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Constructional Features of CNC Machines

The design and construction of CNC machines differs greatly from that of conventional
machine tools.
The difference arises from the requirement of highest machining accuracy and
performance level.
There are some common features for design of all the machines like cutting speed and
feed, gear boxes, constructional elements like slideways, beds, spindles.
Since CNC machines are operated automatically, the operator’s supervision is less and so
a careful design consideration is necessary to avoid very large damage.

Due to the following factors, CNC machines are subjected to unexpected deformation
1. High speed in CNC
2. More feed rate
3. More pressure of cutting tool on workpiece
4. Noise and vibration
5. Friction of slideways
6. Thermal deformation of machine parts

The above factors become reason for

1. Poor quality products
2. Operator’s fatigue
3. Accidents
4. Low production
5. Higher maintenance cost

So the following factors should be considered for testing the performance of a CNC
1. Reliability of CNC
2. Production accuracy
3. Production rate

The CNC machine should have lesser breakdown. It should be reliable.

The parts manufactured by CNC should have dimensional accuracy and good surface
The parts produced per day (or) the metal removed per unit time should be more to
increase the production rate.
4. Operator’s convenient
The operator should feel lesser fatigue so that he can work with ease
5. Safety
Very important factor is safety. The ONC machine should be properly guarded against all
the possible accidents. The situation should make the operator feels it safe to work on
CNC machine.
The design consideration of CNC is explained in two areas.
1. Control System Design
2. Mechanical System Design

Control System Design

The designer should have thorough knowledge about all control systems and should
select proper control system according to the customer are the main consideration for
selection of control system.

Analog versus Digital

Analog Control System

The feed hark signal is generally of analog f and the data is converted into digital form. In
analog systems, the values are varying continuously with respect to the quantities.

Digital Control System

The values are measured in steps in this system. For a machine is moving through 0.008
And the system least count is 0.01 mm. Then the value will change only after the quantity
has changed by at least 0.01 mm.
Normally in CNC systems, the information is repeatedly converted from analog to digital
and digital to analog.
So care should be taken for selecting technology for different control unit system.

Punched tape (or) Magnetic Tape (or) Floppy (or) CD

For point to point applications punched tapes are used, because programming and
preparing punched tapes are cheap and easy.
For contouring parts, magnetic tapes are used since it can handle large volume of data.
Sometimes these magnetic tapes have more detailed cutter path information so that
interpolator can be eliminated.
Nowadays, the punched tape and magnetic tapes are replaced by powerful computer part
From simple to complicated part programmes are keyed into the hard disk of the CNC
computer (or) DNC computer and it can be downloaded at any time for execution.
The programme can be modified, edited, some part may be added and, some part may he
It is highly flexible. So nowadays, the choice is only for computer and so the CNC
system will be selected with use of computers only.
The part programmes loaded in the floppy (or) CD ROM can be used for part

Open loop vs Closed loop system

We know already, the open loop control system have no feed back devices whereas the
closed loop systems have feedback devices.
The closed loop control systems are more precise when compared with open loop system.
But closed loop system is more expensive.
If we use ‘digital pulse hydraulic motor’ in the open loop control system, we can
eliminate need of closed loop system

Linear vs Rotary Transducers

Transducers are used to convert the mechanical movements into electrical signals.
The linear transducers get direct drive from actual slide displacement.
But, rotary transducers have indirect measurement by being attached at the ends of the
lead screws and hence it simulates only the relative movement of tool and work piece.

Linear transducer like ‘Ferranti’ systems is more accurate and widely accepted.
But nowadays, the rotary transducers like ‘Synchro’ systems are slowly getting accepted.
By analyzing different control systems, the designer can select the proper control system
according to the customer’s need and requirement.

Mechanical System Design

The conventional machines failed because of following factors.
1. Lack of stiffness.
2. Back lash - It is the clearances i threads of lead screws etc
3. Machine tool resonance
4. Machine tool chatter.
The above undesirable factors should be eliminated by prop designing CNC machines.
The following mechanical elements designs are studied one by one.

Main structure of CNC Machine tools

The machine structure is the load carrying and supporting member of the CNC machine
All the motors, drive mechanisms and other functional assemblies of machine tools are
aligned to each other and rigidly fixed to the machine structure.
The machine structure is subjected to static, dynamic forces and also thermal forces.
So the structure should be strong enough not to deform (or) vibrate beyond the
permissible link under the action of these forces.
The machine, structure design is also influenced by the considerations of manufacture,
assembly and operation.

