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AN OVERVIEW OF CNC MACHINES ( 1 ) Historical Perspective The word NC which stands for numerical control refer to control of a machine

or a process using symbolic codes consisting of characters and numerals. The word CNC came into existence in seventies when microprocessors and microcomputers replaced integrated circuit IC based controls used for NC machines. The development of numerical control owes much to the United States air force. The concept of NC was proposed in the late 1940s by John Parsons who recommended a method of automatic machine control that would guide a milling cutter to produce a curvilinear motion in order to generate smooth profiles on the work-pieces. In 1949, the U.S Air Force awarded Parsons a contract to develop new type of machine tool that would be able to speed up production methods. Parsons sub-contracted the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop a practical implementation of his concept. Scientists and engineers at M.I.T built a control system for a two axis milling machine that used a perforated paper tape as the input media. This prototype was produced by retrofitting a conventional tracer mill with numerical control servomechanisms for the three axes of the machine. By 1955, these machines were available to industries with some small modifications. The machine tool builders gradually began developing their own projects to introduce commercial NC units. Also, certain industry users, especially airframe builders, worked to devise numerical control machines to satisfy their own particular production needs. The Air force continued its encouragement of NC development by sponsoring additional research at MIT to design a part programming language that could be used in controlling N.C. machines. In a short period of time, all the major machine tool manufacturers were producing some machines with NC, but it was not until late 1970s that computer-based NC became widely used. NC matured as an automation technology when electronics industry developed new products. At first, miniature electronic tubes were developed, but the controls were big, bulky, and not very reliable. Then solid-state circuitry and eventually modular or integrated circuits were developed. The control unit became smaller, more reliable, and less expensive. (2) Computer Numerical Control Computer numerical control (CNC) is the numerical control system in which a dedicated computer is built into the control to perform basic and advanced NC functions. CNC controls are also referred to as soft-wired NC systems because most of their control functions are implemented by the control software programs. CNC is a computer assisted process to control general purpose machines from instructions generated by a processor and stored in a memory system. It is a specific form of control system where position is the principal controlled variable. All numerical control machines manufactured since the seventies are of CNC type. The computer allows for the following: storage of additional programs, program editing, running of program from memory, machine and control diagnostics, special routines, inch/metric, incremental/absolute switchability. CNC machines can be used as stand alone units or in a network of machines such as flexible machine centres. The controller uses a permanent resident program called an executive program to process the codes into the electrical pulses that control the machine. In any CNC machine, executive program resides in ROM and all the NC codes in RAM. The information in ROM is written into the electronic chips and cannot be erased and they become active whenever the machine is on. The contents in RAM are lost when the controller is turned off. Some use special type of RAM called CMOS memory, which retains its contents even when the power is turned off. 1|Page

Figure 21.1: CNC milling machine ( 1.3 ) Direct Numerical Control In a Direct Numerical Control system (DNC), a mainframe computer is used to coordinate the simultaneous operations of a number NC machines as shown in the figures 21.2 & 21.3. The main tasks performed by the computer are to program and edit part programs as well as download part programs to NC machines. Machine tool controllers have limited memory and a part program may contain few thousands of blocks.So the program is stored in a separate computer and sent directly to the machine, one block at a time. First DNC system developed was Molins System 24 in 1967 by Cincinnati Milacron and General Electric. They are now referred to as flexible manufacturing systems (FMS). The computers that were used at those times were quite expensive.

Figure 21.2: DNC system


Figure 21.3: DNC system 21.4 Advantages & Disadvantages of CNC machine tools

Figure 21.4 (a) Manually operated milling

Figure 21.4 (b) Computer controlled machine milling machine


Some of the dominant advantages of the CNC machines are:

CNC machines can be used continuously and only need to be switched off for occasional maintenance. These machines require less skilled people to operate unlike manual lathes / milling machines etc. CNC machines can be updated by improving the software used to drive the machines. Training for the use of CNC machines can be done through the use of 'virtual software'. The manufacturing process can be simulated virtually and no need to make a prototype or a model. This saves time and money. Once programmed, these machines can be left and do not require any human intervention, except for work loading and unloading. These machines can manufacture several components to the required accuracy without any fatigue as in the case of manually operated machines. Savings in time that could be achieved with the CNC machines are quite significant. Some of the disadvantages of the CNC machines are:

CNC machines are generally more expensive than manually operated machines. The CNC machine operator only needs basic training and skills, enough to supervise several machines. Increase in electrical maintenance, high initial investment and high per hour operating costs than the traditional systems. Fewer workers are required to operate CNC machines compared to manually operated machines. Investment in CNC machines can lead to unemployment.

( 5 ) Applications of NC/CNC machine tools CNC was initially applied to metal working machinery: Mills, Drills, boring machines, punch presses etc and now expanded to robotics, grinders, welding machinery, EDM's, flame cutters and also for inspection equipment etc. The machines controlled by CNC can be classified into the following categories: CNC mills and machining centres.

CNC lathes and turning centers CNC EDM CNC grinding machines CNC cutting machines (laser, plasma, electron, or flame) CNC fabrication machines (sheet metal punch press, bending machine, or press brake) CNC welding machines CNC coordinate measuring machines


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

Figure 21.5(a) Cantilever type CMM

Figure 21.5(b) Gantry type CMM


(6 ) CNC welding machines:

Figure 21.6 4 axis CNC Tig welding machine The salient features of CNC welding machines are:

Superior quality and weld precision. These machines are also equipped with rotary tables. Weld moves, welding feed rate, wire feed, torch heights & welding current can be programmed. CNC welding machines are used for laser welding, welding of plastics, submerged arc welding, wire welding machines, butt welding, flash butt welding etc. These machines are generally used in automobile work shops Cost of these machines will be twice than the conventional welding machines.

CNC EDM & WEDM machines: EDM is a nontraditional machining method primarily used to machine hard metals that could not be machined by traditional machining methods. Material removal will be taking place by a series of electric arcs discharging across the gap between the electrode and the work piece. There are two main types- ram EDM & wire cut EDM. In wire-cut EDM, a thin wire is fed through the work piece and is constantly fed from a spool and is held between upper and lower guides. These guides move in the x-y plane and are precisely controlled by the CNC. Wire feed rate is also controlled by the CNC.



Figure 21.6 (b) Wire cut EDM

( 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 controls. ( 1.1) 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. ( 1.2) 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 7|Page

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.

Figure 22.1 (a) Point-to-point system

Figure 22.1 (b) Contouring system

Figure 22.1 (c) Contouring systems 22.2 Based on the control loops ' Open loop & Closed loop systems 22.2.1 Open loop systems: Programmed instructions are fed into the c ontroller 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.


Figure 22.2 (a) Open loop control system Figure 22.2 (b) Closed loop control system Courtesy: Courtesy:

Figure 22.2 (c) Open loop system 22.2.1 Closed loop systems: The closed-loop system has a feedback subsystem to monitor the actual output and correct any discrepancy from the programmed input. These systems use position and velocity feed back. The feedback system could be either analog or digital. The analog systems measure the variation of physical variables such as position and velocity in terms of voltage levels. Digital systems monitor output variations by means of electrical pulses. To control the dynamic behavior and the final position of the machine slides, a variety of position transducers are employed. Majority of CNC systems operate on servo mechanism, a closed loop principle. If a discrepancy is revealed between where the machine element should be and where it actually is, the sensing device signals the driving unit to make an adjustment, bringing the movable component to the required location. Closed-loop systems are very powerful and accurate because they are capable of monitoring operating conditions through feedback subsystems and automatically compensating for any variations in real-time.


Figure 22.2 (d) Closed loop system

(3 ) Based on the number of axes ' 2, 3, 4 & 5 axes CNC machines. ( 3.1) 2& 3 axes CNC machines: CNC lathes will be coming under 2 axes machines. There will be two axes along which motion takes place. The saddle will be moving longitudinally on the bed (Z-axis) and the cross slide moves transversely on the saddle (along X-axis). In 3-axes machines, there will be one more axis, perpendicular to the above two axes. By the simultaneous control of all the 3 axes, complex surfaces can be machined. ( 3.2 ) 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.

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Figure 22.3 Five axes CNC machine 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.

(3.3) Turning centre: Traditional centre lathes have horizontal beds. The saddle moves longitudinally and the cross slide moves transversely. Although the tools can be clearly seen, the operator must lean over the tool post to position them accurately. Concentration of chips may be creating a heat source and there may be temperature gradients in the machine tool. Keeping the above points in view, developments in the structure of the turning centres lead to the positioning the saddle and the cross slide behind the spindle on a slant bed as shown in the figure 22.4. Chips fall freely because of slant bed configuration which is more ergonomically acceptable from operator's point of view.

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Figure 22.4 Slant bed turning centre 22.4 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.

22.4.1 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 12 | P a g e

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. 22.4.2 Hydraulic systems: These hydraulic systems may be used with positioning and contouring machine tools of all sizes. These systems may be either in the form of rams or motors. Hydraulic motors are smaller than electric motors of equivalent power. There are several types of hydraulic motors. The advantage of using hydraulic motors is that they can be very small and have considerable torque. This means that they may be incorporated in servosystems which require having a rapid response.

( 1 ) Different components related to CNC machine tools Any CNC machine tool essentially consists of the following parts: ( 1.1 ) Part program: A part program is a series of coded instructions required to produce a part. It controls the movement of the machine tool and on/off control of auxiliary functions such as spindle rotation and coolant. The coded instructions are composed of letters, numbers and symbols. ( 1.2 ) Program input device: The program input device is the means for part program to be entered into the CNC control. Three commonly used program input devices are punch tape reader, magnetic tape reader, and computer via RS-232-C communication. ( 1.3 ) Machine Control Unit: The machine control unit (MCU) is the heart of a CNC system. It is used to perform the following functions:

To read the coded instructions. To decode the coded instructions. To implement interpolations (linear, circular, and helical) to generate axis motion commands. To feed the axis motion commands to the amplifier circuits for driving the axis mechanisms. To receive the feedback signals of position and speed for each drive axis. To implement auxiliary control functions such as coolant or spindle on/off and tool change.

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( 1.4 ) Drive System: A drive system consists of amplifier circuits, drive motors, and ball lead-screws. The MCU feeds the control signals (position and speed) of each axis to the amplifier circuits. The control signals are augmented to actuate drive motors which in turn rotate the ball lead-screws to position the machine table. ( 1.5 ) Machine Tool: CNC controls are used to control various types of machine tools. Regardless of which type of machine tool is controlled, it always has a slide table and a spindle to control of position and speed. The machine table is controlled in the X and Y axes, while the spindle runs along the Z axis. ( 1.6 ) Feed Back System: The feedback system is also referred to as the measuring system. It uses position and speed transducers to continuously monitor the position at which the cutting tool is located at any particular instant. The MCU uses the difference between reference signals and feedback signals to generate the control signals for correcting position and speed errors. ( 2 ) Machine axes designation Machine axes are designated according to the "right-hand rule", When the thumb of right hand points in the direction of the positive X axis, the index finger points toward the positive Y axis, and the middle finger toward the positive Z axis. Figure 10 shows the right-hand rule applied to vertical machines, while Figure 23.1 applies to horizontal machines.

