To perform the complex mathematical calculations required for metrology based real-time adaptive control of CNC machining processes, powerful coordinate measuring machine (CMM) software needs to be directly integrated within the manufacturing system. CappsNC, from Applied Automation Software Inc., an adaptation of CappsDMIS CMM software, has been developed to program any Machining Center to perform advanced measurement, metrology and GD&T calculations using the standard DMIS language. Powerful offline programming, with automatic collision avoidance and 5-axis path generation, allows programming of all machine configurations including multiple-axis mill-turn machines.
Offline Programming: A CAM style programming environment with realistic machine tool virtual model, simulation capabilities, automatic path generation with collision avoidance and complete geometrical fitting and tolerancing functionality are embedded within the CappsNC programming environment. Multi-View graphics with an intuitive UI programming environment makes it very simple to create measuring programs for any machine tool configurations.
Online Execution: CappsNC connects with a comprehensive library of machine tool controllers providing a real time direct interface. A G-Code program is generated from the DMIS measuring program allowing the machine-tool to be used just as regular machining programs by the operator or as an automated cycle. CappsNC graphics displays live 3D simulation of the measurement process with calculations performed as soon as measured data is collected. The calculated metrology characteristics, such as best-fitting the data-set to a CAD model, are integral to the "on-the-fly" decision making and written back to the machine tool controller as a part of the adaptive control cycle.
Multiple-Sensor software: CappsNC is measuring probe brand independent using its own generated macros and can work with the existing installed machine tool probes.
CappsNC is a multiple-sensor measuring software that operates with kinematic and strain gage touch probes, analog scanning probes and laser line probes.
CappsNC generates vector-based probe calibration to compensate for any lobing errors of kinematic triggering mechanisms. Automatic calibration cycles are generated to calculate probe run-outs, effective radius and 5-axis head offset errors eliminating the need to independently preset the probes providing a quick check any 5-axis head machine misalignment.
Automatic contact scanning paths are generated for any part geometry, curve or surface measurement such as airfoil or gear profiles. Advanced data filters and automatic comparison to CAD models, with 3D best-fit algorithms, allows quick calculation of characteristics for on machine automatic decision making.
The advanced point-cloud functionality of CappsNC allows on-machine high density data collection using a blue light laser-line sensor. Laser scan programs are automatically generated by converting NC cutting programs or directly from CAD models. Automatic geometric feature extraction provides quick data analysis for reporting or G-code program adaptation to the actual part geometry.
CappsNC allows the operation of any machining-center as a CMM but the user advantages can be much larger than simply performing on machine measurements by providing pre-process, in-process and post-process benefits, which include:
Pre-Process Benefits: • Quick monitoring of the machine tool geometry by using an artifact • Advanced 6DOF part alignment and work offset creation • Re-posting of 5 Axis NC programs for non-rigid parts such as composites.
In-Process Benefits: • Dynamic cutting tool offset and wear compensation - measures and provides feedback for actual cutting tool shapes during machining process. • Provides automated decision making based on measurement results.
Post-Process Benefits: • Elimination of moving parts back and forth between machine-tool and CMM. • Create complete measurement reports including graphical displays and server data archiving and traceability. • SPC analysis and process charts.
Related Glossary Terms
Checking measuring instruments and devices against a master set to ensure that, over time, they have remained dimensionally stable and nominally accurate.
Materials composed of different elements, with one element normally embedded in another, held together by a compatible binder.
- computer numerical control ( CNC)
computer numerical control ( CNC)
Microprocessor-based controller dedicated to a machine tool that permits the creation or modification of parts. Programmed numerical control activates the machine’s servos and spindle drives and controls the various machining operations. See DNC, direct numerical control; NC, numerical control.
- computer-aided design ( CAD)
computer-aided design ( CAD)
Product-design functions performed with the help of computers and special software.
- computer-aided manufacturing ( CAM)
computer-aided manufacturing ( CAM)
Use of computers to control machining and manufacturing processes.
- machining center
CNC machine tool capable of drilling, reaming, tapping, milling and boring. Normally comes with an automatic toolchanger. See automatic toolchanger.
Science of measurement; the principles on which precision machining, quality control and inspection are based. See precision machining, measurement.
- numerical control ( NC)
numerical control ( NC)
Any controlled equipment that allows an operator to program its movement by entering a series of coded numbers and symbols. See CNC, computer numerical control; DNC, direct numerical control.
- statistical process control ( SPC)
statistical process control ( SPC)
Statistical techniques to measure and analyze the extent to which a process deviates from a set standard.