The following are the design factors involved in the design of CNC machine structure.
1. Static load
2. Dynamic load
3. Thermal load

Static load
The static forces (static load) are exerted commonly by the weight of machine itself and
the forces due to cutting.
To keep the deformation of the structure due to static load within permissible limits, the
structure should have adequate stiffness and proper structural configurations.
The following figures show the basic configurations of CNC machine tool structure.

The inertia forces are also considered as dynamic loads which are exerted by rapid
acceleration and deceleration.
The dynamic loads (forces) are constantly changing forces acting on the structure, while
movement is taken place.
These dynamic forces make the CNC machine vibrates. The following are the factors
creating vibrations.
1. Unbalanced rotating and reciprocating parts.
2. Improper meshing of gears
3. Irregular alignment of bearings.
4. Interrupted cuts while machining (like in milling)

The effect of these vibrations can be reduced by

1. Reducing the mass of the structure
2. Providing the properly designed structure having high stiffness
3. Using ribs, braces, and angle plates to increase the stiffness of machine structure.
4. Distributing normal weight uniformly over, the entire frame of the machine.
5. Improving the damping properties.
6. Providing hollow cross-sectional beds, bases and columns with the nun of ribs welded
to the walls in order to provide rigidity as well as openings for inspection, lubrication and
collection of chips coolants. -
7. Aligning the machine elements properly relative to each other while in operation and
in stationary conditions.

Dynamic load
Thermal load
In CNC machines, there are number of heat sources creating thermal gradients within the
machine. Some of these sources are
1. Electric motor
2. Friction due to mechanical drives and gear boxes.
3. Friction in bearings and slideways
4. Machining process
5. Temperature of surroundings

Due to these heat sources, the deformation takes place which will be the cause for
inaccuracy in machine performance.

The thermal deformation can be reduced by the following steps.

I. Large heat removing surfaces can be provided.
2. The motor, gear drives and other drives can be externally mounted.
3. Excellent coolants can be used
4. Designing all parts considering thermal stresses
5. Avoiding direct source of heat from sunlight.
6. Providing efficient scrap removal system for dissipating heat generated in the
machining processes.
7. Thermo-symmetric designing of machine structure
8. Reducing ambient temperature by installing air conditioning units
9. Providing a proper lubrication system to remove frictional heat from bearings and

Slides and slideways (or) Guide ways

The CNC machine tools are provided with tables, slides, carriages etc to carry the
workpieces (or) cutting tools etc.
These parts are sliding on the ways provided on the column, housing, bed (or) knee of
machines. These ways are known as Sliding ways (or) Guide ways.
The sliding ways are used for the following reasons:
1. To control the direction (or) line of action of the carriage (or) the table on which a tool
(or) workpiece is held.
2. To absorb all the static and dynamic forces.
The slides should be rigid, accurate and durable. The shape and size of the workpiece
machined depends on the accuracy of the slide movement and on the accuracy of the
slideway. The slide is a moving part and slideway is a stationary part.

The geometric relationship between slide and slideway determines -the geometric
accuracy of the CNC machine.
Kinematics accuracy of the CNC machine depends on the straightness, flatness and
parallelism errors in the slideway.
These errors become the cause for further tracking errors like pitch, yaw and roll errors,
which are difficult to measure and correct.
Further, over a period of time, some wear and tear takes place in the slideways which will
reduce the accuracy of slide motion resulting in errors in movement and positioning.

The following factors should be considered for design of slideways.

1. Rigidity
2. Damping capability
3. Geometric and kinematics accuracy
4. Speed of slide
5. Friction factors
6. Wear resistance
7. Protection against swarf (scraps)

Apart from the above, the drive ‘mechanism should be placed in such a way that the
reaction force and resulting frictional forces are uniform in the slideways.
This will ensure uniform wear on slideways.
The following are important types of slideways (or) guide ways
1. Friction slideways
2. Antifriction linear motion (LM) slideways
3. Hydrostatic slideways
4: Aerostatic slideways

Friction slideways (Wear resistant slideways)

Friction slideways ate widely used in con machines due to their low manufacturing cost
and good damping properties.
These slideways operate under conditions of sliding friction and have varying coefficient
of friction.
The coefficient of friction varies with the sliding velocity.
The coefficient of friction is very high when the slide starts moving and as the slide speed
increases falls rapidly.

