kk

Command Function and Command

G-code Illustration
group Statement

Rapid traverse
G00 Xx Zz

Linear interpolation
G01 Xx Zz

Circular Interpolation in
clock-wise direction
G02 G02 Xx Zz Ii Kk
G02 Xx Zz Rr

Circular interpolation in
counter- clockwise
G03 Xx Zz Ii Kk
G03 Yy Zz Rr

Illustrative Example Program

A contour illustrated in figure is to be machined using a CNC milling machine.

The details of the codes and programs used are given below.


O5678 Program number

N02 G21 Metric programming

N03 M03
Spindle start clockwise with 1000rpm

N04 G00 X0
Rapid motion towards (0,0)

N05 G00 Z-
Rapid motion towards Z=-10 plane
N06 G01
Linear interpolation

N07 G01
Linear interpolation

N08 G02
X25.0 Y45.0 Circular interpolation clockwise(cw)

N09 G03 X-
25.0 Y45.0 Circular interpolation counter clockwise(ccw)

N10 G02 X-
50.0 Y20.0 Circular interpolation clockwise(cw)

N11 G01 Y0.0 Linear interpolation

N12 G01
Linear interpolation

N13 G00
Rapid motion towards Z=10 plane

N14 M05
Spindle stop and program end

In the previous section, fundamentals of programming as well basic motion

commands for milling and turning have been discussed. This section gives an
overview of G codes used for changing the programming mode, applying
transformations etc.
Programming modes
Programming mode should be specified when it needs to be changed from
absolute to incremental and vice versa. There are two programming modes,
absolute and incremental and is discussed below.

Absolute programming (G90)

In absolute programming, all measurements are made from the part origin
established by the programmer and set up by the operator. Any programmed
coordinate has the absolute value in respect to the absolute coordinate system
zero point. The machine control uses the part origin as the reference point in
order to position the tool during program execution.
Relative programming (G91)

In incremental programming, the tool movement is measured from the last tool
position. The programmed movement is based on the change in position
between two successive points. The coordinate value is always incremented
according to the preceding tool location. The programmer enters the relative
distance between current location and the next point .

Spindle control

The spindle speed is programmed by the letter S followed by four digit number,
such as S1000. There are two ways to define speed.

1. Revolutions per minute (RPM)

2. Constant surface speed

The spindle speed in revolutions per minute is also known as constant rpm or
direct rpm. The change in tool position does not affect the rpm commanded. It
means that the spindle RPM will remain constant until another RPM is
programmed. Constant surface speed is almost exclusively used on lathes. The
RPM changes according to diameter being cut. The smaller the diameter, the
more RPM is achieved; the bigger the diameter, the less RPM is commanded.
This is changed automatically by the machine speed control unit while the tool is
changing positions. This is the reason that, this spindle speed mode is known as
diameter speed.

Loops and Unconditional jump (G25)

The unconditional jump is used to repeat a set of statements a number of

Example: N10

In the above example, the program statements from N70 to N100 are repeated
once when the statement N160 is executed. Usually the G25 is used after a
mirror statement. Illustrative example geometry and its program are given


Illustrative example for programming loops

The mirroring command is used when features of components shares
symmetry about one or more axes and are also dimensionally identical. By using
this code components can be machined using a single set of data and length of
programs can be reduced.

G10 Cancellation of mirroring image

G11 Mirror image on X axis

G12 Mirror image on Y axis

G13 Mirror image on Z axis


Illustrative Example for mirroring

Tool selection
Tool selection is accomplished using T function followed by a four digit
number where, first two digits are used to call the particular tool and last two
digits are used to represent tool offset in the program. The tool offset is used to
correct the values entered in the coordinate system preset block. This can be
done quickly on the machine without actually changing the values in the
program. Using the tool offsets, it is easy to set up the tools and to make

Feed rate control

Cutting operations may be programmed using two basic feed rate modes:

1. Feed rate per spindle revolution

2. Feed rate per time

The feed rate per spindle revolution depends on the RPM programmed.

Tool radius Compensation

The programmed point on the part is the command point. It is the destination
point of the tool. The point on the tool that is used for programming is the tool
reference point. These points may or may not coincide, depending on the type of
tool used and machining operation being performed. When drilling, tapping,
reaming, countersinking or boring on the machining center, the tool is
programmed to the position of the hole or bore center this is the command

When milling a contour, the tool radius center is used as the reference point on
the tool while writing the program, but the part is actually cut by the point on the
cutter periphery. This point is at r distance from the tool center. This means
that the programmer should shift the tool center away from the part in order to
perform the cutting by the tool cutting edge. The shift amount depends upon the
part geometry and tool radius. This technique is known as tool radius
compensation or cutter radius compensation.

In case of machining with a single point cutting tool, the nose radius of the tool
tip is required to be accounted for, as programs are being written assuming zero
nose radius. The tool nose radius center is not only the reference point that can
be used for programming contours. On the tool there is a point known as
imaginary tool tip, which is at the intersection of the lines tangent to the tool
nose radius.

Cutter compensation allows programming the geometry and not the toolpath. It
also allows adjusting the size of the part, based on the tool radius used to cut
part. This is useful when cutter of the proper diameter is not found.
Cutter diameter compensation

The information on the diameter of the tool, which the control system uses to
calculate the required compensation, must be input into the control units
memory before the operation. Tool diameter compensation is activated by the
relevant preparatory functions (G codes)
Compensation for tool radius can be of either right or left side compensation.
This can be determined by direction of tool motion. If you are on the tool path
facing direction of tool path and if tool is on your left and work piece is on your
right side then use G41 (left side compensation). For, reverse use other code
G42 (Right side compensation). Both the codes are modal in nature and remain
active in the program until it is cancelled by using another code, G40.

Offset Direction = Left (G41)

Offset Direction = Right (G42)

Offset Direction = Off (G40)

Canned Cycles

A canned cycle is a preprogrammed sequence of events / motions of tool /

spindle stored in memory of controller. Every canned cycle has a format.
Canned cycle is modal in nature and remains activated until cancelled. Canned
cycles are a great resource to make manual programming easier. Often
underutilized, canned cycles save time and effort.

Machining a Rectangular pocket

This cycle assumes the cutter is initially placed over the center of the pocket
and at some clearance distance (typically 0.100 inch) above the top of the
pocket. Then the cycle will take over from that point, plunging the cutter down to
the peck depth and feeding the cutter around the pocket in ever increasing
increments until the final size is attained. The process is repeated until the
desired total depth is attained. Then the cutter is returned to the center of the
pocket at the clearance height

Pocket machining

The overall length and width of the pocket, rather than the distance of cutter
motion, are programmed into this cycle.

The syntax is : G87 Xx Yy Zz Ii Jj Kk Bb Cc Dd Hh Ll Ss

(This g code is entirely controller specific and the syntax may vary between
controller to controller).

x,y-Center of the part

z Distance of the reference plane from top of part

i Pocket depth

j,k Half dimensions of the target geometry (pocket)

b Step depth

c Step over

d Distance of the reference plane from top of part

h Feed for finish pass

l Finishing allowance

s Speed

For machining a circular pocket, the same syntax with code G88 is used.

Turning Cycles
The G80 command will make the tool move in a series of rectangular paths
cutting material axially until the tool tip reaches target point P1 where the cycle
ends as shown in figure 31.5. Cutting movements will be at the cutting feed rate.
All other movements will be at rapid traverse rate.

Turning cycle (Straight cutting)

The syntax is G80 Xx Zz Ff

Roughing Cycle
In roughing cycle, the final finishing cycle profile is used to perform the roughing
operation for the higher material removal rate. The syntax for the roughing cycle
is given below.

G81 Pp Qq Uu Ww Dd Ff Ss

Canned Cycles Multiple Cut

A canned cycle is a single command that executes a whole machining operation

that requires repetitive tool motions. The cycle typically consists of a few
blocks with data defining the area to be machined and so me cutting
parameters. The coordinates of individual tool motions are determined
automatically by the machine controller and the motions are executed. An
operation that may require tens or even hundreds of blocks of program can be
written in just a few blocks. Canned cycles in Fanuc.

G71 Stock removal in turning

G72 Stock removal in facing

G73 Pattern repeat

G70 Finish turning

G74 Axial drilling

G75 Radial grooving

G76 Threading

Turning cycle G71

This cycle generates a part shape from a cylindrical raw material, with cuts
along the axis. The cycle definition has the part shape, depth of cut, finish
allowance and couple of other parameters.

Tool path

G71 U(d)_ R_

G71 P(s)_ Q(e)_ U(u)_ W_ F_

Ns _ _ _ _



Ne_ _ _ _

U(d) = Depth of cut, radius value

R = Retract amount, radius value

P = Number of the first block of the shape

Q = Number of the last block of the shape

U(u) = Finishing allowance in X, diameter value

W = Finishing allowance in Z

F = Feed rate

The blocks after the second G71 block define the part contour A to B. Parameter
P has the number of the first block Ns and Q has the last block Ne.

G00 X49.0 Z5.0

G71 U3.0 R0.5

G71 P10 Q20 U1.0 W0.5 F0.2

N10 G00 X15.0 Z4.0

G01 Z-5.0

G02 X25.0 Z-10.0 R5.0

G03 X39.0 Z-17.0 R7.0

G01 Z-20.0

N20 G00 X49.0

G00 Z5.0

The tool path defining the shape (between the blocks defined by P and Q) must
start and end beyond the raw material. In this example the start and end points
are points P1 and P2 respectively, 2 mm. away from the raw material. Note the
use of block numbers in the program example. Block numbers are optional,
need not be used in every block.

Contour definition and signs of finish allowances:

In the cycle, the area that is being machined decides:

1. The signs of the finishing allowances U and W, and

2. The way the part profile is defined

In each of the cases shown above, the tool is positioned at point P before calling
the cycle and the part profile is defined from point A to B. The signs of the finish
allowances U and W are as follows.

Case 1 (Outside-Right) : U +, W +

Case 2 (Outside-Left) : U +, W

Case 3 (Inside-Right) : U -, W +

Case 4 (Inside-Left) : U -, W

Facing cycle G72

This cycle generates a part shape from a cylindrical raw material, with cuts
perpendicular to the axis. The cycle definition has the part shape, depth of cut,
finish allowance and couple of other parameters.
Tool path


G72 W(d)_ R_

G72 P(s)_ Q(e)_ U(u)_ W_ F_

Ns _ _ _ _



Ne_ _ _ _

W (d) = Depth of cut

R = Retract amount, radius value

P = Number of the first block of the shape

Q = Number of the last block of the shape

U (u) = Finishing allowance in X, diameter value

W = Finishing allowance in Z

F = Feed rate

The blocks after the second G72 block define the part contour A to B. Parameter
P has the number of the first block Ns and Q has the last block Ne.

G00 X49.0 Z-20.0

G72 W3.0 R0.5

G72 P10 Q20 U1.0 W0.5 F0.2

N10 G00 X49.0 Z-20.0

G01 X39.0


G02 X25.0 Z-10.0 R7.0

G03 X15.0 Z-5.0 R5.0

N20 G01 Z4.0

G00 X49.0

In this example the start and end points are points P2 and P1 respectively, 2
mm. away from the raw material. Note that these are the reverse of the points in
the G71 turning cycle.

Contour definition and signs of finish allowances:

In the cycle, the area that is being machined decides:

3. The signs of the finishing allowances U and W, and

4. The way the part profile is defined

In each of the cases shown above, the tool is positioned at point P before calling
the cycle and the part profile is defined from point A to B. The signs of the finish

U and W are as follows.

Case 1 (Outside-Right) : U +, W +

Case 2 (Outside-Left) : U +, W

Case 3 (Inside-Right) : U -, W +

Case 4 (Inside-Left) : U -, W

Pattern repeat cycle G73

This cycle generates a part shape from raw material that is the same shape as
the final part with cuts parallel to the along the part shape. It is used when the
raw material is a casting or forging. The cycle definition has the part shape,
depth of material to be removed, number of cuts and finish allowance.
Tool path


G73 U(i)_ W(k)_ R_

G73 Ps_ Qe_ U(u)_ W(w)_ F_

Ns_ _ _ _ _



Ne_ _ _ _ _

U (i) = Relief in the X axes direction

W (k) = Relief in the Z axis direction

R = Number of cuts

P = Number of first block of the shape

Q = Number of the last block of the shape

U (u) = Finishing allowance in X

W (w) = Finishing allowance in Z

F = Feed rate

G00 X60.0 Z10.0

G73 U5.0 W5.0 R3

G73 P10 Q20 U0.5 W0.5 F0.2

N10 G00 X15.0 Z4.0

G01 Z-5.0

G02 X25.0 Z-10.0 R5.0

G03 X39.0 Z-17.0 R7.0

G01 Z-20.0

N20 G00 X49.0

G00 Z5.0

The tool path defining the shape (between the blocks defined by P and Q) must
start and end beyond the raw material. In this example the start and end points
are points A and B respectively, 2 mm. away from the raw material. Contour
definition and signs of finish allowances:

These are the same as in the G71 cycle.

Finish turning cycle G70

This cycle does a single finish pass along a contour that has typically already
been rough turned with a G71, G72 or G73 cycle. Nose radius compensation is
automatically activated in G70.

Tool path


Ns_ _ _ _ _



Ne_ _ _ _ _



G70 P(s)_ Q(e)_ U_ W_

P = Number of first block of the shape

Q = Number of the last block of the shape

U = Finishing allowance in X

W = Finishing allowance in Z

If U or W are zero they can be omitted.


G00 X49.0 Z5.0


G71 U3.0 R0.5

G71 P10 Q60 U1.0 W0.5 F0.2

N10 G00 X15.0 Z4.0

N20 G01 Z-5.0

N30 G02 X25.0 Z-10.0 R5.0

N40 G03 X39.0 Z-17.0 R7.0

N50 G01 Z-20.0

N60 G00 X49.0

G00 X200.0 Z150.0 M05




G96 S200 M03

G50 S2500

X49.0 Z5.0 M08

G70 P20 Q60 F0.15

Axial drilling / grooving cycle G74

This cycle does a peck drilling operation to drill a hole along the axis. The cycle
can actually be used to drill multiple axial holes at various positions on the
radius, on a machine with a C-axis and live tools. The explanation here is
restricted to drilling a single axial hole.

G74 R_
G74 Z_ Q_ F_

R = Retract amount at each peck

Z = Z coordinate of hole bottom

Q = Peck depth, in microns

F = Feed rate

To drill the hole in a single pass (without pecking), set Q equal to the depth of
the hole.


G00 X0 Z 2.0

G74 R0.5

G74 Z-30.0 Q6000 F0.15

G00 X50.0

Radial drilling / grooving cycle G75

This cycle does a peck drilling operation for grooving or drilling perpendicular to
the axis. The cycle can actually be used to cut multiple grooves, or (on a
machine with a C-axis and live tools) drill multiple radial holes at various
positions along the length,. The explanation here is restricted to cutting a single

Tool path

G75 R_

G75 X_ P_ F_

R = Retract amount after each peck, radial distance

X = X coordinate of groove bottom

P = Peck depth, radial distance in microns

F = Feed rate


G00 X54.0 Z-20.0

G75 R0.5

G75 X30.0 P3000 F0.1

G00 X100.0 Z50.0

Threading Cycle- G76

N5 G76 P010060 Q100 R0.05

N6 G76 X30 Z-20 P1024 Q200 F2

First block of the G76 Threading cycle

G76 : G code for threading cycle.

P : P actually consists of multiple values which control the thread


01 : Number of spring passes or spring cuts.

00 : Thread run out at 45 degree

60 : Flank angle or Infeed angle

Q : Depth of normal cut ( these values are given in hundreds, so the

depth of cut will be 0.1 ).
R : Depth of Last or Finish cut

Second block of the G76 Threading cycle

G76 : G code of the threading cycle.

X : The end value in x-axis.
Z : The end value in z-axis.
P : Thread depth ( as radius value ).
Q : Depth of first cut.
F : Thread Pitch
R : Thread Taper


G00 X34.0 Z2.0

G76 P020060 Q100 R0

G76 X30.0 Z-39.0 R0 P1200 Q0.5 F2.0

G00 X100.0 Z50.0

Typical G and M codes

G codes

G codes on a machine are decided by its controllers programming format.

Machines of different makes with the same controller will have the same set
of G codes.

Sample list of G codes:

G00 Rapid traverse

G01 Linear interpolation (feed)

G02 Circular interpolation CW

G03 Circular interpolation CCW

G04 Dwell

G20 Inch unit

G21 Metric unit

G28 Automatic zero return (returns to a fixed position, typically for tool change)

G30 2nd reference point return

G32 Thread cutting (single motion)

G40 Tool nose radius compensation cancel

G41 Tool nose radius compensation left

G42 Tool nose radius compensation right

G50 Limiting spindle speed setting

G70 Finishing cycle

G71 Stock removal in turning

G72 Stock removal in facing

G73 Pattern repeating

G74 Peck drilling on Z axis / Face grooving

G75 Peck drilling on X axis / Grooving

G76 Threading cycle

G90 Single cut turning cycle

G92 Single cut threading cycle

G94 Single cut facing cycle

G98 Feed per minute

G99 Feed per revolution

G96 Constant surface speed

G97 Constant spindle speed


Most M codes activate machine functions like the coolant, spindle, etc. These
are decided by the machine manufacturer, and depend on the features that are
available on the machine. E.g., a machine with a tailstock will have M codes for
tailstock in/out. A few (like M00, M01, M02, M98, the list below) are fixed
and based on the controller.

Sample list of M codes:

M00 Program stop

M01 Optional program stop

M02 Program end

M03 Spindle ON clock wise (CW)

M04 Spindle ON counter clock wise (CCW)

M05 Spindle stop

M06 Tool change

M08 Coolant ON

M09 Coolant OFF

M30 End of program and reset to start

M98 Sub program call

M99 Sub program end

Full sample program

This is a sample program for a part with multiple operations Rough turning,
Finish turning, Grooving and Threading. It shows how a full program is put
together. The blocks just before a tool change typically have a number of codes
specific to a particular machine, specifically the type of its tool changer and its
tool change position. They may appear odd and unfamiliar, and may be ignored
for the purpose of understanding this program. The program has been
generated by a CAD/CAM software that automatically considers the tool nose
radius during contouring. Coordinates in finish turning are calculated with nose
radius compensation, and will therefore not match the part coordinates.
Raw material : 80 dia. Bar, 2 mm. extra material for facing.



G0 X150.0 Z200.0

N1 T0101 (PCLNL 2525M12 R0.8)

G50 S3000

G96 S247 M03


G0 X90 Z4. M07


G72 W3 R0.5

G72 P25 Q40 U0 W0.2 F0.3

N25 G0 Z0

N30 G01 X80 Z0

N35 X0

N40 Z2

G0 X90



G71 U3. R0.5

G71 P45 Q95 U0.4 W0.2 F0.3

N45 G00 X26.

N50 G01 X26. Z0.2

N55 Z0.

N60 X30. Z-2.

N65 Z-38.

N70 Z-40.

N75 X60. Z-55.

N80 G03 X70. Z-60. I0. K-5.

N85 G01 Z-115.

N90 X80.

N95 X84. Z-115.

G0 X90.




G0 X150.0 Z200.0

N2 T0202 (PCLNL 2525M16 R0.4)

G50 S3000

G96 S296 M03

G0 X90. Z0. M07


G01 G41 X26.566 F0.24



G0 G40 X90.




G42 Z2.

G01 X26. F0.24


X30. Z-2.


X60. Z-55.

G03 X70. Z-60. I0. K-5.

G01 Z-115.


G0 G40 X90.




G0 X150.0 Z200.0

N3 T0303 (25X25, 2.00W, 0.20R, 08DEPTH, LH)

G50 S3000
G96 S258 M03


G0 X34. Z-40. M07

G01 X26. F0.2

G04 X0.046

G0 X34.




G0 X150.0 Z200.0

N4 T0404 (THREAD 16 X 16, 60 DEG., DEPTH 3.0, LH)

G97 S1645 M04


X90. Z-1. M08


G76 P020060 Q0 R0

G76 X27.44 Z-39. R0. P1280 Q404 F2.





G0 X150.0 Z200.0



15 September, 2016


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Automated Material Handling Systems And Advanced Manufacturing Systems

Computer Aided Process Planning
Planning and Scheduling Functions in CIM System
Tooling for CNC machine
Functions and Components of CIM System



9650 368 720

Room No.: 247
2nd Block (MAE Department)
PSP Area, Plot No. 1,
Sector-22, Rohini,

2A 0 N 1 U 6 P A M U P
Anupam Thakur
Assistant Profesor (M.A.I.T.), M.E.(Thapar University), B.Tech(M.A.E.)

Functions and Components of CIM System

Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)

Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) encompasses the entire range of

product development and manufacturing activities with all the functions being
carried out with the help of dedicated software packages. The data required for
various functions are passed from one application software to another in a
seamless manner. For example, the product data is created during design. This
data has to be transferred from the modeling software to manufacturing
software without any loss of data. CIM uses a common database wherever
feasible and communication technologies to integrate design, manufacturing
and associated business functions that combine the automated segments of a
factory or a manufacturing facility. CIM reduces the human component of
manufacturing and thereby relieves the process of its slow, expensive and error-
prone component. CIM stands for a holistic and methodological approach to the
activities of the manufacturing enterprise in order to achieve vast improvement
in its performance.

This methodological approach is applied to all activities from the design of the
product to customer support in an integrated way, using various methods,
means and techniques in order to achieve production improvement, cost
reduction, fulfillment of scheduled delivery dates, quality improvement and total
flexibility in the manufacturing system. CIM requires all those associated with a
company to involve totally in the process of product development and
manufacture. In such a holistic approach, economic, social and human aspects
have the same importance as technical aspects.
CIM also encompasses the whole lot of enabling technologies including total
quality management, business process reengineering, concurrent engineering,
workflow automation, enterprise resource planning and flexible manufacturing.

A distinct feature of manufacturing today is mass customization. This implies

that though the products are manufactured in large quantities, products must
incorporate An overview of CIM is presented in this chapter. A brief account of
the evolution of CIM is included. The major functions carried out in a
manufacturing plant are surveyed and the different levels of integration are
identified. customer-specific changes to satisfy the diverse requirements of the
customers. This requires extremely high flexibility in the manufacturing system.

Challenges in Manufacturing

Manufacturing industries strive to reduce the cost of the product continuously

to remain competitive in the face of global competition. In addition, there is the
need to improve the quality and performance levels on a continuing basis.
Another important requirement is on time delivery. In the context of global
outsourcing and long supply chains cutting across several international borders,
the task of continuously reducing delivery times is really an arduous task. CIM
has several software tools to address the above needs. Manufacturing
engineers are required to achieve the following objectives to be competitive in a
global context.

Reduction in inventory

Lower the cost of the product

Reduce waste

Improve quality

Increase flexibility in manufacturing to achieve immediate and rapid

response to:

Product changes

Production changes

Process change

Equipment change

Change of personnel

CIM technology is an enabling technology to meet the above challenges to the

manufacturing. The advances in automation have enabled industries to develop
islands of automation. Examples are flexible manufacturing cells, robotized
work cells, flexible inspection cells etc. One of the objectives of CIM is to
achieve the consolidation and integration of these islands of automation. This
requires sharing of information among different applications or sections of a
factory, accessing incompatible and heterogeneous data and devices. The
ultimate objective is to meet the competition by improved customer satisfaction
through reduction in cost, improvement in quality and reduction in product
development time.

CIM makes full use of the capabilities of the digital computer to improve
manufacturing. Two of them are:

1. Variable and Programmable automation

2. Real time optimization

The computer has the capability to accomplish the above for hardware
components of manufacturing (the manufacturing machinery and equipment)
and software component of manufacturing (the application software, the
information flow, database and so on). The capabilities of the computer are
thus exploited not only for the various bits and pieces of manufacturing activity
but also for the entire system of manufacturing. Computers have the
tremendous potential needed to integrate the entire manufacturing system and
thereby evolve the computer integrated manufacturing system.

