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.



Tool Monitoring for Complex Machining

By: Lori Beckman
One of the biggest challenges to tool monitoring on a multitasking machine is coping with simultaneous cutting operations. Caron Engineering (Wells, Maine) designed a system to meet this challenge.

Smooth Technology

Smooth Technology Is New Concept for CNC

By: Mark Albert
Smooth Technology is the umbrella term Mazak (Florence, Kentucky) is using to describe its new concept for the programming and control of complex, multi-axis machine tools.

Smooth Evolution of Machine Tool Control

By: Chris Felix (editor)
Many traditional turning shops are expanding their capabilities to meet other machining requirements. Multitasking machines have helped these shops to naturally transition into smaller lot sizes and highly complex parts.

Delta Tau Power PMAC

Controller’s Improved Processing Power Speeds Trajectory Generation

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
The Power PMAC machine controller from Delta Tau features a powerful CPU and a 2-GB program buffer for better computational power and trajectory generation.

Shops Serving Oilfield Customers Appreciate Retrofits

By: Derek Korn
Buying new is nice, but there are reasons why retrofits make sense for shops serving the oilfield industry.


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