Systems & Software

CNC & Machine Controls
The CNC (computer numerical control) system of a machine tool includes the control unit itself, as well as less visible parts of the motion-control system such as the servomotors, drives and axis positioning devices. These components are part of any CNC machine tool, but they might be bought separately and retrofitted later on older machines that are upgraded or refurbished. Also part of the control system are sensors that may allow the control to make certain real-time decisions during unattended or lightly attended machining processes. These can include probes for measuring the position of the part or machined features, as well as monitoring systems for detecting the presence of the tool or the force that is being exerted in the cut.

Featured Zone Content

Vector Programming Eases Five-Axis Aerospace Machining

Because the CNCs on this shop’s largest five-axis machining centers accept vector coordinates as program input instead of traditional G codes, critical jobs can be shifted readily from machine to machine.

The Need to Know Is Basic

An MTConnect-enabled monitoring system gives this shop a clear and simple picture of machine tool usage.

Dashboard view

MTConnect Is For Real

Introduced at IMTS 2008, this communications protocol for CNC machines and other manufacturing equipment is already helping shops and plants implement effective machine monitoring systems. Although these "early adopters" are motivated by the long-term promise of enterprise-wide efficiency gains, their experience with pilot projects shows that benefits derived in the short term are substantial and worthwhile.

Five-Axis Machining for Multi-Part Processing

By: Peter Zelinski
Several parts at various orientations in one setup create what would seem to be a programming challenge, but control features make this cycle simple to create.

Siemens Sinumerik

CNC Enables Four-Axis Turning without CAD/CAM System

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
The expanded contour machining cycle for Siemens’s Sinumerik controls now facilitates four-axis turning on lathes, enabling two turning tools, opposite one another, to machine a workpiece simultaneously for reduced machining time.

CNC System Can Be Customized for Three Different Operators

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
Okuma America introduces OSP Suite, an open-architecture CNC system that combines the company’s “Intelligent Technologies” with various software applications to improve cycle and lead times while achieving optimum machine conditions.

Grob chip in spindle detection system

Detecting Chips in a Milling Spindle

By: Mark Albert
Chips in a milling spindle can subtly deform a tool assembly until the cutting tool is out of alignment. Grob's chip-in-spindle detection system detect stresses that may indicate chip interference.

Leine & Linde PSE and PHE 900 rotary encoders

Rotary Encoders Employ EtherCAT Technology

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
The Leine & Linde PSE and PHE 900 series of rotary encoders, available from Heidenhain, are designed for heavy-duty applications and are now available with an EtherCAT interface option.

Siemens Answers with the Most Innovative CNC Solutions for Machine Tool Technology
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