So, during starting of the slide, more force should be given to overcome the frictional
This more force will deform the lead screw elastically:
The energy thus stored in the screw, together with the applied force makes the slide to
slip and move at faster rate.
When the speed of slide increases, the friction force decrease and hence slide moves
faster than intended. (Faster than desired speed).
This event may repeat itself and cause errors in positioning and consequently in a jerky
motion. This phenomenon is known as stick slip phenomenon.

Simply, the stick slip phenomenon prevents smooth starting of slide from rest.
To reduce the possibility of stick-slip, the coefficient of friction (R) between the contact
surfaces should be maintained minimum and constant.
Stick-slip can be overcome by using plastic inserts for slideways (or) rolling element
slides as shown in Fig.
Stick slip are overcome by attaching strips of material such as Poly Tetra Fluora Ethylene
(PTFE) (or) Turcite lining at the slideway interface.
There materials have a low and constant coefficient of friction (mu = 0.1).
After long duration, when the strips wear to a great extent, they will be replaced by new
strips to maintain accuracy.
The cross section of coated flat guidance, Dovetail guidance and Vee guidance are shown
in following figures.

The ‘V- or Inverted ‘V’ slideways are widely used on lathe beds.
The V guide is normally not much affected by wear, since there is a closing action as the
upper member settles on the lower member and this automatically maintain alignment.
Hence, jibs are not required jib is a tapered piece which is used to adjust the clearance
between the mating parts due to wear
Most of lathes have a combination of ‘V and flat guide ways to prevent twisting of the
slide as shown in the above Fig.
Provisions are made to prevent the carriage from lifting off the slideway.
Flat and Dovetail Slideways
The flat and dovetail slideways are mostly used in CNC machine tools.
The flat slideways have better load-bearing capabilities than other slide ways. Over a
period of time, the wear and tear occurs over the surfaces of slideways.
To reduce the excessive clearance caused by the wear, the tapered jibs are fitted in
between slide and slideway to ensure accuracy.
The slides and slideways are normally made up of cast iron. The cast iron may be heat
treated. It may be flame hardened, induction hardened (or) hardened surfaces will be
fastened on the surfaces.

Cylindrical guideways
In this guide ways, the bore in the carriage housing provides support to the guideway.
Cylindrical guideways are very efficient only for light loads and short traverses.
The disadvantage of these guideways is that the guide bar may sag (or) bend at the centre
of the span under a load when it is used for long transverse.

Anti friction Linear Motion (LM) guideways

Since the friction is very high in the friction slideways, the antifriction guideways are
generally used in which recirculating balls are used for providing rolling friction.
So in antifriction LM slideways, the sliding friction is replaced by rolling friction.
These antifriction LM guideways are used in CNC machine tools for the following

1. To reduce the amount of wear

2. To improve the smoothness of movement
3. To reduce friction
4. To reduce heat generation
5. No stick-slip.

These slideways have lower damping capacity

In this, a number of recirculating balls provide a rolling motion between the slider and
At the end of the block, there are end plates to ensure that the balls circulate through the
rolling tracks.
This system provides very high rigidity and very low friction for the movement of the
slide. Instead of balls, if rollers are provided then its name becomes Recirculating linear
roller bearings.

Recirculating ball bush is shown in fig.

In this system, the balls are arranged in a track inside a bush which can slide along a
ground and to provide the linear motion.
There are two types of ball bush - open type and closed type. They are available with (or)
without seals,

The rotary motion from the motor have to be converted into the linear motion to move the
various axes of the machine, tool.
In conventional machines lead screw and nut (or) the rack and pinion systems are used
for this purpose.
But in case of CNC machines, the recirculating ball screw-nut system is used to convert
the rotary motion into linear motion.
It is similar to replacement of simple journal bearing by ball bearings.
In recirculating ball screws, the nut is replaced by a series of balls.
These balls circulate in the channel in the form of threads.
So a highly efficient rolling motion of balls in the space between the screw shaft and nut
is obtained.
The balls at the end of the thread portion iii the nut will be returned to the beginning of
the thread form by a deflector.
There are two types of arrangements for returning the balls which are shown in
following figures (a) and (b)
In fig (a), the balls are returned through an external tube.
In this type, the balls at the end of the thread will be picked up by a return tube which
recirculates the balls to the beginning of the load zone by providing continuous rolling
In fig (b), the balls are returned to the start through a channel inside the nut.

