Degree Candidacy: Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Date: Thursday, April 3, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: 132 EIB
Advisor/Co-Chair: Dr. Laine Mears
Co-Chair: Dr. Georges Fadel
Committee Members: Dr. John Wagner and Dr. Harry Law
Title: Design of a custom software application to monitor and communicate CNC machining process information to aid in chatter identification
In any manufacturing environment, it is important to be able to monitor the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining process so that high quality parts can be produced in the least amount of time in order to be profitable. This involves acquiring the proper parameters needed from the machine’s controller, which can prove to be difficult with proprietary machine tools that tend to limit access to the internal data collected by the controller. This closed approach to controller design also means that many technological advances that have recently become prevalent in society are not being adopted in the manufacturing industry, preventing the interoperability between hardware and software components and adding to the shortcomings in communicating the necessary machining parameters to machine operators. The project described in this thesis offers a solution to some of the communication, productivity, and part quality problems in the American manufacturing industry by providing a custom software application that integrates MTConnect, an emerging interoperable data communication standard, with proprietary data acquisition tools and custom sensors to monitor and communicate CNC machining process information.
The application described in this thesis was designed to aid in the identification of chatter conditions to the machine operator and to other users to take action for chatter suppression and avoidance. Chatter is an undesirable phenomenon that can reduce part quality and increase tool wear. These consequences result in higher costs to replace damaged parts and tools as well as increasing the amount of machine downtime which can reduce a company’s overall productivity. Once chatter is detected in the audible frequency range, damage to the workpiece has already occurred. Therefore, an early identification and communication method with the machine tool is warranted to easily monitor the machine in the event of impending dynamic part damage. This application was developed to provide a means to monitor cutting conditions to reduce and prevent chatter in the machining process and to aid in analysis to avoid subsequent unstable operating conditions.
Preserving part quality and productivity in manufacturing is also dependent on accurate information provided about the specific parts involved in the machining process. In addition to monitoring the process, this application facilitates the communication of part-specific information by improving the input and tracking of part numbers, and organizes the machining process information in a central location according to the specific part. Improving the part tracking process can aid in the organization of data to analyze the machining process for increased quality in future operations.