CIM hardware comprises the following:

1. Manufacturing equipment such as CNC machines or computerized work

centres, robotic work cells, DNC/FMS systems, work handling and tool
handling devices, storage devices, sensors, shop floor data collection
devices, inspection machines etc.

2. Computers, controllers, CAD/CAM systems, workstations / terminals, data

entry terminals, bar code readers, RFID tags, printers, plotters and other
peripheral devices, modems, cables, connectors etc.,

CIM software comprises computer programs to carry out the following


Management Information System




Database Management

Modeling and Design





Production Control

Manufacturing Area Control

Job Tracking

Inventory Control

Shop Floor Data Collection

Order Entry

Materials Handling

Device Drivers

Process Planning
Manufacturing Facilities Planning

Work Flow Automation

Business Process Engineering

Network Management

Quality Management


Nine major elements of a CIM system are in Fig. They are:


Product Design



Manufacturing Engineering

Factory Automation Hardware


Logistics and Supply Chain Management


Information Management

1. Marketing: The need for a product is identified by the marketing division.

The specifications of the product, the projection of manufacturing quantities
and the strategy for marketing the product are also decided by the marketing
department. Marketing also works out the manufacturing costs to assess
the economic viability of the product.

2. Product Design: The design department of the company establishes the

initial database for production of a proposed product. In a CIM system this is
accomplished through activities such as geometric modeling and computer
aided design while considering the product requirements and concepts
generated by the creativity of the design engineer. Configuration
management is an important activity in many designs. Complex designs are
usually carried out by several teams working simultaneously, located often in
different parts of the world. The design process is constrained by the costs
that will be incurred in actual production and by the capabilities of the
available production equipment and processes. The design process creates
the database required to manufacture the part.

3. Planning: The planning department takes the database established by the

design department and enriches it with production data and information to
produce a plan for the production of the product. Planning involves several
subsystems dealing with materials, facility, process, tools, manpower,
capacity, scheduling, outsourcing, assembly, inspection, logistics etc. In a
CIM system, this planning process should be constrained by the production
costs and by the production equipment and process capability, in order to
generate and optimized plan.

4. Purchase: The purchase departments is responsible for placing the

purchase orders and follow up, ensure quality in the production process of
the vendor, receive the items, arrange for inspection and supply the items to
the stores or arrange timely delivery depending on the production schedule
for eventual supply to manufacture and assembly.

5. Manufacturing Engineering: Manufacturing Engineering is the activity of

carrying out the production of the product, involving further enrichment of
the database with performance data and information about the production
equipment and processes. In CIM, this requires activities like CNC
programming, simulation and computer aided scheduling of the production
activity. This should include online dynamic scheduling and control based on
the real time performance of the equipment and processes to assure
continuous production activity. Often, the need to meet fluctuating market
demand requires the manufacturing system flexible and agile.
6. Factory Automation Hardware: Factory automation equipment further
enriches the database with equipment and process data, resident either in
the operator or the equipment to carry out the production process. In CIM
system this consists of computer controlled process machinery such as
CNC machine tools, flexible manufacturing systems (FMS), Computer
controlled robots, material handling systems, computer controlled assembly
systems, flexibly automated inspection systems and so on.

7. Warehousing: Warehousing is the function involving storage and retrieval of

raw materials, components, finished goods as well as shipment of items. In
todays complex outsourcing scenario and the need for just-in-time supply of
components and subsystems, logistics and supply chain management
assume great importance.

8. Finance: Finance deals with the resources pertaining to money. Planning of

investment, working capital, and cash flow control, realization of receipts,
accounting and allocation of funds are the major tasks of the finance

9. Information Management: Information Management is perhaps one of the

crucial tasks in CIM. This involves master production scheduling, database
management, communication, manufacturing systems integration and
management information systems.


A major challenge facing the implementation of CIM is to establish the type of

data needed to bridge the mechanical design and manufacturing functions.
Following is the list of varied tasks one might expect to accomplish in a CIM

1. Designing assemblies and performing tolerance analysis on those


2. Preparing production drawings of assemblies, individual parts, tooling,

fixtures and other manufacturing facilities.

Creating analytical models of parts for structural, kinematical and thermal

analysis (FEM, MeM etc).

1. Calculating weights, volumes, centres of gravity and other mass properties

and costs of manufacturing (cost estimation).

2. Classifying existing parts according to shape, function, and the process by

which they are manufactured and retrieving these parts from the parts
library on demand (Group technology and coding).

3. Preparing part lists and bill of materials (BOM).

Preparing process plans for individual part manufacture and assembly

(Variant or Generative).

Programming CNC machines for processing complete parts (CAM).

1. Designing work cells and programming the movement of components in

those cells using work handling devices like robots, conveyors, AGVs/
RGVs, etc. (Cellular manufacture).

2. Controlling engineering changes and maintaining associativity between

design and manufacturing (PDM, VPDM, concurrent associativity etc).

3. Preparing programs to handle components or manipulate production

equipment (like welding torches or robots).

Preparing inspection programs including programs for CNC co-ordinate

measuring machines [CNC CMMs].

The exchange of graphic information has been advanced with increasing

acceptance of Initial Graphics Exchange Specification (IGES) and STEP.

There are several classifications of data.

1. Physical data: These are data stored in the computers storage device. The
volume of data required by a manufacturing company is so large that
secondary storage devices such as hard discs, tapes, CD-ROMs, and other
digital storage devices of several gigabyte capacities will be used.

2. Logical data: This indicates how a user views the physical data. The
distinction between the physical data and the corresponding logical view is
that the user conceptualizes certain meaningful relationships among the
physical data elements. For example, we may have a set of items and
quantities recorded in files. The logical view or interpretation of these sets of
data can be that the items represent components available in stores and
that the quantities recorded correspond to their inventory.

iii. Data independence: Database management systems (DBMS) are used by the
users to manage the physical data. DBMS makes a distinction between the two
namely, the user and the physical data. Changes in the organization of physical
data and or in the storage device parameters are absorbed by DBMS and
therefore do not affect the user or more accurately, the application program.
This flexibility is absent in the traditional file systems.


A database serves the following objectives:

Reduce or eliminate redundant data

Integrate existing data

Provide security

Share data among users

Incorporate changes quickly and effectively

Exercise effective control over data

Simplify the method of using data

Reduce the cost of storage and retrieval of data

Improve accuracy and integrity of data

File processing system

A file processing system helps people keep track of files as they move
throughout the various departments of a business. The purpose of this sort of
system is to keep things organized, generally in alphabetical, numerical or
chronological order. Companies that have effective file processing systems
have ways to find those files in an orderly manner, rather than having staff
members rifling through papers in order to find what they are looking for.

Whether a company uses paper files, cloud storage or a combination, keeping a

consistent system in place is vital for the efficient handling of requests for
information. Many companies have gone to a paperless environment in which
files end up in hard drives, cloud storage or other places. Just as with a
traditional filing cabinet, though, it is just as important to keep track of all files in
a shared or personal drive. Most storage applications make it simple to set up
and name file folders so that those in charge of storing data can put the right
file in the right folder. Even without the sound of the drawers rolling open and
the cold metal sensation of filing cabinets, it is still possible to keep files
properly organized.

In a daily life, we come across various needs to store data. It can be maintaining
daily household bills, bank account details, salary details, payment details,
student information, student reports, books in the library etc. How it will be
recorded at one place, so that we can get it back when required? It should be
recorded in such a way that

1. Should be able to get the data any point in time latter

2. Should be able to add details to it whenever required

3. Should be able to modify stored information, as needed

4. Should also be able to delete them

In traditional approach, before to computer, all informations were stored in

papers. When we need information, we used to search through the papers. If we
know particular date or category of information we are searching, we go to that
particular session in the papers. When we want update or delete some data, we
search for it and modify them or strike off them. If the data is limited, then all
these tasks are easy. Imagine library information or information about a student
in School, or baking system! How do we search for single required data in
papers? It is a never ending task! Yes, Computers solved our problems.

When computers came, all these jobs become easy. But initial days, these
records were stored in the form of files. The way we stored in files is similar to
papers, in the form of flat files to be simpler, in notepad. Yes, the informations
where all in the notepads with each fields of information separated by space,
tab comma, semicolon or any other symbol. All the files were grouped based on
their categories; file used to have only related informations and each file is
named properly. As we can see in the above sample file has Student
information. Student files for each class were bundled inside different folders to
identify it quickly.

Now, if we want to see a specific Student detail from a file, what do we do? We
know which file will have the data, we open that file and search for his details.
Fine, here we see the files; we can open it and search for it. But imagine we want
to display student details in a UI. Now how will we open a file, read or update it?
There different programs like C, C++, COBOL etc which helps to do this task.
Using these programming languages, we can search for files, open them, search
for the data inside them, and go to specific line in the file, add/update/delete
specific information.

File Organization and relation analysis:

It is used to determine an efficient file organization for each base relation. For
example, if we want to retrieve student records in alphabetical order of name,
sorting the file by student name is a good file organization. However, if we want
to retrieve all students whose marks is in a certain range, a file ordered by
student name would not be a good file organization. Some file organizations are
efficient for bulk loading data into the database but inefficient for retrieve and
other activities.

The objective of this selection is to choose an optimal file organization for each

Types of File Organization

In order to make effective selection of file organizations and indexes, here we
present the details different types of file Organization. These are:

Heap File Organization

Hash File Organization

Indexed Sequential Access Methods (ISAM) File Organization

B+- tree File Organization

Cluster File Organization

Heap (unordered) File Organization

An unordered file, sometimes called a heap file, is the simplest type of file

Records are placed in file in the same order as they are inserted. A new record is
inserted in the last page of the file; if there is insufficient space in the last page,
a new page is added to the file. This makes insertion very efficient. However, as
a heap file has no particular ordering with respect to field values, a linear search
must be performed to access a record. A linear search involves reading pages
from the file until the required is found. This makes retrievals from heap files
that have more than a few pages relatively slow, unless the retrieval involves a
large proportion of the records in the file.

To delete a record, the required page first has to be retrieved, the record marked
as deleted, and the page written back to disk. The space with deleted records is
not reused. Consequently, performance progressively deteriorates as deletion
occurs. This means that heap files have to be periodically reorganized by the
Database Administrator (DBA) to reclaim the unused space of deleted records.

Heap files are one of the best organizations for bulk loading data into a table, as
records are inserted at the end of the sequence; there is no overhead of
calculating what page the record should go on.

Pros of Heap storage

Heap is a good storage structure in the following situations:

When data is being bulk-loaded into the relation.

The relation is only a few pages long. In this case, the time to locate any tuple is
Short, even if the entire relation has been searched serially.

When every tuple in the relation has to be retrieved (in any order) every time the
relation is accessed. For example, retrieve the name of all the students.
Cons of Heap storage
Heap files are inappropriate when only selected tuples of a relation are to be

Hash File Organization

In a hash file, records are not stored sequentially in a file instead a hash
function is used to calculate the address of the page in which the record is to be

The field on which hash function is calculated is called as Hash field and if that
field acts as the key of the relation then it is called as Hash key. Records are
randomly distributed in the file so it is also called as Random or Direct files.
Commonly some arithmetic function is applied to the hash field so that records
will be evenly distributed throughout the file.

Pros of Hash file organization

Hash is a good storage structure in the following situations:

When tuples are retrieve based on an exact match on the hash field value,
particularly if the access order is random. For example, if the STUDENT relation
is hashed on Name then retrieval of the tuple with Name equal to Rahat Bhatia
is efficient.

Cons of Hash file organization

Hash is not a good storage structure in the following situations:

When tuples are retrieved based on a range of values for the hash field. For
example, retrieve all students whose name begins with the R.

When tuples are retrieved based on a range of values for the hash field. For
example, if STUDENT relation has hash filed Roll Number and the query is to
retrieve all students with roll numbers in the range of 3000-5000.

When tuples re retrieved based on a field other than the hash field. For example,
if the STUDENT relation is hashed on Roll Number, then hashing cannot be used
to search for a tuple based on the Class attribute.
When tuples are retrieved based on only part of the hash field. For example, if
the STUDENT relation is hashed on Roll Number and Class, then hashing cannot
be used to search for a tuple based on the class attribute alone.

When the hash field frequently updated. When a hash field updated, the DBMS
must deleted the entire tuple and possible relocate it to a new address (if the
has function results in a new address). Thus, frequent updating of the hash field
impacts performance.

Secondary indexes
Secondary indexes provide a mechanism for specifying a1additional key for a
base relation that can be used to retrieve data more efficiently. For example, the
STUDENT relation may be hashed on the Name the primary index. However,
there may be frequent access to this relation based on the Roll Number
attribute. In this case, we may decide to add Roll Number as a secondary index.

There is an overhead involved in the maintenance and use of secondary indexes

that has to be balanced against the performance improvement gained when
retrieving data. This overhead includes:

adding an index record to every secondary index whenever a tuple is inserted

into the relation;

updating a secondary index when the corresponding tuple in the relation is


The increase in disk space needed to store the secondary index;

Possible performance degradation during query optimization, as the query

optimizer may consider all secondary indexes before selecting an optimal
execution strategy.

Indexes Sequential Access Method (ISAM)

In an ISAM system, data is organized into records which are composed of fixed
length fields. Records are stored sequentially. A secondary set of hash tables
known as indexes contain pointers into the tables, allowing individual records
to be retrieved without having to search the entire data set.

It is a data structure that allows the DBMS to locate particular records in a file
more quickly and thereby speed response to user queries. An index in a
database is similar to an index in a book. It is an auxiliary structure associated
with a file that can be referred to when searching for an item of information, just
like searching the index of a book, in which we look up a keyword to get a list of
one or more pages the keyword appears on. An index obviates the need to scan
sequentially through the file each time we want to find the item. In the case of
database indexes, the required item will be one or more records in a file. As in
the book index analogy, the index is ordered, and each index entry contains the
item required and one or more locations (record identifiers) where the item can
be found.

While indexes are not strictly necessary to use the DBMS, they can have a
significant impact on performance. As with the book index, we could find the
desired keyword by looking through the entire book, but this would be tedious
and time-consuming. Having an index at the back of the book on alphabetical
order to keYW0fd allows us to go directly to the page or pages we want.

An index structure is associated with a particular search key and contains

record consisting of the key value and the address of the logical record in the
file contains records consisting of the key value of the address of the logical
record in the file containing the key value. The file containing the logical records
is called the data file and the file containing the index records is called the index
file. The value in the index file are ordered according to the indexing field, which
is usually based on a single attribute.

A sorted data file with a primary index is called an indexed sequential file. This
structure is a compromise between a purely sequential file and a purely random
file, in that records can be processed sequentially or individually accessed using
a search key value that accesses the record via the index. An indexed sequential
file is a more versatile structure, which normally has.

A primary storage area;

A separate index or indexes;

An overflow area.

When to use

ISAM is a more versatile storage structure than hash and it proved better when
retrievals are based on exact key match, pattern matching, range of values, and
part key specification.

When not to use

However, the ISAM index is static, created when the file is created. Thus, the
performance of an ISAM file deteriorates as the relation is updated. Updates
also cause an ISAM file to lose the access key sequence, so that retrievals in
order of the access key will become slower.

These two problems are overcome by the B+-tree file organization. However,
unlike B+- tree, concurrent access to the index can be easily managed because
the index is static.

A B+-tree is a data structure to store vast amounts of information. Typically B+-
trees are used to store amounts of data that will not fit in main system memory.
To do this, secondary storage (usually disk) is used to store the leaf nodes of
the tree. Only the internal nodes of the tree are stored in computer memory. In a
B+-tree the leaf nodes are the only ones that actually store data items. All other
nodes are called index nodes or i-nodes and simply store guide values which
allow us to traverse the tree structure from the root down and arrive at the leaf
node containing the data item we seek as shown in figure. Because disk I/O is
very slow in comparison to memory access these leaf nodes store more than
one data item each.

Pros of B+-tree
Again, B+-tree is a more versatile storage structure than hashing. It supports
retrievals based on exact key match, pattern matching, range of values, and part
key specification. The B+-tree index is dynamic, growing as the relation grows.
Thus, unlike ISAM, the performance of a B+-tree file does not deteriorate as the
relation is updated. The B+-tree also maintains the order of the access key even
when the file is updated, so retrieval of tuples in the order of the access key is
more efficient than ISAM.
Cons of B+-tree

However, if the relation is not frequently updated, the ISAM structure may be
more efficient as it has one less level of index than the B+-tree, whose leaf
nodes contain pointers to the actual tuples rather than the tuples themselves.

Clustered tables
Some DBMSs, such as Oracle, support clustered and non-clustered tables.
Clusters are group of one or more tables physically stored together because
they share common columns and are often used together. With related records
being physically stored together, disk access time is improved. The related
columns of the table in a cluster are called the cluster key. The cluster key is
stored only once, and so clusters store a set of tables more efficiently than if the
tables were stored individually.

Let us consider a case of emp and dept tables whose instances are shown in
table. Both the tables have deptno as a common column. In Oracle these tables
may be clustered together as shown in figure with deptno as a cluster key which
is stored only once to improve the efficiency of the system.
Illustrates how the EMP and Dept tables would be stored if we clustered the
tables based on the column Deptno. When these two tables are clustered, each
unique Deptno value is stored only once, in the cluster key. To each Deptno
value are attached the column from both these tables.

The choice of whether to use a clustered or non-clustered table depends on the

analysis of the transactions undertaken previously, but the choice can have an
impact on performance.

Oracle supports two types of clusters: indexed clusters and hash clusters.

Indexed Clusters
In an index cluster, records with the same cluster key are stored together. Oracle
suggests using indexed clusters when:

Queries retrieve records over a range of cluster key value;

Clustered tables may grow unpredictable.

Cluster can improve performance of retrieval, depending on the data distribution

and what SQL operations are most often performed on the data. In particular,
tables that are joined in a query benefit from the use of clusters because the
records common to the joined tables are retrieved with the same I/O operation.

Hash Clusters
Hash clusters also cluster table data in a manner similar to index clusters.
However, a record is stored in a hash cluster based on the result of applying a
hash function to the records cluster key value. All records with the same hash
key value are stored together on disk.
The choice of whether to use a clustered or non-clustered table depends on the
analysis of the transactions undertaken previously, but the choice can have an
impact on performance

Guidelines for the use of Cluster tables

The following guidelines may be helpful when deciding about the cluster tables:

Consider clustering tables when tables are often accessed in join


Do not cluster tables if they are joined only occasionally or their common
column values are modified frequently. (Modifying a rows cluster key value
takes longer than modifying the value in an unclustered table, because
Oracle may have to migrate the modified row to another block to maintain
the cluster.)

Do not cluster table if a full search of one of the tables is often required. (A
full search of a clustered table can take longer than a full search of an
unclustered table. Oracle is likely to read more blocks because the tables are
stored together.)

Consider clustering tables involved in a one-to-many (1: M) relationship if a

row is often selected from the parent table and then the corresponding rows
from the child table. (Child rows are stored in the same data block(s) as the
parent row, so they are likely to be in memory when selected, requiring
Oracle to perform less I/O.)

Do not cluster tables of the data from all tables with the same cluster key
value exceeds more than one or two Oracle blocks. (To access a row in a
clustered table. Oracle reads all blocks containing rows with that value. If
these rows occupy multiple blocks, accessing a single row could require
more reads than accessing the same row in an unclustered table.)

Decision Support Systems (DSS) are a specific class of computerized

information system that supports business and organizational decision-making
activities. A properly designed Decision Support System is an interactive
software-based system intended to help decision makers compile useful
information from raw data, documents, personal knowledge, and/or business
models to identify and solve problems and make decisions.
Typical information that a decision support application might gather and
present would be:

Accessing all of your current information assets, including legacy and

relational data sources, cubes, data warehouses, and data marts

Comparative sales figures between one week and the next

Projected revenue figures based on new product sales assumptions

The consequences of different decision alternatives, given past experience

in a context that is described

Information Builders Web FOCUS reporting software is ideally suited for

building decision support systems due to its wide reach of data, interactive
facilities, ad hoc reporting capabilities, quick development times, and simple
Web-based deployment.

Information Builders and i Way Software Professional Services specialize in

building custom-tailored Web decision support systems. We offer service
packages designed for quick implementations, and we use the latest
technologies to incorporate leading-edge capabilities into our solutions
including a wide range of wireless and mobile options.


16 September, 2016


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Automated Material Handling Systems And Advanced Manufacturing Systems

Computer Aided Process Planning
Planning and Scheduling Functions in CIM System
Tooling for CNC machine
Functions and Components of CIM System


9650 368 720

Room No.: 247
2nd Block (MAE Department)
PSP Area, Plot No. 1,
Sector-22, Rohini,

2A 0 N 1 U 6 P A M U P
Anupam Thakur
Assistant Profesor (M.A.I.T.), M.E.(Thapar University), B.Tech(M.A.E.)

Tooling for CNC machine

Cutting tools come in a range of sizes, materials, and geometry types.

It is generally more efficient to use a combination of different tool paths and

tools to achieve a detailed model rather than assuming that a small tool with a
smaller step over is the only way. Often, a larger tool can achieve better finish

In end milling, the cutter generally rotates on an axis vertical to the work piece.
Cutting teeth are located on both the end face of the cutter and the periphery of
the cutter body.

A ball nose end mill, also known as a spherical end mill or ball end mill, has a
semi sphere at the tool end. Ball nose end mills are used on work pieces with
complex surfaces.

Choosing flat end mill vs. a ball end mill will determine the characteristics of the
tooling marks (or lack thereof) on your model. Most jobs will benefit from
strategic use of multiple size and shape tools for milling different features. End
Mills are often used for roughing and 2D cutting and V-Bit and Ball Nose cutters
are often used for finishing operations.
End geometry

There are up-cut, down-cut, compression cut end mills with varying numbers of
flutes. End mills are intended to cut horizontally.

Up-cut, down-cut and compression cut determine the way the chips (cut
material) are ejected and the smoothness of the surface. With an up-cut end
mill, the chips will be ejected upward and the bottom of the material will be
smooth. The down-cut end mill is the reverse by puching the chips downward
and the top of the material is smooth. The compression end mill creates a
smooth surface on top and bottom, which is perfect for pre-laminated woods.

End mills come in a variety of shapes. The most common are flat end mills and
ball end mills. Flat end mills will cut flat areas with no scallops. However, they
leave a terrace-like scallop on non-flat surfaces. Ball end mills will leave smaller
scallops for the same stepover value on sloped surfaces, but they will also leave
scallops on flat areas.

Models can be tooled with a combination of flat and ball end mills. If only one
tool will be used for all surfaces a ball end geometry will give a more consistent
overall feel and smooth result.

Flat end mills can be Center Cutting and Non Center Cutting: Center cutting
square endmills are essential for plunge milling. Non-center cutting mills are
used only for side milling.
When choosing a ball end mill always chooses the largest size available. For the
same stepover, a larger tool will leave smaller scallops, thus giving a smoother
result. For a generally smooth model with some areas of fine detail, a large tool
should be used for the overall job and a smaller tool should be used only to
clean out detailed areas.

Larger tools cut more cleanly, have larger clearance, and stay sharp longer. The
velocity of the cutting edge on a larger tool is higher for the same spindle speed.

Step Over

Step Over is the distance the tool moves over between subsequent passes.

The step over value (along with tool size) will determine whether the model has
a smooth finish, or tooling marks are visible. It will also directly impact cutting
time. Models with a smaller step over take longer to cut.

The length of the cutting area within the tool determines how deep the material
can be cut in one operation this is called the maximum stepdown. This
stepdown value will only be used to its maximum when the material that is being
cut is soft; for harder materials a smaller value is often required, setting the
toolpaths to mill away layers of materials in separate passes.

