NEW TECHNIQUE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF OPEN CNC …

units. A new controller is need to be developed in order to overcome these issues. In this study a new cell controller has been developed based on Ope...

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NEW TECHNIQUE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF OPEN CNC CELL CONTROLLER BASED ON ISO 14649 and ISO 6983

KAMRAN LATIF

A thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering

Faculty of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia

July, 2015

v

ABSTRACT

The aim of modern Computer Numerical Control (CNC) is to be more flexible, interoperable, adoptable, open and intelligent. In the projection towards the development of the next generation of CNC systems, the problem of current International Standards Organization (ISO) data interface model (ISO 6983) limitations was encountered. A new ISO standard known as Standard for The Exchange of Product Data (STEP) or ISO 10303 was introduced to overcome the issues of current data interface model in Computer Aided Design (CAD)/Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) systems. After that successful implementation, the standard was further extended to implement the STEP features on the CNC by introducing a new standard known as STEP-Numeric Control (NC) or ISO 14649. The implementation of STEP-NC was firstly initiated on the commercial CNC units by In-Direct STEP-NC programming approach. However, that approach failed to enable all the features of modern CNC systems due to the translation of data from high to low level and vendor specifications dependency of the commercial CNC units. A new controller is need to be developed in order to overcome these issues. In this study a new cell controller has been developed based on Open Architecture Control (OAC) technology and Interpreted STEP-NC programming approach. The aim of the developed system is to provide new techniques for both ISO data interface models (14649 and 6983) interpretation, along with its graphical verification, execution, monitoring and report generation functionalities into the CNC core. The implied system is composed of ISO data interface models interpretation, 3D simulation, machine motion control, live video monitoring and automatic document generation modules. The system has also been validated through manufacturing of case study components. Corresponding experimental results verified the proposed technique with satisfactory outcomes.

vi

ABSTRAK

Pembangunan Mesin Kawalan Berangka Komputer (CNC) yang moden adalah untuk menjadi lebih fleksibel, boleh beroperasi, boleh beradaptasi, system terbuka dan pintar dengan kehendak semasa. Standard Organisasi Antarabangsa (ISO) untuk model antaramuka data sediada yaitu ISO 6983 tidak dapat menampung keperluan sistem CNC di masa depan. Standard ISO baru, yang dikenali sebagai Standard for The Exchange of Product Data (STEP) atau ISO 10303 telah diperkenalkan untuk mengatasi masalah penukaran model antaramuka data yang digunakan sekarang kepada sistem dalam Rekabentuk Berbantu Komputer (CAD)/ Pembuatan Berbantu Komputer (CAM). Kejayaan perlaksanaan STEP telah membawa kepada pengembangan penggunaannya kepada CNC dengan memperkenalkan satu standard baru yang dikenali sebagai STEP-Numerical Control (NC) atau ISO 14649. Perlaksanaan STEP-NC telah mula digunakan untuk unit CNC komersil secara tidak langsung dalam pengaturcaraan STEP-NC. Walaubagaimanapun, pendekatan tersebut gagal mengataptasi kesemua ciri-ciri yang terdapat dalam sistem CNC moden kerana tidak boleh menterjemahkan data daripada tahap tinggi kepada tahap rendah dan terlalu bergantung kepada spesifikasi pembekal mesin CNC. Sistem kawalan yang baru telah dibangunkan berdasarkan teknologi Kawalan Rekabentuk Terbuka (Open Architecture Control, OAC) dan menggunakan pendekatan pengaturcaraan pentafsiran STEP-NC. Tujuan sistem ini dibangunkan adalah untuk menggunakan teknik baru model antaramuka dan tukaran data dari ISO 14649 ke ISO 6983, berserta verifikasi grafik, operasi pemesinan, pemantauan dan berfungsi untuk penyediaan laporan. Sistem yang dimaksudkan terdiri daripada modul interpretasi antara muka data ISO, simulasi 3D, kawalan pergerakan mesin, pemantauan video secara lansung dan penghasilan dokumen secara automatik. Sistem ini telah disahkan melalui penghasilan komponen dalam beberapa kajian kes. Keputusan eksperimen yang dijalankan telah mengesahkan sistem yang dibangunkan ini mengasilkan keputusan yang sangat memuaskan.

vii

TABLE OF CONTENTS

DECLARATION

ii

DEDICATION

iii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

iv

ABSTRACT

v

ABSTRAK

vi

TABLE OF CONTENTS

vii

LIST OF TABLES

xii

LIST OF FIGURES

xiii

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

xvii

LIST OF APPENDICES

xxii

LIST OF PUBLICATIONS LIST OF AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

cli xxiii

INTRODUCTION

1

1.1

Research Background and Motivation

1

1.2

Problem Statement

4

1.3

Aim of the Study

5

1.4

Scope of the Study

5

1.5

Limitations of the Study

5

1.6

Objectives of the Study

6

1.7

Thesis Format

7

LITERATURE REVIEW

8

2.1

Introduction

8

2.2

Computer Numerical Control

8

2.3

ISO 6983

10

2.4

ISO 10303

14

2.4.1 Antiquity of ISO 10303

14

2.4.2 Building of STEP

15

viii

2.5

2.6

2.4.2.1 Description Methods

15

2.4.2.2 Implementation Methods

16

2.4.2.3 Conformance Testing

18

2.4.2.4 Integrated Resources

18

2.4.2.5 Application Protocols

19

2.4.3 Architecture of STEP

22

STEP-NC

24

2.5.1 Versions of STEP-NC

24

2.5.1.1 ISO 14649

24

2.5.1.2 ISO 10303-238

26

2.5.2 Benefits of STEP-NC

27

2.5.3 Structure of STEP-NC

30

2.5.4 STEP-NC Part 21 Physical File Representation

32

Implementation of STEP-NC on CNC

34

2.6.1 Major Projects

35

2.6.2 CNC Controller

36

2.6.2.1 Open Architecture Control Technology

36

2.6.2.2 Categories of Open Architecture Control Solution 2.6.2.3 Major OAC International Projects 2.6.3 Next Generation CNC Controllers