Fig: Ball Screw Arrangement

Advantages of recirculating ball screws

1. They have 1onge life,
2. Minimum wear in the screw. So more accuracy is obtained
3. Less frictional resistance.
4. Heavier loads can be carried and moved at faster speeds.
5. Less power is needed to drive the screw due to less frictional resistance.

The efficiency of the recirculating ball screw is of the order of 90%.

Hydrostatic Type slideways
In this slideways, a constant film of oil prevents metallic contact between the sliding
members and thus reduces wear to a minimum.
Here care should be taken to maintain an unbroken oil film.
The friction is reduces by forcing oil under pressure between the sliding surfaces.
Depending on the weight of the moving member and the cutting force developed, the
pressure of the oil is automatically varied.
A high degree of dynamic stiffness and damping is provided by these slideways.
But due to high cost and difficult in assembly, their application is limited.

Aerostatic slideways
In this type, the separates the slide and slide is raised on a cushion of compressed air
which entirely the slideway surfaces.

But this type is only used for positioning work such as Drilling, boring, and reaming
because of its lower stiffness.
Also, this type has drawback that there may be misalignment due to lifting of slides,
when uneven load is situated on the work table.

Spindle drives and Feed drives

Spindle is an important part of the machine tool.
It gets power from its drive unit and deliver to the work in case of lathe and to the tool in
case of drilling and milling operations.
In lathe, the spindle holds the workpiece also.

Spindle is used to
1. Center the workpiece (or) tool
2. Hold the workpiece (or) tool
3. To increase the stiffness and minimize the torsional strain on the spindles, they
are designed as stiff as possible. Also, the final drive to the spindle should be
located as near as possible to the bearings.
4. In case of lathe, when a chuck (work holding device) is mounted on the spindle,
the accuracy of rotation is important as it affects the roundness of the workpiece.
5. The rotational accuracy of the spindle is mostly dependent on the q design of the
bearings used and preloading
6. The accuracy and the quality, of the workpiece depends directly on the geometric
accuracy, running accuracy and stiffness of the spindle assembly.
7. The various types of spindle bearings used in the design of a spindle for CNC
machine tools are:

1. Hydrodynamic bearings
2. Hydrostatic bearings
3. Antifriction bearings
8. The work (or) toots carrying spindles are rotating at the order of 30-6000 rpm.
9. The main function of the drive is to cause motion to the spindle (or) slide to
execute motion commands issued by the CNC system. In CNC machines, the
metal is removed as a result of the movement of the workpiece and the cutting
tool as shown in following figure:
To maintain a constant metal removal rate, the spindle and tool movement to be
coordinated such that the spindle has a constant power and the - slide has a constant
In order to ensure a high degree of consistency in production, CNC machines are built up
with variable speed drives with higher control accuracies.
The electric motor for spindle drive and feed drive are shown in the following figures.

Various electric motors used in machine tools are given below:

Spindle drive motors
1. DC shunt Motor (Separately excited)
2. Three phase A/c induction motor

Feed drive motors

1. DC Servomotor
2. AC servo motor
3. Stepper motor

Note: Spindle drives require constant power and feed drives require constant torque. The
following are the requirements CNC spindle drives:
1. Excellent running smoothness
2. High rotational accuracy
3. Wide constant power band.
4. Fast dynamic response .-
5. High speed up to 9000-20000 pm
6. High load capacity
7. Compactness
Normally, the dc spindle drives are used in machine tools. However, with the availability
of microprocessor-based A/C frequency invertor, the ac drives are preferred since it and
be used for C axis applications for speed control in the range of 1:10, 00, 000 with
Feed drives
A feed drive comprises of a feed servomotor and an electronic controller.
Speed motor has a constant torque. In continuous path (contouring) operations, several
feed drives have to Work simultaneously since the desired profile path has to be followed

Requirements of CNC feed drive:

1. The CNC feed drive should have constant torque for overcoming frictional and
working forces.
2. It should be able to provide variable speed with a speed range of 0.1 rpm to
2000 rpm without waviness.
3. It should be able to position the tools with the smallest increment of 1-2 .tm.
4. Low electrical and mechanical time constants.
5 High torques to weight ratio.
6. High torque for quick responses.
7. It should be totally enclosed non-ventilated design.
The following are feed drive used in CNC machine tools.
1. DC servomotors
2. Brush DC servomotors
3. AC servomotors
4. Stepper motors
5. Linear motors
DC servomotors are the high performance motor and are used in CNC machine tools
where the start and stop must be made quickly and accurately.
The light weight and low - inertia armatures of DC servomotors respond quickly to the
excitation voltage changes.

