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What is CNC Machining?

Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) Machining is a method

used to perform a wide range of manufacturing tasks, which are all
carried out by computerized devices. With the help of Computer Aided
Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Machining (CAM) in the late
1970s, CNC machines replaced the old-school manual machines.
CNC machines were able to be controlled by programming language to
carry out a wider variety of tasks with greater accuracy
Why is CNC Machining necessary?
CNC machine operators work in a wide variety of fields. People from all
different pursuits, such as hobbyists and even military groups, take
advantage of the cost savings accrued by using CNC machines to turn
raw materials into final products. The machines are faster, more efficient
and safer, too.

CNC machines can be used continuously 24 hours a day, 365 days

a year and only need to be switched off for occasional maintenance.


CNC machines are programmed with a design which can then be

manufactured hundreds or even thousands of times. Each
manufactured product will be exactly the same.


Less skilled/trained people can operate CNCs unlike manual lathes

/ milling machines etc. which need skilled engineers.


CNC machines can be updated by improving the software used to

drive the machines


One person can supervise many CNC machines as once they are
programmed they can usually be left to work by themselves


A CNC machine will manufacture each component as an exact


CNC machines are more expensive than manually operated

The CNC machine operator only needs basic training and skills,
enough to supervise several machines
Less workers are required to operate CNC machines compared to
manually operated machines
CNC means Computer Numerical Control. This means a
computer converts the design produced by Computer Aided Design
software (CAD), into numbers. The numbers can be considered to
be the coordinates of a graph and they control the movement of the
cutter. In this way the computer controls the cutting and shaping of
the material.
A CNC production facility needs three pieces of equipment:
A Computer:
The computer is used to draw the design. CAD Computer Aided
Design software is used for this purpose
An Interface:
A computer cannot be directly connected to a CNC machine. The
computer is connected to an interface
CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Machine:
The signals from the interface control the motors on the CNC machine.
The signals determine the way the vice moves. The vice moves in three

directions X, Y and Z. (Horizontally, vertically and depth). The signals

also control the speed of the cutting tool.
The whole process of designing and making an item on the CNC
machine can be split into three aspects INPUT-PROCESS-OUTPUT.
The diagram below explains this system.


1. Based on the motion type Point-to-point & Contouring
7. Point-to-point systems:
8. Some machine tools for example drilling, boring and tapping
machines etc, require the cutter and the work piece to be placed at
a certain fixed relative positions at which they must remain while
the cutter does its work. These machines are known as point-topoint machines as shown in figure 22.1 (a) and the control

equipment for use with them are known as point-to-point control

equipment. Feed rates need not to be programmed





Other type of machine tools involves motion of work piece with respect
to the cutter while cutting operation is taking place. These machine tools
include milling, routing machines etc. and are known as contouring

(a) Point-to-point system

(b) Contouring system

(2) Based on the control loops Open loop & Closed loop systems
Open loop systems:

(2) Based on the control loops Open loop & Closed loop systems
Open loop systems:
Programmed instructions are fed into the controller through an input
device. These instructions are then converted to electrical pulses
(signals) by the controller and sent to the servo amplifier to energize the
servo motors. The primary drawback of the open-loop system is that
there is no feedback system to check whether the program position and
velocity has been achieved..

Closed loop systems:

The closed-loop system has a feedback subsystem to monitor the actual
output and correct any discrepancy from the programmed input. These
systems use position and velocity feedback. The feedback system could
be either analog or digital. The analog systems measure the variation of
physical variables such as position and velocity in terms of voltage
levels. Digital systems monitor output variations by means of electrical
pulses. To control the dynamic behavior and the final position of the
machine slides, a variety of position transducers are employed
Closed-loop systems are very powerful and accurate because they are
capable of monitoring operating conditions through feedback
subsystems and automatically compensating for any variations in realtime.

Based on the number of axes 2, 3, 4 & 5 axes CNC machines.

2& 3 axes CNC machines:
CNC lathes will be coming under 2 axes machines. There will be two
axes along which motion takes place. The saddle will be moving
longitudinally on the bed (Z-axis) and the cross slide moves transversely
on the saddle (along X-axis). In 3-axes machines, there will be one more
axis, perpendicular to the above two axes. By the simultaneous control
of all the 3 axes, complex surfaces can be machined.

