1 DNC, CNC and Adaptive control The significant achievement done in both batch and job shop manufacturing caused the further development of NC systems. These new enhancements and extensions of NC technology, include: 1. Direct numerical control 2. Computer numerical control 3. Adaptive control The Direct numerical control system (DNC) sets the direct connection between the computer and the NC machines. What is actually a DNC system? A DNC system is consisted of a large master computer used to direct the operation of a number of separate NC machines. Due to the advances of computer technology and the reduction in the cost of the computers it became economical to install a microcomputer on the NC machine in order to control each machine tool. Adaptive control marked as the last achievement in the NC machines is a system which is able to measure one or more process variables. Such process variables are cutting force, temperature, power etc. With the knowledge of this process variables the system is able to regulate feed and/or speed in order to compensate for undesirable changes in the process variables. The final scope of this control system is to optimize the machining process. 3.2 Disadvantages of conventional NC There are a lot of important setbacks in the conventional NC machines that is worth to be mentioned because this was the reason that lead to the development of improved numerical control machines. The most important are: 1. Part programming mistakes. Mistakes in the part programming were quite often and a program should be rewritten more than two times to function correctly. 2. Paper tape. The paper tape is by its nature durable and fragile and cannot be used repeatedly without wear and eventually tear. More durable materials have been used later on, however, these material are relatively expensive. 3. Tape reader. This is the least reliable component of the NC system. When a machine breaks down the first to be checked is the tape reader. 4. Controller. The hard-wired NC controller unit means that the control features cannot be easily altered to incorporate improvements to the unit. 5. Management information. No timely information on operational performance can be provided to management. 6. Nonoptimal speeds and feeds. Since the function of the conventional NC is just to control the position of the tool relative to the work there is no attempt to optimize speeds and feeds. As a result the part programmer must plan the cutting conditions
These smaller computers are called satellite computers.2.1. The configuration of this system is illustrated in figure 3.3 Direct numerical control (DNC) Direct numerical control is defined as a manufacturing system in which a number of machines are controlled by a computer through direct connection in real time. The tape reader is omitted from the system.conservatively and this reduces productivity.1 General configuration of a direct numerical control (DNC) system FIGURE 3. 3. 3. The tape and tape reader are eliminated and replaced by communication cables making the machine tool reliable. This is done in real time and the communication is two way.
FIGURE 3. Programs stored as cutter location data can be post processed for whatever suitable machine is assigned to process the job. In addition in cases where the computational capability of the main computer is not enough to satisfy the needs of the vast number of the machine tools additional computers are used linked to the main server to satisfy group of machine tools. There is no need for the computer to be located near the machine because the computer can now control the machine tools remotely. 5. both the computer and the machine tool can send information to each other. There is greater computational capability for operations such as circular interpolation. The computer stores the information in a bulk memory and can control more than 100 machine tools. The information or the part program is being transferred directly to the machine tool through communication lines from the main computer. The hardwired controller unit is eliminated 6. The only disadvantage of the DNC is if the computers breaks down. but the
. Time sharing the control of more than one machine by the computer 2. tapering etc. 4. The general configuration of a DNC system is illustrated in figure 3.2 DNC in hierarchical configuration using satellite computers 3. while situated in a computer type environment.1 Advantages of DNC The advantages of DNC systems are laid below: 1. The computer sends information to the machine tool upon request of the latter and when this occurs the request for instructions must be satisfied almost instantaneously.3.
Program editing at the machine tool site. 2. 6. some additional features are included in the CNC machines. The operator is not required to position the fixture on the machine table with extreme accuracy. The program loaded on a CNC machine can be edited and corrected if any errors exist on the machine tool itself. Due to the large memory of the computer controller frequently used cycles can be programmed and stored in the computer memory and called when requested instead or writing the same coding time after time in the different programs. 4. 8. A recent innovation on tool length compensation is to use a sensor which comes in contact with the tool mounted and measures its length. With the use of the computer the program is read all in once and stored in computer memory without the need to be loaded each time it is used. which are the following: 1. Interpolation. Diagnostics. This is a system found on modern CNC machines and can detect malfunctions or signs of malfunction on the machine. 3. Fixed cycles and programming subroutines. Setting up the machine tool for a certain job involves installing and aligning the fixture on the machine tool table. This measured value is then used to correct the programmed tool path. The difference between the two is based on the enhancement of computer processor on the previous system. The computer converts the part program into actions of the machine tool. In addition the corrected program can be saved to a disc or a punched tape for future use. 7. Special interpolation cycles can only be performed on CNC due to the high computational capability.4 Computer numerical control In the beginning of this chapter we have discussed briefly the computer numerical control machines as been an advanced type of there predecessors the numerical control.computer is so reliable that this is unlikely to occur. the machine tool axes are referenced to the location of the fixture by using a target point or set of targets points on the work or fixture. Cutter length compensation. On CNC machines a position set feature is available. The use of floppy discs has being spread widely the last few years. However. The new CNC controllers have enough memory to store large programs. 5. Depending upon the seriousness of the malfunction the machine can display the problem on the controller’s CRT
. One floppy disc can store the information that are stored on 8000 ft of punched tape. 3. Position features for setup. In addition. or a lot of small and medium programs thus reducing the time needed for program loading. are performed by the MCU. The new type of NC machines have the ability to accept information from a diskette or even to store programs that are in the memory of the CNC computer on the diskette. Instead. some certain functions like circular interpolation calculations. These method has eliminated the need of supplying tool length compensations or even fit each part program to the needs of each tool in order to comply with the tool path desired.
