Title: Making a process plan adaptable to CNCs

Authors: Hongqiang Wang, Xun W. Xu, J. Des Tedford

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand

Abstract: The research reported in this paper is a framework for adapting STandard for the Exchange of Products-(STEP-) compliant manufacturing information for a Computerised Numerical Control (CNC) machine. This STEP-compliant manufacturing information is represented in STEP-NC format containing information such as |Workplans|, |Workingsteps| and |Machining Features|. This type of information is intended to be generic and machine-independent as it contains the information about |what-to-do| rather than |how-to-do|. Each CNC machine (system) has its own physical configuration and control strategy. The |how-to-do| information (e.g. machining sequence and cutter path) needs to be generated only when a machine tool is chosen for the job documented in the STEP-NC format, that is |what-to-do| information. This framework consists of three parts: a Native CNC system database, an adaptor and a human–computer interface. The Native CNC system database is the foundation of the whole system since it contains all the native information about a specific CNC machine. The adaptor converts the generic manufacturing information into the native manufacturing information for a chosen machine tool.

Keywords: CAPP; process planning; computer-aided manufacturing; CAM; computerised numerical control; CNC machines; standard for the exchange of product; STEP-NC; distributed manufacturing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCAT.2006.010080

International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 2006 Vol.26 No.1/2, pp.49 - 58

Available online: 16 Jun 2006 *

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