The developers of a new control software report it will allow CNC machine-tool builders and retrofitters to provide programmers and operators with easy-to-use workpiece programming and control functions for precision grinding. The NUMgrind package is an application-specific addition to NUM Corp.’s Flexium CAM suite of CNC software, for programming for a range of machining steps.
“The concept behind Flexium CAM software is to provide a straightforward, easy-to-learn programming method,” explained Steven Schilling, NUM Corp. general manager, noting that NUMgrind includes cycles various grinding sequences, including external and internal cylindrical grinding, surface grinding, wheel shaping, and dressing.
Specifically, NUMgrind is designed to simplify the creation of G-code programs for CNC machine tools by way of a highly intuitive graphical human machine interface (HMI); conversational-style, ‘fill in the
blanks’ type dialogs; or a combination of these two. Unlike conventional CAD/CAM workstation tools for generating CNC machine-tool control programs, NUMgrind is intended for use in the production environment. Shop-floor personnel can use it to program everyday tasks, like grinding, quickly and efficiently, and their work can be shared easily between 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. This connection makes manufacturing more efficient for a wide range of workpieces, including various different wheel forms and part types. The program can be configured for a variety of machine configurations too, such as OD/ID grinders, surface grinders, centerless grinders, and so forth.
The cylindrical grinding package includes OD/ID grind cycles for two-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 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 three-axis (X/Y/Z) machine configurations with built-in wheel dressing capabilities similar to that of the OD/ID cylindrical grinding package.
The HMI guides the operator through a step-by-step process to set up the machine for each part. Standard dresser set-up and part set-up cycles prompt the user to jog the axes to specific locations on the machine in order to teach the dresser and part zero program positions. These cycles allow users to calibrate their machines quickly and easily for a variety of parts and wheels.
As soon as the data entry is complete, the program is automatically generated, stored, and made ready for execution. The result is a modular, easily modifiable program that will produce the desired grind process.
In conjunction with NUMgrind, Flexium 3D (NUM’s graphical simulation software) provides operators with another tool to enhance productivity. Once a part program is generated through NUMgrind CAM, the operator can simulate the grinding cycle through Flexium 3D. The software can be configured in different ways to match many standard cylindrical and surface grinding machines. It can be used directly at the machine or as a standalone program for grinding process verification.
The software also gives operators more resources to ensure that generated programs match the desired outcome before grinding occurs on the machine.
NUM’s Flexium CAM suite, including the new NUMgrind package, is designed for use with its latest-generation Flexium+ CNC platform, which comprises a fully modular and scalable CNC solution for precision machine tool control applications, and includes a Safe PLC option and comprehensive safe motion control facilities.
“The OEM or retrofitter receives a control system with a complete, world-class grinding solution built-in,” Schilling concluded, “which eliminates the need for any additional software that can take years to develop.”