In CNC part programmes, the lack of standardisation for representing part geometry and semantics of manufacturing operations leads to the necessity for existence of a unique part programme for each machine. Generating multiple programmes for producing the same part is not a value adding activity and is very time consuming. This wasteful activity can be eliminated if users are given the ability to write an NC program for a specific machine and robustly convert the program to syntax suitable for another CNC machine with a different structure. This, cross-technology interoperability, would enable for parts manufactured on old CNC machines using legacy code to be manufactured on new CNC machines by automatically converting the programmes. Every NC programme is written based on various categories of information such as: cutting tool specifications, process planning knowledge and machine tool information. This paper presents an approach for cross-technology interoperability by refining high-level process information (i.e., geometric features on the part and embedded manufacturing resource data) from NC programmes. These refined items of information stored in compliance with the ISO14649 (STEP-NC) standard may then be combined with new manufacturing resource information to generate NC code in a format that is compatible with machines based on different technologies. The authors provide a framework for this process of identification, semantic interpretation and re-integration of information. The focus of this paper is on asymmetric rotational components as the initial application area. To demonstrate the proposed cross-technology interoperability approach, a C-axis CNC turn-mill machine and a 4 axis CNC machining centre have been used with a simple test component.
- Turn-mill machining