Figure 23.1: Right hand rule for vertical and horizontal machine

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CNC SYSTEMS - ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS (1) Power units In machine tools, power is generally required for

For driving the main spindle For driving the saddles and carriages. For providing power for some ancillary units.

The motors used for CNC system are of two kinds

Electrical - AC , DC or Stepper motors Fluid - Hydraulic or Pneumatic

Electric motors are by far the most common component to supply mechanical input to a linear motion system. Stepper motors and servo motors are the popular choices in linear motion machinery due to their accuracy and controllability. They exhibit favourable torque-speed characteristics and are relatively inexpensive. (1.1) Stepper motors Stepper motors convert digital pulse and direction signals into rotary motion and are easily controlled. Although stepper motors can be used in combination with analog or digital feedback signals, they are usually used without feedback (open loop). Stepper motors require motor driving voltage and control electronics. The rotor of a typical hybrid stepper motor has two soft iron cups that surround a permanent magnet which is axially magnetized. The rotor cups have 50 teeth on their surfaces and guide the flux through the rotor- stator air gap. In most cases, the teeth of one set are offset from the teeth of the other by one-half tooth pitch for a two phase stepper motor.

Figure 24.1 Unipolar and Bipolar Stepper Motor 15 | P a g e

The stator generally has the same number of teeth as the rotor, but can have two fewer depending upon the motor's design. When the teeth on the stator pole are energized with North polarity, the corresponding teeth on the rotor with South polarity align with them. Similarly, teeth on the stator pole energized with South polarity attract corresponding teeth on the rotor that are energized with North polarity. By changing the polarity of neighbouring stator teeth one after the other in a rotating sequence, the rotor begins to turn correspondingly as its teeth try to align themselves with the stator teeth. The strength of the magnetic fields can be precisely controlled by the amount of current through the windings, thus the position of the rotor can be precisely controlled by these attractive and repulsive forces. There are many advantages to using stepper motors. Since maximum dynamic torque occurs at low pulse rates (low speeds), stepper motors can easily accelerate a load. Stepper motors have large holding torque and stiffness, so there is usually no need for clutches and brakes (unless a large external load is acting, such as gravity). Stepper motors are inherently digital. The number of pulses determines position while the pulse frequency determines velocity. Additional advantages are that they are inexpensive, easily and accurately controlled, and there are no brushes to maintain. Also, they offer excellent heat dissipation, and they are very stiff motors with high holding torques for their size. The digital nature of stepper motors also eliminates tuning parameters. There are disadvantages associated with stepper motors. One of the largest disadvantages is that the torque decreases as velocity is increased. Because most stepper motors operate open loop with no position sensing devices, the motor can stall or lose position if the load torque exceeds the motor's available torque. Open loop stepper motor systems should not be used for high-performance or highload applications, unless they are significantly derated. Another drawback is that damping may be required when load inertia is very high to prevent motor shaft oscillation at resonance points. Finally, stepper motors may perform poorly in high-speed applications. The maximum steps/sec rate of the motor and drive system should be considered, carefully. ( 1.2) Servo Motors Servo motors are more robust than stepper motors, but pose a more difficult control problem. They are primarily used in applications where speed, power, noise level as well as velocity and positional accuracy are important. Servo motors are not functional without sensor feedback. They are designed and intended to be applied in combination with resolvers, tachometers, or encoders (closed loop). There are several types of servo motors, and three of the more common types are described as follows. The DC brush type servo motors are most commonly found in low-end to mid-range CNC machinery. The "brush" refers to brushes that pass electric current to the rotor of the rotating core of the motor. The construction consists of a magnet stator outside and a coil rotor inside. A brush DC motor has more than one coil. Each coil is angularly displaced from one another so when the torque from one coil has dropped off, current is automatically switched to another coil which is properly located to produce maximum torque. The switching is accomplished mechanically by the brushes and a commutator as shown below. There are distinct advantages to using DC brush servo motors. They are very inexpensive to apply. The motor commutates itself with the brushes and it appears as a simple, two-terminal device that is easily controlled. Among the disadvantages it is the fact that they are thermally inefficient, because the heat 16 | P a g e

must dissipate through the external magnets. This condition reduces the torque to volume ratio, and the motor performance may suffer inefficiencies. Also, the brushed motor will require maintenance, as the brushes will wear and need replacement. Brushed servo motors are usually operated under 5000 rpm. The DC brushless type offers a higher level of performance. They are often referred to as "inside out" DC motors because of their design. The windings of a brushless motor are located in the outer portion of the motor (stator), and the rotor is constructed from permanent magnets as shown below. DC brushless motors are typically applied to high-end CNC machinery, but the future may see midrange machinery use brushless technology due to the narrowing cost gap. AC servo motors are another variety that offers high-end performance. Their physical construction is similar to that of the brushless DC motor; however, there are no magnets in the AC motor. Instead, both the rotor and stator are constructed from coils. Again, there are no brushes or contacts anywhere in the motor which means they are maintenance-free. They are capable of delivering very high torque at very high speeds; they are very light and there is no possibility of demagnetization. However, due to the electronic commutation, they are extremely complex and expensive to control. Perhaps the largest advantage of using servo motors is that they are used in closed loop form, which allows for very accurate position information and also allows for high output torque to be realized at high speeds. The motor will draw the required current to maintain the desired path, velocity, or torque, and is controlled according to the requirements of the application rather than by the limitations of the motor. Servo motors put out enormous peak torque at or near stall conditions. They provide smooth, quiet operation, and depending upon the resolution of the feedback mechanism, can have very small resolutions. Among the disadvantages of servo motors are the increased cost, the added feedback component, and the increased control complexity. The closed loop feature can be a disadvantage for the case when there is a physical obstacle blocking the path of motion. Rather than stalling, the servo motor will continue to draw current to overcome the obstacle. As a result, the system hardware, control electronics, signal amplifier and motor may become damaged unless safety precautions are taken.

2 ) Encoders An encoder is a device used to change a signal or data into a code. These encoders are used in metrology instruments and high precision machining tools ranging from digital calipers to CNC machine tools. ( 2.1) Incremental encoders With incremental linear encoders, the current position is determined by stating a datum and counting measuring steps. The output signals of incremental rotary encoders are evaluated by an electronic counter in which the measured value is determined by counting "increments". These encoders form the majority of all rotary encoders. Incremental rotary encoders with integral couplings used for length measurement are also in the market. The resolution of these encoders can be increased by means of electronic interpolation. There are, of course, the precision rotary encoders specifically designed for angle measurement. If finer resolution is required, standard rotary encoders often utilize electronic signal interpolation. Rotary encoders for 17 | P a g e

applications in dividing heads and rotary tables, with very small measuring steps (down to 0.36 arc second) have in principle the same basic design features as standard rotary encoders, but incorporate some overall varying construction.

Figure 24.2 Rotary encoders ( 2.2 ) Absolute encoders Absolute linear encoders require no previous transfer to provide the current position value. Absolute rotary encoders provide an angular position value which is derived from the pattern of the coded disc. The code signal is processed within a computer or in a numerical control. After system switch-on, such as following a power interruption, the position value is immediately available. Since these encoder types require more sophisticated optics and electronics than incremental versions, a higher price is normally to be expected. Apart from these two codes, a range of other codes have been employed, though they are losing their significance since modern computer programs usually are based on the binary system for reasons of high speed. There are many versions of absolute encoders available today, such as single-turn or multi-stage versions to name only two, and each must be evaluated based on its intended application. ( 2.3 ) Rotary and Linear encoders A linear encoder is a sensor, transducer paired with a scale that encodes position. The sensor reads the scale in order to convert the encoded position by a digital readout (DRO). Linear encoder technologies include capacitive, inductive, eddy current, magnetic and optical. A rotary encoder, also called a shaft encoder, is an electro-mechanical device used to convert the angular position of a shaft to a digital code, making it a sort of a transducer. Rotary encoders serve as measuring sensors for rotary motion, and for linear motion when used in conjunction with mechanical measuring standards such as lead screws. There are two main types: absolute and relative rotary encoders. Incremental rotary encoder uses a disc attached to a shaft. The disc has several radial lines. An optical switch, such as a photodiode, generates an electric pulse whenever one of the lines passes through its field of view. An electronic control circuit counts the pulses to determine the angle through which the shaft has turned. As the present trend of machine tools evolves toward increasingly higher accuracy and resolution, 18 | P a g e

increased reliability and speeds, and more efficient working ranges, so too must feedback systems. Currently, linear feedback systems are available that will achieve resolutions in the submicron range.

Figure 24.3: Exposed and sealed linear encoders Submicron resolutions, for example, are required in the semiconductor industry and in ultra-precision machining. Achieving these resolutions is possible with the use of linear scales which transmit displacement information directly to a digital readout. As in rotary, linear scales operate on the same photoelectric scanning principle, but the linear scales are comprised in an overall straight construction, and their output signals are interpolated or digitized differently in a direct manner. One of these signals is always used by the accompanying digital readout or numerical control to determine and establish home position on the linear machine axis in case of a power interruption or for workpiece referencing. Overall, there are two physical versions of a linear scale: exposed or enclosed as shown in the figure 24.3. With an enclosed or "sealed" scale, the scanning unit is mounted on a small carriage guided by ball bearings along the glass scale; the carriage is connected to the machine slide by a backlash-free coupling that compensates for alignment errors between the scale and the machine tool guide ways. A set of sealing lips protects the scale from contamination. The typical applications for the enclosed linear encoders are primarily machine tools. Exposed linear encoders also consist of a glass scale and scanning unit, but the two components are physically separated. The typical advantages of the noncontact system are easier mounting and higher traversing speeds since no contact or friction between the scanning unit and scale exists. Exposed linear scales can be found in coordinate measuring machines, translation stages, and material handling equipment. Another version of the scale and scanning unit arrangement is one that uses a metal base rather than glass for the scale. With a metal scale, the line grating is a deposit of highly reflective material such as gold that reflects light back to the scanning unit onto the photovoltaic cells. The advantage of this type of scale is that it can be manufactured in extremely great lengths, up to 30 meters, for larger machines. Glass scales are limited in length, typically three meters. There are several mechanical considerations that need to be understood when discussing linear encoders. It is not a simple matter to select an encoder based just on length or dimensional profile and install the encoder onto a machine. These characteristic considerations include permissible traversing speeds, accuracy and resolution requirements, thermal behaviour and mounting guidelines.

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Figure 24.4: Principle of rotary and linear encoders

( 3 ) CNC Controller There are two types of CNC controllers, namely closed loop and open loop controllers. These have been discussed in details in section 22.2. ( 3.1 ) Controller Architecture: Most of the CNC machine tools were built around proprietary architecture and could not be changed or updated without an expensive company upgrade. This method of protecting their market share worked well for many years when the control technology enjoyed a four-to-five year life cycle. Now a day the controller life cycle is only eight-to-twelve months. So CNC manufacturers are forced to find better and less expensive ways of upgrading their controllers. Open architecture is the less costly than the alternatives. GE Fanuc and other manufacturers introduced control architecture with PC connectivity to allow users to take advantage of the new information technologies that were slowly gaining acceptance on the shop floor. They created an open platform that could easily communicate with other devices over commercially available MS Windows operating system, while maintaining the performance and reliability of the CNC machine tool.