4 & 5 axes CNC machines:

4 and 5 axes CNC machines provide multi-axis machining capabilities
beyond the standard 3-axis CNC tool path movements. A 5-axis milling
centre includes the three X, Y, Z axes, the A axis which is rotary tilting
of the spindle and the B-axis, which can be a rotary index table.
Turning centre :
Traditional centre lathes have horizontal beds. The saddle moves
longitudinally and the cross slide moves transversely. Although the tools
can be clearly seen, the operator must lean over the tool post to position
them accurately. Concentration of chips may be creating a heat source
and there may be temperature gradients in the machine tool. Keeping the
above points in view, developments in the structure of the turning
centers lead to the positioning the saddle and the cross slide behind the
spindle on a slant bed as shown in the figure 22.4. Chips fall freely
because of slant bed configuration which is more ergonomically
acceptable from operators point of view.

Based on the power supply Electric, Hydraulic & Pneumatic

Electric systems:
Electric motors may be used for controlling both positioning and
contouring machines. They may be either a.c. or d.c. motor and the
torque and direction of rotation need to be controlled. The speed of a d.c.
motor can be controlled by varying either the field or the armature

Hydraulic systems:
These hydraulic systems may be used with positioning and contouring
machine tools of all sizes. These systems may be either in the form of
rams or motors. Hydraulic motors are smaller than electric motors of
equivalent power.
The advantage of using hydraulic motors is that they can be very small
and have considerable torque.

ball screw mechanism

The use of re-circulating ball screw reduces friction, backlash and wear.
The low friction reduces the torque required at the motor and the lost
motion through torsional deflection of the screw. The use of ball screws
also improves the dynamic response of the system. In some modern
designs, particularly in the case of high-speed machines, linear motors
are used in the place of servomotor ball screw combination.

Basic component of NC

+The VICE: This holds the material to be cut or shaped. Material must be
held securely otherwise it may fly out of the vice when the CNC begins
to machine. Normally the vice will be like a clamp that holds the
material in the correct position.
The GUARD: The guard protects the person using the CNC. When the
CNC is machining the material small pieces can be shoot off the

material at high speed. This could be dangerous if a piece hit the person
operating the machine. The guard completely encloses the the dangerous
areas of the CNC.
The CHUCK: This holds the material that is to be shaped. The material
must be placed in it very carefully so that when the CNC is working the
material is not thrown out at high speed.
The MOTOR: The motor is enclosed inside the machine. This is the part
that rotates the chuck at high speed.
The LATHE BED: The base of the machine. Usually a CNC is bolted
down so that it cannot move through the vibration of the machine when
it is working.
The CUTTING TOOL: This is usually made from high quality steel and
it is the part that actually cuts the material to be shaped.
Programming Fundamentals
Machining involves an important aspect of relative movement between
cutting tool and work piece. In machine tools this is accomplished by
either moving the tool with respect to work piece or vice versa.
Reference Points
a) Machine Origin The machine origin is a fixed point set by the
machine tool builder. Usually it cannot be changed. Any tool
movement is measured from this point. The controller always
remembers tool distance from the machine origin.
b) Program Origin It is also called home position of the tool.
Program origin is point from where the tool starts for its motion
while executing a program and returns back at the end of the cycle.


c) Part Origin The part origin can be set at any point inside the
machines electronic grid system. Establishing the part origin is
also known as zero shift, work shift, floating zero or datum.

Reference points and axis on a lathe

Reference points and axis on a

Milling Machine
d group



Command Statement



G00 Xx Yy Zz


G01 Xx Yy Zz Ff


clock-wise direction
G02 Xx Yy Ii Jj
G02 Xx Zz Ii Kk
G02 Yy Zz Jj Kk


counter- clockwise
G03 Xx Yy Ii Jj
G03 Xx Zz Ii Kk
G03 Yy Zz Jj Kk



Absolute programming (G90)

In absolute programming, all measurements are made from the part
origin established by the programmer and set up by the operator
Relative programming (G91)
In incremental programming, the tool movement is measured from the
last tool position.
Spindle control
The spindle speed is programmed by the letter S followed by four digit
number, such as S1000.
The mirroring command is used when features of components shares
symmetry about one or more axes and are also dimensionally identicaL