Brushless DC servomotors
In this type, the construction of iron cored motor is turned inside out:
Hence the rotor becomes a permanent magnet and the stator becomes a wound iron core.

Stepper motor
A stepper motor steps (rotates slowly) in- fixed angular increments. Step size (or) step
angle (or) angular increment is determined by the construction of the motor and the type
of drive system used to control it.
Normally the step angle is 1.80. i.e., 200 steps per revolution (step angle= 1.8°)
Nowadays, micro step motors are capable of giving angular increment of 0.0144° step
Advantages of stepper motor -
1. Low cost
2. Ruggedness
3. Simplicity in construction -
4. High reliability
5. No maintenance.
Linear motors
Nowadays, most of the CNC machine tools use-the linear motors.
The linear motor consists of a series of magnets attached to the machine base and a set of
electrical coils plotted in a steel laminate core attached to the moving slide.
Machines built up with linear motors can produce parts with higher accuracy and close
tolerances at higher speeds and feeds.
Also, linear motors reduce the non machining time with high acceleration and
deceleration rates.

Work Holding Devices

In CNC lathes, self centering 3 jaw chucks are used for holding very simple workpieces.
But for complicated shapes of the workpieces, special fixtures are used for holding
Grid plates are generally used as fixtures.
This grid plates are provided with precisely drilled holes and tapped holes to clamp the
The gridplates and tombstone are shown in the following figure.

The grid plate in the form of rectangle with four parallel faces is called tombstone.
This is used for clamping multiple workpieces.
This fixture along with rotary table will be used as an indexing fixture for clamping more
workpieces in a single fixture.
Apart from the above, a large number of fixtures like angle blocks and base elements are
used to clamp the workpieces in position quickly.
The work holding devices should have following characteristics.
1. It should enable a number of operations on different faces in a single setting.
2. It should have a provision for removal of chins, burrs and swarf easily.
3. No interference should be given by it to the cutting tool during operation.
4. Incorrect loading of job should be eliminated by its design.
5. It should be sufficiently strong and rigid enough to withstand and transmit the cutting
6. There should be an arrangement for easy and quick loading and unloading of the
7. In should be safe for usage
8. It should firmly fix the component without yielding.
9. It should be able to adapt the automated loading or unloading the job.
10. It should be simple in construction.

To minimize the downtime in CNC machines, special work holding devices are designed.
These special work holding devices are known as Pallets.
That is why; CNC machines are also called Pallet machines.
In fully atomized CNC machine centre, Automated Pallet Changer (APC) is used.

There are two types of pallet system.

1. Linear pallet shuttle

Linear Pallet shuttle

Refer fig (a). When one workpiece (in table 1) is machined the next workpiece (in, table
2) will be loaded and set up in the setting station 2. Thus the non productive time due to
positioning workpiece on the table is reduced. There are two tables provided in the
machine. The linear pallets shuttles to and fro as shown in fig.
2. Rotary pallet.

In Fig. (b), the machined job comes to station 2. In fig (c), the next workpiece (in table 2)
is ready and workpiece in table 1 is ready for unloading.
Any number of jobs can be mounted in a line on the linear pallet shuttle.

Rotary Pallet
Rotary pallets are used for more flexible automated loading in CNC machines.
Three rotary pallets have four different stations depending upon the requirements shown
in fig.

The devices used for holding two types of tool loading devices.
1. Spindle Tooling
The tools are known as tool holding devices. There are
2. Flexible tooling
Tool holding Devices
Spindle Tooling

This spindle tooling is the type used for holding tools to perform milling, drilling, boring
and tapping operations.
The spindle tooling is shown in fig. Many number of spindle locations Sand variety of
cutting operations give it wide applications.
Some important types of spindle tooling are given in following figures.

1. Collet Chucks with extensions - These are used for, holding the end mills.

Shell mill adapter

It is used for holding shell mill.
In this system, the tool holder is spilt into two parts.
One parts is fitted with machine and another part (adaptor) is used to hold the tool.
This flexible tooling system uses light weight tool heads fitted to tool holder of turret.
This same can be used for other machining operations also.
Hence, the number of tools required is minimized by this system.

