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‘Shop Floor Programming’ simplicity for CNC machines

20 November 2017

New software from NUM enables CNC machine tool builders and retrofitters to provide customers with easy-to-use machine setup and real-time control facilities.

Forming the latest application-specific addition to NUM’s FXCAM suite of CNC software, the new NUMgrind package simplifies machine tool programming for an extensive range of tasks, including external and internal cylindrical grinding, surface grinding, wheel shaping and dressing.

NUMgrind is specifically designed to simplify the creation of G code programmes for CNC machine tools through the use of a highly intuitive graphical human machine interface (HMI), conversational-style ‘fill in the blanks’ type dialogues or a combination of the two. Unlike conventional CAD/CAM workstation tools for generating CNC machine tool control programmes, NUMgrind is intended for use in the production environment. It enables shop floor personnel to handle everyday machining tasks such as grinding very quickly and efficiently – and the work can be easily shared amongst several people and several machines.

NUMgrind works in conjunction with embedded CNC grinding and dressing cycles and direct hyperlinks to several production files such as wheel/part data sheets, CAD files and/or other pertinent grinding production data to facilitate efficient manufacturing of a diverse range of workpieces, covering various different wheel forms and part types. It can be configured for a wide variety of machine configurations such as OD/ID Grinders, Surface Grinders, Centreless Grinders, etc.

The cylindrical grinding package includes OD/ID grind cycles for 2-Axis (X/Z) horizontal or vertical grinding machines and also offers an inclined axis capability. The dressing station can be table-mounted or rear-positioned to accommodate a wide range of machines. Standard forms or profiled wheels can be dressed with single point, double point or roller dresser. For surface grinding, NUM offers full grinding cycles for 3-Axis (X/Y/Z) machine configurations with built-in wheel dressing capabilities similar to that of the OD/ID cylindrical grinding package.

Machine production time is very efficient due to HMI pages that guide the machine operator through a step-by-step process in setting up the machine for each part. Standard dresser setup and part setup cycles prompt the user to jog the axes to specific locations on the machine in order to teach the dresser and part zero programme positions. These cycles enable the user to quickly and easily calibrate their machine for a wide variety of parts and wheels.

As soon as the data entry session is complete, the programme is generated automatically, stored, and made ready for execution. The result is a modular, easily modifiable programme that will produce the desired grind process.

In conjunction with NUMgrind, Flexium 3D (NUM’s graphical simulation software) provides the operator with another very useful tool to further enhance productivity. Once a part programme is generated through FXCAM NUMgrind, the operator can simulate the grinding cycle through Flexium 3D. The software can be configured in a variety of different ways to match many standard cylindrical and surface grinding machines. It can be used directly at the machine or as a standalone programme for grinding process verification. This software gives the operator more power to ensure that the generated programmes match their desired outcome before grinding occurs on the machine.

NUM’s entire FXCAM suite of CNC software, including the new NUMgrind package, is designed for use with the company’s latest-generation Flexium+ CNC platform. This platform comprises a fully modular and scalable CNC solution for a wide variety of precision machine tool control applications, and includes a Safe PLC option and comprehensive safe motion control facilities.

According to Steven Schilling, General Manager of NUM Corporation in Naperville, Illinois, “The concept behind FXCAM software is to provide a straightforward, easy-to-learn programming method. Our new NUMgrind package includes cycles for a wide variety of cylindrical and surface grinding operations. The OEM or retrofitter receives a control system with a complete, world-class grinding solution built-in, which eliminates the need for any additional software that can take years to develop”.

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