Cancellation of mirroring image


Mirror image on X axis


Mirror image on Y axis


Mirror image on Z axis


Illustrative Example for mirroring


Offset Direction = Left (G41)

Offset Direction = Right (G42)

Offset Direction = Off (G40)

Canned Cycles


A canned cycle is a preprogrammed sequence of events / motions of tool

/ spindle stored in memory of controller. Every canned cycle has a
G71 Stock removal in turning
G72 Stock removal in facing
G73 Pattern repeat
G70 Finish turning
G74 Axial drilling
G75 Radial grooving
G76 Threading
Turning cycle G71
This cycle generates a part shape from a cylindrical raw material, with
cuts along the axis. The cycle definition has the part shape, depth of cut,
finish allowance and couple of other parameters.
Threading Cycle- G76Sample list of G codes:

G00 Rapid traverse

G01 Linear interpolation (feed)
G02 Circular interpolation CW
G03 Circular interpolation CCW

G04 Dwell
G20 Inch unit
G21 Metric unit
G28 Automatic zero return (returns to a fixed position, typically for tool
G30 2nd reference point return
G32 Thread cutting (single motion)
G40 Tool nose radius compensation cancel
G41 Tool nose radius compensation left
G42 Tool nose radius compensation right
G50 Limiting spindle speed setting
G70 Finishing cycle
G71 Stock removal in turning
G72 Stock removal in facing
G73 Pattern repeating
G74 Peck drilling on Z axis / Face grooving
G75 Peck drilling on X axis / Grooving
G76 Threading cycle

G90 Single cut turning cycle

G92 Single cut threading cycle
G94 Single cut facing cycle
G98 Feed per minute
G99 Feed per revolution
G96 Constant surface speed
G97 Constant spindle speed
Sample list of M codes:

M00 Program stop

M01 Optional program stop
M02 Program end
M03 Spindle ON clock wise (CW)
M04 Spindle ON counter clock wise (CCW)
M05 Spindle stop
M06 Tool change
M08 Coolant ON
M09 Coolant OFF

M30 End of program and reset to start

M98 Sub program call
M99 Sub program end
Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)
Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) encompasses the entire range
of product development and manufacturing activities with all the
functions being carried out with the help of dedicated software packages.
CIM reduces the human component of manufacturing and thereby
relieves the process of its slow, expensive and error-prone component

CHALLENGES IN CIM Reduction in inventory

Lower the cost of the product

Reduce waste

Improve quality

Increase flexibility in manufacturing to achieve immediate and

rapid response to:


CIM hardware comprises the following:

Manufacturing equipment such as CNC machines or computerized
work centres, robotic work cells, DNC/FMS systems, work
handling and tool handling devices, storage devices, sensors, shop
floor data collection devices, inspection machines etc.
Computers, controllers, CAD/CAM systems, workstations /
terminals, data entry terminals, bar code readers, RFID tags,
printers, plotters and other peripheral devices, modems, cables,
connectors etc.,

Production changes

Process change

Equipment change

Change of personnel

CIM software comprises computer programs to carry out the following


Management Information System




Database Management

Modeling and Design






Production Control

Manufacturing Area Control

Job Tracking

Inventory Control

Shop Floor Data Collection

Order Entry

Materials Handling

Device Drivers

Process Planning

Manufacturing Facilities Planning

Work Flow Automation

Business Process Engineering

Network Management

Quality Management


Marketing: The need for a product is identified by the marketing

Product Design: The design department of the company establishes the
initial database for production of a proposed product. In a CIM system
this is accomplished through activities such as geometric modeling and
computer aided design while considering the product requirements and
concepts generated by the creativity of the design engineer.
Planning: The planning department takes the database established by
the design department and enriches it with production data and
information to produce a plan for the production of the product