CHAPTER 3

38 39 46

2.6.3.1 Indirect STEP-NC Approach

47

2.6.3.2 Interpreted STEP-NC Approach

50

2.7

Research Gaps

68

2.8

Summary

81

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

82

3.1

Introduction

82

3.2

Methodology

82

3.3

Task 1 - Hardware Configuration

84

3.4

Task 2 - Software Configuration

86

3.5

Task 3 - Integration of Hardware and Software

Configurations

87

3.6

Task 4 - Validation of System

88

3.7

Working Principle

88

ix 3.8 CHAPTER 4

Summary

89

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

90

4.1

Introduction

90

4.2

System Architecture

90

4.3

ISO Data Interface Models Interpretation Module

91

4.3.1 Architecture of ISO Data Interface Models Interpretations Module

92

4.3.1.1 Information Sub Module

92

4.3.1.2 Extraction Sub Module

93

4.3.1.3 Production Sub Module

94

4.3.2 Algorithm Design of ISO Data Interface Models Interpretation Module

99

4.3.2.1 Algorithm Design for ISO 14649 Interpretation

99

4.3.2.2 Algorithm Design for ISO 6983 Interpretation

101

4.3.3 GUIs of ISO Data Interface Models

4.4

4.5

Interpretations Module

103

4.3.3.1 GUI for ISO 14649 Interpretation

103

4.3.3.2 GUI for ISO 6983 Interpretation

105

3D Simulation Module

107

4.4.1 Algorithm Design of 3D Simulation Module

109

4.4.2 GUI of 3D Simulation Module

109

Machine Motion Control Module

111

4.5.1 Hardware Configuration

111

4.5.2 Software Configuration

112

4.5.2.1 Encoder Connection and Calibration

113

4.5.2.2 DBC Mapping

115

4.5.2.3 DBC +1

116

4.5.2.4 DBC +Half

117

4.5.2.5 DBC Movement

118

4.5.2.6 DBC Home Sequence

121

4.5.2.7 DBC Move to Previous Position

122

4.5.2.8 DBC Sequence

123

x 4.5.2.9 DBC Manual Operate

124

4.5.3 Algorithm Design of Machine Motion Control Module

4.6

127

4.5.4 GUI of Machine Motion Control Module

128

Live Video Monitoring Module

130

4.6.1 Algorithm Design of Live Video Monitoring Module

4.7

131

4.6.2 GUI of Live Video Monitoring Module

132

Automatic Document Generation Module

133

4.7.1 Algorithm Design of Automatic Document Generation Module

CHAPTER 5

4.8

System Algorithm Design

136

4.9

Summary

138

EXPERIMENTAL STUDY

139

5.1

Introduction

139

5.2

Experiments based on ISO 14649 Data Interface Model

139

5.2.1 Experiment 1

139

5.2.2 Experiment 2

141

Experiments based on ISO 6983 Data Interface Model

143

5.3.1 Experiment 1

143

5.3.2 Experiment 2

145

Summary

146

5.3

5.4 CHAPTER 6

134

CONCLUSION AND FUTURE RECOMMENDATIONS

147

6.1

Introduction

147

6.2

Conclusion

147

6.3

Contributions of the Study

148

6.3.1 Major Contributions

148

6.3.2 Minor Contributions

149

6.4

Summary

149

6.5

Future Works

150

REFERENCES

153

APPENDIX I

163

APPENDIX II

166

APPENDIX III

167

xi APPENDIX IV

169

APPENDIX V

171

APPENDIX VI

174

APPENDIX VII

175

APPENDIX VIII

176

APPENDIX IX

177

APPENDIX X

179

APPENDIX XI

181

APPENDIX XII

183

APPENDIX XIII

185

APPENDIX XIV

186

APPENDIX XV

187

APPENDIX XVI

188

Vita

189

xii

LIST OF TABLES

2. 1

ISO 6983 advantages and disadvantages

13

2. 2

STEP standard parts

15

2. 3

List of Application Protocols

20

2. 4

Comparison between both versions of STEP-NC

27

2. 5

Comparison between STEP-NC and ISO 6983.

29

2. 6

Summary of some of the previous efforts on STEP-NC

58

2. 7

Summary of demonstrations

58

2. 8

Literature overview and comparison with proposed system

71

3. 1

DENFORD NOVAMILL specification

84

3. 2

Hardware specifications

85

xiii

LIST OF FIGURES

2. 1

ISO 6983 CNC coding

10

2. 2

ISO 6983 vendor dependency environment

12

2. 3

Current manufacturing system information flow

12

2. 4

Example of EXPRESS and EXPRESS-G schema

16

2. 5

Example of ISO 10303-21 physical file

17

2. 6

Example of ISO 10303-28 physical file (Lee et al., 2006)

18

2. 7

STEP architecture approaches (Fowler, 1995)

23

2. 8

ISO 14649 design manufacturing life cycle

25

2. 9

Current CAx data flow

28

2. 10

STEP-NC CAx data flow

28

2. 11

Structure of STEP-NC data model (ISO, 2002a; Zhang et al., 2013)

31

2. 12

EXAMPLE 1 part (ISO, 2002a)

32

2. 13

Structure of EXAMPLE 1 part program based on part21 implementation method

34

2. 14

Criteria of OAC (Pritschow et al., 2001)

38

2. 15

Different types of OAC solutions (Nacsa, 2001)

38

2. 16

Architecture of OSACA (Association, 2001)

40

2. 17

OSEC architecture (Pritschow et al., 2001)

41

2. 18

OMAC architecture (Pritschow et al., 2001)

42

2. 19

Demonstration of PAPI (Ueno et al., 2000)

43

2. 20

Common data and service modules for a global HMI API

43

2. 21

OCEAN system architecture (Brecher et al., 2010)

44

2. 22

Popularity survey on OAC systems (Brecher et al., 2010)

45

xiv 2. 23

Stages of STEP-NC evolution (Hamilton et al., 2014; Rauch et al., 2012)

2. 24

46

STEP-Compliant CAD/CAPP/CAM/CNC scenario (Consortium, 2003)

48

2. 25

Framework of AB-CAM system (Nassehi et al., 2006)

49

2. 26

Working principle of PosTECH STEP-NC (Lee et al., 2006)

51

2. 27

System control configuration (Zhao et al., 2009)

51

2. 28

GUI and architecture of the system (Weck & Wolf, 2002)

52

2. 29

STEPturn process planning (Xu et al., 2005)