Automatic Tool changers

To reduce the idle time-(non-productive time) wasted for changing the tools from one
operation to another, Automatic Tool Changers (ATC) are widely used in CNC machines.
This ATC improves machine utilization by minimizing idle motions. In this ATC,
different tools are arranged in sequence according to the part, programme.
Once the operation is over, the next tool is automatically changed and positioned for
machining based on the tool seqpence given in the part programme.
Because of ATC, the ONC machines become moreS automatic with little operator’s
The following facilities are provided, with Automatic Tool changers.
1. Tool magazine in which more number of tools are stored.
- 2. Tool adaptor which will be picked up by tool change arm.
3. Automatic control system to perform the tool change function.
4. Tool change procedure.
The tool magazine stores more nuthber of tools with tool change procedure. The simplest
type of tool magazine i a turret as shown in the following fig. The tool change arm is not
at all used.
Flexible, Tooling: This type is used for reducing the overall tool requirement to
CNC Drilling I Milling Machines
The turret is autom indexed so that the tool will be positioned for next operation. This
indexing function is controlled by automatic control system. The turret is used for turning
operation and it nornially contains upto 12 tools. When the control system receives a
signal for change of tool, the turret rotates and required tool comes to cutting position.
For other operation like milling and boring etc, the ATC consists of
(i) a tool magazine for storing tools
(ii) a tool change arm for transferring tool ‘from tool magazine to spindle’ and ‘from
spindle to tool magazine.’ -

For storing large number of tools, the chain type tool magazine is used as shown in fig.
Normally the chain type magazine cOnsists of 16 to 24 tools and iii special cases, there
are more than 150 tools. The chain type magazines follow various types of paths
such as M type and rectangular type. /
Tool changing
In turret (a tool magazine for tuning operation), the tool changes are completed by
the turret indexing: But, in case of other tool magazines, the tool change arms are used
to transfer the tools. Normally, tool change time takes from 2 seconds to maximum 10
seconds. -
Tool change cycle
The tool is transferred from tool magazine to spindle and comes back to the tool
magazine after completion of one operation..This is known as tool change cycle. This
cycle consists of two stages namely,
(i) Tool selection stage
(ii) Tool Transfer stage
A common -type of tool change arm with double gripper for tool changing is shown
in Fig.
Tool selection stage
Once the tool selection command is received by the ATC, the selected tool comes to a
place known as tool change position. This completes the tool selection stage. Normally
the tool for next operation would be selected during previous operation.
Tool transfer stage -
The selected tool is transferred to the spindle from magazine while the previous tool (the
tool just finished the cutting operation) is transferred to the tool magazine from spindle.
Care should be taken so that the tool does not, hit the job.
Principle of operation
The device used for controlling the movement and sp*eed of axes is known as feed back
device. The closed loop system in CNC machines uses the feed back devices as shown in
Transducers are üed for accomplishing the feed back functions. , For converting physical
quantities like speed, displacement etc into an electrical signal, the transducers are used. ,
The transducers ate usually analog (or) digital type depending on the signal generated by
them. An analog transducer will produce a continuous signals where the digital
transducer will generate discrete electrical pulses.
Types of Feed back devices
There are two type’s of feed kack devices
I Position feed back
(ii) Velocity feed back
Positioning feed back devices
Positioning feed back devices (Transducers) are used to measure the displacement
of the position of the slide (or) table and send the signals to the comparator to correct the

Linear Transducers
This transducers measure the, position of slide directly. A simple. linear transducer. is
shown in figure.

In this, a contactor slide Is sliding over a potentiometer while the machine slide is
moving. The machine slide and contactor slide are attached together. So if the machine
slide moves, then the contactOr slide will also move.
Depending on the various position of the contactor slide, the voltage in the potentiometer
will vary (since the length of resistance attained by the contactor slider varies).
Since any transmission elements like gear train are not provided in this system, the error
due to transmission is eliminated.
Glass scales with line grating
It is a linear scale transducer fixed to the machine tool structure for direct position
measurement. In this, there is a finely, graduated scale (grating) made of glass which
provides a measuring surface along with a scanning unit. The grating is fixed. to the
stationary part of. the machine tool while scanning unit is fixed to the moving part.

Linear grating position measuring transducer

The relative rhovement causes the light to pass through the openings, whith is sensed by
photocells. The resistance of photocells changes with the intensity of light falling on jt.
The periodic signals are converted proportionately with respect to the work table

Ferranti system (using Moire Fringe effect)

In linear transducer, the optical gratings are used. When the two grating overlap each
other, a Moire fringe’ pattern is formed depending on the displacement. The moire fringe
pattern is obtained while the linear grating is slightly tilted with respect to scanner unit
grating. The actual distance moved by the fringe patterp can be calculated since it
depends on the grating spacing, the angle of grating and the distance moved.
Binary coded scale uses a special sensor known as scanner for measuring the parallel
strips with alternate bright and dark patches. The darker patches are connected by an
electrical contact represented by binary 1, where the brighter patches With binary 0. The
total- movement of slide is calculated by adding all dark areas in all rows.
Binary coded Scale

So. Number represented by the dark patches (at the arrow shown in fig)
A binary code scales
Inducto syn
This system is shown in fig.