Purchase: The purchase departments is responsible for placing the

purchase orders and follow up, ensure quality in the production process
of the vendor, receive the items, arrange for inspection and supply the
items to the stores or arrange timely delivery depending on the
production schedule for eventual supply to manufacture and assembly
Physical data: These are data stored in the computers storage device.
Logical data: This indicates how a user views the physical data.
File processing system
A file processing system helps people keep track of files as they move
throughout the various departments of a business. The purpose of
this sort of system is to keep things organized, generally in alphabetical,
numerical or chronological order.
The cutting tools can be classified on the basis of setting up of tool, tool
construction and cutting tool material : On the Basis of Setting up of
Cutting Tool (a) Preset toolsThe cutting tools can be classified on the
basis of setting up of tool, tool construction
and cutting tool material :
On the Basis of Setting up of Cutting Tool
(a) Preset tools.
(b) Qualified tools.
Tool which fits into a location on the machine, where its cutting edge is
accurately positioned within close limits relative to a specified datum on
the tool holder or slide, is known as qualified tool
(c) Semi qualified tools.
On the Basis of Cutting Tool Construction


Solid tools.
Solid tools are usually made of High speed steel or High
carbon steel


Brazed tools.
A forged shank of high strength steel with belt of high
speed steel, tungsten carbide steel.

(c) Inserted bit tools.

On the Basis of Cutting Tool Material
(a) High speed steel (HSS).
(b) High carbon tool steel (HCS).
(c) Cast alloy.
(d) Cemented carbide.
(e) Ceramics.
(f) Boraon Nitride.
(g) Diamond.
(h) Sialon.
In the CNC machines, fixtures are still required to locate
and hold the work pieces while machining. The work
holding devices should have the following uniqueness: (a)
(a) Work holding devices must have required accuracy and
must have matching
reference surfaces with the reference system.
(b) Work holding devices are allowed to perform a number
of operations on
different faces in a single setting.
(c) Work holding devices must enable quick loading and

(d) Work holding devices must be fool-proofing to avoid

incorrect loading of
the job.
(e) Work holding devices must be sufficient rigidity to
fully withstand the
cutting forces.
(f) Work holding devices must be safe in use and loading
and unloading.
(g) Work holding devices must have a sufficient of
clamping force for use of
full roughing cuts.
(h) Work holding devices must be simple in construction
maximum as possible.
ork holding devices must have required accuracy and must
have matching reference surfaces with the reference

T-Slots are the most common method of positioning and holding down
your work holding solution
Milling Vice


A pair of milling vises sits side by

side on a machine table
Step Clamps
The most common type of clamps are called step clamps because they
have little steps machined on them.

Rotary table
A rotary table is a precision work positioning device used in
metalworking. It enables the operator to drill or cut work at exact
intervals around a fixed (usually horizontal or vertical) axis. Some rotary
tables allow the use of index plates for indexing operations, and some
can also be fitted with dividing plates that enable regular work
positioning at divisions for which indexing plates are not available.


Planning and scheduling functions in CIM

Aggregate planning is a high-level corporate planning activity.
The aggregate production plan indicates production output levels for the
major product lines of the company. The aggregate plan must be
coordinated with the plans of the sales and marketing departments.
Because the aggregate production plan includes products that are
currently in production, it must also consider the present and future
inventory levels of those products and their component parts.

The production quantities of the major product lines listed in the

aggregate plan must he converted into a very specific schedule of
individual products, known as the master production schedule (MPS). It
is a list or the products to be manufactured, when they should be
completed and delivered, and in what quantities.

Many systems include a rough cut capacity planning (RCCP) capability,

which compares certain MPS items of the master schedule to specified
key resources of the plant (or multiple plants) to determine if the master
schedule is workable, given current the plant capacity.

Material Requirements Planning (MRP)

Material Requirements Planning (MRP) is a computer-based production
planning and inventory control system. MRP is concerned with both
production scheduling and inventory control. It is a material control
system that attempts to keep adequate inventory levels to assure that
required materials are available when needed.
The three major inputs of an MRP system are the master production
schedule, the product structure records, and the inventory status records.
Master production schedule (MPS). The master production schedule
expresses how much of each item is wanted and when it is wanted. The
MPS is developed from forecasts and firm customer orders for end
items, safety stock requirements, and internal orders.