However. Greater flexibility. and stored on the tape or disc. or even stop the operation. 2. With this feature the machine can be interfaced with computer and other computer driven devices. vibration amplitude and horsepower. 3. because they cannot control the process. New options can be added to the system easily and with low cost. Metric conversion. air gaps in part geometry and so on. Many attempts were made in order to construct a sophisticated adaptive control system but the results obtained were rather disappointing. Part program edit at the machine site. Incorporation of new system options can be easily done by reprogramming the unit. Total manufacturing system. adaptive control should be utilized in applications where the following conditions are met: 1. However. Other advantages are listed below: 1. It can use both systems and can convert from the British to international and vice versa. torque. width or depth of cut. Adaptive control or AC determines the proper speeds and/or feeds during machining as a function of variations in such factors as work-material hardness. There are significant sources of variability in the process for which adaptive control can compensate Some of the process variables that have been used in adaptive control systems include spindle deflection or force. Advantages of CNC CNC offer greater flexibility and computational capability than normal NC machines. The general inability was to measure the important process variables accurately in a machine shop environment. By doing this the in-process time is reduced by using optimum speeds and/or feeds. Adaptive control has the capability to respond to and compensate for these variations during process.5 Adaptive control machining The principal reason for using NC machines is because it reduces nonproductive time as it was briefly stated in chapter 2. 5. Furthermore the initial systems were very expensive. 9. The program can be edited. The in-process time consumes a significant portion of the total production time 2. the NC or CNC machines are not able to reduce productive time. 3. This diagnostic system is very helpful for maintenance purposes because it shows at what part of the machine the malfunction occurred. cutting temperature. 4. CNC is more compatible with the use of a total manufacturing information system.monitor. Communications interface. Most CNC machines are equipped with standard communications interface in order to allow interfacing and networking. The punched tape and the tape reader are used only once to load the program into memory thus relieving the system from its least reliable components.
However. ADAPTIVE CONTROL CONSTRAINT (ACC) These system was the one employed finally. As the maximum allowable force is set for the cutter and spindle. FIGURE 3. Easier part programming. 2.1 Benefits of adaptive control machining There are many the potential benefits in using adaptive control system. Less operator intervention. there are many machining operations were adaptive control cannot be justified.3.5. As a result of high removal rates more parts are produced thus the productivity increases.3 Configuration of typical adaptive control machining system that uses cutter force as the measured process variable. With the application of adaptive control the control process has been moved further towards management via the part programmer. With adaptive control this is almost done automatically and
. This performance index is a measure of overall process performance. on the same basis can be set for the part in order to protect it from any undesirable out-of-tolerance condition or damage. The benefits from the adaptive control are laid below: 1. 5. In combination with the higher production rates the adaptive control will generally provide a more efficient and uniform use of the cutter throughout its life and due to the adjustments that are made as not to severe load the tool there will be less broken tools. 4. Increased production rates. 3.Concluding the researchers on adaptive control have confined to two systems: ADAPTIVE CONTROL OPTIMIZATION (ACO) These systems were based on a performance index specified for the system. such as production rate or cost per volume of metal removed. The on-line adjustments allow for variations in work geometry. material and tool wear provide the capability to achieve the highest removal rates that are consistent with the existing conditions. The objective was to optimize the index of performance by controlling speeds and/or feeds. In the NC machine tools the part programmer was obliged to find the correct speeds and feeds to be used and this was coming after several trials until the part programmer felt satisfied with the part. The objective in this method is to manipulate speeds and/or feeds to maintain the measured variables below their constraint limit values. Greater part protection. Increased tool life. 3. A typical configuration of adaptive control is illustrated in figure 3.
4 Comparison of Metal-Cutting Times-Conventional NC versus Low-cost Retrofitable Adaptive Control (LCRAC)
.S.4 is taken from the report and shows the overall savings from adaptive control to be 37%. can be easily determined by the system software. Table 3. The study was divided into three sequential stages. The test was performed using a low-cost retrofitable adaptive control (LCRAC) system whose control mode was similar to that described earlier in this section as a typical AC system. the economic savings can be substantial. titanium and steel. each of which compared the AC system against conventional NC machines.the limits that have to be set to it. Several years ago a study was conducted for the U. Different test parts and machines were used in the three stages. When adaptive control machining is applied to appropriate jobs.
TABLE 3. Parts were made of aluminum. Air Force to quantitatively evaluate the advantages of adaptive control over conventional NC machining.