Project: Development of a software module for the automated NC Code Optimization for multi-axes machine tools

This project aims at enabling the CAM system OPUS to create optimal manufacturing processes with regard to both, selection of process parameters and tools as well as creation of optimum tool movements. Based on this innovations primary and secondary process times of a manufacturing process can be reduced. Today European manufacturing industries operate modern machine tools featuring high-technology components to produce challenging high-quality parts requested by the global markets. These machining centres, often used for milling and boring processes, are equipped with numerous axes coordinated by a Numerical Control (NC) unit which assists multi aixs tool movements and allows the competitive generation of complex parts. In addition modern drive technologies used for feed and spindle drives enable high cutting speeds; in particular in combination with current cutting tools. To exploit these potentials of modern machining centres the user has to select appropriate process parameters, tools and tool-paths prospectively._x000D_Currently, the planning of manufacturing processes for multi-axis machine tools follows the procedure represented vertically in picture 1 attached to this document. After the path-planning and the choice of technological process parameters and cutting-tools in the Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) system the program is adapted by the postprocessor to the machine tool and its control. Using NC simulation possible collisions can be detected and time or path length reserves in the NC program flow are recognized. This simulation and optimization step is usually a time-consuming verification process. The result quality strongly depends upon the experience of the process planner. After that the program is transferred from the production planning to the the workshop. Mostly technological process parameters are checked once again and are modified during the resource-intensive commissioning procedure blocking a production machine. As shown in the state of the art, today’s CAM systems do neither provide technological information on the manufacturing process and the machine nor do they offer the possibility to optimize the manufacturing processes. _x000D_The results of this project allow an efficient tool-path creation that are adapted to the current situation in the working space of the machine-tool, including tool, work piece and clamping device. Furthermore the single traverse-paths connecting two machining operations will regard the actual state of material removal. In addition, attributes of the machine tool like axes accelerations will be taken into consideration as part of this project. An example for an optimized tool-path is shown in picture 1. Furthermore technological process parameters will be integrated into the CAM system to sustainable enhance production planning and the effectiveness of the entire manufacturing process. In doing so, attributes like tool wear, micro- and macro-geometric features of the tool, tool coatings and interaction of tool and workpiece materials will be considered in order to improve cutting parameters like forward feeds and speeds. The investigated coherences are transferred into a knowledge database connected to the CA; system to be available for process planning. _x000D_Mold manufacturing processes serve as a reference. Companies of this sector have high demands to workpiece quality and have to plan complex manufacturing processes while using latest machinery and cutting tools available. The conditions and challenges of this sector are characteristic for the entire European manufacturing industry addressed by this project. According to Zisios and preliminary studies of the project Ps [DJL+05] [DKD08] the afore mentioned optimization will result in an overall reduction of primary and secondary time of 30%. The current manual optimization steps are time consuming and can only be conducted by experts. Therefore a profitable optimization is limite to middle and large batch production. The effort for optimization of these kind of processes will be significantly reduced (60%) by the described innovations which will be integrated to the OPUS CAM system, guaranteeing an exclusive feature of these kind of software-systems and making an automated optimization of customized products profitable. _x000D_

Acronym NC Code Optimizer (Reference Number: 4678)
Duration 01/11/2009 - 13/05/2012
Project Topic This project aims at enabling the CAM system OPUS to automatically creating optimal NC Code with regard to technological process parameters and tool movements. The innovative approach combines state of the art manufacturing knowledge and path planning algorithms into one CAM software system.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
The results of this projects are concepts and generalized methods aiming at planning and optimize non-cutting tool paths. These results cover solutions for automatic tool path-planning as well as for machine tool-specific optimization of complex machining tasks. Hence, the complexity of programming complex multi axes machining processes were able to be reduced. At the same time the programming effectivity raised. _x000D__x000D__x000D_
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 2

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
4 Zisios A.E. Partner Greece
4 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover Partner Germany
4 Laboratory for Machine Tools & Manufacturing Engineering, Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki Partner Greece
4 OPUS Entwicklungs- und Vertriebs GmbH Coordinator Germany