53

2. 30

Organisation of the system

53

2. 31

WEDM STEP-NC system

54

2. 32

Architecture of SPAIM (Hamilton et al., 2014)

55

2. 33

Overview of IIMP (Hamilton et al., 2014)

56

2. 34

Overview of XMIS (Hamilton et al., 2014)

56

2. 35

ITP platform (Hamilton et al., 2014)

57

2. 36

Criteria of STEP-CNC system

59

3. 1

Flowchart of research methodology

83

3. 2

Hardware configurations

85

3. 3

Software Configuration

86

3. 4

System Configuration

88

3. 5

Working principle of proposed system

89

4. 1

Internal structure of ISO data interface models interpretation module

4. 2

91

Snapshots of the information sub module block diagrams

92

4. 3

Functionality of extraction sub module

93

4. 4

Snapshots of the extraction sub module block diagrams

94

4. 5

Generated tool path for planar face and pocket process

97

4. 6

Generated tool path for drilling process

97

4. 7

Block diagrams pictures of tool path generator functional module

98

xv 4. 8

Block diagrams images of output and physical file generator functional modules

98

4. 9

Flow chart of ISO 14649 interpreter algorithm design

101

4. 10

Functionality of the ISO 14649 algorithm design

102

4. 11

ISO 6983 interpreter algorithm functionality

103

4. 12

GUI of ISO 14649 interpreter

104

4. 13

GUI of ISO 6983 interpreter

106

4. 14

Internal structure of 3D simulation module

107

4. 15

Block diagrams of 3D simulation module

108

4. 16

Flow chart of 3D simulation module algorithm design

110

4. 17

GUI of the 3D simulation module

111

4. 18

Hardware configuration of MMC module

112

4. 19

Internal structure of MMC module

113

4. 20

Block diagrams of encoder connection and calibration sub module

115

4. 21

Block diagrams of the DBC home sub-module

116

4. 22

Block diagrams of DBC +1 sub module

117

4. 23

Working principle of DB +1 sub module

118

4. 24

Block diagrams of DBC movement sub module

119

4. 25

Working principle of DBC movement sub module

120

4. 26

Block diagrams of DBC home sequence sub module

121

4. 27

Block diagrams of DBC move to previous position sub module

4. 28

122

Block diagrams of the functional modules of DBC sequence sub module

123

4. 29

Working principle of DBC sequence sub module

125

4. 30

Block diagrams of move drill bit changer and drill bit clamper manual control functions

126

4. 31

Block diagrams of set axis positions control function

126

4. 32

Block diagrams of tool change, teach tool mapping, tool change half and jog +- control functions