This system has, two parts namely scale and slider. The scale is similar to rotor and the
slider is similar to stator winding. They have coils in the fOrm of hair pin turns etched on
to glass, steel or aluminium plates. The coils are bonded to the scale over an insulating
When two different voltages are applied with these ‘two sliding coils, a corresponding
emf is induced. This emi is directly proportional to the position of slider with respect to
Rotary transducer (Angular position measuring transducer)
This feed back device measures the angular position of the lead screw for measuring
the position of machine slide. It is an indirect method. The gear train ratio will be useful
for calculating the displacement of machine’ slide by measuring angular position of lead
screw. -
There are two types of rotary transducers
1. Encoders 2. ‘Resolvers
Encoders: Absolute Encoder,
The encoders are further clagsified into absoluie encoder and incr encoder.
The absolute encoder ‘providErs exact rotational position of the shaft whereas the
incremental encoder gives relative position of the shaft in term digital pulses. This
encoder consists of a glass disc with a number of accurately etched equi4istant ‘slots
along the periphery. , ‘ ‘
The outermost track has a equivalent value 1. (ie 20 ‘= 1). Similarly, other consecutive
tracks have the values. ‘ ‘ ‘ –

The encoder disk of an incremental encoder consists of one track and two sensors
shown in fig. (a). The outputs of these encoders are called chanínel A and channel B as
shown in fig (b). When the shaft rotates, the pulse trains occur on these channels with a
frequency proportional to the rotational speed. The waves are formed with a 90° phase
difference. These signals are fed to comparator which determines the magnitude and sign
of error.
The incremental encoder provides more
compared to the absolute encoder.
The encoder is directly mounted
as shown in fig.
resolution (more accurate) at lower c6st
on the servomotor shaft (or) at the end of lead
The actual distance moved by the machine slide table is calculated from motion by
knowing lead (lead = pitch x no. of start) of the lead screw.
the rotary
The resolver consists of stator and rotor windings which are mounted at right angles to
each other as shown in fig. It has similar construction features as small ac motor.
In a resolver, Ihe output signal as a function of rotating is obtained by inductive coupling
between the stator and rotor. If an ac voltage is applied to one of the stator coils, a
maximum voltage will appear at a rotor coil, when these two coils are in line arid the
voltage will disappear for ±90 shift.
When the shaft is rotated, the induced voltage in one rotor coil follows a sine curve and
the voltage induced in the othei follows a cosine curve. So the phase- angle depends on
the angular position of the rotor shaft. Hence for example, if the rotor is rotated 90 –

mechanical degrees, degrees.

the output voltage of the rotor winding is shifted by 90 electrical
In the beginning, the CNC technology was applied on metal cutting machines like. lathes,
milling machines etc. Then, to increase the flexibility of the machines in handling. variety
of components and to finish them in a single setup on the same machine, CNC machines
performing multiple operations were developed. The most modern CNC machining
Centre have been developed for machining Prismatic components combining operations
like milling; drilling, boring and tapping.Further, for machining cylindrical components
with multi-operations, the CNC turning centres have been develqped.
There are two types of machining centres.
1. Vertical axis Machining Centre (VMC)
2. Horizontal axis machining Centre (HMC)
If the spindle head is replaced by an indexible tool turret, then it is known as Turret
Machining Centre (TMC).
These CNC machining centres use the Automatic Tool changer (ATC) for changing tools
and Automatic Pallet change.r (APC) for changing workpieces within short duration. By
this, the idle time of machine due to setting of the job on the. machine table, and setting
of the tool on the tooL holder have been eliminated in both VMC arid HMC.