Flute geometry

While the number, direction and type of flutes that a cutting tool has can vary
widely, the tools most commonly used have two flutes and are up-cut spirals.
Some projects may benefit from other types of flute geometry. Contour cutting
MDF or plywood sheets would benefit from down-cut spirals as the tool would
push the material against the CNC machine table as it cuts rather than lift it.

Number of Flutes

Single Flute Allows for larger chiploads in softer materials

Double Flute Allows for better part finish in harder materials

Multiple Flutes Allows for an even better part finish in harder materials

As the number of cutting edges increases, your feed rate should increase to
prevent burning and premature tool dulling. More flutes reduce chip load and
improves surface finish if feed rate remains the same. The most common flute
numbers for general milling operations are two (better space for chip ejection)
and four (better surface finish).

Examples of applications using end mills:

Tool Materials

Material: end mills are made either out of cobalt steel alloys (known as high
speed steel, or HSS), or from tungsten carbide in a cobalt lattice (colloquially
shortened to carbide). The latter option is considerably harder, more rigid, and
more resistant. Carbide tools can be run at speeds 2 to 2.5 times faster than
HSS tools. When using carbide tools ensure that your machine tool is rigid with
a solid spindle and that holders have little or no runout. Due to the brittle nature
of carbide and the speeds at which carbide tools are typically run, rigidity is
critical to prevent tool breakage.

Coatings: carbide cutters may be further coated with ceramics such as titanium
aluminum nitride (TiAlN, aka AlTiN), titanium nitride (TiN), titanium carbon
nitride (TiCN), and so on. Of these, the bluish-gray TiAlN coating is most
common one, and by the virtue of reducing friction and improving hardness, it
boosts the speed of metal cutting by up to 20%. It extends tool life.

Other types of tools used:

Carbide Drill bits to drill PCB

Carbide PCB Engraving V Bits

Diamond dental Bits to engrave PCB

Angle plate

An angle plate is a work holding device used as a fixture in metalworking.

The angle plate is made from high quality material (generally spheroidal cast
iron) that has been stabilized to prevent further movement or distortion. Slotted
holes or T bolt slots are machined into the surfaces to enable the secure
attachment or clamping of work pieces to the plate, and also of the plate to the

Angle plates also may be used to hold the work piece square to the table during
marking out operations.

Adjustable angle plates are also available for work pieces that need to be
inclined, usually towards a milling cutter.

Angle plates are used to measure and hold various work piece whilst being
worked upon.

Work Holding Devices

Work holding is the generic term for any device used to firmly hold your work
piece while machining it. There are two components to work holding:

The actual work holding device, such as a milling vise.

The method of locating and securing that work holding device to your
machine. This includes the ubiquitous T-Slots but goes on to include modular
fixture plates, 4th axis solutions, and much more.

Well go through the various methods of locating the work holding devices and
then follow up with a description of your choices for work holding devices.

Positioning for Work holding Devices

T-Slots are the most common method of positioning and holding down your
work holding solution

T-Slots are by far the most common way of positioning and holding down your
Work holding solution. They are simple, robust, and they work. To attach
something to a T-Slotted table, use T-Slot nuts and suitable studs or other
fasteners that fit the nuts

While they are common, they have some disadvantages relative to other
solutions. Aside from the fact that T-Slots can collect chips and other debris,
their biggest disadvantage is that its hard to get your vise or other Work holding
fixture back onto the table in exactly the same place and orientation. This can
result in extra work every time a machine needs to be set up with new
workholding for a new job. Over time, the cost of that inefficiency can be quite

Just imagine, what if instead of having a tool changer and a tool table you had
to dial in each tool every time it was used? Wouldnt that be a huge productivity
block in your machining workflow? Well, setup time can be a big productivity
block too, and T-Slots are not helpful for that.

There are some solutions thatve been tried to make them a little better:

Truing the Slots

We can check the T-Slots of machine to make sure the run parallel to axis
motion by sweeping them with a Dial Test Indicator (DTI). If they dont, we can
mill them true. A lot of folks hate the idea of intentionally milling their table, but
if the T-Slots arent true and you need them to be, its hard to see what choice
you have. But there is a choice that involves using something other than T-Slots
as we will see shortly.

Keyed Vises and Fixtures

If your T-Slots are true, you can install keys on the bottom of vises or fixture
plates that line up with the T-Slots. You can also install keys in the T-Slots that
line up the edge of a plate or vise base. Doing so can save you quite a lot of time
tramming vises and such, and it isnt hard to do, so it is definitely worth

The trouble is, these kinds of solutions will help with one dimension (typically
the short dimension of the table is the Y dimension and is aligned perpendicular
to the slots), but we still have the problem of positioning along the axis of the T-

Fortunately, there is a better way in the form of Fixture Sub-Plates (also called
Tooling Plates).

Fixture Sub-Plates, Tooling Plates, and Modular Fixturing

Fixture Sub-Plates (also called Tooling Plates) are plates that are installed on
top of a T-Slot table to provide a new way to position and secure Work holding.
A typical Tooling Plate looks like this:

A typical Tooling Plate

Tooling Plates typically use a grid of holes that alternate between holes for
precision dowel pins for positioning and threaded holes for fasteners. If this grid
is precisely positioning (or even if it isnt and the positions are precisely known)
you have a very repeatable way to install Workholding on the plate. The dowel
pins provide precision location that is repeatable to perhaps half a thousandth.
Imagine being able to drop a vise mounted on its own fixture plate with dowel
pins and fastener holes onto a Tooling Plate and have it be repeatable to half
thousandth. If all your fixtures can drop onto the Tooling Plate you can change
the machine over to a new Workholding configuration very quickly indeed. The
savings in time adds up to pay off the cost of such a system very quickly.

With an air ratchet in hand, a vise can be installed on one of these plates within
a minute or two. A CNC Machine can be reconfigured in 5 or 10 minutes for a
completely different job. And the skills required of the machine operators, as
well as the potential for mistakes, are greatly reduced if the fixtures dont have
to be carefully dialed in each time. There are advantages for the creation of
modular g-code too, because it can rely on the positioning grid of the Tooling

If accuracy of more than half a thousandth is required, it is often better to use

probing together with selected g-code parameterization to correct for the
remaining error. You could try to dial things in more precisely by hand, but a
probing solution can rely on things being nearly right to determine the last little
bit of error correction that needs to be applied in the g-code itself. For example,
its possible to apply rotation to the g-code based on a probes results to tram
(thats aligning things to the axis motion) very precisely an almost right

Tooling Plates are typically made of either Cast Iron or Aluminum, though there
are steel ones available too. They can be purchased or made from scratch. For
more on how theyre made, be sure to visit our Fixture Plate page.

Modular Fixturing

One other thing Tooling Plates help facilitate is Modular Fixturing. Once we have
a fixed grid to rely on, we can purchase ready-made fixturing components that
will fit the grid. This can save quite a lot of cost versus having to fabricate
everything to some custom arrangement.

Ball Locks and Other Quick Change Tooling Plate Solutions

By now I hope youre seeing how much Setup Time could be saved by using
Tooling Plates. What could be better? Why there are at least two different ways
to improve on the theme: quick change tooling plates and pallets.

With a Quick Change system, the time required to deal with the dowel pins and
fasteners is reduced through some kind of integrated solution that allows
precise position and locking very quickly. One such is the Jergens Ball Lock
Ball Locks are a Quick Release system for Tooling Plates

With this system, you get precise positioning and secure holding with 4 Ball
Locks. Just align the plate to the sub-plate (which has the Receiver Bushings
and is mounted to the table), drop the Ball Lock Shanks into the hole, twist the
bolt on top of the Ball Lock Shank, and you are done. Twisting four bolts and no
fooling around with dowel pins or extra fasteners is really quick and easy.
Jergens talks about 30 second fixture change times which is very fast indeed.


The next step up are Pallets. Think of them as power operated Tooling Plates
whereas everything else weve talked about has been hand operated. A typical
machine with Pallets allows you to be setting one or more Pallets up while the
machine is working on another. A Pallet change operation cycles the old Pallet
outside of the machines milling area and brings the new one in. This minimizes
the time the machine has to be offline and allows Setup to be done in parallel
with machining.

Some machines have what are called Pallet Pools, which allow multiple pallets
to be set up in advance and scheduled to run. A Pallet Pool can allow a machine
to run unattended for quite a long time and can be a useful building block for
total automation.

Pallets are typically only seen on Horizontal Machining Centers and some high
end Vertical Machining Centers. Theyre definitely a full-on production feature
that is fairly expensive, so the cost has to be justified by the need ot keep the
machines churning out parts constantly.

4th Axis, Trunion Fixtures, Tombstones, and Tool Columns

Sometimes it is helpful to be able to apply another dimension to our thinkingin

this case a 4th Axis. In CNC, a 4th Axis is commonly a rotary axis that is aligned
to spin along an axis parallel to one of the machines other 3 axes. On Vertical
Mills, the 4th Axis is frequently parallel to X or Y, and is laid down. On a
Horizontal Mill, the 4th Axis is also parallel to X or Y, but it is standing up. Both
methods work great, but the horizontal mills standing 4th axis frequently has
more clearance available since the work is never trapped between the table and
the axis.

From a Workholding standpoint, a 4th Axis can be used to bring new

orientations into play for two purposes:

1. It allows access to more sides of the part so machining can continue without
having to flip parts around by hand.

2. It allows access to more parts which may be arrayed around the 4th Axis.

To find out more about these uses for Work holding, check out our excellent
series on 4th Axis Basics.

Work holding Solutions

Having seen how were going to position and attach our Work holding Solutions
to our milling machine, lets delve into what types of Work holding are available.

Milling Vice

A pair of milling vises sits side by side on a machine table

Its not too much of a stretch to say that the most popular Work holding Solution
today is the Milling Vise. While there are many manufacturers of such vises, the
poster child is Kurt who shipped their first Kurt Vise in the 1950s.

What Makes a Good Milling Vise?

A good vise is well made, typically of cast iron. It operates smoothly, repeatedly,
and with a wedge mechanism that pulls the movable jaw down onto the bed so
the part is not lifted due to deflection as the jaws are tightened. Dont scrimp on
your milling vises because theyre most likely the Work holding Solution youll
turn to most often.

Clean the Table and Tram the Vise

Before putting any vise on your machine table, be sure to clean the table of
chips. You dont want to trap a chip between the vise or table. If you have a T-
Slot table youre mounting the vise to, youll probably want to tram the vise as
well. This is the procedure of using an indicator to sweep a vise jaw (you want
the fixed jaw, not the movable jaw) so you can adjust the vise position until the
sweep shows the vise jaw is parallel to the axis as it moves.

Learning to tram (or square) a vise is one of those basic skills every machinist
must learn early on.

Vise Parallels and Jaw Steps

Having the vise properly installed and trammed, the next question is proper use.
Most of the time well want to sit the work piece fairly high in the jaws. This is
done both to provide access to the work piece and because it provides more
repeatability the less of the workpiece is grippedtheres just less area for a trip
or other irregularity to influence whats going on.

We set the work piece high in the jaws typically either by using a set of Vise
Parallels or because we have jaws installed in the vise that have a step
machined fairly high on the jaw. We may either machine the step ourselves (in
the case of soft jaws) or purchase jaws with a step already machined.

Clamping Outside the Jaws and Other Jaw Tricks

There are a lot of Vise Jaw tricks but one of the first to be aware of is that you
can mount the jaws either inside or outside the normal jaw mounting locations.
Mounting outside allows larger plates to be gripped in the vise easily
By mounting the jaws in the outside position, quite a large workpiece can be

Increasing rigidity is always important. For this operation, two 2-4-6 blocks are
used as a vise jaw extension to help support the plate on end better

Using Multiple Vises, Jaws that Span Vises, and Grinding Matching Vises

Theres an old saying that if you want to make full use of your machine you need
to use every square inch on the table. Most machine tables can accommodate
multiple vises, and it is very common to install multiple vises on a mill table. Our
photo above of side by side vises shows one such setup. Its not uncommon to
see four or even six vises on a larger milling machine. The more the merrier so
long as travels will accommodate it because the more vises you have, the more
parts you can machine before the machining has to stop so the operator can
load new work pieces.

When you have multiple vises on a machine, it is convenient if they match in all
the key dimensions to within a decent tolerance. That way if you are duplicating
a setup and get the vises in a different order, all will be well. Most vise
manufacturers will match vises for you or its a fairly simple operation with a
surface grinder to match a pair of vises.

Another trick thats possible with two vises is to use jaws that span both vises
for handling really long parts:

Spanning two vises with a single set of jaws

Double MillingVise

Having spread three or four vises across your mill table, youve pretty well taken
advantage of the X-Axis. But, theres an opportunity to take better advantage of
the Y-Axis by using Double Vises:

A typical double station vise is like 2 vises in one

A typical double station vise is like 2 vises in one: you can put two work pieces
instead of one. With judicious use of double vises you can really multiply the
number of parts that can be worked at the same time on your mills table.

Vises to Hold Other Work holding Solutions

Between using multiple vises, double station vises, moving the jaws around, and
even using jaws that span multiple vises, quite a lot is possible using just vises.
In fact, you can even use the vises to hold other Work holding gadgets. Its a very
common trick to drop a sine vise into a milling vise to get jaws working the other

Use a sine vise to hold a part at 90 degrees from where the milling vise jaws

You can also create small plate fixtures that are designed to sit in a vise,
creating what is often called a vise pallet since the individual plate fixtures can
be swapped out of the vises much like pallets.
Vise Pallets are just small plate fixtures designed to be held in the jaws of a
milling vise

In general, solutions like Vise Pallets are created to enable vises to be left on the
machine in shops where the flexibility and simplicity of vise work holding is ideal
for most of their jobs. Soft Jaws and Custom Hard Jaws Multiply the Vises
Work holding Flexibility. Soft Jaws on milling vises are a very popular form of
work holding. The idea is to create aluminum vise jaws (since aluminum is
softer than ferrous materials thats where the name comes from) that are
customized for particular jobs. Sometimes a more durable material is
advantageous, in which case we have Hard Jaws.

Here are some examples:

Use soft jaws to locate and hold a larger round part. A V is often seen, but it
wont support the part as well as the soft jaws
As mentioned above, we dont want to grip the whole height of the part in the
jaws. A particularly thin grip can be had with dovetail jaws. The little red
circle points to the dovetail which locks the workpiece in from slipping
upward under heavy machining. These are Carvesmart quick change jaws.

Heres a common setup. The part is machined from a block on the left (those
are the same Carvesmart dovetail jaws). Then the part is flipped in a set of
custom soft jaws on the right that are the mirror image of the part. A Face
mill then takes off the little bit of flat stock left from the original material
(thats already happened in this photo).

Lang Innovations makes these neat jaws that make it easy to set the
workpiece in the vise at a precise angle when needed. The pins can be
individually pushed in to create angles and other holding patterns too
Quick Change Jaws

I hope youre getting the idea that Milling Vises with Custom Jaws can be a
powerful workholding solution. So powerful, in fact, that a lot of work is done
solely with this style of Workholding. Shops spend a lot of time creating Custom
Jaws and often box them up in storage to use for other jobs or in case a
customer reorders a part. Even though the vises spend most of their time on the
table, we still have a Setup Time bottleneck in the time it takes to change vise
jaws. Maybe you saw this coming, but there are a variety of Quick Change Vise
Jaws available too. The Carvesmart jaws we pictured are one variety, but there
are many more. Judicious use of an air ratchet and socket head cap screws can
also speed the job of changing jaws.

Plates, Plate Fixtures, and Clamps

As useful as vises are, they have a sweet spot for part size. They have a difficult
time with really large plate work, though as mentioned you can move the jaws to
the outside positions for medium-sized plates. And, they can also be less than
optimal for very small parts. Sure, you can fit multiple parts in a set of Soft
Jaws, but the space between adjacent vises and the space required for the vise
mechanism makes it hard to fully fill the table with as many small parts as you
might otherwise be able to.

Its hard to achieve this dense packing of smaller parts with a vise, but a plate
fixture makes it easy. This one uses Mitee Bite Pit Bull clamps. The effect is not
unlike tiny milling vises designed to fit each part just right.

When its time to machine large plates or a great many small parts, its usually
time to pull the vises off the table and use a workholding solution based on

Step Clamps
The most common type of clamps are called step clamps because they have
little steps machined on them. Theyre commonly used with T-Slots, although
you can also use bolt them into a Tooling Plate. Here are some typical Step

Step Clamp holding down plate, step block supporting end of clamp, and bolt
goes through T-Slot Nut

A typical Step Clamp Set

Pictured is a typical Step Clamp Set. It can be handy to stock up on a an extra

set so youve got more clamping parts to work with. By stacking the Step Blocks
and using longer bolts, you can clamp workpieces that are quite tall. When
using step clamps, keep the bolt close to the workpiece rather than the step
block. Also, it can be helpful to angle the clamp down on the part by raising it up
a step or two from level. You may also want to put a shim of soft material
between the clamp and the workpiece if you want to avoid marring the
workpiece. Soda can makes a great shim for this purpose if you slice out some
strips with your snips.

Toe Clamps

Step Clamps grip the top of the workpiece, which is sometimes inconvenient
because you might need to machine the area being gripped. Toe Clamps grip the
side of the workpiece to give you full access to the top of the workpiece. There
are a wide variety of different styles available:
This toe clamp moves the clamp down a ramp when tightened to press against
the workpiece

Some workpieces can be very difficult to hold because theyre too thin or
because their shaped so theres just no way to clamp on. Some solutions for
these situations are in the form of Double Sided Tape, Glue, Wax, and Low
Melting Point Alloys.

The Glue needs to be something that will release when needed. For example,
Super Glue releases at a particular temperature just like LocTite. The fumes
from it are toxic, so take care to release with plenty of ventilation. Double sided
tape can work great, especially for really thin materials.

Wax and Low Melting Point Alloys (typically Bismuth alloys) can be used to
embed the workpiece and create grippable area. When the machining is done,
one can melt the wax or alloy away and save for reuse.

Vacuum Fixtures

Need to apply uniform pressure to hold a part down? Maybe a vacuum fixture is
the answer. Sea level air pressure is 14.7 lbs per square inch. A vacuum fixture
pumps a vacuum under the part so that air is pressing down on every square
inch of the top with 14.7 lbs of pressure. That can create considerable holding
force if there is enough surface area regardless of the shape of the top or how
thin the material may be. We have a nice article on how to create your own
vacuum fixtures thats very popular. For more in-depth information on vacuum
workholding visit our Vacuum Table Page and our DIY Vacuum Table Page.

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of vacuum fixtures is their hold-down force is

limited by surface areathat means small parts can pop off relatively easily.
When cutting forces exceed the hold-down force a vacuum table can pull, the
part pops off and is generally ruined. This is a common problem for vacuum
table users, especially for smaller parts that dont have much surface area. Until
now, fixing the problem has been hit or miss, but our G-Wizard Calculator
software now has the ability to limit cutting forces to what your vacuum table
can handle. For more information, check out our article on this special feature.

Chucks and Collets: For Round Parts

While we typically think of machining round parts on lathes, there are many
times when you may need to mill them as well. If youve got a Mill-Turn machine,
it may not be necessary to put them on a mill, but if you dont, or if you just need
to work on some round parts on the mill, you can use the same workholding
solutions Lathes use. Just bolt or clamp them down to your mill table. For
example, use a 3 jaw chuck or a bank of collet chucks.

Lathe Chucks are particularly common on 4th Axes because we often start from
round stock.

Every now and then we put round parts on the mill because its just downright
faster. Consider this setup for machining round parts

Expanding Mandrels, Arbors, and Studs

Toe Clamps are one solution to keeping the workholding away from the milling,
but we can do even better using expanding mandrels, arbors, or studs. The idea
is to put an expanding cylinder in a hole on the underside of the workpiece and
expand it to lock the workpiece in place. Once thats done, you can access the
workpiece from every direction except the bottom without encountering the
workholding (do remember where the mandrels are though so you dont have
one in the middle of a pocket waiting to be hit).

Here is a fixture using expanding studs

Turn the bolt opens the expanding stud so it can clamp the workpiece.

There are a wide variety of these kinds of gizmos available for your workholding
needs. Theyre particularly common for lathes, but as we mentioned, you can
use lathe workholding all day long provided you find a way to mount it to your

5-Axis Workholding

5-Axis workholding, like most things 5-axis, is a whole other world. I wont go
into any detail here other than to say you need different kinds of workholding
when you can access a part from virtually any direction. It becomes more
challenging in this kind of workholding that the workholder not get in the way of
milling the part.

Rotary table

A rotary table is a precision work positioning device used in metalworking. It

enables the operator to drill or cut work at exact intervals around a fixed (usually
horizontal or vertical) axis. Some rotary tables allow the use of index plates for
indexing operations, and some can also be fitted with dividing plates that enable
regular work positioning at divisions for which indexing plates are not available.
A rotary fixture used in this fashion is more appropriately called a dividing head
(indexing head).

The table shown is a manually operated type. Powered tables under the control
of CNC machines are now available, and provide a fourth axis to CNC milling
machines. Rotary tables are made with a solid base, which has provision for
clamping onto another table or fixture. The actual table is a precision-machined
disc to which the work piece is clamped (T slots are generally provided for this
purpose). This disc can rotate freely, for indexing, or under the control of a worm
(handwheel), with the worm wheel portion being made part of the actual table.
High precision tables are driven by backlash compensating duplex worms.

The ratio between worm and table is generally 40:1, 72:1 or 90:1 but may be any
ratio that can be easily divided exactly into 360. This is for ease of use when
indexing plates are available. A graduated dial and, often, a vernier scale enable
the operator to position the table, and thus the work affixed to it with great

A through hole is usually machined into the table. Most commonly, this hole is
machined to admit a Morse taper center or fixture.

Rotary tables are most commonly mounted flat, with the table rotating around
a vertical axis, in the same plane as the cutter of a vertical milling machine. An
alternate setup is to mount the rotary table on its end (or mount it flat on a 90
angle plate), so that it rotates about a horizontal axis. In this configuration a
tailstock can also be used, thus holding the workpiece between centers.

With the table mounted on a secondary table, the workpiece is accurately

centered on the rotary tables axis, which in turn is centered on the cutting tools
axis. All three axes are thus coaxial. From this point, the secondary table can be
offset in either the X or Y direction to set the cutter the desired distance from the
workpieces center. This allows concentric machining operations on the
workpiece. Placing the workpiece eccentrically a set distance from the center
permits more complex curves to be cut. As with other setups on a vertical mill,
the milling operation can be either drilling a series of concentric, and possibly
equidistant holes, or face or end milling either circular or semicircular shapes
and contours.

A rotary table can be used:

To machine spanner flats on a bolt

To drill equidistant holes on a circular flange

To cut a round piece with a protruding tang

To create large-diameter holes, via milling in a circular toolpath, on small

milling machines that dont have the power to drive large twist drills
(>0.500/>13 mm)
To mill helixes

To cut complex curves (with proper setup)

to cut straight lines at any angle

to cut arcs

with the addition of a compound table on top of the rotary table, the user can
move the center of rotation to anywhere on the part being cut. This enables
an arc to be cut at any place on the part.

to cut circular pieces

Additionally, if converted to stepper motor operation, with a CNC milling

machine and a tailstock, a rotary table allows many parts to be made on a mill
that otherwise would require a lathe.


16 September, 2016


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Automated Material Handling Systems And Advanced Manufacturing Systems

Computer Aided Process Planning
Planning and Scheduling Functions in CIM System
Tooling for CNC machine
Functions and Components of CIM System



9650 368 720

Room No.: 247
2nd Block (MAE Department)
PSP Area, Plot No. 1,
Sector-22, Rohini,

2A 0 N 1 U 6 P A M U P
Anupam Thakur
Assistant Profesor (M.A.I.T.), M.E.(Thapar University), B.Tech(M.A.E.)

Planning and Scheduling Functions in CIM




Aggregate planning is a high-level corporate planning activity. The aggregate

production plan indicates production output levels for the major product lines of
the company.

