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Computer Aided Manufacturing

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Definition, advantages Types of NC control systems Motion and Coordinate system NC part programming Fundamentals of NC programming Example

Loading Program in:
Computerized Numerical Control Direct Numerical Control ComputerComputer-Aided part programming

ComputerComputer-Aided Part programming
CADCAD-CAM based part programming
Reference: Singh, N. (1996), “Systems approach to computercomputerintegrated design and manufacturing”, John Wiley & Sons.

Metal cutting machines
Relative motion between cutting tool and work piece by forcing a sharp cutting edge into the work-piece. work-piece. Problems: Problems: Metals are very hard. hard. Motion between tool and work-piece should be at sufficiently high rate work-

Temporary solution: Power driven machines (machine tools) are solution: capable of generating high forces required, but to use a machine tool, we need to Determine the location on the work-piece where machining is to be done. workdone. Controlling the path followed during the motion of the tool or work-piece workControlling the rate at which the path is traversed Controlling the rate at which the path is traversed

Further: Further:
A highly skilled operator is required even for a simple job Inconsistency in results Much longer time, depend on knowledge and skill of operator. Very operator. difficult to manufacture complex products Low productivity

Numerically Controlled Machines
Same technological capabilities as of conventional machines in terms of machining, but differ in control of machine functions. Elements of NC system Part program Machine control unit (MCU) The machine tool

Capabilities of Machine control unit (MCU) of a NC machine:
Positioning the tool Turning the spindle ON/OFF Setting cutting speeds/feed rates Turning coolant ON/OFF Direction and rate of slide motion, spindle rotation, etc.

Control system in NC machine:
Desired position Disturbance


error controller


Final position Spindle/cutting tool

Speed feedback Feedback: position signal Optical Encoder

• Each motion is positioned by rotating motors by a desired amount • The spindle/cutting tool is driven by DC/AC motors through reduction gear boxes • Position of the motor is sensed using an encoder (e.g. resolution is 3500/revolution) • Velocity of the motor is measured by a tacho-generator

Types of NC control systems
OpenOpen-loop Control
Stepper motor is used, having a predefined amount of revolution. Current pulses are send from MCU to individual motors. Movement/rotation depends on number of pulses send. Advantages: Position is maintained just by keeping track of number of revolutions. Can produce a movement of 1/1000th of an inch, for a single pulse. Cheap and less complex. Easy to maintain.

Assumption: Motor movement is precise, i.e. motor is moving the exact amount depending on the number of pulses. No way to correct errors, because no feedback. This control is not suitable for large machines requiring greater power because of limitation of stepper motor to generate high torque.

Types of NC control systems
ClosedClosed-loop Control
Direct current (DC) motors are used. Can generate high levels of torque. Can be reversed. Unlike stepper motors, it cannot achieve very precise movement. Separate positions sensors are required. Position information is fed back as a signal to the controller. Major advantage: because of feed back and servo motors reversible feature, errors can be corrected, by comparing with target position. Thus formed a closed loop. Higher accuracy than open loop systems because of feed back. Applications: Larger NC machines because of higher loads. For greater accuracy, any kind of load.

Expensive and complex.

Motion and coordinate system for NC machine

Z-axis: Always aligned with the spindle that imparts cutting power. This spindle might rotate the work-piece as in a lathe, it might rotate a tool as in a milling machine. It is perpendicular to work-holding surface if there is no such spindle. Positive motion in z axis tends to increase the separation between the work-piece and the tool X axis: Positioning the moving element, parallel to the work-holding surface, horizontal (if possible). On machines with rotating work-pieces, it is radial and parallel to the cross-slide On machines with rotating tools, 1. If the Z-axis is horizontal, the positive x motion is to the right when looking from the spindle to the work-piece. 2. If the z axis in vertical, the positive x axis is to the right when looking from the spindle to the column On machines with non-rotating work-pieces and non-rotating tools, the xaxis is parallel to and directed toward the principal cutting direction Y-axis: be in such a direction as to complete a right-handed Cartesian coordinate system

Motion control system

Point to point Straight cut system Continuous path
Tool motion

Point to Point angles and Arcs:

Continuous path angles and Arcs:
Linear path interpolation Incremental path approximation Interpolation using circular or other equations

NC Part Programming
Part Program is the program required to machine a specific part or component. Require intimate knowledge about the processes. NC part programmer should be a skill operator and good part programmer for maximum utilization of machine capabilities and available resources like jigs and fixtures, cutting tools, without violating the machine constraints. Assumed that it is the tool that undergoes the primary motion, for writing NC part program. Absolute positioning mode: Target position of the tool is given relative to the origin point of the program. Incremental positioning mode Target position for the tool is given relative to the current tool position

Structure of an NC part program 1. Fixed sequential format: Each statement consists of exactly the same number of words entered in a specified sequence, Each word consists of a fixed number of data characters Characters cannot be omitted and no extra characters can be included

Tab sequential format:
It is essential the same as fixed sequential format The difference is that each word within a statement is preceded by a TAB character The sequence of the words remains significant The spaces should not be used in the actual

Word address format::
A method of coding machine motion using ANSI format letter system. Ease to use Does not require all the words. Ignores spaces.

Fundamentals of NC Programming:
Preparatory function:
Necessary operation conditions

Axis motion commands:
Control the amount of relative motion

Feed and speed commands:
Control the cutting conditions

Identification commands:
To identify specific entities in the program, such as cutting tools used

Miscellaneous commands:
Controls various aspects of the machine’s operation such as turning the spindle on and off and changing tools

Preparatory function:

Preparatory function continue… Canned cycles:

Example 1:

Example 2:

Loading the program
Conventional NC:

1-in.-wide punched paper tape: for program storage and input to NC machines A binary-based representation code Two standard coding schemes: EIA & ASCII

Part program

Paper tape



Loading the program
Computer NC (CNC) Storage medium Display operational parameters, coordinate positions, etc. Keyboard for data entry and editing the program

Part program

Computer Memory



Loading the program
Distributed Numerical Control (DNC) Each CNC machine has its own memory The local machine can run autonomously Central computer plays a supervisory role, monitoring the operations of machines, etc.

Computer-Aided Part Programming:
Reduces the manual calculations To prove the program by path simulation, identify errors Set of events can be programmed with fewer commands, leading to shorter programs English-like structure of the programming systems makes it easier for programmers to learn Program preparation is simplified by use of English-like commands that are easy to understand and program. It reduces the likelihood of errors in the program. Simulation, tool path generation, etc.


CAD model

Select surfaces


Generate code

Select parameter

CL file

APT code Post Processor

Computer-Aided Part Programming:
Standard APT (Automatically programmed tools) language: APT Source file NC Code file

APT processor

CL file

Post processor

APT source file: written by user APT processor checks the source file for errors in defined geometry, errors in required tool motions CL file means cutter location file Post processor converts CL data into final NC codes.

Computer-Aided Part Programming: Post processing
Convert the CL data into m/c tool coordinates. Check for speed, feed, movement limitations. Develop motion command using M&G codes. Process machine specific functions. Select acceleration, deceleration, etc.

CAD/CAM based Part Programming:
Direct use the CAD database for geometric description of parts. Generate tool path information from the geometric model of the part in the CAD database. Post processor is still required. Commercial CAD/CAM systems with NC program generation: CATIA, CADAM, Pro/E.

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