Vertical Machining Centre: (VMC)

In this VMC, the tool is able to generate more complex surfaces compared to HMC.
Hence most of the CNC machine tools are of this type. This VMC is provided with
variety of accessories to perform multiple operations on a job in a single setup These
‘(MC are mostly used for tooling industry for machining of dies and moulds. The VMC
allows the ATC nearer to spindle. The placement of ATC nearer to spindle allows for a
very, fast tool change.
Horizontal Machining Centre: (HMC)
Since the horizontal machining centre is sturdier than the VMC, it is used for heavier
workpieces with large metal removal rates, ilence, the cutting tool used in this HMC
would not be big. As a result, tool magazine will have larger space for each tool. So the
tool magazine for HMC is very large and heavy. /
Rotary table is used for holding the workpieces in HMC.
When HMC is used for machining box like components, the rotary table will be most
useful for machining all four faces of the component in a. single setup.
Universal Machining Centre
Normally VMC is useful for machining one face of the component and HMC is useful
for. machining four faces of the component The complete machining of all five exposed
faces of cubical component in a single setup is possible with a feature to change the.
spindle configuration automatically from horizontal to vertical and viz versa in the
tjni4ersal Machining Centre: (%SMC). This swivelling the spindle is done by the part
programmes in UMC. .

Advantages of Machining Centers

1. It contributes higher productivity
2. It reduces non-cutting time (non-production time (or) idle time)
3. It improves part accuracy.
4. Higher spindle speeds.
5. Very high rapid traverse rate for tool positioning
6. Higher cutting speed..
7. It facilitates faster tool éhange.
8. It utilizes the digital servo control for main spindle and standard interface for axis
servo control for improved part accuracy.
9. It has got efficient thermal control •on machine elements such as spindle, ball screws
and bearings for better part accuracy.
Tooling for CNC machines’
Since the cost of GNU machine is high, the machine should be used to the maximum
extant possible.. For reducing the idle time, choosing the. appropriate cutting tool plays
important role. Since the GNU machine tools have adequate rigidity and high spindle
speeds, Cemented carbide tool (or) Ceramië tools can be used according to the situations.
Nowadays, majority of the tools used in GNU machines are of the cemented carbide type
with indexable insert type.
The selection of tools for a particular application should .be matched with the geometry
of the workpiece to be machined. Generally, manufacturer’s catalogue provides such
application information. It also shows other types of features that can be machined by the
tool. The following figure shows the capability of internal cutting tools to produce the
contour bores. .
Similar types of capability charts will be given in the manufacturers catalogues for the
range of cutting tools available.

Modular Tooling systems for turhing and Milling

In CNC turning centres, the different tools having different shank sizes and shapes which
require different tool holders for clamping them securely in the tool turret. It makes very
difficult to change the tool and to design the tool magazine. This limitation can be
eliminated by adopting modular tooling syitem such that all the tools have same type of
holding method used, whether it is internal (or) external turning. The example for
modular tooling used for turning took are shown in fig.
In this system, tool change takes only a few seconds. Hence, the available production
time of CNC machine is increased. Because of this system, the feed rate is increased the
component quality is raised and the tool lire and tool insert life are increased. Since the
different tool inserts have very high repeatable dimensions, it reduces the setting up time
and ensure a longer productive time in the machine tool.
in CNC machines is an assembly of a number of parts including
A milling tool used the actual cutting tool.

This assembly consists of cutting tool (end mill), the adopter to hold the, spindle taper, a
collet for.. holding the straight shank qf the end mill and a retension knob used
by hydraulic draw bar in the spindle housing for retaining or releasing the tool from the
spindle. There are number of shapes of the adopter depending . oh the ma tool standard
followed by the machine builder.
Tool presetting
The CNC part programming takes care of generation of actual profile of component.
These profile is coordinated through which the cutting tool tip moves. So it is important
to know the actual dimensions of the tool when it is placed in the spindle.
The actual point to be programmed in, CNC part program is the tip of the tool.
Therefore it is .necessary to know precisely the deviation of the tool tip from the actual
position. To. make the tool place in an exact position with respect to a reference point
(gauge point) ‘tool setting device’ is used. A simple tool setting device is shown in fig.

In this device, the base of the spindle is provides with exact taper as used in the actual
machine tool. The cutting tool is pl’aced in the spiftdle taper. Micrometer is used to
measure and align the position of the tip of tool. The micrometer is attached to a ‘U’
The ‘U’ clamp can be vertically moved and rotated about the post. The post has number
of location slots which are separated by equal distance (e.g. 30, mm). Therefore, the
length of the tool can be measured by the measurement of the micrometer plus the, slots
length (30 mm) along the post.
A similar tool setting device which can measure length as well aè the diameter of a
spin4le tooling are available in CNC tooling system. In the CNC turning, centre, an
integral tool setting devices are provided by many tool manufacturers.