Activities in a PPC system

The aggregate plan must be coordinated with the plans of the sales and
marketing departments. Because the aggregate production plan includes
products that are currently in production, it must also consider the present and
future inventory levels of those products and their component parts. Because
new products currently being developed will also be included in the aggregate
plan. the marketing plans and promotions for current products and new
products must be reconciled against the total capacity resources available to
the company.


The production quantities of the major product lines listed in the aggregate plan
must he converted into a very specific schedule of individual products, known
as the master production schedule (MPS). It is a list or the products to be
manufactured, when they should be completed and delivered, and in what
quantities. The master schedule must be based on an accurate estimate of
demand and a realistic assessment of the companys production capacity. The
MPS planning period, or horizon, can be of any length, but should be at least as
long as a companys longest cumulative lead time (the time it takes to complete
a product from raw material to finished goods.). Many systems include a rough
cut capacity planning (RCCP) capability, which compares certain MPS items of
the master schedule to specified key resources of the plant (or multiple plants)
to determine if the master schedule is workable, given current the plant
capacity. If the master schedule is not achievable, the system modifies the MPS
or the production plan (For example, reduce the amount of products to be
produced or commit to increasing the capacity of the plant) until the master
schedule is achievable.
Modules of Master Scheduling

Master production schedule provides great flexibility in reflecting the overall

production plans of management, allowing planned production to be based on
predicted demand.

The master production schedule software is useful in many ways.

Enables the user to scan through the file starting at any point to easily locate

Accesses items by number or partial description.

Eases forecasting.

Allows interactive entry of requirement and replenishment orders on the

master schedule including creation of firm planned orders.

Merges existing shop orders, purchase orders, and MRP planned orders into
the master schedule for easy comparison with customer orders and sales
forecast orders.

Maintains orders by exact date, allowing reports to be detailed or

summarizes into a variety of user-defined periods.

Supports what if analysis by projecting into the future with adjustments to


Displays or prints how much of each inventory item is available to promise

for delivery in current and future periods.

Identifies under or over-scheduled key work centres though rough cut

capacity planning.

Pinpoints desired information responding to user-specified parameters.

Material Requirements Planning (MRP)

Material Requirements Planning (MRP) is a computer-based production

planning and inventory control system. MRP is concerned with both production
scheduling and inventory control. It is a material control system that attempts to
keep adequate inventory levels to assure that required materials are available
when needed. MRP is applicable in situations of multiple items with complex
bills of materials. MRP is not useful for job shops or for continuous processes
that are tightly linked.
The major objectives of an MRP system are to simultaneously:

1. Ensure the availability of materials, components, and products for planned

production and for customer delivery,

2. Maintain the lowest possible level of inventory,

3. Plan manufacturing activities, delivery schedules, and purchasing activities.

MRP is especially suited to manufacturing settings where the demand of many

of the components and subassemblies depend on the demands of items that
face external demands. Demand for end items is independent. In contrast,
demand for components used to manufacture end items depend on the
demands for the end items. The distinctions between independent and
dependent demands are important in classifying inventory items and in
developing systems to manage items within each demand classification. MRP
systems were developed to cope better with dependent demand items.

The three major inputs of an MRP system are the master production schedule,
the product structure records, and the inventory status records. Without these
basic inputs the MRP system cannot function. The demand for end items is
scheduled over a number of time periods and recorded on a

Master production schedule (MPS). The master production schedule expresses

how much of each item is wanted and when it is wanted. The MPS is developed
from forecasts and firm customer orders for end items, safety stock
requirements, and internal orders. MRP takes the master schedule for end items
and translates it into individual time-phased component requirements. The
product structure records, also known as bill of material records (BOM), contain
information on every item or assembly required to produce end items.
Information on each item, such as part number, description, quantity per
assembly, next higher assembly, lead times, and quantity per end item, must be
available. The inventory status records contain the status of all items in
inventory, including on hand inventory and scheduled receipts. These records
must be kept up to date, with each receipt, disbursement, or withdrawal
documented to maintain record integrity.

MRP will determine from the master production schedule and the product
structure records the gross component requirements; the gross component
requirements will be reduced by the available inventory as indicated in the
inventory status records.
MRP Computations

We will illustrate MRP computations through examples.


Suppose you need to produce 100 units of product A eight week from now,
where product A requires one unit of product B and two units of product C, while
product C requires one unit of product D and two units of product E. How many
units of each type do you need? In this example it is easy to compute the
requirements of each item to produce 100 units of product A:

Req (B) = 100,

Req (C) = 200,

Req (D) = 200,

Req (E) = 400.

Suppose further that the lead-times for the products are as follows:

Product A, four weeks, product B three weeks, product C two weeks,

products D and E one week each. Since the production lead-time for product
A is four weeks, we must have products B and C available at the end of week
four. Since product B has a lead time of three weeks, we need to release the
production of product B by the end of the first week. Similarly, product C
need to be released for production at the end of week two, while products D
and E must be released for production at the end of week one A material
requirements plan has been developed for product A based on the product
structure of A and the lead-time needed to obtain each component. Planned
order releases of a parent item are used to determine gross requirements
for its component items. Planned order release dates are simply obtained by
offsetting the lead times.
The computations and steps required in the MRP process are not
complicated. They involve only simple arithmetic. However, the bill-of-
materials explosion must be done with care. What may get complicated is
the product structure, particularly when a given component is used in
different stages of the production of a finished item.

The Level of an Item

To form a useful bill of material matrix it is convenient to order the items by

levels. The level of an item is the maximum number of stages of assembly
required to get the item into an end product.


Consider a system with two end items, item 1 and item 2.

Item 1 requires two units of item A and one unit of item C.

Item 2 requires one unit of item B, one unit of item D and three units of item E.

Item A requires one unit of item B and two units of item F.

Item B requires two units of item C and one unit of item E.

Item C requires one unit of item F and three units of item G.

Item D requires two units of item B and one unit of item C.

The levels of the items are:

Level 0: Items 1 and 2.

Level 1: Items A and D.

Level 2: Item B.

Level 3: Items C and E.

Level 4: Items F and G.

An Outline of the MRP Process

Starting with end items the MRP process goes through the following steps

1. Establish gross requirements.

2. Determine net requirements by subtracting scheduled receipts and on hand

inventory from the gross requirements

3. Time phase the net requirements.

4. Determined the planned order releases

MRP Table

The planned order releases aggregated over all the end items will result in the
gross requirements for level one item, the gross requirements for this items are
then netted and time phased to determined their own order releases. The
process is continued until all the items have been exploded. Table shows a
typical MRP table.
Example 3

MRP computations are shown in Table where the lead-time is two weeks. Here
the planned releases were obtained by solving a Wagner-Whitin problem with
time-varying demand. More often, however, MRP will plan releases in a lot-by-lot

Standard MRP Table

Shortcomings of MRP

1. Capacity- MRP expects the lead time to be constant regardless of how

much work has been released into the production system, so it is implicitly
assuming infinite capacity. This can create problems when production levels
are at or near capacity. One way to address this problem is to make sure that
the MPS is capacity feasible. Rough-cut capacity planning (RCCP) attempts
to do this by checking the capacity of a few critical resources. RCCP makes
use of the bill of resources (BOR) for each item on the MPS. The BOR
specifies the number of hours required at each critical resource to build a
particular end item and its components, and then aggregates the number of
hours required at each critical resource over the end items in the MPS. RCCP
then checks whether the available resources are enough to cover the MPS
on each time bucket. Notice that RCCP does not perform time offsets, so the
calculation of the number of hours required has to be done with time
buckets that are large enough so that parts and their components can all be
completed within a single time bucket. This usually makes RCCP an
optimistic estimation of what can be done. Advanced MRP systems provide
more detailed capacity analysis proposing alternative production schedules
when the current plan is not feasible.

2. Long Lead Times-There are many pressures to increase planned lead times
in an MRP system. MRP uses constant lead times when, in fact, actual lead
times vary considerably. To compensate, planners typically choose
pessimistic estimates. Long lead times lead to large work-in-process (WIP)

3. Nervousness- MRP is typically applied in a rolling horizon basis. As

customer orders firm up, and forecasts become better, a new MPS is fed to
MRP which produces updated planned order releases that may be very
different from the original. Even small changes in the MPS can result in large
changes in planned order releases.


MRP does not consider available capacity and often formulates production
plans not possible within a given specified plant capacity. Capacity
Requirements Planning (CRP) takes planned orders from MRP and open
(release) shop orders, and translates work orders into hours of work (pre-set
standards) on a work centre basis. CRP then, using the cumulative lead times,
allocates the work required for each order to the appropriate work centres for
the time period that the order will be in that work centre. CRP considers many
factors in allocating the load-queue time, move time, machine and many others.
In scheduling, CRP can start from current date and schedule the job to
completion (forward scheduling) or using the due date for the order, schedule
backward to determine the start date of the job (backward scheduling).

There are two types of loading in CRP: finite and infinite. With finite loading, CRP
considers the total capacity of a work centre and does not load beyond that
point. Infinite loading loads all work for the period into the appropriate work
centres then produces over and under load reports showing where more or less
capacity are needed to efficiently handle the load. Although they may generate
suggestions, most MRP systems require human intervention to help balance the
capacity and load. A planner can decide whether delaying the order release,
subcontracting the job, splitting the job into several smaller jobs, routing through
an alternative work centre, or authorizing overtime will best eliminate the over-
under load on the work centre and still get the job done on time. Another aspect
of CRP is Input/Output control (I/O). I/O control monitors the amount of work
going into and coming out of a work centre and compares it to a standard or
expected amount. A back log will develop behind any work centre that
continually puts out less work than it takes in. CRP and I/O control are good
tools for monitoring the shop floor for bottlenecks and unused capacity.
Modules of Capacity Requirement Plan

The CRP software

Allows an unlimited planning horizon with user-defined reporting period


Represents the load profile for each work centre.

Provides an effective analysis tool to help maximize facility utilization and

minimize delays.

Gives advance knowledge of potential production bottlenecks so that the

user can increase capacity, decrease the load or change the schedule to
create a realistic production plan.

Monitors both current wok-in-process and planned production concurrently.

Displays the schedule load for any work centre.

Allows the user to test various what-if changes without affecting the live

Uses both forward and backward scheduling techniques around a

bottleneck operation.

Reschedules any number of dependent shop orders when desired.

Prints the work centre load report with planned load subtotals for each
reporting period.

Uses work centre efficiency factors in calculating capacity to match

runtimes to reality.

Pinpoints desired information by accepting user-specified parameters on

most reports.

Allows reports to be displayed on the screen for immediate inquiry.


Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP II) embeds additional procedures to

address the shortcomings of MRP. In addition, MRP II attempts to be an
integrated manufacturing system by bringing together other functional areas
such as marketing and finance. The additional functions of MRP II include
forecasting, demand management, rough-cut capacity planning (RCCP), and
capacity requirement planning (CRP), scheduling dispatching rules, and
input/output control. MRP II works within a hierarchy that divides planning into
long-range planning, medium range planning, and short-term control.

To assist planners in tracking some of the problems associated with inventory

control, some kind of feedback loop is needed in the M.R.P. process, not only to
automatically re-schedule certain items (when possible), and avoid excessive
manual effort in controlling the process, but to detect and report performance
that is out of spec (such as a vendor performance report to track on-time
delivery performance). This feedback loop is the defining factor for an M.R.P. II
system. Though many systems CLAIM to be an M.R.P. II system, few actually
fit the mould exactly. Still, with automatic rescheduling capabilities for work
orders and/or repetitive build schedules, and reschedule action reports for
purchase orders and outside contracting, the amount of actual analysis is
reduced significantly. Other information, such as vender performance reports
and process utilization reports, also help to measure the performance to plan
capability of the manufacturing plant.

Even when the production plan is running at optimum performance, companies

still often have serious problems with the manufacturing process. Hidden Cost
issues associated with manufacturing increase the total cost of manufacturing,
but are extremely hard to track. Some of these Hidden Costs can be caused by
excessive P.O. rescheduling or excessive crash buy programs, excess and/or
obsolete inventory, or planning problems that cause incorrectly stocked finished
goods (too much of one, not enough of the other) that result in shortages.
Another hidden cost issue might be frequent line stops related to a limiting
process (such as a wave solder machine or component inserter), as well as
material shortages and excessive kitting of common components. In addition,
potential revenue losses from excessively long customer order lead times, or
poor on-time customer delivery performance, are real problems, but very difficult
to track and measure. As such, none of these problems are tracked nor reported
by any standard M.R.P. or M.R.P. II system. To help solve these problems, and
improve the companys competitiveness and profitability, beyond existing
capabilities, the M.R.P. system must go beyond the standard definition of
M.R.P. II.

Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP II) is defined by APICS (American

Production and Inventory Control Society, Estd. 1957) as a method for the
effective planning of all resources of a manufacturing company. Ideally, it
addresses operational planning in units, financial planning in dollars, and has a
simulation capability to answer what-if questions and extension of closed-loop

This is not exclusively a software function, but a marriage of people skills,

dedication to data base accuracy, and computer resources. It is a total
company management concept for using human resources more productively.

MRP II is not

Many items on this list can be part of an MRP II, but are not solely what it is.

a computer system

manufacturing control system

inventory reduction plan Sales & Purchase System

Material Management


MRP II integrates many areas of the manufacturing enterprise into a single

entity for planning and control purposes, from board level to operative and from
five-year plan to individual shop-floor operation. It builds on closed-loop Material
Requirements Planning (MRP) by adopting the feedback principle but extending
it to additional areas of the enterprise, primarily manufacturing-related.

Key functions and Features

MRP II is not a proprietary software system and can thus take many forms. It is
almost impossible to visualize an MRP II system that does not use a computer,
but an MRP II system can be based on either purchased / licensed or in-house
Almost every MRP II system is modular in construction. Characteristic basic
modules in an MRP II system are:

Master Production Scheduling (MPS)

Item Master Data (Technical Data)

Bill of Materials (BOM) (Technical Data)

Production Resources Data (Manufacturing Technical Data)

Inventories & Orders (Inventory Control)

Purchasing Management

Material Requirements Planning (MRP)

Shop Floor Control (SFC)

Capacity planning or Capacity Requirements Planning (CRP)

Standard Costing (Cost Control)

Cost Reporting / Management (Cost Control)

Distribution Resource Planning (DRP)

Together with ancillary systems such as:

Business Planning

Lot Traceability

Contract Management

Tool Management

Engineering Change Control

Configuration Management

Shop Floor Data Collection

Sales Analysis and Forecasting

Finite Capacity Scheduling (FCS)

and related systems such as:

General Ledger

Accounts Payable (Purchase Ledger)

Accounts Receivable (Sales Ledger)

Sales Order Management

Distribution Requirements Planning (DRP)

[Automated] Warehouse Management

Project Management

Technical Records


Computer-aided design/Computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM)


The MRP II system integrates these modules together so that they use common
data and freely exchange information, in a model of how a manufacturing
enterprise should and can operate. The MRP II approach is therefore very
different from the point solution approach, where individual systems are
deployed to help a company plan, control or manage a specific activity. MRP II
is by definition fully integrated or at least fully interfaced.

MRP II systems can provide:

Better control of inventories

Improved scheduling

Productive relationships with suppliers

For Design / Engineering:

Improved design control

Better quality and quality control

For Financial and Costing:

Reduced working capital for inventory

Improved cash flow through quicker deliveries

Accurate inventory records

Timely and valid cost and profitability information

Industry Specifics

MRP II systems have been implemented in most manufacturing industries.

Some industries need specialized functions e.g. lot traceability in regulated
manufacturing such as pharmaceuticals or food. Other industries can afford to
disregard facilities required by others e.g. the tableware industry has few
starting materials mainly clay and does not need complex materials
planning. Capacity planning is the key to success in this as in many industries,
and it is in those that MRP II is less appropriate.

This is not exclusively a software function, but a marriage of people skills,

dedication to data base accuracy, and computer resources. It is a total
company management concept for using human resources more productively.

MRP and MRPII: History and Evolution

Material Requirements Planning (MRP) and Manufacturing Resource Planning

(MRPII) are predecessors of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), a business
information integration system. The development of these manufacturing
coordination and integration methods and tools made todays ERP systems
possible. Both MRP and MRPII are still widely used, independently and as
modules of more comprehensive ERP systems, but the original vision of
integrated information systems as we know then today began with the
development of MRP and MRPII in manufacturing.

The vision for MRP and MRPII was to centralize and integrate business
information in a way that would facilitate decision making for production line
managers and increase the efficiency of the production line overall. In the
1980s, manufacturers developed systems for calculating the resource
requirements of a production run based on sales forecasts. In order to calculate
the raw materials needed to produce products and to schedule the purchase of
those materials along with the machine and labor time needed, production
managers recognized that they would need to use computer and software
technology to manage the information. Originally, manufacturing operations
built custom software programs that ran on mainframes.

Material Requirements Planning (MRP) was an early iteration of the integrated

information systems vision. MRP information systems helped managers
determine the quantity and timing of raw materials purchases. Information
systems that would assist managers with other parts of the manufacturing
process, MRPII, followed. While MRP was primarily concerned with materials,
MRPII was concerned with the integration of all aspects of the manufacturing
process, including materials, finance and human relations.

Like todays ERP systems, MRPII was designed to integrate a lot of information
by way of a centralized database. However, the hardware, software, and
relational database technology of the 1980s was not advanced enough to
provide the speed and capacity to run these systems in real-time, and the cost
of these systems was prohibitive for most businesses. Nonetheless, the vision
had been established, and shifts in the underlying business processes along
with rapid advances in technology led to the more affordable enterprise and
application integration systems that big businesses and many medium and
smaller businesses use today (Monk and Wagner).

MRP-I and MRPII: General Concepts

Material Requirements Planning (MRP) and Manufacturing Resource Planning

(MRPII) are both incremental information integration business process
strategies that are implemented using hardware and modular software
applications linked to a central database that stores and delivers business data
and information.

MRP is concerned primarily with manufacturing materials while MRPII is

concerned with the coordination of the entire manufacturing production,
including materials, finance, and human relations. The goal of MRPII is to
provide consistent data to all players in the manufacturing process as the
product moves through the production line.

Paper-based information systems and non-integrated computer systems that

provide paper or disk outputs result in many information errors, including
missing data, redundant data, numerical errors that result from being incorrectly
keyed into the system, incorrect calculations based on numerical errors, and
bad decisions based on incorrect or old data. In addition, some data is
unreliable in non-integrated systems because the same data is categorized
differently in the individual databases used by different functional areas.

MRPII systems begin with MRP, Material Requirements Planning. MRP allows
for the input of sales forecasts from sales and marketing. These forecasts
determine the raw materials demand. MRP and MRPII systems draw on a
Master Production Schedule, the breakdown of specific plans for each product
on a line. While MRP allows for the coordination of raw materials purchasing,
MRPII facilitates the development of a detailed production schedule that
accounts for machine and labor capacity, scheduling the production runs
according to the arrival of materials. An MRPII output is a final labor and
machine schedule. Data about the cost of production, including machine time,
labor time and materials used, as well as final production numbers, is provided
from the MRPII system to accounting and finance.

Just In Time (JIT)

Just-in-time manufacturing was a concept introduced to the United States by

the Ford motor company. It works on a demand-pull basis, contrary to hitherto
used techniques, which worked on a production-push basis. To elaborate
further, under just-in-time manufacturing (colloquially referred to as JIT
production systems), actual orders dictate what should be manufactured, so
that the exact quantity is produced at the exact time that is required. Just-in-
time manufacturing goes hand in hand with concepts such as Kanban,
continuous improvement and total quality management (TQM). Just-in-time
production requires intricate planning in terms of procurement policies and the
manufacturing process if its implementation is to be a success.

Highly advanced technological support systems provide the necessary back-up

that Just-in-time manufacturing demands with production scheduling software
and electronic data interchange being the most sought after.


Following are the advantages of Adopting Just-In-Time Manufacturing Systems

Just-in-time manufacturing keeps stock holding costs to a bare minimum.

The release of storage space results in better utilization of space and
thereby bears a favorable impact on the rent paid and on any insurance
premiums that would otherwise need to be made.

Just-in-time manufacturing eliminates waste, as out-of-date or expired

products; do not enter into this equation at all.

As under this technique, only essential stocks are obtained, less working
capital is required to finance procurement. Here, a minimum re-order level is
set, and only once that mark is reached, fresh stocks are ordered making this
a boon to inventory management too.

Due to the aforementioned low level of stocks held, the organizations return
on investment (referred to as ROI, in management parlance) would generally
be high.

As just-in-time production works on a demand-pull basis, all goods made

would be sold, and thus it incorporates changes in demand with surprising
ease. This makes it especially appealing today, where the market demand is
volatile and somewhat unpredictable.

Just-in-time manufacturing encourages the right first time concept, so that

inspection costs and cost of rework is minimized.

High quality products and greater efficiency can be derived from following a
just-in-time production system.

Close relationships are fostered along the production chain under a just-in-
time manufacturing system.

Constant communication with the customer results in high customer


Overproduction is eliminated when just-in-time manufacturing is adopted.

Following are the disadvantages of Adopting Just-In-Time Manufacturing

Just-in-time manufacturing provides zero tolerance for mistakes, as it

makes re-working very difficult in practice, as inventory is kept to a bare

There is a high reliance on suppliers, whose performance is generally

outside the purview of the manufacturer.

Due to there being no buffers for delays, production downtime and line idling
can occur which would bear a detrimental effect on finances and on the
equilibrium of the production process.

The organization would not be able to meet an unexpected increase in

orders due to the fact that there are no excess finish goods.

Transaction costs would be relatively high as frequent transactions would be


Just-in-time manufacturing may have certain detrimental effects on the

environment due to the frequent deliveries that would result in increased use
of transportation, which in turn would consume more fossil fuels.

Following are the things to remember When Implementing a Just-In-Time
Manufacturing System

Management buy-in and support at all levels of the organization are

required; if a just-in-time manufacturing system is to be successfully

Adequate resources should be allocated, so as to obtain technologically

advanced software that is generally required if a just-in-time system is to be
a success.

Building a close, trusting relationship with reputed and time-tested suppliers

will minimize unexpected delays in the receipt of inventory.

Just-in-time manufacturing cannot be adopted overnight. It requires

commitment in terms of time and adjustments to corporate culture would be
required, as it is starkly different to traditional production processes.

The design flow process needs to be redesigned and layouts need to be re-
formatted, so as to incorporate just-in-time manufacturing.

Lot sizes need to be minimized.

Workstation capacity should be balanced whenever possible.

Preventive maintenance should be carried out, so as to minimize machine


Set-up times should be reduced wherever possible.

Quality enhancement programs should be adopted, so that total quality

control practices can be adopted.

Reduction in lead times and frequent deliveries should be incorporated.

Motion waste should be minimized, so the incorporation of conveyor belts

might prove to be a good idea when implementing a just-in-time
manufacturing system.
Just-in-time manufacturing is a philosophy that has been successfully
implemented in many manufacturing organizations.

It is an optimal system that reduces inventory whilst being increasingly

responsive to customer needs, this is not to say that it is not without its pitfalls.

However, these disadvantages can be overcome with a little forethought and a

lot of commitment at all levels of the organization.


Enterprises to-day employ a mixture of several approaches to manufacturing.

They include:

Make to stock

Design to order

Make to order

Assemble to order

It must be possible to operate the company in all these modes. The emerging
trend of amalgamations, acquisitions and strategic alliances among competing
corporations required more capable software to manage such multi-facility
enterprises. Another challenging task is the co-ordination of manufacturing in
facilities which are geographically dispersed. For example, a multinational
company will have divisions and subsidiaries in U.S.A, Canada, UK, India,
Germany, Korea and Japan. An Indian multinational company may have plants
in Poland, Belgium and UK. Each country will have its own currency and tax
laws. This requires multi currency functionality for the planning software. The
need for managing the entire enterprise within a more global, tightly integrated
closed-loop solution has led to the evolution of ERP software.