CNC SYSTEMS - MECHANICAL COMPONENTS The drive units of the carriages in NC machine tools are generally the screw & the nut mechanism. There are different types of screws and nuts used on NC machine tools which provide low wear, higher efficiency, low friction and better reliability. (1) Recirculating ball screw The recirculating ball screw assembly shown in figure 25.1 has the flanged nut attached to the moving chamber and the screw to the fixed casting. Thus the moving member will move during rotational movement of the screw. These recirculating ball screw designs can have ball gages of internal or external return, but all of them are based upon the "Ogival" or "Gothic arc".

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In these types of screws, balls rotate between the screw and nut and convert the sliding friction (as in conventional nut & screw) to the rolling friction. As a consequence wear will be reduced and reliability of the system will be increased. The traditional ACME thread used in conventional machine tool has efficiency ranging from 20% to 30% whereas the efficiency of ball screws may reach up to 90%.

Figure 25.1: Recirculating ball screw assembly

Figure 25.2: Preloaded recirculating ball screw There are two types of ball screws. In the first type, balls are returned through an external tube after few threads. In another type, the balls are returned to the start through a channel inside the nut after only one thread. To make the carriage movement bidirectional, backlash between the screw and nut should be minimum. One of the methods to achieve zero backlash is by fitting two nuts. The nuts are preloaded by an amount which exceeds the maximum operating load. These nuts are either forced apart or squeezed together, so that the balls in one of the nuts contact the opposite side of the threads. These ball screws have the problem that minimum diameter of the ball (60 to 70% of the lead screw) must be used, limiting the rate of movement of the screw.

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2) Roller screw

Figure 25.3: Roller screw These types of screws provide backlash-free movement and their efficiency is same as that of ball screws. These are capable of providing more accurate position control. Cost of the roller screws are more compared to ball screws. The thread form is triangular with an included angle of 90 degrees. There are two types of roller screws: planetary and recirculating screws. Planetary roller screws: Planetary roller screws are shown in figure 25.3. The rollers are threaded with a single start thread. Teeth are cut at the ends of the roller, which meshes with the internal tooth cut inside the nut. The rollers are equally spaced around and are retained in their positions by spigots or spacer rings. There is no axial movement of the rollers relative to the nut and they are capable of transmitting high load at fast speed. Recirculating roller screws: The rollers in this case are not threaded and are provided with a circular groove and are positioned circumferentially by a cage. There is some axial movement of the rollers relative to the nut. Each roller moves by a distance equal to the pitch of the screw for each rotation of the screw or nut and moves into an axial recess cut inside the nut and disengage from the threads on the screw and the nut and the other roller provides the driving power. Rollers in the recess are moved back by an edge cam in the nut. Recirculating roller screws are slower in operation, but are capable of transmitting high loads with greater accuracy. (1) Tool changing arrangements There are two types of tool changing arrangements: manual and automatic. Machining centres incorporate automatic tool changer (ATC). It is the automatic tool changing capability that distinguishes CNC machining centres from CNC milling machines.

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(1.1) Manual tool changing arrangement: Tool changing time belongs to non-productive time. So, it should be kept as minimum as possible. Also the tool must be located rigidly and accurately in the spindle to assure proper machining and should maintain the same relation with the work piece each time. This is known as the repeatability of the tool. CNC milling machines have some type of quick tool changing systems, which generally comprises of a quick release chuck. The chuck is a different tool holding mechanism that will be inside the spindle and is operated either hydraulically or pneumatically. The tool holder which fits into the chuck can be released by pressing a button which releases the hydraulically operated chuck. The advantage of manual tool changing is that each tool can be checked manually before loading the tools and there will be no limitation on the number of tools from which selection can be made. (1.2) Automatic tool changing arrangement Tooling used with an automatic tool changer should be easy to center in the spindle, each for the tool changer to grab the tool holder and the tool changer should safely disengage the tool holder after it is secured properly. Figure 27.1 shows a tool holder used with ATC. The tool changer grips the tool at point A and places it in a position aligned with the spindle. The tool changer will then insert the tool holder into the spindle. A split bushing in the spindle will enclose the portion B. Tool changer releases the tool holder. Tool holder is drawn inside the spindle and is tightened.

Figure 27.1: Tool holder ( 2) Tool turrets An advantage of using tool turrets is that the time taken for tool changing will be only the time taken for indexing the turret. Only limited number of tools can be held in the turret. Tool turrets shown in figure 27.2 a, b & c are generally used in lathes. The entire turret can be removed from the machine for setting up of tools.

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Figure 27.2(a): Six station tool turret ( 2) Tool turrets

Figure 27.2(b): Eight station tool turret

Figure 27.2(c): Twelve station tool turret

An advantage of using tool turrets is that the time taken for tool changing will be only the time taken for indexing the turret. Only limited number of tools can be held in the turret. Tool turrets shown in figure 27.2 a, b & c are generally used in lathes. The entire turret can be removed from the machine for setting up of tools.

Figure 27.2(a): Six station tool turret ( 3 ) Tool magazines

Figure 27.2(b): Eight station tool turret

Figure 27.2(c): Twelve station tool turret

Tool magazines are generally found on drilling and milling machines. When compared to tool turrets, tool magazines can hold more number of tools and also more problems regarding the tool management. Duplication of the tools is possible and a new tool of same type may be selected when ever a particular tool has been worn off. Though a larger tool magazine can accommodate more number of tools, but the power required to move the tool magazine will be more. Hence, a magazine with optimum number of tool holders must be used. The following types of tool magazines exist: circular, chain and box type. ( 3.1 ) Chain magazine: These magazines can hold large number of tools and may hold even up to 100 tools. Figures 27.3 a & b show chain magazines holding 80 and 120 tools respectively. In these chain magazines, tools will be 24 | P a g e

identified either by their location in the tool holder or by means of some coding on the tool holder. In the former it is followed for identifying the tool and then the tool must be exactly placed in its location. The positioning of the magazine for the next tool transfer will take place during the machining operation.

Figure 27.3 (a) 80-tool chain magazine

Figure 27.3 (b) 120-tool chain magazine

( 3.2) Circular magazine: Circular magazines shown in figure 27.4 will be similar to tool turrets, but in the former the tools will be transferred from the magazine to the spindle nose. Generally these will be holding about 30 tools. The identification of the tool will be made either by its location in the tool magazine or by means of some code on the tool holder. The most common type of circular magazine is known as carousel, which is similar to a flat disc holding one row of tools around the periphery. Geneva mechanism is used for changing the tools.

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Figuure 27.4: Circular magazine ( 3.3 ) Box magazine: In these magazines, the tools are stored in open ended compartments. The tool holder must be removed from the spindle before loading the new tool holder. Also the spindle should move to the tool storage location rather than the tool to the spindle. Hence, more time will be consumed in tool changing. Box magazines are of limited use as compared to circular and chain type of tool magazines. ( 4 ) Automatic tool changers : Whenever controller encounters a tool change code, a signal will be sent to the control unit so that the appropriate tool holder in the magazine comes to the transfer position. The tool holder will then be transferred from the tool magazine to the spindle nose. This can be done by various mechanisms. One such mechanism is a rotating arm mechanism. Rotating arm mechanism: Movement of the tool magazine to place the appropriate tool in the transfer position will take place during the machining operation. The rotating arms with grippers at both the ends rotate to grip the tool holders in the magazine and the spindle simultaneously. Then the tool holder clamping mechanism will be released and the arm moves axially to remove the tool holder from the spindle. Then the arm will be rotated through 180 degrees and the arm will then move axially inwards to place the new tool holder into the spindle and will clamped. Now the new tool holder is placed in the spindle and the other in the magazine. Figure 27.5 and 27.6 show various stages during tool change with a rotating arm mechanism.

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Figure 27.5: Rotating arm mechanism

Figure 27.6: Rotating arm mechanism ( 5 ) Tool wear monitoring : Most of the modern CNC machines now incorporate the facility of on-line tool wear monitoring systems, whose purpose is to keep a continuous track of the amount of tool wear in real time. These systems may reduce the tool replacement costs and the production delays. It is based on the principle that the power required for machining increases as the cutting edge gets worn off. Extreme limits for the spindle can be set up and whenever it is reached, a sub-program can be called to change the tool. Following figures show some typical tool wear monitoring systems.

Figure 27.7: ON-line tool wear monitoring system

Figure 27.8 : Graphical display of tool wear monitoring system 27 | P a g e

28. CNC WORK HOLDING DEVICES With the advent of CNC technology, machining cycle times were drastically reduced and the desire to combine greater accuracy with higher productivity has led to the reappraisal of work holding technology. Loading or unloading of the work will be the non-productive time which needs to be minimized. So the work is usually loaded on a special work holder away from the machine and then transferred it to the machine table. The work should be located precisely and secured properly and should be well supported. 28.1 Turning center work holding methods: Machining operations on turning centers or CNC lathes are carried out mostly for axi-symmetrical components. Surfaces are generated by the simultaneous motions of X and Z axes. For any work holding device used on a turning centre there is a direct "trade off" between part accuracy and the flexibility of work holding device used.

Work holding methods Automatic Jaw & chuck changing Indexing chucks Figure 28.1

Advantages Adaptable for a range of workpiece shapes and sizes Very quick loading and unloading of the workpiece can be achieved. Reasonable range of work piece sizes can be loaded automatically Simple in design and relatively inexpensive. Part automation is possible. No part distortion is caused due to clamping force

Disadvantages High cost of jaw/chuck changing automation. Resulting in a more complex & higher cost machine tool Expensive optional equipment. Barfeeders cannot be incorporated. Short/medium length parts only can be incorporated. Heavy chucks. Limited to a range of flat parts with little overhang. Bar-feeders cannot be incorporated. Parts on magnetic chucks must be ferrous. Heavy cuts must be avoided. 28 | P a g e

Pneumatic/Magnetic chucks Figure 28.3

Adaptable to automation. Heavy Automatic Chucks with cuts can be taken. Individual parts soft jaws can be small or large in diameter Long & short parts of reasonably Expanding mandrels & large size accommodated. collets Automation can be incorporated. Figure 28.2 Clamping forces do not distort part. Simple in design

Jaws must be changed manually & bared, so slow part change-overs. A range of jaw blanks required. Limitation on part shape. Heavy cuts should be avoided.

Dedicated Chucks

Expensive & can only be financially Excellent restraint & location of a justified with either large runs or when wide range of individual & irregular extremely complex & accurate parts are -shaped parts can be obtained. required. Tool making facilities required. Large storage space.

