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A system in which actions are controlled by the direct

insertion of numerical data at some point. The system

must automatically interpret at least some portion of

this data

A programmable automation in which the process is controlled by

numbers, letters and symbols

Numbers form a program of instructions designed for a

particular job.

As job changes, the program of instructions is changed.


Drafting, assembly, Inspection, Sheet metal press working and

spot welding

NC wide applications in metal machining

Various sizes and shapes are made in small to medium size

Basic components of NC

A program of instructions

The program of instructions is a detailed step by step commands

which refers to the movement of the tool relative to the work
Input medium

1 inch wide punched tape, punched cards, magnetic tape ,35

mm motion picture

Manual data input

Direct numerical control

Basic components of a numerical control system
Controller Unit

It consists of electronics and hardware that

read and interpret the program of instructions
and convert it to mechanical actions of the
machine tool.

The typical elements of the controller unit

include the tape reader, a data buffer, signal
output channels to the machine tool, and the
sequence controls to coordinate the overall
The tape reader is an electrical-
mechanical device for the winding and
reading the punched tape containing the
program of instructions.

The signal output channels are connected

to the servo motors and other controls in
machine tools.
Machine Tool

The machine tool consists of the

worktable and spindle as well as the
motors and controls necessary to drive

It also includes the cutting tools,work

fixtures and other auxillary equipment
NC Lathe Machine
NC Milling Machine
Flat and prismatic work
For rotational work (Lathe Machine)

The classification of NC machine tool systems can be done in

four ways:

1. According to the type of machine:

Point-to-point versus contouring (continuous path)

2. According to the structure of the controller:

Hardware-based NC versus CNC.

3. According to the programming method:

Incremental versus absolute.

4.According to the type of control loops:

Open-loop versus closed-loop
According to the type of machine: Point-to-point versus
contouring (continuous path)

Point-to-point positioning of NC system

In PTP, the speed or path by which this movement is

accomplished is not important in point to point NC.

Once the tool reaches the desired location, the machining

operation is performed at that position.
Straight cut systems:

Straight cut systems

Straight Cut control systems are capable of moving the cutting

tool parallel to one of the major axes at a controlled rate
suitable for machining.
Contouring NC:

Continuous path NC system

it is capable of performing both PTP and straight cut operations
Straight or plane surfaces at any orientation, circular paths,
conical shapes, or most any other mathematically definable form
are possible under contouring control.
NC and CNC:
NC Machines

The digital controller in hardware-based NC systems employs

voltage pulses, where each pulse causes a motion of 1 BLU in
the corresponding axis.
In these systems a pulse is equivalent to
1 BLU = Pulse (1)
CNC Machines

In the computer the information is arranged, manipulated, and

stored in the form of binary words. Each word consists of a
fixed number of bits, the most popular being the 8-bit and 16-bit
In the CNC computer each bit (binary digit) represents

1BLU=Bit (2)
In NC the punched tape is moved forward by one block and
read each time the cutting of a segment is completed. During
the production of each part, the tape is read again.

In most CNCs the complete tape is read one time only and
stored in the computer memory before the cutting starts

By this method, tape reading errors are eliminated in CNC.

An absolute NC system is one in which all moving

commands are referred to one reference point, which is the

origin and is called the zero point.

The position commands are given as absolute distance from

that zero point. The zero point may be defined as a point outside

the work piece or at a comer of the workpiece.

In case of interruption , the machining proceeds where the

interruption occurred.
An incremental NC system is one in which reference point

to the next instruction is the end point of the preceding operation.

The sum of the positional increments is zero

In case of interruption the machining should be started from

the beginning.
Open loop controls

The slide may overshoot or may not reach desired position

because of inertia, wear and tear and hence in accurate
closed loop controls

The position sensors are used to correct slide movements

and achieve higher accuracy and repeatability
Advantages of NC

1.Reduced nonproductive time.

2. Reduced fixturing.

3. Reduced manufacturing lead time.

4. Greater manufacturing flexibility.

5. Improved quality control.

6. Reduced inventory.
Elimination of operator errors

Lower labor cost

Elimination of special jigs and fixtures

Flexibility in changes of component design

Reduced inspection.

Reduced scrap

Accurate costing and scheduling

Disadvantages of NC

1.Higher investment cost.

2. Higher maintenance cost.

3. Training NC personnel.
N.C. For Machine Tool Applications:

NC lathe:
Turning requires two-axis, continuous path control, either to
produce a straight cylindrical geometry (called straight
turning) or to create a profile (contour turning).

NC boring mill:
Horizontal and vertical spindle. Boring is for making internal
cylinder. The operation requires continuous path, two-axis
NC drill press:
These machines use point-to-point control of the workhead
(spindle containing the drill bit) and two axis (x-y) control of
the worktable.
NC milling machine:

Milling machines require continuous path control to perform

straight cut or contouring operations.