The core activity in ERP is the creation of an integrated data model, covering
employees, customers, suppliers etc. A distinguishing feature of the ERP
software is that it incorporates best practices. This means that the
manufacturing solution developed using ERP is an optimum one.

The implementation of an ERP system includes the following stages:

1. Definition of the scope of the project

2. Identification of the objectives and deliverables

Project organization

1. Identifying an executive responsible for successful implementation of ERP

2. Establish a senior management steering committee

3. Establish a project team

4. Define the role of consultants

5. Work plan development

6. Assessment of the business of the company where it is to day and where it

7. should go

Education of key managers

Cost/benefit analysis


The important modules in typical ERP software are:

1. Finance Module

The finance module extracts financial transactions from the sales and
manufacturing areas and \ posts them to the general ledger. The main elements
of finance module are:

General ledger

Accounts payable

Accounts receivable

Cash management

Fixed Assets

Financial statement


Cost allocation

1. Distribution Module
This module manages finished goods, raw materials and services. Sales orders
are managed by this module. Inventory control, location control, Distribution
Requirements planning and replenishment control are part of distribution
module. The business objects of this module are:

Item control

Cost accounting

Purchase control

Sales control

Sales and marketing information

Electronic data interchange

Replenishment order control

Inventory control

Lot control

Location control

Distribution requirements planning

Manufacturing Module

This module is designed to control all the operations related to manufacture.

The business objectives of this module are:

Engineering Data Management

Item control

Bill of materials


Master production schedule

Materials requirement planning

Capacity requirement planning

Repetitive manufacturing

Shop floor control

Hours accounting

Project budget
Product configuration and classification

Project control

Quality management

1. Service Module

Service module deals with repair and warranty related activities. The

of this module are:

Installation control

Contract control

Service order control

Service analysis control

1. Transportation module

The functions of this module are:

Employee control

Address control

Fleet management

Fuel control

Hours and expense control

Transport control

Packing control

Warehouse control

1. Process Module

The process module helps companies to keep track of the manufacture of


Project Module

The project module consists of








Tools Module

Tools Module covers the following:

Software installation

Application configuration

User management

Device management

Job management

Database management

Audit management

Text management

Menu management

SQL queries

Application development and customization


Utilities Module

The utilities module is used to import and export data among different ERP
Supply Chain

. Other Modules of ERP packages are:

Materials management

Supply chain management

Quality management

Human resource management

Plant maintenance


CNC Controller

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 controllers 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. Owners,
operators, designers, and builders of CNC devices should understand the tasks
performed by these components and how they affect machine performance.

The following sections will discuss the primary task of each component in the
controller and how they work together to create a complete CNC system.
Recently a new generation of CNC controllers has been marketed by several
manufacturers. Some of their important features are:

1. Automatic determination of optimum tool path: By using data that is

interactively input to define the workpiece contours artificial intelligence is
employed to determine the optimum approach point and tool path to
eliminate unnecessary tool movement. As a result, the overall machining
cycle is minimized.

2. Feed spindle orientation: By the use of a digitally controlled AC spindle

motor, spindle orientation is fast and precise.

Automatic feedrate override: Even though only one feedrate is programmed

for a machining cycle such as a pocket milling, the optimum feedrate for
both the in-feed direction and corner cutting is automatically determined.
Also when milling pockets, the feedrate is automatically changed when
machining with full cutter width and when machining with partial cutter width
to maintain the optimum cutting conditions for the minimum machining time.

1. Simultaneous S, M and T functions: Simultaneous operation of different

units, such as the ATC and Machine table indexing, A T C and pallet changer
can performed to greatly reduce machines non-cutting time.

2. High speed tapping: The digitally controlled spindle motor allows spindle
rotation and Z axis feed to be synchronized. This advanced design makes
high speed, high precision tapping possible without the use of the floating
tap holder. This is also referred as rigid tapping.

3. High speed cutting of complex contours: For complex contours that require
interpolation by extremely small increments, the faster processing of speed
of the 32 or 64 bit processor results in a much higher vectorial feed rate than
that of conventional CNC systems.

D N C interface: The 32 or 64 bit CNC mounted on a machine can be linked

with a host computer and transmit and receive data. By DNC interface,
information can be shared.

MAP compatibility: The 32 bit CNC controller is designed for MAP

(Manufacturing Automation Protocol) compatibility the international
communication standards to be used by equipment in an automated factory.

1. Background communication: The high speed 32 bit microprocessors can

handle communications of variety of data programs, parameters, tool data
and programs with a host computer simultaneously while in automatic

2. Absolute position detection: If equipped with absolute position detection

function, a machine does not have to return to the home position prior to
beginning operation. This is especially advantageous for a machining center
controlled by host computer.

3. Tool life management, Tool breakage detection and recovery: These

functions resident in the individual machines memory can be communicated
with the host computer, thereby facilitating centralized tool management.

Automatic centering: By the use of a touch sensor mounted in the spindle,

measurement of datum holes and surfaces is performed. Based on the
measurement results, the work co-ordinate system is automatically shifted
and machining begins.

Adaptive feed rate control: By continually monitoring the load on the spindle
motor and Z- axis servo motor, optimum cutting conditions are maintained.
When an overload condition is detected, the programmed feedrate is
automatically overridden. As the cutting load becomes smaller, the feed rate
will automatically return to the programmed value.

Process management and program layout displays: The interconnections

between processes and subprograms and processes with commonly used
tools are indicated on these displays for convenient program restarts.

1. Automatic tool length measurement: Tool length can be automatically

measured and registered in memory to greatly reduce tool setting time. One
setting of the measurement cycle allows up to 13 tools to automatically
processed. (This process is semi-automatic for face mills and boring bars in
that the tool must first be manually positioned over the measurement unit).

Workpiece co-ordinates: When using a tool (such as an edge finder) to

establish a workpiece datum point, all that is required is to enter the tool
radius. The necessary calculations are performed automatically to set the
work piece zero position. When the optional touch sensor is used the angular
offset co-ordinates can also be set. This allows high machining accuracy to
be obtained even with simple fixtures.

Tool path storage: The tool path storage function can be used to store in
memory the point where a tool breaks during the cutting plus the path used
to retract the cutter for servicing. This allows fast and smooth program

Automatic cutting conditions editing: Programmed spindle speeds and feed

rate are easily altered by override keys according to actual machining
conditions. By pushing an appropriate key, the programmed cutting
conditions are automatically edited by the override amount on an individual
tool basis.

Modal information display: The modal information display indicates which G,

M, S, f codes are effective. This is extremely convenient for error-free restart
of EIA / ISO programs.

1. Deflection compensation: Automatic compensation can be performed for the

displacement at one axis in relation to another axis used as the datum.

Large reduction of component parts: With a 32 or 64 bit microprocessor as

the core, large capacity memory chips, customs LSIs and other state of the
art technology used to the maximum, the number of parts is considerably
smaller than that of conventional CNC system resulting in a highly reliable
and compact design.

Ladder circuit display: The open and close status of individual circuits is
displayed on the ladder chart on CRT display to help pinpoint the cause of

Optimization of cutting conditions: Several CNC systems access cutting tool

databases as well as cutting parameter databases. The interactive
programming facilities enable the operator of the machine tool to input the
features of the drawing in the CNC system. The system responds with
appropriate tool selection and cutting parameter selection. Techniques are
also incorporated to optimize the parameters.

Understanding Interpolation/Motion Control

Say for example, you wish to move only one linear axis in a command. You want
to move the axis to a position one inch to the right of program zero. In this case,
the command X1 would be given (assuming the absolute mode is instated). The
machine would move along a perfectly straight line during this movement (since
only one axis is moving).

Now lets say you wish to include a Y axis movement to a position one inch
above program zero in Y (with the X movement). Well say you are trying to
machine a tapered or chamfered surface of your workpiece in this command.
For the control to move along a perfectly straight line to get to the programmed
end point, it must perfectly synchronize the X and Y axis movements. Also, if
machining is to occur during the motion, a motion rate (feed rate) must also be
specified. This requires linear interpolation.

During linear interpolation commands, the control will precisely and

automatically calculate a series of very tiny single axis departures, keeping the
tool as close to the programmed linear path as possible. With todays CNC
machine tools, it will appear that the machine is forming a perfectly straight line
motion. However, Figure 1 shows what the CNC control is actually doing during
linear interpolation.

In similar fashion, many applications for CNC machine tools require that the
machine be able to form circular motions. Applications for circular motions
include forming radii on turned workpieces between faces and turns, and milling
radii on contours on machining centers. This kind of motion requires circular
interpolation. As with linear interpolation, the control will do its best to generate
as close to a circular path as possible.

Depending on the machines application, you may find that you have other
interpolation types available. Again, CNC control manufacturers try to make it as
easy as possible to program their controls. For example, many machining center
users perform thread milling operations on their machines. During thread
milling, the machine must move in a circular manner along two axes (usually X
and Y) at the same time a third axis (usually Z) moves in a linear manner. This
allows the helix of the thread to be properly machined. This motion resembles a
spiraling motion (though the radius of the spiral remains constant). Knowing
that their customers need this type of motion for thread milling, CNC machining
center control manufacturers offer the feature called helical interpolation.

Yet another type of interpolation may be required on turning centers that have
live tooling. For turning centers that can rotate tools (like end mills) in the turret
and have a C axis to rotate the workpiece held in the chuck, polar coordinate
interpolation can be used to mill contours around the periphery of the
workpiece. Polar coordinate interpolation allows the programmer to flatten out
the rotary axis, treating it as a linear axis for the purpose of making motion
The Three Most Basic Motion Types:
While your particular CNC machine may have more motion types (depending on
your application), lets concentrate on the three most common types available
on almost all forms of CNC equipment. After briefly introducing each type of
motion, well show an example program that stresses the use of all three.

These motion types share two things in common. First, they are all modal. This
means they remain in effect until changed. If, for example, several motions of
the same kind are to be given consecutively, the corresponding G code need
only be specified in the first command.

Second, the end point of the motion is specified in each motion command. The
current position of the machine will be taken as the starting point.

1. Rapid Motion (Also Called Positioning)

This motion type is used to command motion at the machines fastest possible
rate. It is used to minimize non-productive time during the machining cycle.
Common uses for rapid motion include positioning the tool to and from cutting
positions, moving to clear clamps and other obstructions, and in general, any
non-cutting motion during the program.

You must check in the machine tool builders manual to determine a machines
rapid rate. Usually this rate is extremely fast (some machines boast rapid rates
of well over 1000 rpm), meaning the operator must be cautious when verifying
rapid motion commands. Fortunately, there is a way for the operator to override
the rapid rate during program verification.

The command almost all CNC machines use to initiate rapid motion is G00.
Within the G00 command, the end point for the motion is given.

Control manufacturers vary with regard to what actually happens if more than
one axis is included in the rapid motion command. With most controls, the
machine will move as fast as possible in all axes commanded. In this case, one
axis will probably reach its destination point before the others. With this kind of
rapid command, straight line movement will not occur during rapid and the
programmer must be very careful if there are obstructions to avoid. With other
controls, straight line motion will occur, even during rapid motion commands.
2. Straight Line Motion
This motion type allows the programmer to command perfectly straight line
movements as discussed earlier during our discussion of linear interpolation.
This motion type also allows the programmer to specify the motion rate (feed
rate) to be used during the movement. Straight line motion can be used any time
a straight cutting movement is required, including when drilling, turning a
straight diameter, face or taper, and when milling straight surfaces.

The method by which feedrate is programmed varies from one machine type to
the next. Generally speaking, machining centers only allow the feed rate to be
specific in per-minute format (inches or millimeters per minute). Turning centers
also allow feed rate to be specified in per-revolution format (inches or
millimeters per revolution).

A G01 word is commonly used to specify straight line motion. Within the G01,
the programmer will include the desired end point in each axis.

3. Circular Motion
This motion type causes the machine to make movements in the form of a
circular path. As discussed earlier during our presentation of circular
interpolation, this motion type is used to generate radii during machining. All
feed rate related points made during our discussion of straight line motion still

Two G codes are used with circular motion. G02 is commonly used to specify
clockwise motion while G03 is used to specify counter clockwise motion. To
evaluate which to use, you simply view the movement from the same
perspective the machine will view the motion. For example, if making a circular
motion in XY on a machining center, simply view the motion from the spindles
vantage point. If making a circular motion in XZ on a turning center, simply view
the motion from above the spindle. In most cases, this is as simple as viewing
the print from above.

Additionally, circular motion requires that, by one means or another, the

programmer specify the radius of the arc to be generated. With newer CNC
controls this is handled by an R word that simply states the radius. With older
controls, directional vectors (specified by I, J, and K) tell the control the location
of the arcs center point. Since controls vary with regard to how directional
vectors are programmed, and since the R word is becoming more and more
popular for radius designation, our examples will show the use of the R word. If
you wish to learn more about directional vectors, refer to your control
manufacturers manual.

Program Showing Three Types of Motion

In this particular example, we are milling around the outside of a workpiece

contour. Notice that we are using a one-inch diameter end mill for machining the
contour and we are programming the very center of the end mill. Later, during
key concept number four, we will discuss a way to actually program the
workpiece contour (not the cutter centerline path).

O0002 (Program number)

N005 G54 G90 S350 M03 (Select coordinate system, absolute mode, and start
spindle CW at 350 RPM)

N010 G00 X-.625 Y-.25 (Rapid to point 1)

N015 G43 H01 Z-.25 (Instate tool length compensation, rapid tool down to work

N020 G01 X5.25 F3.5 (Machine in straight motion to point 2)

N025 G03 X6.25 Y.75 R1.0 (CCW circular motion to point 3)

N030 G01 Y3.25 (Machine in straight motion to point 4)

N035 G03 X5.25 Y4.25 R1.0 (CCW circular motion to point 5)

N040 G01 X.75 (Machine in straight motion to point 6)

N045 G03 X-.25 Y3.25 R1.0 (CCW circular motion to point 7)

N050 G01 Y.75 (Machine in straight motion to point 8)

N055 G03 X.75 Y-.25 R1.0 (CCW circular motion to point 9)

N060 G00 Z.1 (Rapid away from workpiece in Z)

N065 G91 G28 Z0 (Go to the machines reference point in Z)

N070 M30 (End of program)

While you may not understand all commands given in this program, concentrate
on understanding what is happening in the motion commands (G00, G01, and
G02/G03). With study, you should be able to see what is happening. Messages
in parentheses are provided to document what is happening in each command.

Keep in mind that CNC controls do vary with regard to limitations with motion
types. For example, some controls have strict rules governing how much of a
full circle you are allowed to make within one circular command. Some require
directional vectors for circular motion commands instead of allowing the R
word. Some even incorporate automatic corner rounding and chamfering,
minimizing the number of motion commands that must be given. Though you
must be prepared for variations, and you must reference your control
manufacturers programming manual to find out more about your machines
motion commands, at least this presentation has shown you the basics of
motion commands. You should be able to adapt to your particular machine and
control with relative ease.


Advanced hardware architecture: Custom built very large scale integrated

circuits (VLSI) which can handle several functions in a single chip are used
in modern CNC systems. This way, the benefits of reduced component count
and improved reliability are realized.

Software modularity: Each function is written as a discrete module

(structured programming). Additional software features can be added at any
time to upgrade the control without affecting the software.

Adaptive control: Reduces the production time by maximizing the utilization

of the machine tool. It acts on measurement taken from external sensors
(In-process measurement) and modifies the cutting conditions suitably.

Conversational programming: The system featuring conversational

programming are termed user friendly since they are designed with the
operator in mind. One example of such a friendly feature is graphic display.
With this feature, the operator can create the part drawing on screen and
simulate the tool paths in the preparatory phase (Prior to machining). The
operator can program in complete safety and be sure that nothing is
omitted. The operator can also check the correctness of the part program on
graphic display.

Programming flexibility: In addition to conversational part programming

language, high level language commands like IF-THEN ELSE, GO TO etc., can
be used to extend the programs power. Higher mathematical functions can
be used to calculate square roots, trigonometric functions etc.

DNC link: This is discussed separately in detail later.

Color graphics: This provides visual interface between the operator and CNC.
Part cross sections can be highlighted. Operating instructions and warning
display can be colour coded for more clarity.

Machine interface: A high-level language like C is used for programming the

machine logic in PC (example: GE 2000 MC). In AB8600, high-level language
SIPROM (System Interface-Programming) is used.

Automatic selection of cutting speeds: If we specify the tool material and

work material, C N C System selects cutting speed and feed from cutting
condition technology database.

Automatic selection of tools and sequencing of tools: If operation is

specified, system selects corresponding tools and sequence of tools.
Systems like Mazak Fusion 640 provides this knowledge based approach.

Optimization of machine program: This feature will be useful for components

with large number of drilling, tapping operations, or repetitive end milling tool
paths as in the case of machining of dies and molds etc.

Display of finished component: Today CNC systems offer a feature to

display the finished component together with dimensions. Sectioning and
rotation of the model of the finished part are also possible.

Background programming: It is a common facility available in CNC systems.

The user can run, edit and simulate another program while a program is
being executed on the machine tool.

Digital CNC: The new breed of CNC controls uses digital technology. The
introduction of digital CNC has brought increased speed and precision to
machine tool builders. The PC based open architecture controls incorporate
such features like acceleration with jerk limitation, direct NURBS
interpolation, use of high level languages, execution of large CNC programs
from hard disc and increased number of zero offsets. In some of the
systems the CNC and drive amplifiers are on the some board at the digital

Look ahead feature: The control system scans 150 or more blocks ahead of
the block that is being executed and carries out interpolation and calculates
the acceleration and deceleration requirements in the case of generation of
complex tool paths. This helps to produce accurate profiles in high speed


Early NC machines used a tape reader for storing and inputting the program into
the memory of the NC machine tool. Because of the unreliability of the tape
reader as well as the low speed of operation NC engineers were searching for a
suitable alternative. The advent of CNC in mid-sixtees opened up the possibility
of improving the performance of NC machines by interfacing them with
minicomputers. Yet another significant technological development was the
interfacing of several NC machines with a computer, which can store the part
programs and transfer them to the NC machine concerned as and when needed.
The computer is connected between the tape reader and the NC machine
thereby bypassing the tape reader. This system was therefore called as behind
the tape reader system (BTR). This development became very popular with NC
machine users because of a number of significant advantages.

A number of NC machines can be connected to a single computer. In many

cases a single computer can manage all the machines on a shop floor.

Programs in full or in segments can be transferred to the NC machines in a

multiplexing mode.

The computer can be conveniently used for program editing.

Since the computer has large memories there is no limitation on the number
or size of programs stored.

The computer can be used for other tasks like program creation using
computer aided part program generation software as well as for operation
management tasks like production planning, scheduling etc.

With the development of CNC, DNC concept was extended to CNC machines
also mainly for part program management. The DNC computer (sometimes
referred to as host computer) could serve a number of CNC machines in shop
floor. The DNC computer stores all the part programs and transfers the part
programs to the CNC machines in response to the requests of the operators.

A DNC System

DNC systems are generally designed for 4, 8, or 16 CNC machines. However,

with the wide spread acceptance of the local area network concept, the
possibility of connecting more CNC machine in a DNC network has become a
reality. The concepts of Internet, Intranet and Extranet have further enlarged the
scope of distributed numerical control.


DNC serves many purposes and is now considered as essential for the efficient
management of CNC machine tools in the shop floor. The main objectives of
implementing DNC are given below:

1. Upload and download CNC programs to and from machine tools

simultaneously and directly from the CNC systems.

2. Easy editing of the existing programs.

3. Eliminating the use of manual switch boxes to multiplex CNC machines.

4. Organizing and cataloguing of all programs for instant access.

5. Eliminating the need for manually punching the program at the keyboard

6. Saving considerable costly machine time.

7. Eliminating the need for paper tape in the old generation of NC machines.

8. Copy programs to and from the floppy discs and other media to the DNC

9. Compare files edited at the CNC to the original program.

10. Rename or delete or update programs or create new programs.

11. Show pictures of set ups for graphic catalogue of set up and machining

12. Providing system transaction files of all activity on the DNC computer.

13. Pass word protection at different points of the CNC system wherever the
operator could cause damage to the NC code by overwriting.

14. Tool length offsets from tool pre-setters can be transferred directly to
machine tool controls. It is also possible to connect co-ordinate measuring
machines to DNC networks.


Sometimes the abbreviation DNC is used to denote distributed numerical

control. A computer network for manufacturing may consist of a main frame
computer, CAD/CAM work stations, DNC host computer and the CNC systems
connected to it. This configuration can be beneficially used for NC data
processing. Any complex calculations required for generating NC data can be
transferred to the more powerful mainframe computer. Thus the NC DATA
processing is done at different hierarchical levels. In a way many of the DNC
systems today are in fact distributed processing systems.


The functions of a DNC system can be summarized as below:

1. Part Program management: Part program stored in the hard disc can be
routed to appropriate machines in the network depending upon the schedule.

2. Shop floor editing: Program can be edited or modified to take into account
design changes, tool changes or machine changes.

Shop floor graphics: The tool path simulation can be carried out on the shop

1. Data collection: The DNC computer can be used for shop floor data
collection for scheduling and monitoring.

2. Shop scheduling: Since NC program dispatch is interlinked with the

schedule, the DNC computer can be used for scheduling.

3. Statistical Process Control (SPC): The SPC function can be integrated into
the working of the DNC computer as it can be interfaced with the shop floor
data collection function.

Tool offset management: Tool offset data is sent to appropriate machine by

this function.

The DNC network systems are usually UNIX, Novell or Windows based. They
have multitasking capabilities and Ethernet, arcnet or token ring interfaces. They
may also have Limited CAD/CAM capabilities. Efficient built-in security systems
will take care of unauthorized access.


21 September, 2016


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Automated Material Handling Systems And Advanced Manufacturing Systems

Computer Aided Process Planning
Planning and Scheduling Functions in CIM System
Tooling for CNC machine
Functions and Components of CIM System



9650 368 720

Room No.: 247
2nd Block (MAE Department)
PSP Area, Plot No. 1,
Sector-22, Rohini,

2A 0 N 1 U 6 P A M U P
Anupam Thakur
Assistant Profesor (M.A.I.T.), M.E.(Thapar University), B.Tech(M.A.E.)

Computer Aided Process Planning


Process planning is concerned with determining the sequence of individual

manufacturing operations needed to produce a given part or product. The
resulting operation sequence is documented on a form typically referred to as
operation sheet. The operation sheet is a listing of the production operations
and associated machine tools for a work part or assembly. Process planning is
an important stage of product development since production tooling like jigs,
fixtures, special tools etc. can be designed only after the process is finalized.
Like a group technology based system utilizing classification and coding to
retrieve parts, code numbers can be used for retrieval of existing and preferred
manufacturing information. The principle of group technology is therefore
discussed here as part of process planning. The importance of process
planning lies in the fact that process plans have a direct bearing on the cost of
the part. As new manufacturing processes and machines are introduced,
process plans also undergo changes. Hence process planning is a dynamic
activity. The continuous emphasis on cost reduction also requires the process
plans to be updated to reduce the cost. Cost information can be included in a
computer assisted process planning system, using an automatic time standards
(ATS) system.

Manufacturing planning, process planning, material processing, process
engineering and machine routing are a few titles given to the topic referred to
here as process planning. Process planning is that function within a
manufacturing facility that establishes which machining process and process
parameters are to be used to convert a work material (blank) from its initial form
(raw material) to a final form defined by an engineering drawing. Process
planning is a common task in small batch, discrete parts metal working

The process planning activity can be divided into the following steps:

Selection of processes and tools

Selection of machine tools/Manufacturing equipment

Sequencing the operations

Grouping of operations

Selection of work piece holding devices and datum surfaces (set ups)

Selection of inspection instruments

Determination of production tolerances

Determination of the proper cutting conditions

Determination of the cutting times and non-machining times (setting time,

inspection time) for each operation

Editing the process sheets.