( 2) Work holding for Machining Centres:

Workholding methods Modular Fixtures Figure 28.6



Highly adaptable. Can be purchased in stages to increase its sophistication. Reasonable accuracy. Costly for a complete system. Speedily assembled. Small stores area is Difficult to automate. Skills required. Can be set-up to a machine more than required in kit assembly one part. Proven technology

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Automatic Vices

Relatively inexpensive. Can be operated by mechanical, pneumatic, or by hydraulic control. Quick to operate with ease of set-up. Reasonable accuracy. Easily automated. Simplicity of design. Using multi-vices allows many parts to be machined. Proven Technology Relatively inexpensive. Reasonable accuracy. Can machine large areas of the work piece. Quick setups. Easily automated. Simplicity of design. Many parts can be machined at one set up.

Work holding limitations. Clamping force limitations. Jaws can become strained. Work location problems. Limitations on part size. Large surface area is required. Swarf can be a problem. Nonferrous material limitation on magnetic devices.

Pneumatic/Magnetic Work holding devices

4/5 axis CNC work holding devices

Costly & limited part Allows complex geometric shapes to be geometry clamping. Part size machined. High accuracy. Opportunity for "one limitations. Usually only one hit" machining. Easily automated. part can be machined. Cannot be fitted to all machines. Large & small parts are easily accommodated. High accuracy of part location. Easily automated. Simplicity of design. Proven technology. Many parts can be machine at one setup good vibration damping capacity Large storage space required. No part flexibility. Heavy fixtures. Tool making facilities required.

Dedicated Fixturing

Figure 28.1: Indexing chucks

Figure 28.2: Mandrels

Figure 28.3: Magnetic chuck

Figure 28.4: Vise 30 | P a g e

Figure 28.5(a): Pallets

Figure 28.5(b) Figure 28.5(c)

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Figure 28.6 : Modular fixture

Figure 28.7 : Chucks 32 | P a g e

(1) Programming fundamentals Machining involves an important aspect of relative movement between cutting tool and workpiece. In machine tools this is accomplished by either moving the tool with respect to workpiece 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 / workpiece 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. (1.1) 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 machine's 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 29.1 and 29.2 shows the reference points on a lathe and milling machine.

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Figure 29.1. Reference points and axis on a lathe

Figure 29.2. Reference points and axis on a Milling Machine (1.2 ) 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

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remains independent. Typical direction for the lathe and milling machine is as shown in figure 12 and figure 13. (1.3 ) 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 workpiece and setting that surfaces as X=x, Y=y and Z=z. (1.4 ) 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. (2) 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.

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(3) Types of CNC codes (3.1) 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. (3.2) 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 controller's 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 group Tool motion G00 Rapid traverse G00 Xx Yy Zz

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G01 Linear interpolation G01 Xx Yy Zz Ff

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

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

Plane Selection G17 XY - Plane selection

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G18 ZX - Plane selection

G19 YZ - plane selection

Unit Selection G20 or G70 Inch unit selection G21 or G71 Metric unit selection -code Function and Command Statement Illustration Offset and compensation

G40 Cutter diameter compensation cancel

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G41 Cutter diameter cancellation left

G42 Cutter diameter compensation righ G00 Rapid traverse G00 Xx Zz

G01 Linear interpolation G01 Xx Zz

G02 Circular Interpolation in clockWise direction G02 Xx Zz Ii Kk (Or) G02 Xx Zz Rr

G03 Circular interpolation in counterclockwise direction G03 Xx Zz Ii Kk (or) 39 | P a g e

G03 Yy Zz Rr

Illustrative Example Program A contour illustrated in figure 29.3 is to be machined using a CNC milling machine. The details of the codes and programs used are given below. Example:

Figure 29.3 An illustrative example

O5678 N02 G21 N03 M03 S1000 N04 G00 X0 Y0 N05 G00 Z-10.0 N06 G01 X50.0 N07 G01 Y20.0 N08 G02 X25.0 Y45.0 R25.0 N09 G03 X-25.0 Y45.0 R25.0 N10 G02 X-50.0

Program number Metric programming Spindle start clockwise with 1000rpm Rapid motion towards (0,0) Rapid motion towards Z=-10 plane Linear interpolation Linear interpolation Circular interpolation clockwise(cw) Circular interpolation counter clockwise(ccw) Circular interpolation clockwise(cw) 40 | P a g e

Y20.0 R25.0 N11 G01 Y0.0 Linear interpolation N12 G01 X0.0 Linear interpolation N13 G00 Z10.0 Rapid motion towards Z=10 plane N14 M05 M09 Spindle stop and program end 30. CNC Part Programming II 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., 30.1 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. 30.1.1 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 (Figure 30.1).

30.1.2 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 ( Figure 30.2).

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30.2 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. 30.3 Loops and Unconditional jump (G25) The unconditional jump is used to repeat a set of statements a number of times. 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 below (Figure 30.3). Example:

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Fig. 30.3 Illustrative example for programming loops

30.4 Mirroring 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 Example:

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Fig. 30.4 Illustrative Example for mirroring

30.5 Shifting origin G92 code is used to temporarily shift the origin to the reference point specified.

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Example: G92 X-100 Y-80 In the above statement the x and y values gives the present values of original origin after shifting it. This is illustrated through an example (Figure 30.5). Example:

Fig. 30.5 Illustrative Example for shifting origin

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30.6 Scaling Scaling function is used to program geometrically similar components with varying sizes. Syntax: G72 Kk, where k is the scaling factor. The scaling command can be cancelled by using the statement G72 K1.0. Example:

Fig. 30.6 Illustrative Example for scaling

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30.7 Pattern rotation

Pattern rotation is used to obtain a pattern of similar features. G73 code is used to rotate the feature to form a pattern. Syntax G73 Aa, where 'a' is the angle of rotation. This command is cumulative, and the angle gets added up on time the program is executed. So all the rotational angle parameters should be cancelled using the code G73. The unconditional jump code G25 is used in conjunction with this code to achieve the desired rotation.

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The following example (Figure 30.7) depicts the case of a pattern which needs to be programmed through G73. Example:

Fig. 30.7 Illustrative Example for Pattern rotation

30.8 Tool selection Tool selection is accomplished using 'T' function followed by a four digit number where, first two digits 48 | P a g e

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 adjustments 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. 31. CNC Part Programming III 31.1 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 point. 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. This is best explained in the Figure 31.1.

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Figure 31.1. 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 unit's memory before the operation. Tool diameter compensation is activated by the relevant preparatory functions (G codes) as shown in Figure 31.2. 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 workpiece 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)

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Offset Direction = Off (G40)

31.2 Ramp on/off motion When activating cutter radius compensation, it must be ensured that the slides will first make a noncutting move to enable the correct tool and workpiece relation to be established. A similar move is necessary prior to cancellation of the radius compensation. These non-cutting moves are referred as "ramp on" and "ramp off" respectively. Figure 31.3 shows the ramp on motion for different angles of approach.

Figure 31.3. Ramp up motion 31.3 Subroutines

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Any frequently programmed order of instruction or unchanging sequences can benefit by becoming a subprogram. Typical applications for subprogram applications in CNC programming are

Repetitive machining motions Functions relating to tool change Hole patterns Grooves and threads Machine warm-up routines Pallet changing Special functions and others

Structurally, subprograms are similar to standard programs. They use the same syntax rules. The benefits of subroutines involve the reduction in length of program, and reduction in program errors. There is a definition statement and subroutine call function. Standard sub-routine N10 N20 N30 . N70 G22 N5 N80 N90 . N100 G24 . N160 G20 N5 In the above example G22 statement defines the start block of the sub-routine and G24 marks the end of the sub-routine statement. The subroutine is called by another code G20 identified by the label N5. Parametric subroutine .. .. .. G23 N18 G01 X P0 Y P1 .. .. G21 N18 P0=k10 P1=k20 In the above example G23 starts the subprogram label and starts the definition, and the parameters P0 , P1 are defined for values of x and y. The G21 statement is used to call the subroutine and to assign the values to the parameters. 31.4 Canned Cycles

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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. 31.4.1 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 as shown in figure 31.4

Figure 31.4. Pocket machining

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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). Description: 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. 31.4.2 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.

Figure 31.5 Turning cycle (Straight cutting) The syntax is G80 Xx Zz Ff 31.4.3 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 54 | P a g e

31.5 The APT Programming Language The APT (Automatically Programmed Tool) programming language was developed in early 1960s to assist engineers in defining the proper instructions and calculations for NC part programming. A great strength of APT is its ability to perform precise calculations for complicated tool paths when contouring on a three dimensional surface in a multi- axis programming mode. Now APT has become obsolete. Please click here to know more about APT. Automatic generation of NC code is dealt in this page Part Programming for machining curved surfaces With increased demand for aesthetic form and functional surface shape in many industrial products, the need for a method of CNC machining of curved and intricate surfaces is required. One of the most important features in determining CNC machining efficiency and productivity is cutter path motion. This cutter motion on compound-curvature surfaces determines the time for machining as well as determines the surface roughness (or cusp height or scellop height). Surface roughness always exists because of the lack of geometry matching between cutter and surface. ( 1 ) Representation of Curves Description of geometry of curves and surfaces may be done in several ways. It can be both analytical and parametric. It can be described mathematically by nonparametric or parametric equations. Nonparametric equations can be explicit or implicit. For a nonparametric curve, the coordinates y and z of a point on the curve are expressed as two separate functions of third coordinate x as the independent variable. ( 2 ) Advantages of Parametric representation

Independent control of x and y Segments can be represented easily Piecewise linear approximation is easier It can be easily extended to higher dimension Transformations are easier to apply Helps mathematical computation

Parametric representation of geometry for NC tool path generation Curve x (u) y (u) Surface x(u,w) y(u,w)

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z (u)


A Surface patch as shown in figure 32.1 is represented parametrically along two directions. The two parameters are u and w. The parameters u and w can take values between 0 and 1.

32.1 A surface patch The representation of surface patch can be any one of the following forms In generalized form x(u,w)=f(u,w)+rnx(u,w) y(u,w)=f(u,w)+rny(u,w) z(u,w)=h(u,w)+rnz(u,w) The representation of ruled and bilinear surfaces is given below. Ruled surface X(u,w) = x(u) + [x'(u) - x(u)]w Y(u,w) = y(u) + [y'(u) - y(u)]w Z(u,w) = z(u) + [z'(u) - z(u)]w

Bilinear Surface X(u,w) = x(0,0)(1 - u)(1 - w) + x(0,1)(1-u)w + x(1,0)u(1-w) + x(1,1)uw Y(u,w) = y(0,0)(1 - u)(1 - w) + y(0,1)(1-u)w + y(1,0)u(1-w) + y(1,1)uw Z(u,w) = z(0,0)(1 - u)(1 - w) + z(0,1)(1-u)w + z(1,0)u(1-w) + z(1,1)uw For, generation of optimum path for machining using parametric representation various properties of surfaces is used. Some of the properties are shown below.