MRP does not consider available capacity and often formulates

production plans not possible within a given specified plant capacity.
There are two types of loading in CRP: finite and infinite. With finite
loading, CRP considers the total capacity of a work centre and does not
load beyond that point. Infinite loading loads all work for the period into
the appropriate work centres then produces over and under load reports
showing where more or less capacity are needed to efficiently handle the

Modules of Capacity Requirement Plan

The additional functions of MRP II include forecasting, demand
management, rough-cut capacity planning (RCCP), and capacity
requirement planning (CRP), scheduling dispatching rules, and
input/output control. MRP II works within a hierarchy that divides
planning into long-range planning, medium range planning, and shortterm control.
MRP II is not
Many items on this list can be part of an MRP II, but are not solely what
it is.

a computer system

manufacturing control system


inventory reduction plan Sales & Purchase System

Material Management

MRP II systems can provide:

Better control of inventories

Improved scheduling

Productive relationships with suppliers

Just In Time (JIT)

just-in-time manufacturing (colloquially referred to as JIT production
systems), actual orders dictate what should be manufactured, so that the
exact quantity is produced at the exact time that is required.
Just-in-time manufacturing keeps stock holding costs to a bare

Just-in-time manufacturing eliminates waste, as out-of-date or

expired products; do not enter into this equation at all.

inspection costs and cost of rework is minimized

High quality products and greater efficiency

high customer satisfaction


re-working very difficult in practice, as inventory is kept to a bare


Transaction costs would be relatively high as frequent transactions

would be made.



The core activity in ERP is the creation of an integrated data model,

covering employees, customers, suppliers etc. A distinguishing feature of
the ERP software is that it incorporates best practices.
Enterprises to-day employ a mixture of several approaches to
manufacturing. They include:

Make to stock

Design to order

Make to order

Assemble to order


Finance Module
2. General ledger
3. Accounts payable
4. Accounts receivable
5. Cash management
6. Fixed Assets
7. Financial statement
8. Budget
9. Cost allocation
1.Distribution Module

Item control

Cost accounting

Purchase control


Sales control

Sales and marketing information

Electronic data interchange

Replenishment order control

Inventory control

Lot control

Location control
Early NC machines used a tape reader for storing and inputting the
program into the memory of the NC machine tool.

A DNC System


Upload and download CNC programs to and from machine tools

simultaneously and directly from the CNC systems.


Easy editing of the existing programs.

Eliminating the use of manual switch boxes to multiplex CNC
Organizing and cataloguing of all programs for instant access.
Eliminating the need for manually punching the program at the
keyboard thereby
Saving considerable costly machine time.
Eliminating the need for paper tape in the old generation of NC
Process planning is concerned with determining the sequence
of individual manufacturing operations needed to produce a
given part or product.

The process planning activity can be divided into the following


Selection of processes and tools

Selection of machine tools/Manufacturing equipment

Sequencing the operations

Grouping of operations

Selection of work piece holding devices and datum surfaces (set


Selection of inspection instruments

Determination of production tolerances

Determination of the proper cutting conditions


Determination of the cutting times and non-machining times

(setting time,

inspection time) for each operation

Editing the process sheets.

has the following advantages:

Reduces the skill required of a planner.

Reduces the process planning time.

Reduces the process planning and manufacturing cost.


Creates more consistent plans.

Produces more accurate plans.

Increases productivity.


Design input


Material selection


Process selection


Process sequencing


Machine and tool selection


Intermediate surface determination


Fixture selection


Machining parameter selection


Cost/time estimation


Plan preparation


Mc tape image generation.

These systems can broadly be clarified into two categories:


Variant computer aided process planning method.


Generative computer aided process planning method.

Variant Process Planning, Advantages and Disadvantages


Variant process planning approach is sometimes referred as a data

retrieval method.
Variant process planning approach is sometimes referred as a data
retrieval method. In this approach, process plan for a new part is
generated by recalling, identifying and retrieving an existing plan for
a similar part and making necessary modifications for new part. As
name suggests a set of standard plans is established and maintained
for each part family in a preparatory stage. Such parts are called
master part. The similarity in design attributes and manufacturing
methods are exploited for the purpose of formation of part families.
Using coding and classification schemes of group technology (GT),
a number of methods such as coefficient based algorithm and
mathematical programming models have been developed for part
family formation and plan retrieval. After identifying a new part
with a family, the task of developing process plan is simple. It
involves retrieving and modifying the process plan of master part of
the family.
Following advantages
lead to the reduction of time and labor requirement.
Reduced development and hardware cost and shorter development
Disadvantages of Variant Process Planning Approach
It is difficult to maintain consistency during editing
The quality of the final process plan largely depends on the
knowledge and experience of process planner.
Generative Process Planning, Advantages and Disadvantages