All the information determined by the process planning function is recorded on

a sheet called process plan. The process plan is frequently called an operation
sheet, route sheet or operation planning sheet. This provides the instructions for
the production of the part. It contains the operation sequence, processes,
process parameters and machine tools used.

In conventional production system, a process plan is created by a process

planner. It requires a significant amount of time and expertise to determine an
optimal routing for each new part design. However, individual engineers will
have their own opinions about what constitutes the best routing. Accordingly
there are differences among the operation sequences developed by various
planners. Efficient process planning requires the service of experienced process
Because of the problems encountered with manual process planning, attempts
have been made in recent years to capture the logic, judgment and experience
required for this important function and incorporates them into computer
programs. Based on the features of a given part, the program automatically
generates the sequence of manufacturing operations. The process planning
software provides the opportunity to generate production routings which are
rational, consistent and perhaps even optimal.

It has the following advantages:

Reduces the skill required of a planner.

Reduces the process planning time.

Reduces the process planning and manufacturing cost.

Creates more consistent plans.

Produces more accurate plans.

Increases productivity.
Steps Involved in CAPP

Now-a-days, rapid progress is being made in the automation of actual

production process and also the product design element. However, the interface
between design and production presents the greatest difficulty in
accomplishing integration. CAPP has the potential to achieve this integration. In
general, a complete CAPP system has following steps :

1. Design input

2. Material selection

3. Process selection

4. Process sequencing

5. Machine and tool selection

6. Intermediate surface determination

7. Fixture selection

8. Machining parameter selection

9. Cost/time estimation

10. Plan preparation

11. Mc tape image generation.


In recent days, several computer-aided process planning systems are available

for use for a variety of manufacturing operation.

These systems can broadly be clarified into two categories:

1. Variant computer aided process planning method.

2. Generative computer aided process planning method.

The details of these are explained in next subsections.

Variant Process Planning, Advantages and Disadvantages

Variant process planning approach is sometimes referred as a data retrieval

method. In this approach, process plan for a new part is generated by recalling,
identifying and retrieving an existing plan for a similar part and making
necessary modifications for new part. As name suggests a set of standard
plans is established and maintained for each part family in a preparatory stage.
Such parts are called master part. The similarity in design attributes and
manufacturing methods are exploited for the purpose of formation of part
families. Using coding and classification schemes of group technology (GT), a
number of methods such as coefficient based algorithm and mathematical
programming models have been developed for part family formation and plan
retrieval. After identifying a new part with a family, the task of developing
process plan is simple. It involves retrieving and modifying the process plan of
master part of the family.

The general steps for data retrieval modification are as follows:

Establishing the Coding Scheme

A variant system usually begins with building a classification and coding

scheme. Because classification and coding provide a relatively easy way to
identify similarity among existing and new parts. Today, several classification
and coding systems are commercially available. In some extreme cases, a new
coding scheme may be developed. If variant CAPP is preferred than it is useful
for a company to look into several commercially available coding and
classification systems (e.g. DCLASS, JD-CAPP etc.). Now, it is compared with
companies before developing their own coding and classification system.
Because using an existing system can save tremendous development time and

Form the Part Families by Grouping Parts The whole idea of GT lies into
group numerous parts into a manageable number of part families. One of
the key issues in forming part families is that all parts in the same family
should have common and easily identifiable machined features. As a
standard process plan are attached with each part family, thereby reducing
the total number of standard process plans.

Develop Standard Process Plans After formation of part families, standard

process plan is developed for each part families based on common part
features. The standard plan should be as simple as possible but detailed
enough to distinguish it from other.

Retrieve and Modify the Standard Plans for New Parts Step1 to step 3 are
often referred as preparatory work. Each time when a new part enters the
systems, it is designed and coded based on its feature, using the coding and
classification scheme, and than assigned to a part family. The part should be
similar to its fellow parts in the same family. Also, familys standard plan
should represent the basic set of processes that the part has to go through.
In order to generate detailed process routes and operation sheets to this
part, the standard plan is retrieved from the database and modified.
Modification is done by human process planar. After this stage parts are
ready for release to the shop. The success of aforementioned process
planning system is dependent on selection of coding scheme, the standard
process plan and the modification process, because the system is generally
application oriented. It may be possible that one coding scheme is
preferable for one company and same is not for other company.

Due to use and advancement of computers, the information management

capability of variant process planning is much superior. Otherwise it is quite
similar to manual experience-based planning.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Variant CAPP

Following advantages are associated with variant process planning approach:

Processing and evaluation of complicated activities and managerial issues
are done in an efficient manner. Hence lead to the reduction of time and
labor requirement.

Structuring manufacturing knowledge of the process plans to companys

needs through standardized procedures.

Reduced development and hardware cost and shorter development time.

This is an essential issue for small and medium scale companies, where
product variety is not so high and process planner are interested in
establishing their own process planning research activities.

Disadvantages of Variant Process Planning Approach

Following disadvantages are associated with variant process planning


It is difficult to maintain consistency during editing.

Proper accommodation of various combinations of attributes such as

material, geometry, size, precision, quality, alternate processing sequence
and machine loading among many other factors are difficult.

The quality of the final process plan largely depends on the knowledge and
experience of process planner. The dependency on process planner is one of
the major shortcomings of variant process planning.

Some of the most widely used process planning method developed by various
company are mentioned as follows:

Mc Donnell-Douglas automation company under the direction and

sponsorship of Computer Aided Manufacturing International (CAM-I)
developed a system where CAPP can be used to generate process plan for
rotational, prismatic and sheet metal part.

Organization for Industrial Research (OIR) and General Electric Company

have developed and another process plan named as MIPLAN. It
accommodates both rotational and prismatic part, and is based on MICLASS

Generative Process Planning, Advantages and Disadvantages

In generative process planning, process plans are generated by means of

decision logic, formulas, technology algorithms, and geometry based data to
perform uniquely processing decisions. Main aim is to convert a part from raw
material to finished state. Hence, generative process plan may be defined as a
system that synthesizes process information in order to create a process plan
for a new component automatically.

Generative process plan mainly consists of two major components:

Geometry based coding scheme.

Proportional knowledge in the form of decision logic and data.

Geometry-based Coding Scheme

All the geometric features for all process such as related surfaces, feature
dimension, locations, on the features are defined by geometry based coding
scheme. The level of detail is much greater in generative system than a variant

For example, various details such as rough and finished state of the part are
provided to transform into desired state.

Proportional Knowledge in the Form of Decision Logic and Data

Process knowledge in the form of decision logic and data are used for
matching of part geometry requirement with the manufacturing capabilities. All
the methods mentioned above is performed automatically.

Operation instruction sets are automatically generated to help the operators to

run the machines in case of manual operation. NC codes are automatically
generated, when numerically controlled machines are used.


Manufacturing knowledge plays a vital role in process planning. The process of

acquisition and documentation of manufacturing knowledge is a recurring
dynamic phenomenon. In addition, there are various sources of manufacturing
knowledge such experience of manufacturing personnel, handbooks, supplier of
machine tools, tools, jigs and fixtures materials, inspection equipment and
customers etc. Hence, in order to understand manufacturing information,
ensuring its clarity and providing a framework for future modification, it is not
only necessary but also inevitable to develop a good knowledge structure from
wide spectrum of knowledge. Flowchart, decision trees, decision tables,
algorithms, concepts of unit machined surfaces, pattern recognition techniques,
and artificial intelligent based tools are used to serve the purpose. A brief
discussion on decision table is given below.

The basic elements of decision tables are condition, action and rules. They are
represented in the form of allocation matrix. Figure above is one such
representation where condition states the goal that we want to achieve and
action states the operation that we have to perform. On the basis of experience
the expert rules are formed by entry values to establish the relationship between
condition and action.

Table is one such representation where entry are of Boolean-types (true, false,
dont care). Similarly, in next table continuous value type entries are shown.

Boolean Value-Type Entries

T : True; F : False

Continuous Value-type Entries

* T : true
The decision making process works as follow.

For a particular set of condition entries, look for its corresponding rule from that
rule determine the action.

Advantages of Generative Process Plan

Generative process plans have a number of advantages. Among the major ones
are the following:

They rely less on group technology code numbers since the process, usually
uses decision tree to categorize parts into families.

Maintenance and updating of stored process plans are largely unnecessary.

Since, any plan may be quickly regenerated by processing through the tree.
Indeed, many argue that with generable systems, process plans should not
be stored since if the process is changed, and out-of-dated process plan
might find its way back into the system.

The process logic rules however must be maintained up to dated and ready
for use. This provides the process planner with an assurance that the
processes generated will reflect state-of-the-art technology.

Description of various generative and variant and generative CAPP systems is

mentioned Table

Some of the Variant and Generative CAPP Systems

Process Characteristics Programming

Planning and Commercial Languages Developers
System Shapes
Approaches Situation Used

Uses English like

CMPP Rotational Generative FORTRAN 77 UTRC (USA)

Variant and Interfaced with Lockheed-

Generative CAD\CAM Georgia(USA)
Part family code Rockwell Inc
GT-CAPP All Generative
used (USA)

Part family Kobe Univ.
KAPPS and Generative LISP
numbers used (JAPAN)

Rotational Expert system

OIR and GE
MIPLAN and Variant based on
Prismatic MICLASS

RTCAPP Prismatic Generative Generic shell USC (USA)

TURBO- Penn. State
Rotational Generative based interfaced PROLOG
with CAD

Expert system Tech. Univ.

XPLAN All Generative based on FORTRAN 77 of DK
DCLASS (Denmark)

Expert system Tech. Univ.

XPLAN-R Rotational Generative based on FORTRAN 77 of DK
DCLASS (Denmark)

Twente Univ.
XPLANE Rotational Generative FORTRAN Tech.

Variant and UTRC and

Generative CAM-I (USA)

Knowledge-based Process Planning

The main forces behind to apply knowledge-based (KB) techniques for CAPP is
the requirement of large amount of human expertise in CAPP. Based on the
previous discussion, one realizes that a productive CAPP system must contain
tremendous amount of knowledge facts about the machine and shop
environment as well as rules about sequencing machining operations must be
included. A traditional CAPP program cannot learn new knowledge without a
programmer explicitly rewriting it. The rigidity of traditional methodology
endangers the implementation of CAPP systems. A KB system stores
knowledge in a special manner so that it is possible to add, delete and modify
facts and rules in the knowledge base without rewriting the program, i.e. it
learns new things according to embedded learning procedures.
A complete set of manufacturing knowledge is not equipped by any existing
knowledge-based process planning system. Most of these systems focus on a
small portion of the issues in the domain of automated process planning using
an expert systems approach. Some of them are :

EXCAP Family of Process Planning Systems

EXCAP, EXpert Computer-Aided Process Planning, developed by Davies and

Darbyshire, is a knowledge-based system for rotational part process planning.

EXCAP-A and EXCAP-Y are previous generations of the current member of the
EXCAP family of process planning systems.


GARI is the first AI-based CAPP program to appear in the literature. It is

implemented in MACLISP and operates on CII-Honeywell Bull HB-68 computer
under the MULTICS operating system. GARI utilizes production rules in its
knowledge representation and generates a process plan from a model of the
part. It emphasizes the conflict resolution. The knowledge is rather subjective
and specialized. As a result, in the planning process, compromises are often

TOM: Technostructure of Manufacturing

TOM is another production rule-based CAPP system written in PASCAL and

runs on VAX computer. TOM was designed to accept input in two ways: (1)
directly entering part desecration by the user, and (2) translating design data
from COMPAC CAD system. TOM can deal with holes exclusively.

SIPP: Semi-Intelligent Process Planner

SIPP is an AI-based CAPP system for the creation of metal parts using chip
metal removal operations. It is written in PROLOG and utilizes frames as its
knowledge representation scheme instead of using production rules. Frames
are used to represent two types of knowledge: (1) information about the
characteristics of various kinds of machinable surfaces, and (2) the capabilities
of various machining processes.

SIPS, another AI-based CAPP system which selects machining operations for
the creation of metal parts, is a successor to SIPP. It is written in LISP and is
currently being integrated into the AMRF (Automated Manufacturing Research
Facility) project, where it is used to select machining operations on a feature by
feature basis.

Like SIPP, SIPS also employs branch and bound search strategy for the least-
cost-first solution in its inference engine. The basic difference between SIPP
and SIPS is that SIPS used a new knowledge representation technique, called
hierarchical knowledge clustering, instead of flat frames to represent problem-
solving knowledge.


TOLTEC is a system equipped with some learning capability. It takes input as

feature-based part description interactively. The features are represented in a
frame structure. It generates output in a form of operations and their sequence.


Turbo-CAPP is a knowledge-based CAPP system written in PROLOG and

capable of:

Extracting and interpreting surface features from a 2&1/2-D CAD data base.

Performing intelligent reason for process planning.

Learning new process and machining capabilities.

Generating alternative process plans (based on the current status of the

knowledge base).

Creating generic NC part programs for automated.

Turbo-CAPP is designed to handle strictly symmetric rotational parts. It employs

a backward chining inference mechanism for plan generation. In the process of
creating process plan and NC codes, the system must acquire knowledge from
the user from time to time.
XPS-2 Family of CAPP Systems

CAM-I started the first structured development of process planning systems. It

then embarked on a form-feature based, generative planning project, XPS and
accomplished with the completion of XPS-2 in 1987. The form feature used to
implement XPS-2 were taken from a feature taxonomy developed by CAM-I.

Other Knowledge-Based CAPP Systems

Rather than aforementioned Knowledge-Based CAPP System some other KB

process planning systems are in existence:

1. CMPP (Austin, 1996) is a planning system for planning cylindrical parts (also
for some non-cylindrical features). It performs dimension, tolerance, and
stock removal analysis based on a sophisticated algorithm with the objective
of optimizing tolerance capabilities of shop equipment.

2. Hi-MAPP developed by Brenfi and Khoshnevis.

Wolfe and Kung in 1984 developed a CAPP system, which reads part
geometry from a PADL model and generates process plans automatically.

Variant or Generative, Which to Use?

What CAPP approach (Variant or Generative) is better? This question has been
constantly asked but, there is no definite answer to it.

Generally speaking, a variant system is better for manufacturing setting where

similar parts are manufactured repetitively. Because parts are similar, Group
Technology can easily be implemented and shows quick and significant return
on investment (ROI). Because similar parts are produced repetitively, process
plan can be retrieved, slightly modified and used, without going through too
much trouble. On the other hand, generative process planning is better suited
for a manufacturing environment in which part does not exhibit too much
similarity and new part are introduced on a regular basis. In this case, benefits
cannot be gained from Group Technology due to dissimilarity of parts. Because,
new parts are regularly introduced, historical data does not have too much value
to the process planner. However, aforementioned approach is a rough guideline
for selecting the appropriate CAPP approach.

As we have seen that CAPP system usually serve as link in integrating the CAD
and CAM. However, it is only the partial link due to lack of part feature
information provided by existing CAD/ Drafting system. Part feature information
is an essential data for CAPP. In other words, it is a tedious job for CAPP to
understand the three dimensional geometry of the designed part from CAD
system in terms of their engineering meaning related to assembly and
manufacturing. Generally, all CAPP planning method and systems suffered from
such type of problem and is referred as feature recognition in CAPP.

Hence, objective of feature recognition is to bridge the gap between the

database and automated process planning systems by automatically
distinguishing the feature of a part from the geometry and topological data
stored in the CAD system. The essence of feature recognition can easily be
understood by taking an example as shown in Figure. This figure is defined by a
constructive solid geometry tree that represents a block primitive and a cylinder
primitive combined by the Boolean operator -. Shape and dimension can easily
be identified by these schemes but, some higher level information is not
provided by this scheme such as, whether the hole is blind hole or through hole.
Such types of information are called as feature. Hence, features play a vital role
in CAPP. In order to identify features and to solve CAD / CAPP interface
problem, feature recognition is one of the most efficient technique.

Feature recognition transforms a general CAD model into an application specific

feature model. In general, a generic part feature recognition system must be
able to resolve following issues.

Extract design information of a part.

Identify all surfaces of part.

Recognize reasons about\and\or interpret these surfaces in terms of Part


Once the features are classified, the automated planning system could develop
the required process plan to make the part and hence, eliminate the need for a
human to translate the CAD data into something that process planning system
can understand.
Here, it is pertinent to mention that feature recognition is not only applicable to
CAPP system but it can also be applied to various other engineering
applications that require information about feature of parts classification and
automated coding in GT.



The most robust description of any part is provided through solid modelling.
Therefore, these appear to be a logical starting point for developing a feature
recognition system. Henderson and Anderson developed a system called
FEATURES to perform automatic feature recognition using data from solid
modelling system. A FEATURE simulates the human interpretation of part
features. The system consists of a feature recognizer, extractor, and organizer.
For objects containing swept features, this system performs well. This approach
is encouraging because, conceptually, it can be applied for complex parts. The
FEATURES system uses the boundary representation (BREP) of a part, which
denotes the faces, edges and vertices (FEV). Thus, features such as holes must
be derived from more primitive data.

A Brief Review and Recent Trends in Feature Recognition Research Author

Part Feature-recognition System Recognizable Features

CAM-1 From feature taxonomy

CAD/CAM-compatible, toll-
Choi Holes, Slots, Pockets
oriented process planning system.

Henderson and Extraction of feature information

Holes, Slots, Pockets
Anderson from 3-D CAD data.
Syntactic characterization of
Jalubowski Rotational part family
machine part shapes.

Pattern-recognition approaches to
Kakazu and Okino Rotational GT code
GT code generation.

A method of parts description for

Kakino computer-aided production Grooves, steps, flanges

Feature-recognition and expert

Kung Holes, Slots, Pockets
process planning system

Shape features in geometric

Kyprianou Rotational part family

Integration of solid modelling and

Lee data base management for

Generative process planning

Liu using syntactic pattern

Srinrasan, Liu and Extraction on manufacturing

Rotational part family
Fu details from geometric models

Computer-aided recognition of
volumetric designs

Representing FEV contained in a BREP graph. As a result a hole may be present

as a collection of faces that must be recognized from the part data.

A number of approaches to part feature recognition for rotational as well as

prismatic parts have been developed. These different approaches are enlisted
as follows:

1. Syntactic Pattern Recognition

2. State Transition Diagram and Automata

Geometry Decomposition Approach

1. Expert System Rule Logic

2. CSG (Set Theoretic) Approach

3. Graph Based Approaches

The syntactic pattern recognition and/or expert logic approach are mainly
applied for feature extraction of rotational part feature recognition. The
complexity increases in case for prismatic parts due to lack of rotational
property. In this case, the difficulty of both representation of a generic object
and recognition of its feature increases extensively.


Group technology is an operations management philosophy based on the

recognition that similarities occur in the design and manufacture of discrete
parts. Similar parts can then be arranged into part families. To implement such
a system, some form of classification of parts and coding is required.

Part classification and coding is concerned with identifying the similarities and
using these similarities to evolve a classification code. Similarities are of two

Design attributes (such as geometric shape and size), and Manufacturing

attributes (the sequence of processing steps required to make the part).

In companies which employ several design engineers and manufacturing a

diverse range of products, such classifications and coding has a number of
other uses. One of the major benefits is avoiding the duplication of similar
components. This can result in considerable savings in terms of design cost,
processing cost and tooling cost. One prime necessity to realize this is to have
a good design retrieval system.

The parts classification and coding is required in a design retrieval system, and
in computer aided process planning the process routing is developed by
recognizing the specific attributes of the part and relating these attributes to the
corresponding manufacturing operations.


A part family is a collection of parts which are similar either because of

geometry and size or because similar processing steps are required in their
manufacture. The parts within a family are different, but their similarities are
close enough to merit their identification as members of the part family. The
major obstacle in changing over to group technology from a traditional
production shop is the problem of grouping parts into families. There are three
general methods for solving this problem.
Visual inspection

Production flow analysis

Parts classification and coding system

What is desirable in a computer integrated manufacturing environment is a

software which will analyze the geometric model of the part and come out with
a set of alphabetic/ numeric characters which can broadly embed similarities.


Parts classification and coding systems can be grouped into three general

Systems based on design attributes

Systems based on part manufacturing attributes

Systems based on both design and manufacturing attributes

Systems in the first category are useful for design retrieval and to promote
design standardization. Systems in the second category are used for computer-
aided process planning, tool design, and other production related functions. The
third category represents an attempt to combine the functions and advantages
of the other two systems into a single classification scheme. The types of
design and manufacturing attributes typically included in classification
schemes are listed below:

Part Design Attributes

Basic (External/Internal) shape

Axisymmetric/Prismatic/sheet metal

Length/diameter ratio


Major dimensions

Minor dimensions


Surface finish

Part Manufacturing Attributes

Major process of manufacture

Surface treatments/coatings

Machine tool/processing equipment

Cutting tools

Operation sequence

Production time

Batch quantity

Production rate

Fixtures needed

If we take a look at a machine tool manufacturing industry, large part families

can be grouped as:

1. Heavy parts beds, columns etc.

2. Shafts, characterized by large L/D ratios

Spindles (long shafts, screw rods included)

1. Non-rounds (small prismatic parts)

2. Gears, disc type parts (whose L/D ratios are small)

From the manufacturing point of view, group technology can bring in

considerable economy in tooling, set up time, part changeover times, machine
specifications etc. The classification of components in groups can lead to
formation of cells where similar components are machined. However, these
considerations are extraneous to the process planning function.


The Opitz coding system uses the following digit sequence:

12345 6789 ABCD

The basic code consists of nine digits, which can be extended by adding four
more digits. The first nine digits are intended to convey both design and
manufacturing data. The general interpretation of the nine digits is indicated
below The first five digits, 12345, are called the form code and describe the
primary design attributes of the part. The next four digits, 6789, constitute the
supplementary code. It indicates some of the attributes that would be of use
to manufacturing (work material, raw work piece shape, and accuracy). The
extra four digits, ABCD, are referred to as the secondary code and are
intended to identify the production operation type and sequence. The secondary
code can be designed by the firm to serve its own particular needs. In the form
code, the first digit identifies whether the part is a rotational or a nonrotational
part. It also describes the general shape and proportions of the part.





Given the part design, the form code for this part is discussed below.

The overall length/diameter ratio, L/D = 1.6, so the first code = 1. The part is
stepped on both ends with a screw thread on one end, so the second digit code
would be 5 the third digit code is 1 because of the through hole. The fourth and
fifth digits are both 0, since no surface machining is required and there are no
auxiliary holes or gear teeth on the part. The complete form code in the Opitz
system is 15100. To add the supplementary code, we would have to properly
code the sixth through ninth digits with data on dimensions, material, starting
work piece shape, and accuracy.


Selecting the manufacturing processes to transform the raw material into the
finished part is based on matching requirements with process capabilities.
Process capability is the data base of knowledge for each process. It includes:

1. The shape and size of part a process can produce

2. The dimensions and geometric tolerances that can be obtained

The surface finish attainable

1. The material removal rate

2. The relative cost

3. Technological parameters

Process engineering does not necessarily imply that all process selection is
based on the information above. However, the more the information considered
in selecting a process, the more complete the result will be. A computer aided
process planning system functions based on this process capability
information. Earlier it was mentioned that planning systems could be classified
into variant and generative types. A variant planning system is a retrieval system
and is analogous to planning based on experience. In the variant planning
system, standard plans are stored based on component shape. These plans are
then retrieved based on the similarity of a coded part. A generative system,
however, makes processing, tooling and other decision via software logic.


Surface finish, force and power constraints are directly affected by the process
parameters feed, speed and depth of cut. Therefore, process selection becomes
an iterative procedure:

First a process is selected and then the machining parameters are adjusted
to accommodate the system constraints.

Selection of the machining parameters also affects the time and cost
required to produce components.