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The unit normal is Curvature can be expressed as k=1/r Where k ->curvature r ->radius of curvature In order to find the maximum diameter of the ball mill, mean and Gaussian curvature is used and is given below

Mean Curvature H : The product of the principal curvatures at a point on a surface is called the total or Gaussian curvature at that point

Gaussian curvature K : Where kmax and kmin are the principle curvatures, and

From the values of mean and Gaussian curvature, principle curvature can be determined. The maximum curvature defines maximum diameter of the cutter that can be used to machine surfaces. Maximum Radius of ball mill = 2/kmax ( 3 ) Generation of part program using parametric representation Generation of cutter paths may be classified, according to the methodology for calculation of cutter location data, into the following three approaches: (3.1 ) Isoparametric method: Cutter is moved along contact points at the intersection of constant parameter lines on the surface 57 | P a g e

(modeled with parametric surface patches). The number of line segments used to approximate curve depends on required accuracy. More line segments give better approximation of surface. For better approximation circular interpolation can be used instead of liner interpolation between two consecutive points. Figure 31.2 (b) shows a surface obtained by approximating isoparametric curves of a free form surface as shown in 31.2(a).

31.2 (a) Original Surface

31.2 (b) Approximated surface ( 3.2 ) CC-Cartesian method: Cutter is moved along contact points on the intersection lines formed between the surface and intersecting drive planes (normally located parallel to the principal planes of the coordinate system). Instead of using intersection of isoparametric curves here, intersection of two principle planes and surface is used to approximate suface. ( 3.3 ) CL-Cartesian method or APT-style method: Cutter is positioned tangent or parallel to drive planes and in contact with appropriate surface points In the CC-Cartesian and CL-Cartesian methods, concentric cylinders or spirals are sometimes used as the drive surfaces. 33. CNC Part Program Verification 58 | P a g e

Programs prepared for any kind of CNC machine should be cautiously verified. Though there are exceptions to this rule, manually prepared programs are more prone to having mistakes than CAM system generated programs. However, even the best CAM system generated CNC programs could still include disastrous problems. Syntax Mistakes-These are "silly" mistakes on the programmer's part that cause the program to be unacceptable to the control. Motion Mistakes-This kind of mistake is usually harder to find and correct. Setup Mistakes-Even a perfectly prepared program will behave poorly if setup mistakes are made. Cutting Condition Mistakes-Though the program's motions may be correct, the operator must be on guard for cutting condition problems. Feeds and speeds must be properly applied. While machining the first workpiece with any program, the operator must be very cautious, watching for possible machining problems. The basic procedures that will help insure safety during the verification of a CNC program are discussed below 1.1 Machine Dry Run Prior to letting a program cause motion, it is wise to let the control check the program for syntax mistakes. With Machine Lock and Dry Run turned on, the operator can rest assured that the axes of the machine will not move. When the program is executed, the control will scan the program for basic mistakes. If the control determines a problem, it will go into alarm state. While there could still be serious problems if the control completes the program, the operator can be rest assured that at least the program is acceptable to the control. "Free Flowing" Dry Run Once the Machine Lock Dry Run can be executed without generating alarms, the operator is ready to let the program generate motion. The Free Flowing Dry Run will allow the operator to see the motion the program will generate, and also allow the operator to control how fast motion will be. With Dry Run in the on condition, a multi position switch (usually Feed Rate Override or Jog Feed Rate) acts like a rheostat, allowing the operator to manipulate how fast axis motion will be. If the operator senses a problem, Feed Hold is pressed. With no part loaded into the setup, the operator can allow the motion generated by the program to take place and will be able to tell if the basic motions are correct. The first time the Free Flowing Dry Run is executed for a program, the operator will be most concerned with dangerous situations like interference with obstructions and spindle direction. For this reason, it may be necessary to repeat this procedure several times before the operator becomes comfortable with the cycle. 1.2 On-line program verification

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Any time spent between production runs verifying CNC programs must be considered as part of setup time - and anything that can be done to reduce on-line program verification time effectively reduces setup time. Since new programs will contain more potential for mistakes than proven programs, companies that perform little repeat business should be highly interested in minimizing the time spent verifying the CNC program. One way to achieve this goal is to move the task of program verification off line. This means performing as much of the program verification procedures as is possible while the machine is still running workpieces in a previous production run. Following are several ways to verify CNC programs. The CNC machine makes a poor verification tool. If the quality of the CNC program is unknown before it is loaded into the machine, the setup person must be very careful at every step of the verification process. A series of dry runs must be performed just to confirm that the basic motions of the program will not cause interference. And since the machine is down between production runs, the entire task of program verification must be done on line. More CNC controls are coming with graphic capabilities that allow you to plot a program's movement's right on the display screen. While this is an excellent feature, and one we would recommend you purchase if it is available, keep in mind that many controls do not allow a tool path to be shown for one program while the machine is running another program. In such a case, program verification is still an on-line task. If the tool path display exposes mistakes in the program, corrections must be made during setup, meaning corrections must also be done on line. This can waste a great deal of precious machine time. Almost all current computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) systems allow some form of tool path display aimed at helping a programmer locate motion mistakes in a program. More and more software companies are developing attractively priced products aimed at helping their users verify CNC programs off line. Several companies offer PC based tool path display capabilities, similar to those found in many current CNC controls. 34. CNC Part Program generation from CAD Model Generation of part program for machining a complex shapes is very difficult without use of available CAD/CAM software packages. Use of this leads to decrease in time required for part programming and increases the accuracy of programming.

Software packages like PRO/engineer, ideas, MasterCAM allows the user to create machining tool paths. Within the package you can create milling and turning (lathe) machining simulations. After creating a series of these simulations, the user can machine the 3D model created and at a later stage transfer the information to a NC lathe or miller.

Generation of part program requires some basic information like final geometry, workpiece geometry, orientation of principle axis and location of origin on the raw material geometry, machining parameters, tool geometry, machine which is to be used etc. Other than this some information like which type of operation has to be done, volume which is to be removed, etc also has to be given. Computer Aided Assembly Planning 60 | P a g e

(1) Introduction An assembly is a collection of independent parts. It is important to understand the dependencies between various parts in an assembly to assemble the parts properly. Assembly model includes the spatial positions and hierarchical relationships among the parts and mating conditions between the parts. One of the obvious ways to facilitate the assembly process at the design phase is to simplify the product by reducing the number of different parts to a minimum. In addition to product simplification, the assembly process can be greatly facilitated by introducing guides and tapers into the design of various parts. Sharp corners usually hinder guiding parts into their correct positions during assembly. Assembly planning is the checking of both hard and soft clashes, of generating assembly sequences in order to check the feasibility of the removal path and verifying the correct sequence and the correct fit both dynamically and statically during the disassembly process.

Figure 35.1 (a) Collection of pieces used to define an Figure 35.2 (b) Assembly planning determining a assembly planning problem sequence of motions for assembly The use of computers for planning the assembly of mechanical products originated in the research on planning with artificial intelligence. There are many reasons for systematization and the computerization of assembly planning, some of which are as follows;

Industrial designers will benefit from having a tool with which they can quickly assess their designs for ease of assembly Although many experienced personals have a skill for devising an efficient ways to assemble a given product, systematic procedures are necessary to guarantee that no good assembly plan has been over looked. Sometimes, the number of different assembly alternatives is so large that even skillful engineer may fail to notice many possibilities.

An automatic generator of assembly sequence can be an efficient aid to designer. Whenever one modifies the feature of the product, the influence of these modifications can immediately be checked on the sequences. For small batch production, the automatic generation of assembly sequences is faster, more reliable and more cost-effective than manual generation. (2) Computer Aided Assembly Planning Computer aided assembly planning involves automatically determining a sequence of motions to assemble a product from its individual parts. The motions can include part motions, grasping locations, tool access, fixture planning, factory layout, and many other issues, all of which have complex geometric components that use computational geometry techniques. A number of technical issues that must be addressed for assembly automation includes following; 61 | P a g e

(2.1) Representation of assemblies and assembly plans A computer representation of mechanical assemblies is necessary in order to automate the generation of assembly plans. The main issue in this stage is to decide what information about assemblies is required, and how this information is represented in the computer. An assembly of parts can be represented by the description of its individual components and their relationships in the assembly. Assembly data base stores the geometric models of individual parts, the spatial positions and orientations of the parts in the assembly, and the assembly or attachment relationships between parts. One of the widely used methods for representation of assemblies is based on graph structures. In this scheme, an assembly model is represented by a graph structure in which each node represents an individual part or a sub assembly. The branches of the graph represent relationship among parts. Four kinds of relationships exist: part-of (P), attachment (A), constraint (C) and sub assembly (SA).

The "part-of" relation represents the logical containment of one object in another. For example, the head and shaft of a screw are "part-of" the screw itself. There are three types of attachment relationships: rigid, non rigid, and conditional. o Rigid attachment occurs when no relative motion is possible between two parts. o Non rigid attachment occurs when parts cannot be separated by an arbitrarily large distance but relative motion between the two parts is possible. o Conditional attachment is related to parts supported by gravity, but not strictly attached. Constraint relationships represent physical constraint of one part on another. Subassembly relationship indicates that an assembly is merged into a higher assembly.

The graph structure of electric clutch assembly is shown in figure 35.2

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Figure 35.2 Graph structure of electric clutch assembly Another method for representation of assembly is location graph of the part which is a relative property. In this method, a co-ordinate system is the used to specify location of one part relative to another. A location in one coordinate system also defines a new coordinate system for the located part, with its origin and axes. Other locations can be defined in terms of this second one. Thus, a chain of locations can be defined such that each location is defined in terms of another part's coordinate system. A set of these chains results in a graph referred to here as a location graph.

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Figure 35.3 Location graph of electric clutch assembly (2.2) Generation of Assembly Sequences and Assembly plans For usefulness, an assembly planning system must generate correct assembly plans. Further, to solve problems that require optimization, such as selection of best assembly alternative, one must be able to traverse the space of all candidate solutions. The number of distinct feasible assembly plans can be large even for assemblies made of a small number of parts therefore complete enumeration is not possible in most cases real applications. Finding systematic ways to narrow down alternatives is crucial for the automatic planning of assembly. Some of the widely used techniques in evaluation of assembly sequence are discussed below. Precedence Diagram The precedence diagram is designed to show all the possible assembly sequences of a given product. To develop the precedence diagram for a product, each individual assembly operation is assigned a unique number and it is represented by an appropriate circle with the number inscribed. The circles are connected by arrows showing the precedence relations. The precedence diagram is usually organized into columns. All the operations that can be carried out first are placed in the first column, and so on. Usually, one operation appears in the first column: the placing the base part on the work carrier where whole assembly process occurs. 64 | P a g e

Figure 35.3 Precedence diagram of electric clutch assembly Liaison-Sequence Analysis The liaison method develops all possible assembly sequences in two steps. First it characterizes the assembly by a network wherein nodes represent parts and lines between nodes represent any mating conditions between parts. These mating conditions referred to in this method as liaisons. The network itself is known as liaison diagram.