127

4. 33

Flow chart of MMC module algorithm design

129

4. 34

GUI of MMC module

130

4. 35

Block diagram of LVM module

131

xvi 4. 36

Flow chart of LVM module algorithm design

132

4. 37

GUI of the LVM module

133

4. 38

Block diagrams of ADG module

134

4. 39

Flowchart of ADG module algorithm design

135

4. 40

Flow chart of developed system algorithm design

136

4. 41

System algorithm design in terms of GUIs

137

5. 1

Graphical view of experiment 1 processes

141

5. 2

Manufactured part

141

5. 3

Graphical view of experiment 2 processes

142

5. 4

Manufactured part

142

5. 5

Graphical representation of experiment 1

144

5. 6

Manufactured part

145

5. 7

Graphical representation of experiment 1

145

5. 8

Manufactured part

146

xvii

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

2.5D

Two-and-a-half Dimensional

2D

Two Dimensional

3D

Three Dimensional

3DS

Three Dimensional Simulation

AAM

Application Activity Model

AB-CAM

Agent Based Computer Aided Manufacturing

AD

Analog to Digital

ADG

Automatic Document Generator

AI

Artificial Intelligent

AIM

Application Interpreted Model

AM

Application Module

AO

Architecture Object

AP

Application Protocol

API

Application Program Interface

ARM

Application Reference Model

ASC

American Standard Code

ASIC

Application Specific Integrated Circuit

ATC

Automatic Tool Changer

CAA

Component Application Architecture

CAD

Computer Aided Design

CAM

Computer Aided Manufacturing

CAPP

Computer Aided Process Planning

CAx

Computer Aided Systems

CC

Conformance Classes

CCC or C3

Conical Code Converter

CE

Compact Edition

CMM

Coordinate Measuring Machine

xviii CNC

Computer Numerical Control

COM

Component Object Model

CPU

Central Processing Unit

DA

Digital to Analog

DBC

Drill Bit Changer

DH

Drill Head

DIO

Digital Input Output

DLL

Dynamic Link Library

DNC

Direct Numerical Control

DRC

Distributed Reconfigurable Controller

DSP

Digital Signal Processing

EMC

Enhanced Machine Controller

ESPRIT

European Strategic Program on Research in Information Technology

EtherCAT

Ethernet for Control Automation Technology

EtherMAC

Ethernet for Manufacturing Automation Technology

EU

European Union

FBICS

Feature Based Inspection and Control System

FBMash

Feature Based Machining

FBTol

Feature Based Tolerancing

FDL

Flowchart Description Language

FM&T

Federal Manufacturing and Technologies

FMS

Flexible Manufacturing System

FPGA

Field Programmable Gate Array

FSMC-OA

FoFdation Smart Machine Controller-Open Architecture

GD&T

Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing

GUI

Graphical User Interface

HMI

Human Machine Interface

I/O

Input/Output

IDEF

Integrated DEFinition for function modeling

IEEE

Institute of Electrical and Electrons Engineers

IGES

Initial Graphics Exchange Specification

IIMP

Intelligent and Interoperable Manufacturing Platform

IMAQ

IMage AcQuisition

xix IMS

Intelligent Manufacturing System

IMSCMI

Intelligent Manufacture for STEP-NC Compliant Machining and Inspection

IP3AC

Integrated Platform for Process Planning And Control

IPC

Intrinsically Passive Controller

IPIM

Integrated Product Information Model

ISO

International Standards Organization

ITP

Integrated Test Platform

JIS

Japanese Industrial Standard

JOP

Japanese Open Promotion group

LabVIEW

Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench

LVM

Live Video Monitoring

MADCON

Multi Agent Distributed Controller

MATLAB

MATrix LABoratory

MCC

Motion Control Card

MDICM

Model Driven Intelligent Control of Manufacturing

MFA

Manufacturing Feature Agent

MIM

Module Integrated Model

MMC

Machine Motion Control

MMI

Man Machine Interface

MPU

Micro Processing Unit

NC

Numerical Control

NCC

NIST-SAI Conical Code

NCK

Numeric Control Kernel

NI

National Instruments

NIST

National Institute of Standards and Technology

NN

Neural Network

NRL-SNT

National Research Laboratory for STEP-NC Technology

NT

New Technology

NURBS

Non Uniform Rational Basic-Spline

OAC

Open Architecture Control

OCEAN

Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism

OMAC

Open Modular Architecture Control

xx ORCOS

Organic Reconfigurable Operating System

OS

Operating System

OSACA

Open System Architecture for Controls within Automation Systems

OSEC

Open System Environment for Controllers

OWL

Ontology Web Language

PAPI

Principal Application Programming Interface

PC

Personal Computer

PCI

Peripheral Component Interconnect

PIC

Peripheral Interface Controller

PLC

Programmable Logic Control

PMAC

Packet Media Access Controller

RAMP

Rapid Acquisition of Manufactured Parts

RT

Real Time

RTAI

Real Time Artificial Intelligent

RTOS

Real Time Operating System

SAI

Stand Alone Interpreter

SC

Sub Committee

SDAI

STEP Data Access Interface

SERCANS

Module of Master SERCOS interface-A product from Bosch Rexroth

SERCOS

SErial Real-time COmmunication System

SFP

Shop Floor Programming

SIM

System for Interconnecting of Media

SMS

STEP Manufacturing Suite

SPAIM

STEP-NC

Platform

for

Advance

and

Intelligent

Manufacturing STEP

Standard for The Exchange of Product Data

STEPcNC

STEP-compliant NC

STEP-NC

Standard for The Exchange of Product Data-Numerical Control

TC

Technical Committee

TPG

Tool Path Generator

TPV

Tool Path Viewer

xxi TTL

Transistor Transistor Logic

UK

United Kingdom

UMI

Universal Motion Interface

UNL

Universal Logic Network

USA

United States of America

USB

Universal Serial Bus

VB

Visual Basic

VDAFS

Verband der Automobilindustri Flachenschnittstelle

VISA

Virtual Instrument Software Architecture

VS

Visual Studio

WEDM

Wire Electric Discharge Machine

WZL

Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering

XMIS

eXtended Manufacturing Integrated System

XML

Extensible Markup Language

xxii

LIST OF APPENDICES

APPENDIX I

163

APPENDIX II

166

APPENDIX III

167

APPENDIX IV

169

APPENDIX V

171

APPENDIX VI

174

APPENDIX VII

175

APPENDIX VIII

176

APPENDIX IX

177

APPENDIX X

179

APPENDIX XI

181

APPENDIX XII

183

APPENDIX XIII

185

APPENDIX IXV

186

APPENDIX XV

187

APPENDIX XVI

188

xxiii

LIST OF AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

(i).

Silver Medal in Research and Innovation Festival 2014 [R&I 2014]: Yusri Yusof and Kamran Latif “New ISO 14649 and 6983 based Open CNC Controller”.

(ii).

Malaysian International Scholarship (MIS) under Ministry of Education (MOE) Malaysia.

(iii).

Patent application in process with ID (PI2014702363) by TRADEMARK2U INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SDN BHD.

(iv).

Science Fund research grant of RM 284,000.00 under MOSTI with vote number S021 effective from August 2013 and expired in January 2016.

CHAPTER 1

1

INTRODUCTION

In this chapter, the basic concept of the traditional Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and its systems are discussed. Then, the shortcomings of the commercial CNC system in terms of modern manufacturing are highlighted. Followed by general discussion about possible remedies over these shortcomings with some previous efforts and proposed approach introduced. At the end of the chapter, the problem statement, aim, scope, objectives and further design of thesis are given.

1.1

Research Background and Motivation

The CNC machine plays a vital role in the growth of manufacturing since its development. This technology uses computers and Computer Aided Design (CAD)/Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software for the generation, parsing and execution of the sequential control. Today, CNC machines are employed in many industries with different controllers and multiple abilities for various applications such as: turning, drilling, milling, packaging, tube welding and robotic cutting (Groover, 2007). The CNC is composed of many parts whereas, the controller is the heart of a CNC unit that is composed of two parts: hardware and software. The hardware part contains various types of hardware namely motor drives, motion control card and others. While, the software part consists of Programmable Logic Control (PLC) and interpreter for executing machine hardware. The interpreter of the CNC controller acquires the International Standards Organization (ISO) data interface model instructions and translates it into internal commands for moving

2 tools and executing auxiliary functions in a CNC system (Ertell, 1969). CNC machines utilize ISO 6983 data interface model, formally known as G M codes, for their operations. The ISO 6983 data interface model program codes are generated by CAM systems that use CAD information. This model defines the information by numerical codes (G, T, M, F, S etc) indicating the movement of a machine and an axis to the controller (ISO 6983-1, 1982). The demand of flexibility in the CNC systems was increased in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Because of the rapid growth in the manufacturing world to enable low batch manufacturing of the extensive variety of parts. In the progression towards the realization of the flexible manufacturing environment, the CNC machines were found to be a critical resource because of their capability of being reprogrammed to produce different parts (Xu & Newman, 2006). However, in the development of the flexible CNC systems, a number of limitations were found in ISO 6983 data interface model such as: delivering limited information to CNC, transferring one-way information from CAD/CAM to CNC, unable to implement the seamless integration between CAD-CAM-CNC,

programs are huge and very

difficult to handle and last minute changes are very hard at shop floor (Suh & Cheon, 2002). Apart from that, different manufacturers had also added new supplement commands into G codes for enabling more facilities into the systems but these extensions are not a part of ISO 6983. Due to these additions, the part programs cause interchangeability problems between different machines, which make the G code more machine specific (Xu & Newman, 2006). In order to overcome these issues, a new ISO standard was developed which is formally known as Standard for The Exchange of Product Data (STEP) or ISO 10303 (ISO, 1991; ISO, 1994b). The objective of STEP is to provide the means of describing product data throughout the life cycle that is independent from any particular computer system. ISO 10303 significantly improved the interoperability between CAD systems and had also created the need of a similar standard for exchange of information between CNC machines as well as CAM systems. Consequently, in 1999 an international project was started to specify a new standard entitled ISO 14649 formally known as STEP-(Numerical Control) NC to bring the benefits of STEP to CAM and CNC (Suh et al., 2002). The ISO 14649 standard is an extension of ISO 10303. It allows the connections between STEP based Computer Aided Systems (CAx) and CNC machines. The concept of Standard for The