Several machinability systems are currently marketed that recommend sets

of parameters that either optimize machining cost, time or production rate,
or simply retrieve data table or calculated values.

One extensively used data system is CUT DATA from Machinability Data
Systems of USA. Recently computerized machinability systems have been
introduced which facilitate quick selection of optimum process parameters.


21 September, 2016


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Automated Material Handling Systems And Advanced Manufacturing Systems

Computer Aided Process Planning
Planning and Scheduling Functions in CIM System
Tooling for CNC machine
Functions and Components of CIM System



9650 368 720

Room No.: 247
2nd Block (MAE Department)
PSP Area, Plot No. 1,
Sector-22, Rohini,

2A 0 N 1 U 6 P A M U P
Anupam Thakur
Assistant Profesor (M.A.I.T.), M.E.(Thapar University), B.Tech(M.A.E.)

Automated Material Handling Systems And

Advanced Manufacturing Systems


Robots perform several tasks in factories. Some of them are:

1. Movement of materials on the shop floor (Automated guided vehicles (AGV)

or Rail guided vehicle (RGV)

2. Loading and unloading of components in machines (Gantry robot, machine

mounted robot, free-standing robot)

Inspection using vision sensors.

1. Manufacturing operations like painting, welding, component insertion in

printed circuit boards, sorting, automatic assembly, deburring, sampling,
dispensing, marking, etc.

Robots are programmable machines with some human like capabilities. They
are made up of mechanical components, a control system and a computer.
These elements can be arranged in different ways and can vary in size and
complexity to perform different tasks. Thus robots are available in a wide variety
of types, which vary in their mechanical configuration, degrees of freedom of
motion and type of drive and control systems. The degrees of freedom and
working envelope provided by its geometric configuration are the two major
selection factors of a robot. A number of different types of drive systems, each
having its own advantages in cost and performance are used in robot
technology. Robots are controlled by a variety of hardware and software
systems. The more complex tasks usually require servo-control systems, which
use sensors and microprocessors. The control system carries out the functions,
which govern the robots motion.

Robotic systems are used in a CIM environment because of they have a number
of economic and performance advantages over human labor or hard
automation in many manufacturing applications, particularly in batch
manufacturing. The major advantages are due to their re-programmability.
Robots can be programmed by several techniques. Robot programs can be very
simple or extremely complex, depending on the nature of the tasks and type of
motion control involved. Robot programming is often done in high-level
languages that provide functions for data processing, computation, sensing and
manipulation. Robot manufacturers have developed different robot languages.
The following sections give a detailed account of many of these aspects to
enable the reader to understand the role of robots in a CIM environment.


A robot is a system made up of several elements of hardware and software.

These elements are illustrated below:

Elements of a Robotic System

Mechanical Components:

They provide the physical robot motions and perform the various tasks. They

1. Components of the robot manipulator:

A manipulator (the base and arm assembly).

End-of-arm tooling, such as a gripper or end effecter.

Actuators (motors or drives that move the links of the robot) and associated

Transmission elements like belts, pulleys, ball screws, gearing and other
mechanical components.

(ii) Control system:

The control system is used to generate the necessary signals co-ordinate the
movements of the robot. It includes:

Mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical, or electronic (either open loop

or closed loop) controls.

Sensors including cameras, amplifiers, and related hardware.

Equipment interfaces.

(iii) Computer system:

This provides the data processing capability necessary to interpolate the

intermediate positions and control the movement of the links or arms the robot.

It includes:

Microprocessor or a programmable logic controller or a personal computer

User interfaces (e.g. keyboard, display, teach pendant)

Control software to manipulate the robot for various applications.

Robots can be configured in many different ways by using various combinations

of the above elements. Since robots are designed to perform tasks that might
otherwise require humans, many of their basic features are like those of a
human arm. For example, an articulated robot has arm, hand, wrist and gripper
to reach, grasp and manipulate objects. They are driven by a power source,
which provides the energy necessary for their movements. They can be
programmed or can have an intelligent control system, controlled by neural,
fuzzy or fuzzy neural techniques, which can acquire, store, process and perform
on the basis of the data collected by sensors attached to the robot.


Four basic robot arm geometries are used for industrial applications. These are
illustrated below

Basic Classification of Robots

Rectangular Co-ordinate Robots

This is also known as the Cartesian co-ordinate robots. A robot with this
geometry has three linear axes using sliding joints, which are typically arranged
in a cantilever configuration whose motion traces a box like shape. This type of
configuration is ideal for straight-line and side-to-side movements. These
robots can be used for tasks involving pick and place operations like material
handling and loading and unloading of work pieces in machines.

Cylindrical Co-ordinate Robots

This is also referred to as a rectilinear co-ordinate robot. A robot with this

geometry has three axes of motion that trace the shape of a cylinder. It has a
base unit, which rotates, a vertical extension, and a horizontal arm that moves in
a line. This type is best suited for movements around a base.

Spherical Co-ordinate Robots

This is also known as the polar co-ordinate robot. A robot with this geometry
has three axes of motion that trace the shape of a sphere. It has a base unit that
rotates, a main body that tilts, and arm that slides in and out.
Revolute Co-ordinate Robots

This configuration is also known as anthropomorphic (i.e. like a human arm) or

articulated arm or jointed arm. Such a robot has three axes of motion involving a
base, a shoulder, and an elbow that rotate. Several variations of these basic
geometries have also been developed to provide optimum performance for
certain applications. Two of these are:

1. Gantry or box frame

This is a rectangular co-ordinate configuration with all three linear axes of

motion suspended above the work space. It can be made very rigid, which
allows high precision and high acceleration. It also lends itself to modularity in
design for a variety of configurations, including multiple arms. This type of
robots is used for loading work pieces in CNC turning centres in flexible turning

Gantry Robot

Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm (SCARA)

This configuration shown below and is horizontally revolute. A robot of this type
moves by sweeping over the workspace at a fixed horizontal distance before
moving a vertical arm down. This permits a compact and relatively low cost
design for small assembly tasks.

Robot Anatomy

A robot joint is a mechanism that permits relative movement between parts of a

robot arm. The joints of a robot are designed to enable the robot to move its
end-effector along a path from one position to another as desired. The basic
movements required for the desired motion of most industrial robots are:

Rotational Movement This enables the robot to place its arm in any
direction on a horizontal direction.

Radial Movement This helps the robot to move its end-effector radially to
reach distant points.

Vertical Movement This enables the robot to take its end-effector to

different heights.

These degrees of freedom, in combination with others or independently, define

the complete motion of the end-effector. Individual joints of the robot arm are
responsible for the accomplishment of different movements. The joint
movements are in synergy with the relative motion of adjoining links. Depending
on the nature of this relative motion, the joints are classified as prismatic or

Robot Classification

Robots are being classified on the basis of their physical configuration and
control systems adopted. These classifications are briefly described as follows:

Classification on the Basis of Physical Configurations

On the basis of physical configuration industrial robots are classified in four

different types. They are:

1. Cartesian configuration,

2. Cylindrical configuration,

Polar configuration, and

1. Jointed-arm configuration.

Cartesian Configuration

Robots having Cartesian configurations consist of links connected by linear

joints (L). As the configuration has three perpendicular slides, they are also
called rectilinear robots. Robot having a similar configuration is known as
Gantry Robots. Its structure resembles a gantry-type crane.

Cylindrical Configuration

In the cylindrical configuration, robots have one rotatory (R) joint at the base and
linear (L) joints succeed to connect the links. The space in which this robot
operates is cylindrical in shape, hence the name cylindrical configuration.

Polar Configuration

Polar robots have a work space of spherical shape. In general, the arm is linked
to the base with a twisting (T) joint and rotatory (R) and or linear (L) joints. The
designation of the arm for this arm can be TRL or TRR. Robots with the
description of TRL are also called spherical robots. Those having the
designation of TRR are called as articulated robots. It resembles a human arm
in terms of configuration.

Jointed-Arm Configuration
The combination of cylindrical and articulated configurations is known as
jointed-arm configuration. The arm of the robot is connected to the base with a
twisting joint. Rotatory joints are used to connect the links in the arm. Generally,
the rotation takes place in the vertical plane. Popular robot falling under this
category is called SCARA (Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm). It is
basically used for the assembly purpose.

Classification based on Control Systems

On the basis of the control systems adopted, robots are classified into the
following categories :

1. Point-to-point (PTP) control robot

2. Continuous-path (CP) control robot

3. Controlled-path robot

Point-to-Point (PTP) Control Robot

The PTP robot is capable of moving from one point to the other point. The
locations are recorded in the control memory. The paths are not controlled by
the path guide. Instead the desired path is traced by programming a series of
points. Component insertion, spot welding, hole drilling, machine loading,
unloading and crude assembly are some of the common applications of this
type of robot.

Continuous-Path (CP) Control Point

The movement along the controlled path is performed by the CP robot. Along the
controlled path, with CP control, the robot can stop any specified point. In the
robots control memory, all the points must be stored explicitly. Straight-line
motion is being carried out by these types of robots. Some continuous-path
controlled robots also have the capability to follow a smooth curve path that
has been defined by the programmer. Here, the programmer manually moves
the robot arm through the desired path and the controller unit stores a large
number of individual point locations along the path in memory.

Controlled-Path Robot
In controlled-path robots, the control equipment can develop paths of different
geometry such as straight lines, circles, and interpolated curves with a high
degree of accuracy. Good accuracy can be obtained at any point along the
specified path. Only the start and finish points and the path definition function
must be stored in the robots control memory. It is important to mention that all
controlled-path robots have a servo capability to correct their path.

Robotic Applications in the Industry

Work environment is one of the several characteristics that should be

considered when selecting a robot application. The hazardous characteristics
of industrial work tend to promote the substitution of robots for human labour.
Hence, robots are being used in a wide field of applications in industry.
Currently, robots are mostly used in the field of manufacturing. The applications
can usually be classified into following characteristics:

1. Material handling

2. Processing operations

Assembly and inspection

Application of the robots in the industry must be technically and economically

viable for the industry.

Material Handling Applications

Material handling applications are those in which the robot moves the materials
or parts from one place to another. The robot is equipped with a gripper type of
end-effector to accomplish this type of transfer. The gripper must be designed
to handle the specific part or parts that are to be moved. Within this application
category are the following cases which are

1. Material transfer, and

2. Machine loading/unloading.

In almost all the material handling applications, the part must be presented to
the robot in familiar position and orientation.
Material Transfer

These are the operations in which the robot picks up the parts at one location
and place them at a new location. The basic application in this category is pick
and place operation, where robot picks up a part and deposits at a new location.
Transferring parts from one conveyor to another is a classic example of this
application. However, palletizing is a more complex example of the material
transfer application. Here, the robots must retrieve parts, cartons, or other
objects from one location and deposit them onto a pallet or other container with
multiple locations.

Machine Loading/Unloading Operations

In machine loading and unloading operations, the parts are transferred

into/from a machine. The three possible scenarios can be machine loading,
machine unloading, machine loading and unloading. In the machine loading
operations, the robot loads parts into machine, but the parts are unloaded from
the machine by some other mechanism. In the unloading operations, the
machines are unloaded using the robots. When both the earlier situations are
present, then this can be placed into the third category.

Numerous applications of machine loading and unloading operations are as

follows :

1. Die casting operations

2. Metal machining operations

Plastic molding

1. Forging

2. Heat treating

3. Press working

Robots as mentioned earlier are also used in the process industry. Numerous
applications in this category are spot welding, continuous arc welding; spray
painting, various rotating processes, and machining processes.
Spot Welding

Spot welding is a metal joining process in which two sheet metal parts are
fused together at localized points of contact. It has got a widespread use in the
automobile industry. The end-effector used here is a spot welding gun used to
pinch the car panels together and perform the resistance welding process.

Continuous Arc Welding

Continuous arc welding is used to provide continuous welds rather than points
in a spot welding process. As the working condition is tough, therefore
automation is recommended in this case. The robotic cell consists of a robot,
the welding apparatus (power unit, controller, welding tool, and wire feed
mechanism), and a fixture that positions the components for the robot. The
fixture might be mechanized with one or two degrees-of-freedom so that it can
present different portions of the work to the robot for welding.

Spray Coating

Spray coating makes use of a spray gun directed at the object to be coated.
Fluid flows through the nozzle of the spray gun and is dispersed and applied
over the surface of the object. Here, robot applications consist of spray coating
appliances, automobile car bodies, engines, and other parts, spray painting of
wood products, and spraying of porcelain coating on bathroom fixtures.

Other Processing Applications

The list of other industrial processes that are being performed by robots is as
follows :

1. Drilling, routing and other machining process.

2. Laser cutting.


1. Grinding, wire brushing, and similar operations.

2. Water jet cutting.

In the next section, we detail the assembly and inspection operations performed
by the robots.

Assembly and Inspection

Assembly and inspection are hybrids of the previous two application categories:
material handling and processing. Assembly and inspection applications can
involve either the handling of materials or the manipulation of a tool. Assembly
and inspection are traditionally labour-intensive, boring and highly repetitive
activities. Hence, they are the fitting cases for the robotic applications.

Production rate is one of the important performance measures for such robotic
applications. Therefore, industrially relevant problems have been presented and
solved in the next section.


A material-handling system can be simply defined as an integrated system

involving such activities as handling, and controlling of materials. Materials
include all kinds of raw material, work-in-progress, sub-assemblies, and finished
assemblies. The main motto of an effective material-handling system is to
ensure that the material in the right amount is safely delivered to the desired
destination at the right time and at minimum cost. It is an integral part of any
manufacturing activity. Role of AGVs and Robots have become strategic with
respect to the modern material handling practices followed in the present day
industry. The next section deals with the automated guided vehicles (AGVs).

Automated Guided Vehicles

Automated guided vehicle systems (AGVs), commonly known as driverless

vehicles, are turning out to be an important part of the automated manufacturing
system. With the shift from mass production to mid-volume and mid-variety,
flexible manufacturing systems, are increasingly in use. They require not only
machine flexibility but also material-handling, storage, and retrieval flexibility.
Hence, the importance of AGVs has grown in manifold. It is a battery-powered
driverless vehicle with programming capabilities for destination, path selection,
and positioning. The AGVs belongs to a class of highly flexible, intelligent, and
versatile material-handling systems used to transport materials from various
loading locations to various unloading locations throughout the facility. The
capability related to collision avoidance is nicely inbuilt in AGVS. Therefore, the
vehicle comes to a dead stop before any damage is done to the personnel,
materials, or structures. They are becoming an integral part of flexible
manufacturing system installations.

Components of AGVS

There are four main components of an automated guided vehicle system. They
are as follows:

The Vehicle: It is used to move the material within the system without a
human operator.

The Guide Path: It guides the vehicle to move along the path.

The Control Unit: It monitors and directs system operations including

feedback on moves, inventory, and vehicles.

The Computer Interface: It is connected with other computers and systems

such as mainframe host computer, the Automated Storage and Retrieval
System (AS/RS), and the Flexible Manufacturing System.

Now-a-days, AGVS are versatile in nature and possess flexible material-handling

system. They use modern microprocessor technology to guide a vehicle along a
prescribed path and makes correction if the vehicle strays from the path. A
system controller receives instructions directly from the host computer,
communicates with other vehicles, and issues appropriate commands to each
vehicle. To avoid collision, communication is necessary among the AGVs. To
facilitate the communication, they are connected through a wire in the floor or
by radio.

Different Types of AGVS

There are different types of automated guided vehicles that are able to cater
different service requirements. The vehicle types include:

AGVS towing vehicles

AGVS unit load transporters

AGVS pallet trucks

AGVS forklift trucks

AGVS light-load transporters

AGVS assembly line vehicles

The level of sophistication of the AGVS has increased to allow automatic

positioning and pickup and drop-off (P/D) of cargo, and they also perform P/D
services between machining work centers, storage racks, and the AS/RS. They
are also capable of two-way travel on the same path and real-time dispatching
under the control of the computer. The different types of AGVS are discussed in
the section to follow.

AGVS Towing Vehicle

AGVS towing vehicles were the earliest variety to be introduced. A towing

vehicle is an automated guided tractor. A wide variety of tractors can be used,
such as flatbed trailers, pallet trucks, custom trailers, and bin trailers. Different
types of loading equipment used for loading and unloading the trailer include an
AGV-pulled train, hand pallet truck, cranes, forklift truck, automatic transfer
equipment, manual labor, shuttle transfer, and programmed automatic loading
and unloading device.

AGVS Pallet Trucks

AGVS pallet trucks are designed to lift, maneuver, and transport palletized
loads. It is used for picking up or dropping off loads from and on to floor level,
than removing the need for fixed load stands. No special accessories are
needed for loading and unloading the AGVS pallet except that the loads should
be on a pallet. It is basically used in floor-level loading and unloading operation.
Loading and unloading can be done in two ways viz. automatically or manually.
For the transportation of load, the normal course followed by the vehicle is
determined by the storage area destination. Normal operations carried out in
pallet trucks are :

1. Loads are pulled off onto a spur,

2. Lowering of the pallet forks to the floor,

Pulling out from the pallet, and

1. Finally automatically returns empty to the loading area.

AGVS Forklift Trucks

An AGVS forklift truck has the capability to pick up and drop off palletized loads
both at floor level and on stands, and the pickup height can be different from the
drop-off height. They are capable of picking up and dropping off a palletized
load automatically. It has the ability to position its forks at any height so that
conveyors or load stands with different heights in the material-handling system
can be serviced. AGVs forklift trucks are one of the most expensive AGVS types.
Therefore, they are used in the case of full automation. The truck is accoutered
with sensors at the fork end, so that it can handle high-level stacking on its own.
These systems have the advantage of greater flexibility in integrating with other
subsystems with various loading and unloading heights throughout the material
handling system.

AGVS Light Load Transporters

They are applied in handling small, light parts over a moderate distance and
distribute the parts between storage and number of work stations.

AGVS Assembly-Line Vehicles

AGVS assembly line vehicles are an acclimatization of the light-load

transporters for applications involving serial assembly processes. The guided
vehicle carries major sub-assemblies such as motors, transmissions, or even
automobiles. As the vehicle moves from one station to the next, succeeding
assembly operations are performed. After the loading of part onto the vehicle,
the vehicle moves to an assembly area and stops for assembly. As the
assembly process is completed, the operator releases the vehicle that proceeds
to the next parts staging area for new parts. After that the vehicle moves
forward to the next assembly station. The process is repeated until the final
unloading station is reached.

The main advantage of the AGVS assembly line is its lower expense and ease of
installation compared with hard assembly lines. The line can be easily
reconfigured by altering the guide path and by reprogramming. Variable speeds
and dwell intervals can be easily programmed into the system. However, an
extensive planning and complex computer control is needed in the case of
overall integration. Some of the guiding factors determining the functioning of
the AGVS are :

1. Guidance Systems

2. Routing

AGVS Control Systems

1. Load Transfers

2. Interfacing with other subsystems

Guidance Systems for AGVS

The main purpose of a guidance system is to keep the vehicle in the

predestinated path. The main advantage of AGVS guidance system is that the
guide path can be changed easily at low cost compared to the high cost of
modifying fixed-path equipment such as conveyors, chains, and tow lines. Many
guidance systems are available and their selection will depend on need,
application, and environmental constraints. Some of the familiar guidance
systems are wire-guided guidance system, optical guidance system, inertial
guidance system, infrared guidance system, laser guidance system, and
teaching-type guidance system.

Routing of the AGVS

AGVS routing means determining how the vehicle conforms the path and takes
a shortest path between the two points. The commonly used methods are:
frequency selection method and the path switch selection method.

AGVS Control Systems

Three types of AGVS control systems are available.

Computer-controlled system

Remote dispatch control system

Manual control system

Computer Controlled System

Here, all the exchanges and AGVS vehicle movements are controlled and
monitored by the system controller. The guide path controller controls the guide
path of the AGVS and transfers the information to the AGVS process controller.
Movements of AGVS vehicle are directly controlled by the AGVS process

Remote Dispatch Control System

Here, a human operator controls the movement of AGVS through a remote

control station. The control system sends destination instructions directly to the

Manual Control System

In this type of system, the operator loads the vehicle and enters a destination
into the onboard control panel of the vehicle. The efficiency of the system
depends on the skill of the operator.

An automated storage/retrieval system (AS/RS) can be defined as a storage

system under which a defined degree of automation is to be implemented to
ensure precision accuracy and speed in performing storage and retrieval
operations. These automated storage and mechanized systems eliminate
human intervention in performing basic sets of operations that includes:

Removal of an item from a storage location automatically

Transferring the above item to a specific processing or interface point

After receiving an item from a processing or interface point, it is

automatically stored at a predetermined location.

A list of possible objectives that a company may want to achieve by installing an

automated storage system is presented in Table below.

Objectives for Installing an Automated Storage System in a Factory

Increasing the storage capacity

Increasing the stock rotation

Utilization of maximum floor space

Recovering the space for manufacturing facilities

Customer service to be improved

Control over inventories to be improved

Ensuring safety in storage function

Increasing the labour productivity in storage function

Reducing labour cost in storage operation

Reducing pilferage and improving security


An AS/RS consists of one or more storage aisles that are serviced by a

storage/retrieval (S/R) machine. The stored materials are held by storage racks
of aisles. The S/R machines are used to deliver and retrieve materials in and out
of inventory. There are one or more input/output stations in each AS/RS aisle for
delivering the material into the storage system or moving it out of the system. In
AS/RS terminology, the input/output stations are called pickup-and-deposit
(P&D) stations.

Generic Structure of as AS/RS

Storage Space

It is the three-dimensional space in the storage racks used to store a single load
unit of material.

Storage Racks

This structural entity comprises storage locations, bays and rows.


It is the height of the storage rack from floor to the ceiling.


It is a series of bays placed side by side.


It is the spacing between two rows for the machine operations of AS/RS.

Aisle Unit

It encompasses aisle space and racks adjacent to an aisle.

Storage Structure

It is the rack framework, made of fabricated steel that supports the loads
contained in the AS/RS and is used to store inventory items.

Storage/Retrieval Machine

It is used to move items in and out of inventory. An S/R machine is capable of

both horizontal and vertical movement. A rail system along the floor guides the
machine and a parallel rail at the top of the storage structure is used to maintain
its alignment.

Storage Modules

These are the unit load containers used to hold the inventory items. These
include pallets, steel wire baskets and containers, pans and special drawers.
These modules are generally made to a standard base size capable of being
stored in the structure and moved by the S/R machines.

Pickup and Deposit (P/D) Stations

P/D stations are where inventory are transferred into and out of the AS/RS. They
are generally located at the end of the aisles to facilitate easy access by the S/R
machines from the external material-handling system. The location and number
of P/D stations depends upon the origination point of incoming loads and the
destination of output loads.

Several important categories of AS/RS can be distinguished based on certain
features and applications. The following are the principle types:

Unit Load AS/RS

The unit load AS/RS is used to store and retrieve loads that are palletized or
stored in standard-sized containers. The system is computer controlled. The
S/R machines are automated and designed to handle the unit load containers.
Usually, a mechanical clamp mechanism on the S/R machine handles the load.
However, there are other mechanisms such as a vacuum or a magnet-based
mechanism for handling sheet metal. The loads are generally over 500 lb per
unit. The unit load system is the generic AS/RS.

Mini Load AS/RS

This system is designed to handle small loads such as individual parts, tools,
and supplies that are contained in bins or drawers in the storage system. Such a
system is applicable where the availability of space is limited. It also finds its
use where the volume is too low for a full-scale unit load system and too high
for a manual system. A mini load AS/RS is generally smaller than a unit load
AS/RS and is often enclosed for security of items stored.

Deep-lane AS/RS

This is a high-density unit load storage system that is appropriate for storing
large quantities of stock. The items are stored in multi deep storage with up to
10 items in a single rack, one load behind the next. Each rack is designed for
flow-through, with input and output on the opposite side. Machine is used on the
entry side of the rack for input load and loads are retrieved from other side by
an S/R- type machine. The S/R machines are similar to unit load S/R machine
except that it has specialized functions such as controlling rack-entry vehicles.