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Figure 35.4 Liaison-Sequence of electric clutch assembly When developing a liaison diagram, to note that the liaison count (number of liaisons) l is related to the part count (number of parts) n by the following inequality:

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Precedence Graph Unlike the previous two methods, this method is fully automatic. It is based on the virtual link data structure and requires the mating conditions as input to automatically generate assembly sequences for various assemblies. Once the mating conditions are provided, they are organized in the form of a mating graph. The parts in an assembly are then structured in a hierarchal assembly tree. Then assembly sequence is generated with the aid of interference checking. In this method, the assembly sequence is referred to as a precedence graph.

Figure 35.4 Precedence graph of electric clutch assembly (2.3) Integration with CAD programs A mechanical assembly is a composition of interconnected parts. Frequently, the parts are being designed using CAD programs therefore the shape of each part and geometric information are already available in computer database. The assembly planning will be more efficient if these CAD databases can be directly integrated with programs that generate assembly models. (2.4) Integration with task and motion planners With the progress of digital electronics, the programmable robots are introduced in manufacturing. These robots can be adapted to execute different operations by changing their internal programs. Task 67 | P a g e

and motion planners that will facilitate robot programming are constantly getting developed. With a view toward future integration, the output of assembly planners should compatible with what is required by task and motion planners. It is also desirable that assembly planners also take into account the capabilities and limitations of task and motion planners. (3) Benefits of Computer Aided Assembly Planning

Accelerate new product introductions Shorten time-to-production Optimize production management Decrease operating costs Ensure overall product and process quality Allow engineers, designers and shop floor personnel to collaborate interactively

Computer Aided Function

( 1 ) Introduction Inspection or testing is an act of checking materials, parts, components or products at various stages of manufacturing detecting poor quality manufactured products for taking corrective action. Inspection is performed before, during and after manufacturing to ensure that the quality of the product is consistent with the accepted design standard. The design standards are defined by the product designer, and for mechanical components they relate to factors such as dimension, surface finish and appearance. The objective of any inspection process is either to take actual measurements of the values of the specified product characteristics or to check whether specific characteristics meet design standards. When inspection and testing is carried out manually, the sample size is often small compared to size of the population. In high production runs, this size may be very small which may result in slipping of defective parts. In principle, the only way to achieve 100% good quality is to use 100% inspection using which only good quality parts will pass through the inspection procedure. But when this is done manually, the problem of expenses involved and error associated with the procedure is of major concern. Automation of inspection offers an opportunity to overcome these problems. Automated inspection procedures are carried out by sensors that are controlled by computers. ( 2 ) Computer Aided Inspection Computer Aided Inspection (CAI) is a new technology that enables one to develop a comparison of a physical part to a 3D CAD model. This process is faster, more complete, and more accurate than using a Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) or other more traditional methods. An automatic inspection method and apparatus using structured light and machine vision camera is used to inspect an object in conjunction with the geometric model of the object. Camera images of the object are analyzed by computer to produce the location of points on the object's surfaces in three dimensions. Point-cloud data is taken from a laser scanner or other 3-D scanning device. During a setup phase before object inspection, the points are analyzed with respect to the geometric model of the object. The software provides a graphical comparison of the manufactured part compared to the CAD model. Many points are eliminated to reduce data-taking and analysis time to a minimum and prevent extraneous reflections from producing errors. When similar objects are subsequently inspected, points from each surface of interest are spatially averaged to give high accuracy measurements of object dimensions. The inspection device uses several multiplexed sensors, each composed of a camera and a structured light source, to 68 | P a g e

measure all sides of the object in a single pass. Computers are used in many ways in inspection planning and execution also. ( 2.1 ) Computer controlled inspection equipment Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) is a 3-dimensional measuring device that uses a contact probe to detect the surface of the object. The probe is generally a highly sensitive pressure sensing device that is triggered by any contact with a surface. The linear distances moved along the 3 axes are recorded, thus providing the x, y and z coordinates of the point. CMMs are classified as either vertical or horizontal, according to the orientation of the probe with respect to the measuring table.

Figure 36.1 Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) ( 2.2 ) Computer aided inspection setup planning Computer-Aided Inspection Planning (CAIP) is the integration bridge between CAD/CAM and Computer Aided Inspection (CAI). A CAIP system for On-Machine Measurement (OMM) is proposed to inspect the complicated mechanical parts efficiently during machining or after machining. The inspection planning consists of Global Inspection Planning (GIP) and Local Inspection Planning (LIP). In the GIP, the system creates the optimal inspection sequence of features in a given part by analyzing the various feature 69 | P a g e

information. Feature groups are formed for effective planning, and special feature groups are determined for sequencing. The integrated process and inspection plan is generated based on the series of heuristic rules developed. The integrated inspection planning is able to determine optimum manufacturing sequence for inspection and machining processes. Finally, the results are simulated and analyzed to verify the effectiveness of the proposed CAIP. ( 2.3 ) Computational metrology Computational metrology deals with fitting and filtering discrete geometric data that are obtained by measurements made on the parts. Some basic facts about manufacturing and measurement are best captured using following two axioms.

Axiom of manufacturing imprecision: All manufacturing processes are inherently imprecise and produce parts that vary. Axiom of measurement uncertainty: No measurement can be absolutely accurate and with every measurement there is some finite uncertainty about the measured attribute or measured value.

Fitting:- Fitting is the task of associating ideal geometric forms to non-ideal forms (such as, for example, discrete set of points sampled on a manufactured surface). Normally, Fitting is done for the following reasons:

Datum establishment: Datum is a reference geometric object of ideal form established on one or more non-ideal geometric forms of a manufactured part. Datums are used for relative positioning of geometric objects in parts and assemblies of parts. Deviation assessment: It is often important to determine how far a manufactured surface deviates from its intended ideal geometric form which can be quantified by fitting.

Fitting problems are broadly divided into two categories on the basis of the objective function which is to be optimized. First one is Least squares fitting, which has the objective to find an ideal geometric object (a smooth curve or surface) to minimize the sum of squared deviations of data points from desired object. Second on is Chebyshev fitting, which has the objective to minimize the maximum deviation. Filtering - Filtering is the task of obtaining scale-dependent information from measured data. At a more mundane level, filtering can be used to remove noise and other unwanted information from the measured data. In the context of engineering metrology, engineers are interested in use of filtering mainly for the two applications.

Surface roughness: Many engineering functions depend on roughness or smoothness of a surface on the piece. Designers define bounds on certain roughness parameters to ensure functionality of parts. These small-scale variations are subtracted from the surface measurement data before form and other deviations are assessed. Manufacturing process diagnosis: Manufacturing processes leave tool marks on surfaces. By measuring surfaces at fine scale, it is possible to detect tool erosion and its effect on the surface quality.

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The computational scheme used for filtering is one of convolution. Two types of convolutions are in use; Convolution of functions: Filtering is often implemented as discrete convolution of functions. In the most popular version, the measured data is convolved with the Gaussian function. It has a smoothing effect on the surface data. Convolution of sets: Morphological filters are implemented using Minkowski sums. These can be regarded as convolutions where the input set is convolved with a circular or flat structuring element.

( 2.4 ) Computer aided part localization and Shape Matching Many a times in inspection process comparison of shapes of two geometric entities is done. Shape matching can be used for comparison of shapes of two geometric entities. For example comparison of shapes between designed model and molded part. Shape localization is done with the help of transformations. Transformations can be translation and rotations. Shape matching can be broadly classified as

Curve-Curve Matching Surface-Surface Matching Solid-Solid Matching Matching curve, surface or solid with point data set

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Figure 36.2: Shape Localization and matching of two curves Shape matching is used for many applications like character recognition, object recognition, medical imaging, etc. The same concept can be extended in the inspection of mechanical parts. In shape matching, the manufactured part is located with respect to designed part and error is measured. In character reorganization, characters are fitted with smooth curves and then matched with predefined templates.

Figure 36.3: Shape matching ( 3 ) Benefits of CAI

The CAI process saves both time and money. The computer software processes data from a 3-D point cloud from a laser scanner, eliminating the need for slower and more time-consuming CMM measurements. Inspecting with CMMs requires that designers create a 2-D drawing in addition to the 3-D CAD model of a part. The drawing is used to inspect the part at specific locations to verify that it matches the design. Point-cloud data is taken from a laser scanner or other 3-D scanning device. The software provides a graphical comparison of the manufactured part compared to the CAD model. By producing point clouds of the entire part, measurement of the part can be done everywhere and not be limited to the specific locations on a drawing.

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Reverse Engineering
(1) Introduction Engineering is the profession involved in designing, manufacturing, and maintaining products, systems, and structures. The whole engineering process can be broadly classified in two groups; forward engineering and reverse engineering. Forward engineering is the traditional process of moving from high-level abstractions and logical designs to the physical implementation of a system.

Figure 37.1 Forward Engineering

The process of duplicating an existing component, subassembly, or product, without the aid of drawings, documentation, or computer model is known as reverse engineering.

Figure 37.2 Reverse Engineering

Reverse engineering can be mainly viewed as the process of analyzing a system to identify its components and their interrelationships, to create representations of it in another form or a higher level of abstraction. An important reason for application of reverse engineering is reduction of product development times. In the intensely competitive global market, manufacturers are constantly seeking new ways to shorten lead-times to market a new product. For example, injection-molding companies must drastically reduce the tool and die development times. By using reverse engineering, a three-dimensional product or model can be quickly captured in digital form, re-modeled, and exported for rapid prototyping/tooling or rapid manufacturing.

Some of the important reasons for the for reverse engineering of a product or part are;

The original manufacturer of a product no longer produces a product There is inadequate documentation of the original design The original manufacturer no longer exists, but a customer needs the product The original design documentation has been lost or never existed Some bad features of a product need to be designed out. For example, excessive wear might indicate where a product should be improved To strengthen the good features of a product based on long-term usage of the product
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To analyze the good and bad features of competitors' product To explore new avenues to improve product performance and features To gain competitive benchmarking methods to understand competitor's products and develop better products The original CAD model is not sufficient to support modifications or current manufacturing methods To update obsolete materials or antiquated manufacturing processes with more current, less-expensive technologies

It can be said that reverse engineering begins with the product and works through the design process in the opposite direction to arrive at a product definition statement. In doing so, it uncovers as much information as possible about the design ideas that were used to produce a particular product. (2) Reverse engineering methodology The reverse engineering process can be divided into the following broad steps:

Figure 37.3 Reverse Engineering Methodology (2.1) Digitizing or collecting data from physical part One of the reverse engineering methods is construction of a CAD model of the physical parts whose drawing is not available. This is done by digitizing an existing prototype which is mainly creating a computer model and then using it to manufacture the component. The objective of this method is to generate a 3D mapping of the product in form of a CAD file. This involves the acquisition of the product surface data by either contact or non contact methods in form of X, Y
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and Z coordinates of large number of points on the product surface. The methods of obtaining the product surface data can be divided into two broad categories; Contact method and Noncontact method. The contact method requires contact between the component surface and a measuring tool that is usually a probe or a stylus. The non-contact method uses light as the main tool in extracting the required information. The contact discretization method uses Co-ordinate Measuring Machines (CMM) or electromagnetic digitizers or sonic digitizers to get the coordinates of the desired points on the surface. The non-contact discretization technique uses white light or laser scanners to scan the 3D object from which the CAD model is generated. The choice of discretization method is based on the speed and performance during digitization and avoidance of damage to the product. A CMM is a 3-dimensional measuring device that uses a contact probe to detect the surface of the object. The linear distances moved along the 3 axes are recorded, thus providing the X, Y and Z co-ordinates of the point. The part to be discretized is placed on the measuring table, and the co-ordinates of a number of points on the surface of the object are then read. These points are input into a 'geometry data' file, which can be transferred to a CAD system to generate the model of the part. In this way the shape of the object is captured in the form of a CAD drawing that can be manipulated and modified as needed.