3 Exchange of Product Data- Numerical Control (STEP-NC) is based on "Design anywhere, build anywhere and support anywhere" (Newman et al., 2008). The introduction of ISO 14649 provides a platform to recover the information loss between CAD/CAM/CNC and opens the doors for the development of next generation (modern and flexible) CNC systems (Xu & Newman, 2006). The implementation of STEP-NC originated on current commercially available CNC controllers. This implementation was known as “In-Direct STEP-NC programming approach” (Hamilton et al., 2014; Rauch et al., 2012) that translates the STEP-NC data into G codes for operations (Xu & Newman, 2006). There are many approaches that had been carried out by various researchers such as Weck et al. (2001) Newman et al. (2003) Nassehi et al. (2006) and Wang et al. (2007). During this implementation, it was found that this low level translation is not enough to enable all the features of STEP-NC in the CNC (Xu & Newman, 2006). Also, current commercial CNC machines are found to be of close nature, which not allow the user to implement customs features into CNC core (Mori et al., 2001). In order to overcome these problems, a new STEP-NC implementation approach “Interpreted STEP-NC programming” (Hamilton et al., 2014; Rauch et al., 2012) was introduced. In this approach, the controller directly reads and interprets the ISO 14649 information as per internal structure of the machine. However, Open Architecture Control (OAC) technology was introduced into the CNC systems in order to tackle the issues of closed nature in CNC machines. The aim of OAC was to develop a controller that is independent from manufacturers technology, allowing the user to buy hardware and software from several different manufacturers and freely assemble the acquired piece of equipment (Asato et al., 2002). Based on this approach and technology, various studies were carried out by various researchers such as Hamilton et al. (2014), Xu (2006), Erdős and Xirouchakis (2003), Suh et al. (2003), Storr et al. (2002), Weck et al. (2001) and Wolf (2001). While this implementation Zheng et al. (2005) states that, the Personal Computer (PC) has been one of the preferred hardware platform for open CNC systems because of its openness, low cost and high performance to price ratio. Aforementioned finding was further supported by Park et al. (2006) following statement “the implementation of PC based OAC technology on CNC systems can enable some hardware reconfiguration, communication and advanced numerical control programming technology in the CNC systems.” Later Ma et al. (2007) also supported these

4 statements and highlighted that “the current trend of CNC system development must be towards the PC based Soft-CNC systems.” Based on this approach various research work was carried out by various scholars to develop some CNC systems based on ISO 6983 and ISO 14649 with various modern functionalities by utilization different development technique such as; C, C++, JAVA, functional block etc (see Table 2.8 of Chapter 2). Generally, a number of various approaches were presented but no such CNC control system is available based on ISO 14649 and ISO 6983 data interface model with modern functionalities (like monitoring, simulation, inspection etc) based on virtual component technology. Therefore, the philosophy of this research study is to introduce the virtual component technology for the development of modern (next generation) CNC controllers. This virtual component based technique has been utilized for the interpretation of ISO data interface model, its verification via graphical simulation and its implementation on a CNC system with some modern functionalities. Adopting the idea from the previous efforts, a new technique for the development of PC based open soft-CNC system based on ISO 14649 and 6983 data interface model with some modern functionalities is introduced in this study. Overall, the main idea of this research is to initialize the development of all-in-one CNC systems.

1.2

Problem Statement

Rapid growth in the manufacturing world demands more flexibility, adoptability, portability, interoperability and openness in CNC systems. In progression towards this development, some limitations of the current ISO 6983 data interface model were reported by (Suh & Cheon, 2002). In order to overcome these issues, a new ISO data interface model (ISO 14649) was introduced in 1999 (Suh et al., 2002). The implementation of this new standard was initiated on commercial CNC units by utilizing “In-direct STEP-NC programming approach”. While this implementation, the problem of being vender dependent in commercial CNC systems was found. In order to overcome that issue, OAC technology was introduced into the CNC systems (Xu & Newman, 2006). The combination of both of these aforementioned techniques was firstly implemented to increase openness in CNC domain. But, this approach

5 failed to enable all the features of modern CNC systems because it translates the STEP-NC information into the GM codes (Rauch et al., 2012). During this implication, it was suggested that there is a need of new CNC controller based on OAC technology, which directly interprets the STEP-NC information and enables modern functionalities into the CNC systems (Hamilton et al., 2014).

1.3

Aim of the Study

The aspiration of this study is to develop a new breed of CNC controllers, which are able to work with both ISO (14649 and 6983) data interface models. It is also intended to enable new modern functionalities of; interpretation, simulation, monitoring, automatic document generations, tool path generation and shop floor editing into the CNC units. These functionalities provides flexible, portable, interoperable, adoptable and more open CNC environment at a single platform (allin-one).

1.4

Scope of the Study

This study comprises of the development of new CNC controller based on OAC technology for 3-axis CNC milling machine with automatic tool changer facility (DENFORD NOVAMILL available at UTHM) designed for both ISO 14649 and ISO 6983 data interface models. This study includes the development of interpreter with bi-directional data flow (only between interpreter and machine motion control) for ISO14649-21 (only facing, drilling and pocketing processes) and ISO 6983 (linear motion only) data interface models, a Three Dimensional (3D) simulator for graphical verification of interpreted data, a closed loop control environment based machine motion controller with automatic tool changer for 3 axis, DENFORD NOVAMILL CNC, machine and live monitoring and automatic document generation systems for enabling a minute part of modern CNC functionalities into the CNC unit.

1.5

Limitations of the Study

The scope of this research study has the following limitations.

6 (i).

The open cell controller is not completely open in terms of hardware and software, but in comparison to commercial CNC controller it provides more openness in both aspects.

(ii).

The cell controller enables a bi-directional data flow only between interpreter and machine motion control for data modification.

(iii).

The ISO 14649-21 interpretation technique is limited to facing, pocketing and drilling processes only.

(iv).

The ISO 6983 interpretation technique is limited for linear motion control commands only.