Man-on-board AS/RS

This system allows storage of items in less than unit load quantities. Human
operator rides on the carriage of the S/R machine to pick up individual items
from a bin or drawer. The system permits individual items to be picked directly
at their storage locations. This provides an opportunity to increase system
throughput. The operator can select the items and place them in a module. It is
then carried by the S/R machine to the end of the aisle or to a conveyor to reach
its destination.

Automated Item Retrieval System

This system is designed for retrieval of individual items or small product

cartoons. The items are stored in lanes rather than bins or drawers. When an
item is retrieved from the front by use of a rear-mounted pusher bar, it is
delivered to the pickup station by pushing it from its lane and dropping onto a
conveyor. The supply of items in each lane is periodically replenished and thus
permitting first-in/first-out inventory rotation. After moving itself to the correct
lane, the picking head activates the pusher mechanism to release the required
number of units from storage.


Lean manufacturing or lean production are reasonably new terms that can be
traced to Jim Womack, Daniel Jones and Daniel Roos book, The Machine that
changed the world [1991]. In the book, the authors examined the manufacturing
activities exemplified by the Toyota Production System. Lean manufacturing is
the systematic elimination of waste. As the name implies, lean is focused at
cutting fat from production activities. It has also been successfully applied to
administrative and engineering activities as well. Although lean manufacturing
is a relatively new term, many of the tools used in lean can be traced back to
Fredrick Taylor and the Gilbreaths at the turn of the 20th century. What Lean has
done is to package some well-respected industrial/manufacturing engineering
practices into a system that can work in virtually any environment.

The 3 Ms of Lean

Lean manufacturing is a Japanese method focused on 3Ms. These Ms are:

muda, the Japanese word for waste, mura, the Japanese word for inconsistency,
and muri, the Japanese word for unreasonableness. Muda specifically focuses
on activities to be eliminated. Within manufacturing, there are categories of
waste. Waste is broadly defined as anything that adds cost to the product
without adding value to it. Generally, muda (or waste) can be grouped into the
following categories:

1. Excess production and early production

2. Delays

3. Movement and transport

4. Poor process design

5. Inventory

6. Inefficient performance of a process

7. Making defective items

Definition of Lean

Half the hours of human effort in the factory

Half the defects in the finished product

One-third the hours of engineering effort

Half the factory space for the same output

A tenth or less of in-process inventories

This was an early definition of Lean

Excess production results in waste because it captures resources too early and
retains the value that is added until the product can be used (sold). In todays
highly changing society, many items produced before they can are sold to a
specific customer often go obsolete before demand is realized. This means that
a perfectly good product is often scrapped because it is obsolete. Producing a
product simply to keep a production resource busy (either machine, operator or
both) is a practice that should be avoided.

Delays, such as waiting for raw material, also result in the poor use of capacity
and increased delivery time. Raw materials and component parts should be
completed at approximately the time that they will be required by downstream
resources. Too early is not good, but late is even worse.

Movement and transportation should always be kept to a minimum. Material

handling is a non-value added process that can result in three outcomes:

1) The product ends up at the right place at the right time and in good condition.

2) The part ends up in the wrong place.

3) The part is damaged in transit and requires rework or scrap.

Two of the three outcomes are no desirable, which further leads to minimizing
handling. Because material handling occurs between all operations, when
possible, the handling should be integrated into the process, and the transport
distances minimized.

A poorly designed process results in overuse of manufacturing resources (men

and machines). There are no perfect processes in manufacturing. Generally,
process improvements are made regularly with new efficiencies embedded
within the process. Continuous process improvement is a critical part of Lean

Excess inventory reduces profitability. Today, it is not uncommon for a

manufacturer to store a suppliers product at the production site. The supplier,
right up until the time that they are drawn from inventory, owns the materials. In
many ways this is advantageous to both the user and supplier. The supplier
warehouses his material offsite, and the user does need to commit capital to a
large safety stock of material.

Insufficient (or poor) process performance always results in the over utilization
of manufacturing resources and a more costly product. There is no optimal
process in that improvements can always be made; however, many processes
operate far below the desired efficiency. Continuous process improvement is
necessary for a manufacturing firm to remain competitive. Excess movement or
unnecessary part handling should be the first targets of waste elimination.

Poor quality (making defects) is never desirable. Labor and material waste
results from producing any defect. Furthermore, the cost of mitigating poor
quality (rework) can often exceed the price of the product. A critical balance
between processing speed and quality exists. A process should be run as fast
as possible without sacrificing acceptable quality.

From the above discussion, it should be obvious that waste is a constant enemy
of manufacturing. Waste elimination should be an on-going process that
focuses on improving a process regularly. Regular reviews and worker input
should be conducted as often as allowable.

The second M is for mura, or inconsistency. Inconsistency is a problem that

increases the variability of manufacturing. Mura is evidenced in all
manufacturing activities ranging from processing to material handling to
engineering to management.

The 5 Ss of Lean

Much of Lean manufacturing is applying common sense to manufacturing

environments. In implementing Lean, 5 Ss are frequently used to assist in the
organization of manufacturing. The 5 Ss are from Japanese and are:

Seiri (sort, necessary items)

Seiton (set-in-order, efficient placement)

Seison (sweep, cleanliness)

Seiketsu (standardize, cont. improvement)

Shitsuke (sustain, discipline)


World-class performance is a moving target that requires constant attention,

effort and the process is a never ending journey. In the past, economies of scale
ruled the manufacturing world and everybody knew that mass production and
full utilization of plant capacity was the way to make money. This style of
manufacturing resulted in inflexible plants that could not be easily reconfigured,
and were associated with swollen raw materials, work-in-process and finished
goods inventories. For the elimination of excess inventory, shortened lead-times,
requirement of flexibility in the flow lines and to enhance the advanced levels of
quality in both products and customer service, industry analysts have
popularized the terms `world-class manufacturing and agile manufacturing.

Facing the competitive market, industrial manufacturers are hard pressed to

adopt novel strategies and technologies to enhance product quality, to cut
manufacturing cost and to reduce product lead time. Agile Manufacturing is
primarily a business concept. Its aim is quite simple to put our enterprises
way out in front of our primary competitors. In Agile Manufacturing, our aim is to
combine our organization, people and technology into an integrated and
coordinated whole. Agile manufacturing can be defined as the capability to
survive and prosper in a competitive environment of continuous and
unpredictable change by reacting quickly and effectively to changing markets,
driven by customer-designed products and services.

The concept of agility refers to a business model which makes an organization

immune to damage caused by unpredictable events and changing
circumstances. This is achieved by the organization being able to react and
adapt rapidly. The coming surprises of the future will not make an agile
enterprise vulnerable because that enterprise will have already put in place a set
of business practices, organization-wide culture changes and technology which
will allow it to be prepared for any change in circumstances, market forces or
customer needs. Agile Manufacturing is a combination of speed and flexibility
that is difficult to achieve because it requires radical changes to traditional

The concept of Agile Manufacturing is built around the synthesis of a number of

enterprises that each have some core skills or competencies which they bring to
a joint venturing operation, which is based on using each partners facilities and
resources. Central to the ability to form these joint ventures is the deployment of
advanced information technologies and the development of highly nimble
organizational structures to support highly skilled, knowledgeable and
empowered people. Agile Manufacturing builds on what is good in lean
manufacturing and uses what can be adapted to western cultures, but it also
adds the power of the individual and the opportunities afforded by new

Agile Manufacturing enterprises will be capable of rapidly responding to

changes in customer demand. They will be able to take advantage of the
windows of opportunities that, from time to time, appear in the market place.
With Agile Manufacturing it is possible to develop new ways of interacting with
customers and suppliers. The customers will not only be able to gain access to
the products and services, but will also be able to easily access and exploit the
competencies, so enabling them to use these competencies to achieve the
things that they are seeking. The goal of this paper is to review several different
aspects of agile manufacturing (AM) and to identify key aspects of agile
manufacturing and outlook for the future of agile manufacturing technologies.

Comparison of Agile manufacturing and other manufacturing methods:

In traditional manufacturing system the long cycle time is with the high
inventory which causes delay in the goods delivery. The problem here is the lack
of strategy and no employee involvement and financial secrecy and record
inaccuracy. In the context of world class manufacturing the advantages are long
term profitability, productivity improvement and less time to market in contrast
to the traditional manufacturing system. The agile manufacturing system
focuses in the integration of design and manufacturing and every aspect of
manufacturing under one roof.
In Contrast to the traditional manufacturing strategy, the agile manufacturing
concentrates on the customer enrichment, competitiveness through co-
operation and this could be achieved by integration of the people, information
and technology on a same roof. This could also be achieved by highly educated
and trained workforce. Enhancing the competitiveness among the competitors
and built the cooperation from all the enterprises and thus influence the
knowledge sharing and sharing the technological innovations.

Needs of agile manufacturing system

The key to agility however, lies in several places. An agile enterprise needs
highly skilled and knowledgeable people who are flexible, motivated and
responsive to change. An agile enterprise also needs new forms of
organizational structures which engender non-hierarchical management

styles and also stimulate and support individuals as well as cooperation and
team working. Agile manufacturing enterprises also need advanced computer
based technologies to integrate information and to share the knowledge base.
To achieve Agile Manufacturing, enterprises will have to bring together a wide
range of knowledge in the design of a manufacturing system that encompasses
suppliers, customers. It should also addresses all dimensions of the system
including organization, people, technology, management accounting practices,
etc. Most importantly the inter-related nature of all these areas needs to be
recognized and an interdisciplinary manufacturing systems design method
adopted as standard practice. This means going beyond the multidisciplinary
approaches that are currently being adopted and looking at areas between

Challenges of Agile manufacturing

Interdisciplinary design will form the basis of designing Agile Manufacturing

systems in the new knowledge intensive era. Interdisciplinary design however,
means more than just applying knowledge from other domains, such as
psychology and organizational science, to the design of Agile Manufacturing
systems. It also implies looking into the unexplored areas between these
disciplines and the areas where they overlap, to find a new insights, new
knowledge, new and original solutions. This is one of the most important
challenges that managers and system designers and integrators will face in the
years ahead. The interdisciplinary design leads us to new approaches and new
ways of working and of thinking. However, to successfully adopt an
interdisciplinary design method, we also need to:

Challenge the present design strategies and develop new and better

Question the established and cherished beliefs and theories, and develop
new ones to replace those that no longer have any validity;

Consider how to address organization, people and technology, and other

issues in the design of manufacturing systems, so that the systems can
achieve the better performance for the agile manufacturing environment and
for the people who form a part of this system.

Make use of the innovative technology in a way that makes human skill,
knowledge, and intelligence more effective and productive which allows
industries to tap into the creativity and talent of all people in an enterprise.

The challenges that face with respect to all these issues are enormous. In the
world of manufacturing the challenges and problems are very complex. There
are a massive number of interconnections between the various components
and elements. A manufacturing enterprise is so complex that, in the past, it has
been impossible to cope with it as a whole, and it has been necessary to reduce
it into manageable areas which have tended to be examined separately.

Agile Manufacturing World Wide Scenario

The Agile Manufacturing Enterprise Forum (AMEF) at the Iacocca Institute of

Lehigh University was created to disseminate the ideas of agile manufacturing
and to increase the pace and scope of the transition to an agile manufacturing
industry. The Agile Manufacturing Initiative aims to develop, demonstrate, and
evaluate the advanced design, manufacturing and business transaction
processes in the agile environment. The Concurrent Technologies Corp. (CTC)
is developing an agile manufacturing test bed to provide Department of Defense
(DoD) with increased weapon system readiness and added system mobility. The
Agile Aerospace Manufacturing Research Center (AAMRC) at the University of
Texas at Arlington is conducting research on agile business practices, business
process identification and characterization, and enabling technologies. The
Manufacturing Research, Education and Outreach Program at the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is developing computer integrated manufacturing
and machine tool systems. The Electronic Agile Manufacturing Research
Institute (EAMRI) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is focusing on
electronics product realization in distributed manufacturing environments using
improved information infrastructures and architectures. Agile manufacturing
makes use of modern information technology to form virtual enterprises, which
agilely respond to the changing market demands. A virtual enterprise, different
from a traditional enterprise, is constructed by partners from different
companies, who collaborate with each other to design and manufacture high
quality and customized products. It is product-oriented; team-collaboration
styled, and featured as fast and flexible. Frequent and dynamic interactions
among partners in agile manufacturing enterprises entail the crucial role of an
Agile Manufacturing Information System (AMIS). It is up to the AMIS to provide
partners with integrated and consistent information, as well as to manage
partner transactions accessing the information.

Transition to Agile Manufacturing

All the relevant dimensions of Agile manufacturing, such as organization,

people, technology, management accounting, etc. are however, all written in
different books and taught by different people. To make the transition to Agile
Manufacturing we need to:

Examine and define the underlying conceptual framework on which Agile

Manufacturing enterprises will be built.

Explore and understand the nature of the mass production paradigm and the
nature of the cultural and methodological difficulties involved in the
transition to Agile Manufacturing.

Define a methodology for designing a 21st century manufacturing

enterprise. The agile manufacturing is based on a systems perspective o
technology, organization and people, tied to clear business vision and goals.
This will help the researchers to understand the full complexity of designing
a 21st century manufacturing enterprise that is agile manufacturing system.

Characteristics of Agile Manufacturing

The characteristics of agile manufacturing are at the strategic level where

strategic dimensions of agile manufacturing are identified as follows:

1. Enriching the customer an agile company is one that is perceived by its

customers as enriching them in a significant way, not only itself
2. Cooperating to enhance competitiveness cooperation internally and with
other companies is an agile competitors operational strategy of first choice

3. Organizing to master change and uncertainty an agile company is

organized in such a way as to allow it to thrive on change and uncertainty, its
structure is flexible enough to allow rapid configuration of human and
physical resources;

4. Leveraging the impact of people and information an agile companys

management nurtures an entrepreneurial company culture that leverages the
impact of people and information on operations.

From these strategic dimensions of agility, one can move to consider the tactical
and technological dimensions. In this effort, the AMRIs are concerned with
research and development efforts to better understand the enabling
technologies for agile manufacturing.

The benefits of Agile Manufacturing are Short time-to market, fast new product
development, Short/fast order processing, Low volumes, Low quantities, High
product mix, Configurable components, Fast supplier deliveries, Short lead
times, Short cycle times, Highly flexible and responsive processes, Highly
flexible machines and equipment, Use of advanced CAD/CAM, Quick
changeover, Empowered employees.

Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems

In an era when new product styles are being introduced with ever-shortening life
cycles, the cost of designing, building, and installing a new manufacturing
system every time a new part or product must be produced is becoming
prohibitive, both in terms of time and money. One alternative is to reuse and
reconfigure components of the original system in a new manufacturing system.
In modern manufacturing engineering practice, even single model
manufacturing systems are being built with features that enable them to be
changed over to new product styles when this becomes necessary. These kinds
of features include:

Ease of mobility. Machine tools and other production machines designed

with a three point base that allows them be readily lifted and moved by a
crane or forklift truck. The three-point base facilitates leveling of the
machine after moving

Modular design of system components. This permits hardware components

from different machine builders to be connected together

Open architecture in computer controls. This permits data interchange

between software packages from different vendors.

CNC Even though the production machines in the system are dedicated to
one product, they are nevertheless computer numerical controlled to allow
for upgrades in software, engineering changes in the part currently produced,
and changeover of the equipment when the production run finally ends



The holonic concept was developed by the philosopher Arthur Koestler in order
to explain the evolution of biological and social systems. On the one hand, these
systems develop stable intermediate forms during evolution that are self-reliant.
On the other hand, in living and organizational systems it is difficult to
distinguish between wholes and parts: almost everything is both a whole and
a part, at the same time. These observations led Koestler to propose the word
holon, which is a combination of the Greek word holos, meaning whole, and
the Greek suffix on, meaning particle or part, as in proton or neutron. Koestler
observed that, in living organisms and in social organizations, which are entirely
self-supporting, noninteracting entities did not exist. Every identifiable unit of
organization, such as a single cell in an animal or family unit in a society,
comprises more basic units (plasma and nucleus, parents and siblings), while
at the same time forming a part of a larger unit of organization (a muscle tissue
or a community). The strength of holonic organization, or holarchy, is that it
enables the construction of very complex systems that are nonetheless efficient
in the use of resources, highly resilient to disturbance (both internal and
external), and adaptable to changes in the environment in which they exist.
Within a holarchy, holons may dynamically create and change hierarchies.
Moreover, holons may participate in multiple hierarchies simultaneously.
Holarchies are recursive in the sense that a holon may itself be an entire
holarchy that acts as an autonomous and cooperative unit in the first holarchy.

The stability of holons and holarchies stems from holons being self-reliant
units, which have a degree of independence and handle circumstances and
problems on their particular level of existence without asking higher-level holons
for assistance.
Holons can also receive instructions from and, to a certain extent, be controlled
by higher-level holons. This self-reliant characteristic ensures that holons are
stable and able to survive disturbance. The subordination to higher-level holons
ensures the effective operation of the larger whole.

Holonic Manufacturing Systems HMS

The application of holonic concepts to manufacturing was initially motivated by

the inability of existing manufacturing systems

To deal with the evolution of products within an existing production facility


To maintain satisfactory performance levels outside normal operating

conditions. Suda introduced the concept of holonic manufacturing in the
early 1990s to address the challenge for manufacturing in the 21st century.

Teams of industry experts, scientists, and engineers from the worlds leading
industrial nations worked together from 1992 to 1994 to build and test a
framework for international collaboration in intelligent manufacturing systems
(IMS). The experiences of teams coming together from Australia, Canada,
Europe, Japan and the USA to work for one year on collaborative test case
projects formed part of a two-year feasibility study that began in February 1992.
This feasibility study proved that this kind of international collaboration could
achieve significant results in a relatively short time.

A holonic manufacturing system is based on the concept of holonic systems,

developed by Arthur Koestler. Holons in a holonic manufacturing systems assist
the operator in controlling the system: holons autonomously select appropriate
parameter settings, find their own strategies and build their own structure.
Koestler also points out that holons are autonomous self-reliant units, which
have a degree of independence and handle contingencies without asking higher
authorities for instructions. Simultaneously, holons are subject to control from
(multiple) higher authorities. The first property ensures that holons are stable
forms, which survive disturbances. The latter property signifies that they are
intermediate forms, which provide the proper functionality for the greater whole.
Finally, Koestler defines a holarchy as a hierarchy of self-regulating holons that

1. As autonomous wholes in supra ordination to their parts,

2. As dependent parts in subordination to controls on higher levels,

3. In coordination with their local environment.

Work in the HMS program has translated these concepts to the manufacturing
world, viewing the manufacturing system as one consisting of autonomous
modules (holons) with distributed control. The goal is to attain the benefits that
holonic organization provides to living organisms and societies, in
manufacturing, i.e., stability in the face of disturbances, adaptability and
flexibility in the face of change, and efficient use of available resources. The
HMS concept combines the best features of hierarchical and heterarchical
organization. It preserves the stability of hierarchy while providing the dynamic
flexibility of heterarchy. The HMS consortium developed the following list of
definitions to help understand and guide the translation of holonic concepts into
a manufacturing setting

Holonic Manufacturing Systems Holon: An autonomous and cooperative

building block of a manufacturing system for transforming, transporting, storing
and/or validating information and physical objects. The holon consists of an
information processing part and often a physical processing part. Figure below
shows the holon general architecture widely used in the field. A holon can be
part of another holon.

Autonomy: The capability of an entity to create and control the execution of

its own plans and/or strategies.

Cooperation: A process whereby a set of entities develops mutually

acceptable plans and executes those plans.

Holarchy: A system of holons that can cooperate to achieve a goal or

objective. The holarchy defines the basic rules for the cooperation of the
holons and thereby limits their autonomy.

Holonic manufacturing system: a holarchy that integrates the entire range of

manufacturing activities from order booking through design, production, and
marketing to realize the agile manufacturing enterprise.
Holon general architecture

Holon Architecture

A manufacturing control system for production processes is composed of

software modules as well as different physical elements of the manufacturing
environment: resources, products, client work orders, coordination operations,
etc. The software module and the physical entity, bonded by means of an
appropriate communication network, represent a holon in a manufacturing
system. Every such holon will be able to reason, make decisions, and
communicate interactively with other holons. The number and types of software
modules, and the way this software part and the physical entities are
interconnected, define the different holon architectures approaches. The first
holon general architecture was proposed by Christensen in 1994. Figure above
shows the two main components of this architecture: physical processing part
and information processing part. The physical processing part is optional. Some
examples of holons without a physical processing part are work-order holons,
planning holons, scheduler holons, etc. The physical processing part is divided
into: the physical processing itself, which is the hardware that executes the
manufacturing operation; and the physical control, a controller (NC, CNC, DNC,
and PLC) that controls the hardware operation. The information processing part
is made up of three modules: the holons kernel or decision making, which is in
charge of the holons reasoning capabilities and decision making; the inter
holon interface, for the communication and interaction with other holons, and;
the human interface, for input (operation commands) and output (state
monitoring) data for humans.

Agent-Based Manufacturing Systems

An agent-based architecture for the information processing part of Christensen

general architecture is proposed. This proposal is based on the holonic vision of
autonomous and cooperation entities. Three main aspects guide this approach.
Firstly, holons are entities with autonomous control over the machine behavior
they are associated with. Holons may create and execute their own plans and
follow their own strategies. This autonomous behavior implies some kind of
decision-making component that guides the holon physical control. Secondly,
two or more holons are able to cooperate when and wherever it is necessary. To
do this, these holons are able to figure out cooperation opportunities, make
cooperation or negotiation commitments, and finally to execute the cooperation
committed to. Thirdly, holons are able to act in multiple organizations called
holarchies and these holarchies are created and modified dynamically. Creating
a holarchy means to aggregate the manufacturing process or the controlling
process in order to enhance productivity. This implies work and responsibility
distribution, and the definition of interaction patterns, which means that holons
are able to figure out opportunities for reorganization, negotiate reorganization,
and follow the interaction patterns. The inclusion of these components into the
general architecture of Christensen led the authors to propose the agent-
oriented architecture in figure below. In order to figure out physical behavior and
taking into account the current situation, the holon chooses the appropriate
plans and strategies in order to reach its long-terms goals. These plans and
strategies are communicated from the decision-making module to the behavior
control in order to translate them into hardware operations. On the other hand,
the cooperation interactions are initiated by the decision-making module and
executed by the specific cooperation techniques using the communication
techniques (domain ontologies and languages). In order to reorganize the
manufacturing controlling processes the holon needs techniques. These
techniques are used to monitor other component actions and to analyze the
controlling process. In this way, the holons can figure out opportunities for
improvement and can start a negotiation process for reorganization
(organization techniques) that is executed by means of cooperation standards.

Holon agent-based architecture

The Keele University HMS research group proposes a holon architecture using
agents and function blocks. A manufacturing holon is usually composed of
knowledge and software modules, as well as an optional hardware component.
In terms of functionality, a holon may be considered a composition of an
intelligent controlling system (head) and a processing system ( base). The head
of the holon is based on an agent architecture made up of modules. The
elements of the intelligent controlling system are: the PMC (process/machine
control) executes controlling plans for the running processes; the PMI
(process/machine interface) provides the logic and physical interface for the
processing system through a communication net; the HI (human interface)
provides the human-readable interface; the IHI (inter holon interface) is in
charge of inter holonic communication. The processing system incorporates all
the processing modules needed to carry out the production activities. In this
way, the ICS lets the holon supply the production facilities as autonomous
subsystems in coordination with the environment and with other holons. The
processing system is responsible for the manufacturing functions defined by
the operation rules and strategies imposed by the ICS.

Holon Architecture Based On Agents And Function Blocks





24 September, 2016


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