In generative process planning, process plans are generated by

means of decision logic, formulas, technology algorithms, and
geometry based data to perform uniquely processing decisions.
They rely less on group technology
The process logic rules however must be maintained up to dated
and ready for use
Variant or Generative, Which to Use?
Generally speaking, a variant system is better for manufacturing
setting where similar parts are manufactured repetitively. Because
parts are similar, Group Technology can easily be implemented and
shows quick and significant return on investment (ROI). Because
similar parts are produced repetitively, process plan can be
retrieved, slightly modified and used, without going through too
much trouble. On the other hand, generative process planning is
better suited for a manufacturing environment in which part does
not exhibit too much similarity and new part are introduced on a
regular basis. In this case, benefits cannot be gained from Group
Technology due to dissimilarity of parts. Because, new parts are
regularly introduced, historical data does not have too much value
to the process planner. However, aforementioned approach is a
rough guideline for selecting the appropriate CAPP approach.
Group technology is an operations management philosophy based
on the recognition that similarities occur in the design and
manufacture of discrete parts. Similar parts can then be arranged
into part families

Design attributes (such as geometric shape and size),
and Manufacturing attributes (the sequence of processing steps
required to make the part).

Visual inspection

Production flow analysis

Parts classification and coding system

Part Design Attributes

Basic (External/Internal) shape

Axisymmetric/Prismatic/sheet metal

Length/diameter ratio


Major dimensions

Minor dimensions


Surface finish

Part Manufacturing Attributes

Major process of manufacture

Surface treatments/coatings

Machine tool/processing equipment

Cutting tools

Operation sequence

Production time

Batch quantity


Production rate

Fixtures needed


Movement of materials on the shop floor (Automated guided

vehicles (AGV) or Rail guided vehicle (RGV)


Loading and unloading of components in machines (Gantry robot,

machine mounted robot, free-standing robot)


Inspection using vision sensors.

Manufacturing operations like painting, welding, component
insertion in printed circuit boards, sorting, automatic assembly,
deburring, sampling, dispensing, marking, etc.

Robots are programmable machines with some human like capabilities.

They are made up of mechanical components, a control system and a

Elements of a Robotic

Automated Guided Vehicles

Automated guided vehicle systems (AGVs), commonly known as
driverless vehicles, are turning out to be an important part of the
automated manufacturing system.
Components of AGVS


The Vehicle: It is used to move the material within the system

without a human operator.

The Guide Path: It guides the vehicle to move along the path.

The Control Unit: It monitors and directs system operations

including feedback on moves, inventory, and vehicles.
Objectives for Installing an Automated Storage System in a
Increasing the storage capacity
Increasing the stock rotation
Utilization of maximum floor space
Recovering the space for manufacturing facilities
Customer service to be improved
Control over inventories to be improved
Ensuring safety in storage function
Increasing the labour productivity in storage function
Reducing labour cost in storage operation
Reducing pilferage and improving security


Automated Item Retrieval System

This system is designed for retrieval of individual items or small

product cartoons. The items are stored in lanes rather than bins or
drawers. When an item is retrieved from the front by use of a rearmounted pusher bar, it is delivered to the pickup station by pushing it
from its lane and dropping onto a conveyor. The supply of items in
each lane is periodically replenished and thus permitting first-in/firstout inventory rotation. After moving itself to the correct lane, the
picking head activates the pusher mechanism to release the required
number of units from storage.
Lean manufacturing is the systematic elimination of waste.
The 3 Ms of Lean
Muda waste
Mura inconsistency
Muri unreasonableness

Generally, muda (or waste) can be grouped into the following



Excess production and early production




Movement and transport


Poor process design




Inefficient performance of a process


Making defective items

Definition of Lean


Half the hours of human effort in the factory

Half the defects in the finished product

One-third the hours of engineering effort

Half the factory space for the same output

A tenth or less of in-process inventories

The 5 Ss of Lean
Seiri (sort, necessary items)
Seiton (set-in-order, efficient placement)
Seison (sweep, cleanliness)
Seiketsu (standardize, cont. improvement)


Shitsuke (sustain, discipline)