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In electromagnetic digitizers, the product to be digitized is placed on a table which encloses electronic equipment and a magnetic field source. It creates a magnetic field in the volume of space above table. A hand held stylus is used to trace the surface of the part. This stylus houses a magnetic field sensor that, in conjunction with the electronic unit, detects the position and orientation of the stylus. The data can be transferred to a computer through a serial port. In sonic digitizers, sound waves are used to calculate the position of a point relative to a reference point. In this technique, the object is placed in front of a vertical rectangular board on the corners of which are mounted four microphone sensors. A free hand held stylus is used to trace the contours of the object. When a foot or a hand switch is pressed, the stylus emits an ultrasonic impulse, and, simultaneously four clocks are activated. When the impulse is detected by a microphone, the corresponding clock is stopped and the times taken to reach each of the microphones recorded. These time recordings, called slant ranges, are processed by a computer to calculate the x, y and z coordinates of the point. (2.2) Manipulation of the collected data to obtain a CAD model After obtaining the product surface data as a sea of points in space, the next important step is the fitting of geometry to this point data. Various methods were developed for the fitting of surfaces to the point data. The surface can be mathematically described as either algebraic or parametric surfaces. Algebraic surfaces are represented by a polynomial equation of the type f(x, y, z) = 0, and usually represent infinite surfaces. Parametric surfaces on the other hand, are finite surfaces defined by certain basis functions and control points e.g. Beizer surfaces, NURBS surfaces. Surface fitting techniques can be broadly classified in to two categories; interpolation techniques and approximation techniques. In interpolation technique, the surface to be fitted passes through all the data points and is normally used when the data points are accurately measured without any errors. In approximation technique, the surface need not to pass through any of the data points, but represents a generalized average or a best fit to the data points. This is usually used when there are a large number of data points through which the surface has to be fitted, or when there errors in the measurement are to be averaged out. (2.3) Generation of functional parts from CAD model Once the geometric model is obtained, it can be used as the basis for a variety of operations such as automated process planning, automated manufacturing, automated dimensional inspection and automated tolerance analysis. In automated manufacturing, these geometric models can be used to generate the tool motion commands which can be made execute on any of the standard CNC machines or input CAD model for rapid prototyping processes. These applications require feature extraction from the geometric model, followed by a process plan for the object, which involves definition of various manufacturing sequences required to manufacture the object. Reverse Engineering of a computer mouse

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Step 1: Point Cloud Data in Sub Regions

Step 2: Point Cloud Data after applying Maximum Error Method

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Step 3: Surface fitting to Point Cloud Data

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Step 4: Surface after Cleaning

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Rapid Prototyping
(1) Introduction One of the important steps prior to the production of a functional product is building of a physical prototype. Prototype is a working model created in order to test various aspects of a design, illustrate ideas or features and gather early user feed-back. Traditional prototyping is typically done in a machine shop where most of parts are machined on lathes and mills. This is a subtractive process, beginning with a solid piece of stock and the machinist carefully removes the material until the desired geometry is achieved. For complex part geometries, this is an exhaustive, time consuming, and expensive process. A host of new shaping techniques, usually put under the title Rapid Prototyping, are being developed as an alternative to subtractive processes. These methods are unique in that they add and bond materials in layers to form objects. These systems are also known by the names additive fabrication, three dimensional printing, solid freeform fabrication (SFF), layered manufacturing etc. These additive technologies offer significant advantages in many applications compared to classical subtractive fabrication methods like formation of an object with any geometric complexity or intricacy without the need for elaborate machine setup or final assembly in very short time. This has resulted in their wide use by engineers as a way to reduce time to market in manufacturing, to better understand and communicate product designs, and to make rapid tooling to manufacture those products. Surgeons, architects, artists and individuals from many other disciplines also routinely use this technology.

(2) Methodology of Rapid Prototyping (RP) RP in its basic form can be described as the production of three dimensional (3D) parts from computer aided design (CAD) data in a decreased time scale. The basic methodology of all RP process can be summarized as shown in following figure.

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Figure 38.1 Rapid prototyping process chain (2.1) Development of a CAD model The process begins with the generation CAD model of the desired object which can be done by one of the following ways;

Conversion of an existing two dimensional (2D) drawing Importing scanned point data into a CAD package Creating a new part in CAD in various solid modeling packages Altering an existing CAD model

RP has traditionally been associated with solid rather than surface modelling but the more recent trends for organic shapes in product design is increasing the need for free flowing surfaces generated better in surface modelling. (2.2) Generation of Standard triangulation language (STL) file The developed 3D CAD model is tessellated and converted into STL files that are required for RP processes. Tessellation is piecewise approximation of surfaces of 3D CAD model using series of triangles. Size of triangles depends on the chordal error or maximum fact deviation. For better approximation of surface and smaller chordal error, small size triangle are used which increase the STL file size. This tessellated CAD data generally carry defects like gaps, overlaps, degenerate facets etc which may necessitate the repair software. These defects are shown in figure below. The STL file connects the surface of the model in an array of triangles and consists of the X, Y and Z coordinates of the three vertices of each surface triangle, as well as an index
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that describes the orientation of the surface normal.

Figure 38.2 Tessellation defects (2.3) Slicing the STL file Slicing is defined as the creating contours of sections of the geometry at various heights in the multiples of layer thickness. Once the STL file has been generated from the original CAD data the next step is to slice the object to create a slice file (SLI). This necessitates the decision regarding part deposition orientation and then the tessellated model is sliced. Part orientation will be showing considerable effect on the surface as shown in the figures.

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Figure 38.3 Effect of Part deposition Orientation The thickness of slices is governed by layer thickness that the machine will be building in, the thicker the layer the larger the steps on the surface of the model when it has been built. After the STL file has been sliced to create the SLI files they are merged into a final build file. This information is saved in standard formats like SLC or CLI (Common Layer Interface) etc.

(2.4) Support Structures

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As the parts are going to be built in layers, and there may be areas that could float away or of overhang which could distort. Therefore, some processes require a base and support structures to be added to the file which are built as part of the model and later removed. (2.5) Manufacturing As discussed previously, the RP process is additive i.e. it builds the parts up in layers of material from the bottom. Each layer is automatically bonded to the layer below and the process is repeated until the part is built. This process of bonding is undertaken in different ways for the various materials that are being used but includes the use of Ultraviolet (UV) lasers, Carbon Dioxide lasers, heat sensitive glues and melting the material itself etc. (2.6) Post processing The parts are removed from the machine and post processing operations are performed sometimes to add extra strength to the part by filling process voids or finish the curing of a part or to hand finish the parts to the desired level. The level of post processing will depend greatly on the final requirements of the parts produced, for example, metal tooling for injection molding will require extensive finishing to eject the parts but a prototype part manufactured to see if it will physically fit in a space will require little or no post processing. (3) Various RP Processes Several RP techniques are being developed and commercially available. The first commercial process, StereoLithography (SL), came to the market in 1987. Nowadays, more than 30 different processes (not all commercialized) with high accuracy and a large choice of materials exist. These processes can be classified in different ways but the most popular way is according to the form of material used as an input. This can be given as follows;

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Liquid based processes (i) Solidification of a liquid polymer (ii)Solidification of an electro-stat fluid (iii)Solidification of molten material

Discrete Particle based processes (i) Fusing of particles by laser (ii)Joining particles by binder

Solid Sheets based process (i) Bonding of sheets with adhesive (ii) Bonding of sheets with light

Some of the commercially popular RP processes are described below; (3.1) Stereolithograpy StereoLithography (SL) is the best known rapid prototyping system. The technique builds threedimensional models from liquid photosensitive polymers that solidify when exposed to laser beam. The model is built upon a platform in a vat of photo sensitive liquid. A focused UV laser traces out the first layer, solidifying the model cross section while leaving excess areas liquid. In the next step, an elevator lowers the platform into the liquid polymer by an amount equal to layer thickness. A sweeper recoats the solidified layer with liquid, and the laser traces the second layer on the first. This process is repeated until the prototype is complete. Afterwards, the solid part is removed from the vat and rinsed clean of excess liquid. Supports are broken off and the model is then placed in an ultraviolet oven for complete curing.

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Figure 38.5 Stereolithography Application Range

Processing large variety of photo-sensitive polymers including clear, water resistant and flexible resins Functional parts for tests Tools for pre series production tests. Manufacturing of medical models Manufacturing of electro-forms for Electro Discharge Machining (EDM) Form-fit functions for assembly tests.


Possibility of manufacturing parts which are impossible to produce conventionally using a single process. Continuous unattended operation for 24 hours. High resolution. Any geometrical shape can be made with virtually no limitation.

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Necessity to have support structures Accuracy not in the range of mechanical part manufacturing. Restricted areas of application due to given material properties. Labour requirements for post processing, especially cleaning.

(3.2) Selective Laser Sintering Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is a 3-dimensional printing process based on sintering, using a laser beam directed by a computer onto the surface of metallic or non-metallic powders selectively to produce copies of solid or surface models. The process operates on the layer-bylayer principle. At the beginning a very thin layer of heat fusible powder is deposited in the working space container. The -laser sinters the powders. The sintering process uses the laser to raise the temperature of the powder to a point of fusing without actually melting it. As the process is repeated, layers of powder are deposited and sintered until the object is complete. The powder is transferred from the powder cartridge feeding system to the part cylinder (the working space container) via a counter rolling cylinder, a scraper blade or a slot feeder. In the unsintered areas, powder remains loose and serves as natural support for the next layer of powder and object under fabrication. No additional support structure is required.

Figure 38.6 Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

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Application Range

Visual representation models. Functional and tough prototypes. Cast metal parts (by use of wax). Short run and soft tooling.