(v).

The machine motion control is limited to three axis, spindle and automatic tool changer control in closed loop control environment.

(vi).

The cell controller enables only live monitoring and automatic document generation modern features into CNC core.

(vii).

The cell controller only demonstrates the 3 axis CNC Denford NOVAMILL hardware configuration connection with PC.

(viii). In software communications, the cell controller demonstrate only MS word and PDF communication. (ix).

The experimental validation is limited only to check the performance of interpreter, machine motion control and modern features only. It does not concern with the surface roughness, accuracy etc issues.

1.6

Objectives of the Study

In order to achieve the aim of this study within defined scope and limitations, a following set of objectives has been defined for the development of open CNC cell controller. (i).

To introduce a new bi-directional data flow based technique for the interpretation of ISO 14649 - 21 and ISO 6983 data interface models with 3D graphical verification within offline or real machining environments.

(ii).

To implement a new method of 3-axis CNC milling machine motion control with automatic tool changer based on closed loop control environment for real machining of interpreted information with some modern features.

7 (iii).

To validate the developed open CNC cell controller (objective 1 and 2) through manufacturing of case study components.

1.7

Thesis Format

The further format of thesis includes, the brief introduction and discussion about the concerned technologies and the research gap was highlighted in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 presents the methodology adopted for addressing the found research gaps. The development of system as per research findings and adopted methodology is illustrated in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 highlights the experimental validation of the developed system. Lastly, the research contributions and conclusions with future suggestions are discussed in Chapter 6.

CHAPTER 2

2

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1

Introduction

This chapter presents the review of basics of CNC, CAD/Computer Aided Process Planning (CAPP)/CAM, G codes, STEP, STEP-NC and CNC controller technologies. The review also addresses the complete road map for the development of next generation CNC systems. The conjunction of various technologies in the shape of several earlier studies has been discussed in details. The state of the art from NC to modern CNCs has also been presented herewith, which highlights the pervious approaches, methods and techniques that were utilized during this pursuit of development.

2.2

Computer Numerical Control

The term CNC means the control system which includes a computer. The first ever CNC machine was developed in 1970s, where the electronic hardware and punch card of the pervious NC systems were replaced by computers (Liana et al., 2004). CNC system use minicomputers or microcomputers to generate, parse and execute the sequential control that describes the end effectors behaviour. This technology is often used in turning, milling, welding, metal cutting, sheet metal formating, cutting robots and various other applications (Groover, 2007).

9 In the further evolution towards modern systems, the need of producing wide range of parts arose during 1970s and 1980s. This wide range of part manufacturing created the requirement of Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS). In order to achieve flexible environment for manufacturing systems, the CNC machines play a critical role because of their ability to be reprogrammed for the manufacturing of different and complex parts in bulk quantities (Safaieh et al., 2013). The development of these types of parts required sophisticated programs, therefore CAD and CAM systems were used to generate CNC part programs (Newman et al., 2008; Yusof et al., 2009). The CAD system defines the geometry of a design created by using geometric primitives (e.g. points, lines and curves). The earliest CAD systems were essential only for Two-Dimensional (2D) drawings. In the 1980s, the solid modeling techniques described 3D CAD systems (Requicha, 1980). The current CAD systems generated file is stored in proprietary formats and all systems are capable to import and export these files in defined standards. The development of CNC systems also sparked the research towards CAM technique. This technology uses computer systems to control, plan and manage manufacturing processes. The CAM system adds cutting strategies, tools and operation sequences information into CAD file. Around 1970s, the era of CAD and CAM integrated systems was initiated and the turnkey CAD/CAM system became popular in 1980s. The aim of integrated CAD/CAM system was to minimize the gap between design and manufacturing. In order to fill that gap CAPP systems was needed (Wang et al., 2002). CAPP system translates the CAD design specifications into manufacturing information (e.g. product geometry, selection of raw material, manufacturing operation and sequencing, selection of equipment and machine tool and machining operation condition) (Xu et al., 2011). At this stage, the information is stored in CAM file and the post processor of CAM system generates the manufacturing instructions for machine tool from that CAM file (Xu & He, 2004). The output of the post processor is an NC file based on the specific language, which translates the job information from drawing to computer controlled machine unit (Mortenson, 1985). That specific language was initially known as Automatically Programmed Tool (APT) (Reintjes, 1991). Later in 1982, APT was adopted by ISO as an international

10 standard ISO 6983 formally known as RS-274D and commonly known as G M codes (ISO 6983-1, 1982).

2.3

ISO 6983

ISO 6983 (GM code) is a part of computer aided engineering, mostly used in automation. It is a common name in NC programming, which remained unchanged since the development of first NC machine tool. In GM code programming the operator tells the computerized machine unit “how to make”. The “how to make” defines the instructions of where, how and what path to move. The ISO 6983 CNC coding is based on five specifications (ISO 6983-1, 1982) as shown in Figure 2.1.

Figure 2.1 ISO 6983 CNC coding (i).

Preparatory Functions: - These commands are represented by “G”, which conveys the controller regarding the kind of the motion (e.g. rapid positioning, linear or circular feed, fixed cycle). Up to date, there are around hundred commands in use from G0 to G99.

(ii).

Miscellaneous Commands: - These commands are represented by “M” and are the auxiliary commands, in other words action codes, mostly used for machine functions.

11 (iii).

Axis Motion Commands: - These commands define the absolute or incremental positions of machine tool axis represented by X, Y, Z, A, B, C.

(iv).

Feed and Speed Commands: - These commands define the feed rate and spindle speed, represented by “F” and “S” respectively.

(v).

Identification Commands: - These commands define the line number and cutting tool selection function, represented by “N” and “T” respectively. Although with the introduction of minicomputers and microcomputers, a

massive improvement was achieved in the capabilities of CNC machine tool such as; multi axis, multi tool and multi processes. However, with this development towards flexible manufacturing environment, the programming tasks became more complex and difficult (Newman et al., 2008). The aim of flexible manufacturing was to make the CNC systems more interoperable, adaptable, open, intelligent and network portable (Mehrabi et al., 2000; Mehrabi et al., 2002). In order to fulfil these requirements, the current data interface model was found to have limited capabilities. There are number of problems that were found in ISO 6983 (Suh et al., 2003; Xu & He, 2004), which are summarized below. (i).