A machining center is a machine tool capable of performing

multiple machining operations on a single workpiece in one

The operations involve rotating cutters, such as milling and

drilling, and the feature that enables more than one operation
to be performed in one setup is automatic tool-changing.
NC for Other Metalworking Processes
Punch presses for sheet metal hole punching.
The two-axis NC operation in which holes are produced by
punching rather than by drilling.

Presses for sheet metal bending:

Instead of cutting sheet metal, these systems bend sheet
metal according to programmed commands.

Welding machines:
Both spot welding and continuous arc welding machines
available with automatic controls based on NC.
Thermal cutting machines:
such as oxy-fuel cutting, laser cutting, and plasma arc
cutting. The stock is usually flat; thus, two-axis control is
adequate. Some laser cutting machines can cut holes in
preformed sheet metal stock, requiring four-or-five axis

Tube bending machines:

Automatic tube bending machines are programmed to
control the location (along the length of the tube stock) and
the angle of the bend. Important applications include frames
for bicycles and motorcycles.
Other NC Applications

Electrical wire wrap machines.

Component insertion machines

Drafting machines.

Coordinate measuring machine.

Tape laying machines for polymer composites.

Filament winding machines for polymer composites.

Computer Numerical Control (CNC)

CNC refers to a computer that is joined to the NC machine to

make the machine versatile.

Information can be stored in a memory bank. The programme is

read from a storage medium such as the punched tape and
retrieved to the memory of the CNC computer.

Some CNC machines have a magnetic medium (tape or disk) for

storing programs.
CNC is a NC system that utilizes a dedicated, stored program
computer to perform some or all of the basic numerical control
Configuration of Computer Numerical control
Advantages of CNC
1.Increased productivity.

2. High accuracy and repeatability.

3. Reduced production costs.

4. Reduced indirect operating costs.

5. Facilitation of complex machining operations.

6. Greater flexibility.

7. Improved production planning and control.

8. Lower operator skill requirement.

9. Facilitation of flexible automation.

Limitations of CNC:

1.High initial investment.

2. High maintenance requirement.

3. Not cost-effective for low production cost.

Features of CNC
Storage of more than one part program

CNC controllers have sufficient capacity to store multiple

Various forms of program input :

punched tape,magnetic tape, floppy diskettes, RS-232

communications with external computers,and manual data
input (operator entry of program

Program editing at the machine tool :

Fixed cycles and programming subroutines :

Positioning features for setup :

Cutter length and size compensation

Acceleration and deceleration calculations

Communications interface

CNC controllers are equipped with a standard RS-232 or

other communications interface to link the machine to other
CNC systems possess a diagnostics capability that monitors
certain aspects of the machine tool to detect malfunctions or
signs of impending malfunctions or to diagnose system
Control start-up diagnostics

Malfunction and failure analysis

Extended diagnostics for individual components

Tool life monitoring

Preventive maintenance notices

Programming Dignostics
A computer numerically controlled (CNC) milling machine
The Machine Control Unit (MCU) for CNC

Central Processing Unit :

The central processing unit (CPU) is the brain of the MCU.

The CPU can be divided into three sections: (1) control section,
(2) arithmetic-logic unit,and (3) immediate access memory.

The control section retrieves commands and data from memory

and generates signals to activate other components in the MCU.
In short, it sequences, coordinates, and regulates all the activities
of the MCU computer.
The arithmetic-logic unit (ALU) consists of the circuitry to perform
various calculations (addition, subtraction, multiplication),
counting, and logical functions required by software residing in

The immediate access memory provides a temporary storage of

data being processed by the CPU. It is connected to main
memory of the system data bus.
Memory :

The immediate access memory in the CPU is not intended for

storing CNC software.
A much greater storage capacity is required for the various
programs and data needed to operate the CNC system.

CNC memory can be divided into two categories: (1) primary

memory, and (2) secondary memory.

Main memory (also known as primary storage) consists of ROM

(read-only memory) and RAM (random access memory) devices.
Operating system software and machine interface programs are
generally stored in ROM. These programs are usually installed by
the manufacturer of the MCU

Numerical control part programs are stored in RAM devices.

Current programs in RAM can be erased and replaced by new
programs as jobs are changed
High-capacity secondary memory (also called auxiliary storage
or secondary storage) devices are used to store large programs
and data files, which are transferred to main memory as

Common among the secondary memory devices are hard disks

and portable devices that have replaced most of the punched
paper tape traditionally used to store part programs.

Hard disks are high-capacity storage devices that are

permanently installed in the CNC machine control unit. CNC
secondary memory is used to store part programs, macros, and
other software
Input/Output Interface : The I/O interface provides
communication software between the various components of
the CNC system, other computer systems, and the machine

The I/O interface transmits and receives data and signals to and
from external devices.