Virtually any materials that have decreased viscosity upon heating can potentially be used. Do not require any post-curing except when ceramics are used. No need to create a support structure, which saves time Advanced softwares allowing concurrent slicing of the part geometry files while processing the object


Raw appearance on the part surface due to hardening of additional powder on the borderline of the object Necessity to provide the process chamber continuously with nitrogen to assure safe material sintering Careful handling of toxic gases emitted from the fusing process

(3.3) Laminated Object manufacturing (LOM) In this technique, layers of adhesive-coated sheet material are bonded together to form a prototype. The original material consists of paper laminated with heat-activated glue and rolled up on spools. A feeder/collector mechanism advances the sheet over the build platform, where a base has been constructed from paper and double-sided foam tape. In the next stage, a heated roller applies pressure to bond the paper to the base. A focused laser cuts the outline of the first
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layer into the paper and then cross-hatches the excess area (the negative space in the prototype). Cross-hatching breaks up the extra material, making it easier to remove during post-processing. During the build, the excess material provides excellent support for overhangs and thin-walled sections. After the first layer is cut, the platform lowers out of the way and fresh material is advanced. The platform rises slightly below the previous height, the roller bonds the second layer to the first, and the laser cuts the second layer. This process is repeated as needed to build the part, which will have a wood-like texture. Because the models are made of paper, they must be sealed and finished with paint or varnish to prevent moisture damage.

Figure 38.7 Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) Application Range

Considering the specified of the procedure, the main application range is the working area of conceptual design. Used for large bulky models as sand casting patterns.


Variety of organic and inorganic materials can be used such as paper, plastic, ceramic, composite, etc. Relatively low costs
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Much faster process than competitive techniques Virtually produces no internal stress and associated undesirable deformation. Robust capacity of dealing with imperfect STL files, created with discontinuities, Best suited for building large parts, as if the machine with the largest workspace on the market today.


Limited stability of the objects due to the bonding strength of the glued layers. Not well suited for manufacturing parts with thin walls in the z-direction Hollow parts, like bottles, can not be built.

(3.4) Fusion Deposition Modeling (FDM) Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) machine is basically a CNC-controlled robot carrying a miniature extruder head. By feeding the head with a plastic wire, solid objects are built "string by string". In this technique, filaments of heated thermoplastic are extruded from a tip that moves in the x-y plane. Like a baker decorating a cake, the controlled extrusion head deposits very thin beads of material onto the build platform to form the first layer. The platform is maintained at a lower temperature, so that the thermoplastic quickly hardens. After the platform lowers, the extrusion head deposits a second layer upon the first. Supports are built along the way, fastened to the part either with a second, weaker material or with a perforated junction.

Figure 38.8 Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Application Range

Conceptual modeling. Fit, form and functional applications and models for further manufacturing procedures.
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Investment casting and injection molding.


Quick and cheap generation of models. Easy and convenient date building. No worry of possible exposure to toxic chemicals, lasers, or a liquid polymer bath. No wastage of material during or after producing the model No requirement of clean-up. Quick change of materials


Restricted accuracy due to the shape of the material used: wire of 1.27 mm diameter.

(3.5) Solid Ground Curing Solid ground curing (SGC) is almost similar to stereolithography (SLA). In both one uses ultraviolet light to selectively harden photosensitive polymers. Unlike SLA, SGC cures an entire layer at a time. First, photosensitive resin is sprayed on the build platform. Secondly, the machine develops a photomask (like a stencil) of the layer to be built. This photomask is printed on a glass plate above the build platform using an electrostatic process similar to that found in photocopiers. The mask is then exposed to UV light, which only passes through the transparent portions of the mask to selectively harden the shape of the current layer. After the layer is cured, the machine vacuums up the excess liquid resin and sprays wax in its place to support the model during the build. The top surface is milled flat, and then the process repeats to build the next layer. When the part is complete, it must be de-waxed by immersing it in a solvent bath.

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Figure 38.9 Solid Ground Curing (SGC) Advantages

Large parts, 500 500 350 mm, can be fabricated quickly. High speed allows production-like fabrication of many parts or large parts. Masks are created with laser printing-like process, then full layer exposed at once. No post-cure required. Milling step ensures flatness for subsequent layer. Wax supports model: no extra supports needed.


Creates a lot of waste. Not as prevalent as SLA and SLS, but gaining ground because of the high throughput and large parts

(3.6) 3D Printing 3D printing is very reminiscent of SLS, except that the laser is replaced by an inkjet head. The multi-channel jetting head (A) deposits a liquid adhesive compound onto the top layer of a bed of powder object material (B). The particles of the powder become bonded in the areas where the adhesive is deposited. Once a layer is completed the piston (C) moves down by the thickness of a layer. As in SLS, the
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powder supply system (E) is similar in function to the build cylinder In this case the piston moves upward incrementally to supply powder for the process and the roller (D) spreads and compresses the powder on the top of the build cylinder. The process is repeated until the entire object is completed within the powder bed. After completion the object is elevated and the extra powder brushed away leaving a "green" object. Parts must usually be infiltrated with a hardener before they can be handled without much risk of damage.

Figure 38.10 3D Printing Surfaces of the parts produced by layer manufacturing processes suffer from poor surface finish and this is due to the inherent characteristics of the process itself like stair stepping effect, shrinkage etc. Least build time in RP is generally preferred but stair stepping effect and poor surface finish restricts it. This has been induced on to the surface of the parts during the various stages that a particular part has to come across during a RP cycle, typically data preparation stage, part orientation, part geometry, deciding layer thickness etc. Figure 38.4 shows these effects on RP product. (4) Some issues in RP Because of layer by layer deposition of the material and due to the finite thickness of each layer, situation similar to stair case will be resulting on the surface and this effect is known as stair stepping effect. From the figures it can be seen that layer thickness will directly affect the maximum cusp height attained and the stair case effect on the surface.

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Figure 38.11 Staircase effect in RP Parts

Figure 38.12 Effect of layer thickness on stair stepping effect To reduce the surface roughness, one may go with very fine layers, but this will be increasing the overall build time and build cost considerably. If we choose maximum allowable layer thickness then, this will be generating a part with high surface roughness. So an optimum layer thickness must be decided. The solution for this is to go for adaptive slicing or local adaptive slicing.

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Adaptive slicing is slicing the entire part with different thicknesses according to the local surface geometry and maximum cusp height that can be reached as shown in the figure above. In local adaptive slicing, maximum layer thickness will be considered and then checked for maximum slice thickness and each layer is further divided accordingly if required.

Computer Aided Process Planning

(1) Process Planning Products and their components are designed to perform certain specific functions. Every product has some design specifications which ensure its functionality aspects. The task of manufacturing is to produce components such that they meet design specifications. Process planning acts as a bridge between design and manufacturing by translating design specifications into manufacturing process details. It refers to a set of instructions that are used to make a component or a part so that the design specifications are met, therefore it is major determinant of manufacturing cost and profitability of products. Process planning answers the questions regarding required information and activities involved in transforming raw materials into a finished product. The process starts with the selection of raw material and ends with the completion of part. The development of process plans involves mainly a set of following activities;

Analysis of part requirements Selection of raw workpiece Selection of manufacturing operations and their sequences Selection of machine tools Selection of tools, tool holding devices, work holding devices and inspection equipments Selection of manufacturing conditions i.e. cutting speed, feed and depth of cut. Determination of manufacturing times

(2) The manual experience-based planning method The manual experience-based process planning is most widely used. It is mainly based on a manufacturing engineer's experience and knowledge of production facilities, equipment, their capabilities, processes, and tooling. The major problem with this approach is that it is time consuming 95 | P a g e

and developed plans may not be consistent and optimum. The feasibility of developed process plan is dependant on many factors such as availability of machine tools, scheduling and machine allocation etc. Computer aided process planning is developed to overcome this problems to some extent.

(3) Computer Aided Process Planning As mentioned in article 39.1, the primary purpose of process planning is to translate the design requirements into manufacturing process details. This suggests a system in which design information is processed by the process planning system to generate manufacturing process details. CAPP integrates and optimizes system performance into the inter-organizational flow. For example, when one changes the design, it must be able to fall back on CAPP module to generate manufacturing process and cost estimates for these design changes. Similarly, in case of machine breakdown on the shop floor, CAPP must generate the alternative actions so that most economical solution can be adopted in the given situation. A typical CAPP frame-work is shown in figure 39.1.

Figure 39.1 A Computer Aided Process Planning (CAPP) frame-work

When comapred with manual experience-based process planning, CAPP offers following advantages;

Systematic developemnt of accurate and consistent process plans Reduction of cost and lead time of process planning
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Reduced skill requirements of process planners Increased productivity of process planners Higher level application progams such as cost and manufacturing lead time estimation and work standards can be interfaced

Two major methods are used in computer aided process planning; the variant CAPP method and the generative CAPP method (3.1) The variant CAPP method In variant CAPP approach, a process plan for a new part is created by recalling, identifying and retrieving an existing plan for a similar part and making necessary modifications for the new part. Sometimes, the process plans are developed for parts representing a fmily of parts called 'master parts'. The similiarities in design attributes and manufacturing methods are exploited for the purpose of formation of part families. A number of methods have been developed for part family formation using coding and classification schemes of group technology (GT), similiaritycoefficient based algorithms and mathematical programming models. The variant process planning approach can be realized as a four step process; 1. Definition of coding scheme 2. Grouping parts into part families 3. Development of a standard process plan 4. Retrieval and modification of standard process plan A number of variant process planning schemes have been developed and are in use. One of the most widely used CAPP system is CAM-I developed by McDonnell-Douglas Automation Company. This system can be used to generate process plan for rotational, prismatic and sheetmetal parts. 3.2 The generative CAPP method The next stage of evolution is towards generative CAPP. In the generative CAPP, process plans are generated by means of decision logic, formulas, technology algorithms and geometry based data to perform uniquely many processing decisions for converting part from raw material to finished state. There are two major components of generative CAPP; a geometry based coding scheme and process knowledge in form of decision logic data. The geometry based coding scheme defines all geometric features for process related surfaces together with feature dimensions, locations, tolerances and the surface finish desired on the features. The level of detail is much greater in a generative system than a variant system. For example, details such as rough and finished states of the parts and process capability of machine tools to transform these parts to the desired states are provided. Process knowledge in form of in the form of decision logic and data matches the part geometry requirements with the manufacturing capabilities using knowledge base. It includes selection of processes, machine tools, jigs or fixtures, tools,
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inspection equipments and sequencing operations. Development of manufacturing knowledge base is backbone of generative CAPP. The tools that are widely used in development of this database are flow-charts, decision tables, decision trees, iterative algorithms, concept of unit machined surfaces, pattern recognition techniques and artificial intelligence techniques such as expert system shells. (4) Advantages of CAPP and future trends CAPP has some important advantages over manual process planning which includes;

Reduced process planning and production lead-times Faster response to engineering changes in the product Greater process plan accuracy and consistency Inclusion of up-to-date information in a central database Improved cost estimating procedures and fewer calculation errors More complete and detailed process plans Improved production scheduling and capacity utilization Improved ability to introduce new manufacturing technology and rapidly update process plans to utilize the improved technology

There are number of difficulties in achieving the goal of complete integration between various functional areas such as design, manufacturing, process planning and inspection. For example, each functional area has its own stand-alone relational database and associated database management system. The software and hardware capabilities among these systems pose difficulties in full integration. There is a need to develop single database technology to address these difficulties. Other challenges include automated translation of design dimensions and tolerances into manufacturing dimensions and tolerances considering process capabilities and dimensional chains, automatic recognition of features and making CAPP systems affordable to the small and medium scale manufacturing companies.

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