The ISO 6983 language is focused on programming the path of the cutter centre location with respect to the machine axis, rather than the machining tasks with respect to the part (Suh et al., 2002; Suh et al., 2003; Xu & He, 2004; Yusof et al., 2011).

(ii).

The standard defines the syntax of program statements, but in most cases leaves the semantics unclear, together with low level limited control over program execution. These programs become machine dependent when processed in a CAM system by machine specific post processor (Xu & He, 2004; Xu & Newman, 2006; Yusof et al., 2011).

(iii).

Vendor usually enhances the language with further extension commands to provide new features, while these extensions are not covered by ISO 6983. Hence it becomes machine specific language and programs are not exchangeable between other machine tools (Calabrese & Celentano, 2007; Xu & He, 2004; Yusof et al., 2011) as shown in Figure 2.2.

12

Figure 2.2 ISO 6983 vendor dependency environment (iv).

The flow of information from design to manufacturing is uni-directional. There is not any feedback of data in ISO 6983 as shown in Figure 2.3. Therefore the last minute changes and modifications of machining problems on shop floor are hardly possible (Sääski et al., 2005; Xu & He, 2004).

Figure 2.3 Current manufacturing system information flow (v).

The control of program execution at the machine is limited. Therefore it is very difficult to make changes in program at workshop (Xu & He, 2004).

(vi).

The CAD data is not directly used on the machine tool. It is processed by the means of a machine specific post processor in terms of low level data. This

13 incomplete data set makes verification and simulations very difficult (Xu & He, 2004). (vii).

This standard does not support today’s demand in the area of five axis milling or high speed machining, because it is incapable to process Spline data (Sääski et al., 2005; Xu & He, 2004). Apart from these limitations, some other advantages and disadvantages of

ISO 6983 are highlighted by (Krzic et al., 2009) as summarized in Table 2.1. Table 2.1 ISO 6983 advantages and disadvantages Advantages Language is very simple Easy to learn and understand Well accepted standard world wide

Disadvantages Long NC programs, even for simple geometry Code is unintuitive Almost impossible to run two different CNC machines on same NC program Spline interpretation is poor Poor support for kinematics features of 5 axis machines Almost impossible to feedback information from CNC to CAD/CAM Does not contain enough information about the part, material and stock

From the limitations of ISO 6983, it is clear that there are two major issues: interoperability and adaptability of CNC machines that need to be addressed for achieving the tasks of flexible manufacturing. Because of the fact that the current CNC machine tool follows the GM code program, which contains only “how-to-do” information, therefore, it is impossible to implement intelligent and optimization features on CNC (Xu & Newman, 2006). Due to these drawbacks, the need of new data interface model occurred. However in reality, these GM code programs are still very valuable because they integrate the micro-process plan with operator experience (Shin et al., 2007). This is one of the reason to include GM code working environment in this research. The initial challenge towards the development of new data model was the enabling of seamless geometrical data flow between CAD and CAM systems. During 1980s, different data formats were proposed but none of them was able to satisfy the needs of developers and users (Xu et al., 2005). Then in the mid of 1980s, the international community decided to develop a better standard for geometrical data

14 exchange between CAD and CAM systems. The result was the ISO 10303 standard commonly known as STEP (Krzic et al., 2009).

2.4

ISO 10303

ISO 10303 standard is a mechanism to describe computer interpretable definitions of product characteristics (physical and functional) throughout its life cycle. According to the documentation of ISO 10303 standard, the objective of the STEP is “to provide a mean of describing the product data throughout the life cycle of a product, which is independent from any particular computer system”(ISO, 1994a; Sääski et al., 2005). Moreover, according to Fowler, the main objectives of STEP also includes the creation of a single standard which covers all the aspects of CAD/CAM data exchange with the implementation and acceptance by industry (Fowler, 1995).

2.4.1

Antiquity of ISO 10303

The evolution towards STEP was started in 1979 with the development of Initial Graphics Exchange Specification (IGES). IGES was the first standard format for the CAD information exchange (Parks, 1984). The major drawback of IGES was the incapability of exchanging data among free form surfaces (Safaieh et al., 2013). Later, VDA, a German company, developed Verband der Automobilindustri Flachenschnittstelle (VDAFS) to focus on free form surface information translation (Nassehi, 2007). During 1984, the initial development of ISO 10303 was started to overcome the drawbacks of IGES and VDA-FS. In 1988, the first major release of STEP was published, in which a large set of models had been assembled into a single model called Integrated Product Information Model (IPIM) (Wang, 2009). By the following year, STEP was diverted to use Application Protocol (AP) as a subset. The architecture of APs was developed in the following few years. Then finally, in 1994 the first version of STEP was adopted as an ISO standard (ISO, 1994a). In the following year, established companies like GE, General Motors and Boeing also committed to use STEP. During 1994/95, ISO published the initial release of STEP as an international standard. In that stage, STEP parts 1, 11, 21, 31, 42, 43, 44, 46, 101, AP201 and AP 203 were introduced (ISO, 1994c).

15 The next significant development in STEP occurred during year 2002. Where the capabilities of STEP was expanded in different industries (automotive, electronic manufacturing, aerospace and electrical etc) with the introduction of AP 202, AP 209, AP 210, AP 212, AP 214, AP 224, AP 225, AP 227 and AP 232. After that, the next development in the STEP was the introduction of STEP modular architecture. Modular architecture solved the problems emerging from large data structures. Currently, a new AP 242 is being developed for geometric dimensions and tolerance in combination with AP 203 and AP 214 (Safaieh et al., 2013).