The operator control panel is the basic interface by which the

machine operator communicates to the CNC system.

This is used to enter commands related to part program editing,

MCU operating mode (e.g., program control vs. manual control),
speeds and feeds, cutting fluid pump on/off, and similar functions
keyboard is usually included in the operator control panel.

The I/O interface also includes a display (CRT or LED) for

communication of data and information from the MCU to the
machine operator.

The display is used to indicate current status of the program as it

is being executed and to warn the operator of any malfunctions in
the CNC system.

Programs can also be entered manually by the machine operator

or stored at a central computer site and transmitted via local area
network (LAN) to the CNC system.
Controls for Machine Tool Axes and Spindle Speed :

These are hardware components that control the position and

velocity (feed rate) of each machine axis as well as the rotational
speed of the machine tool spindle.

The control signals generated by MCU must be converted to a

form and power level suited to the particular position control
systems used to drive the machine axes.

Positioning systems can be classified as open loop or closed loop,

and different hardware components are required in each case.
Depending on the type of machine tool, the spindle is used to
drive either (1) workpiece or (2) a rotating cutter.

Spindle speed components in the MCU usually consist of drive

control circuit and a feedback sensor interface. The particular
hardware components depend on the type of spindle drive.
Sequence Controls for Other Machine Tool Functions :

The auxiliary functions are generally on/off (binary) actuations,

interlocks, and discrete numerical data.

To avoid overloading the CPU, a programmable logic controller is

sometimes used to manage the I/O interface for these auxiliary
CNC software
The computer in CNC operates by means of software.
Operating software
It is installed by the MCU manufacturer and is stored in ROM
of MCU.
The principle function of operating software is to interpret the
NC part programs and generate the corresponding control
signals to drive the machine tool axes.
The operating software consists of the following
An editor, which permits the machine operator to

Input part programs

edit part programs
Perform other file management functions.

Control program is for

Decoding the part program instruction,
Performs interpolation and acceleration/deceleration
To accomplish other related functions to produce the
coordinate control signals for each axes.
An executive program

Manages the execution of CNC software as well as the I/O

operation of the CNC system.

The operating system software also includes the diagnostic

routines that are available in the CNC system.

Machine interface software

It is used to operate the communication link between the CPU

and machine tool to accomplish the auxiliary functions

Application software:

NC part programs that are written for machining application

Direct Numerical Control(DNC)

It can be defined as a manufacturing system in which a number of

machines are controlled by a computer through direct connection
and in real time.

The tape reader is omitted in DNC thus relieving the system of its
least reliable component. Instead of using tape reader the part
program is transmitted to the machine tool directly from the
computer memory.

In principle, one computer can be used to control more than 100

separate machines.
The system consists of four components.

1.Central computer

2. Bulk memory which stores the NC part programs.

3. Telecommunication lines.

4. Machine Tools.
DNC with satellite minicomputers
The computer calls the part program instructions from bulk
storage and sends data back from the machines.

This two way information flow occurs in real time, which means
that machine's requests for instructions must be satisfied almost

The computer must always be ready to receive information from

the machines and respond accordingly.

The remarkable feature of the DNC system is that the computer is

servicing a large number of separate machine tools, all in real

High reliability of a central computer compared with individual hard

wired Machine control units

Elimination of the tape and tape reader which were unreliable and
error prone

Control of multiple machines by one computer

Improved computational capability for circular interpolation

Part programs stored magnetically in bulk memory in a central


Computer located in an environmentally agreeable location

Data switching box to make a connection from the central
computer to a CNC for down loading part programs and
uploading data

Transmission of programs to the MCU is done through RS-

232-C connection
Switching box limits
The number of machines that can be included in the DNC
Limit depends on part program complexity
Frequency of service required for each machine.

Capabilities of the central computer

DNC wired networks
DNC switching box network system

Computer System is Organized as a Hierarchy with the Central


Coordinating several satellite computers that are each

responsible for a number of machines

Local area networks in different sections and departments of a

plant are inter connected in plant wide and corporate wide net
The term adaptive control means a control system that measures
output process variables and uses these to control system that
measures certain output process variables and uses these to
control speed and or feed.

Some of the process variables and uses these to control speed

and feed.

Some of the process variables that have been used in adaptive

control machining systems include spindle deflection or force,
torque, cutting temperature variation amplitude and horsepower .

In other words all the metal-cutting variables have been tried in

experimental control systems.
A number of potential benefits to the user of an adaptive control
machine tool .
The advantage gained will depend upon the particular job under
consideration. There are obviously many machining situations for
which adaptive control system cannot be justified.

1. Increased production rates

2. Increased tool life.

3.Greater part protection.

4.Less operater intervention.

5.Easier part programming.