2.4.2

Building of STEP

This standard is separated into many parts namely: description method, information models, application protocols, implementation methods and conformance tools. These parts are represented by numbers, the total numbers are around 120 as described in Table 2.2. Table 2.2 STEP standard parts Part Overview and fundamental principles

Number 11-19

Description methods Implementation methods

11-19 21-29

Conformance testing

31-39

Integrated generic resources

41-59

Integrated application resources

101-199

Application protocols

201-299

2.4.2.1

Description Gives STEP overview and explain its fundamental principles Covers EXPRESS and EXPRESS-G form Covers methods of EXPRESS modelled data representation Covers concepts of conformance testing with actual test methods and requirements Covers EXPRESS models used for geometry, topology and tolerance Covers specific subject domain EXPRESS models Covers parts intended for implementation in industries

Description Methods

These methods are defined by the data modelling language called EXPRESS (ISO, 1994c). This modelling language combines ideas from the entity-attributerelationship family of modelling languages with object modelling concept (Xu & Newman, 2006). The EXPRESS information model is structured in schemas consisting of entities, which contains data type and object definitions. Within the

16 entities, the attributes and constraints are encapsulated, which restricts the value of attributes (Zha, 2006). The EXPRESS language also have a graphical form called EXPRESS-G. EXPRESS-G shows all the features in form of graphics such as: entities in solid boxes, simple data in solid box with double line and data type in box with dashed borders. Figure 2.4 shows the example of a description method based on EXPRESS and EXPRESS-G.

Figure 2.4 Example of EXPRESS and EXPRESS-G schema

2.4.2.2

Implementation Methods

For the implementation of STEP, additional methods are need to be defined. Several technologies are introduced by ISO 10303 because EXPRESS language does not define any method of implementation. (i).

ISO 10303-21: - This method defines the rule of storing EXPRESS data in a character based physical file commonly known as STEP part 21 file (DIS, 1993). This physical file does not have any EXPRESS schema, it only defines the relationship of entities. Each entity of this method begins with ID “#” followed by integer “1, 2, 3…” and by equal sign “=”. After equal sign, the name of instance is defined, which is followed by the value of attributes listed

17 between parentheses “()” and separated by commas “,” and finally ends with a semi colon “;” as shown in Figure 2.5. In addition, ISO 10303-21 physical file also contains special tokens “$” and “*”, which represent, object values not omitted and object value can be defined from other values, respectively.

Figure 2.5 Example of ISO 10303-21 physical file (ii).

STEP Data Access Interface (SDAI): - This methods implements the STEP by means of binding the EXPRESS data with computer programming languages. In this method, the binding is classified into two approaches: early and late. In early binding approach, the entities of EXPRESS schemas are converted into C++ or JAVA classes. On other hand, late binding approach uses EXPRESS entity dictionaries for accessing data, but this approach is not suitable for large data systems. For such systems, a mixed binding approach is advantageous. Currently, there are four established standards available for SDAI. a. SDAI (DIS, 1996) b. C++ binding to SDAI (10303-23, 1998) c. C language binding of SDAI (10303-24, 1998) d. JAVATM binding to the SDAI (10303-27, 1998)

(iii).

ISO 10303-28: - This method is implemented by means of two languages: configuration and existing STEP mapping. The combination of these two languages converts EXPRESS information into Extensible Markup Language

18 (XML) form (TC184, 2004). The implementation of XML in STEP is based on two levels: lower and upper. In lower level, CAD authorized systems can read and write data sets, whereas, in upper level, the modernization of STEP data sets are performed by means of inserting information from mapping tables into the XML data. Figure 2.6 shows the example of ISO 10303-28 file, also known as STEP part 28 file.

Figure 2.6 Example of ISO 10303-28 physical file (Lee et al., 2006) Among all these methods, the most popular are STEP part 21 for offline manufacturing and STEP part 28 for online manufacturing or e-manufacturing.

2.4.2.3

Conformance Testing

Currently, there is no formal testing system in place for APs, whereas STEP provides these facilities in 30 parts and has been proposed for 300 parts (Kramer & Xu, 2009).

2.4.2.4

Integrated Resources

These are the collection of EXPRESS models, which provides fixed set of entities. These integrated resources include three type of models:

19 (i).

The EXPRESS models for basic product data representation, which are called STEP integrated generic resources.

(ii).

The EXPRESS models for widely applicable type of product data like drafting (Parks & Fox, 1991), kinematics (10303-105, 1996) and finite element analysis (10303-107, 1996). These models are commonly known as STEP integrated application resources.

(iii).

These models are same as STEP integrated generic resources. Only difference in these models is of the data representation which was developed for other ISO standards but adopted by STEP. These are models known as generic resources from other ISO standards.

2.4.2.5

Application Protocols

APs are the part of ISO 10303 standard, which defines data models for a certain application domain. Each application protocol defines classes of objects and their relations (Batres et al., 2007; Valilai & Houshmand, 2010). ISO 10303 had addressed many industrial data exchange requirements by means of APs (Garrido Campos & Hardwick, 2006). There are many protocols available for specific kind of products focused to product respective industries. Rather than that, the CAx manufacturing also utilizes APs such as; AP 203 is for configuration control design, AP 204 is for mechanical design using boundary representation, AP 214 is for core data for automotive mechanical design processes and AP 224 mechanical product definition for process planning (Ball et al., 2008). According to the Sub Committee (SC) 4 website (http://www.iso.org/), there are currently 45 application protocols that have become international standards. Most of them are listed in Table 2.3.

20 Table 2.3 List of Application Protocols AP 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240

Description Explicit Drafting Associative Drafting Configuration control design Mechanical design using boundary representation Mechanical design using surface representation Mechanical design using wireframe representation Sheet metal dies and blocks Life cycle product change process Design through analysis of composite and metallic structure Electronic printed circuit assembly Electronic test diagnostics and remanufacture Electro technical plants Numerical control process plans for machined parts Core data for automotive mechanical design processes Ship arrangements Ship moulded forms Ship piping Ship structures Dimensional inspection process planning for CMMs Printed circuit assembly manufacturing planning Functional data and schematic representations for process plans Design engineering to manufacturing for composite structures Exchange of design and manufacturing DPD for composites Mechanical product definition for process planning Structural building elements using explicit shape rep Shipbuilding mechanical system Plant spatial configuration Building services Design and manufacturing information for forged parts Building structure frame steelwork Process engineering data Technical data packaging Systems engineering data representation Ship operational logos, records and messages Materials information for products Furniture product and project Computational fluid dynamics Integrated CNC machining Product life cycle support Process Planning

The concept of AP was introduced in STEP because AP enables the features of customizations to solve the needs of specific applications. The AP is composed of seven elements: Application Activity Model (AAM), Application Reference Model (ARM), Application Interpreted Model (AIM), Unit of Functionality (UOF), Application

Interpreted

Construct

Conformance Classes (CC).

(AIC),

Application

Module

(AM)

and

21 (i).

AAM: - This model represents the activities and data flow information. This is a formal document which describes a portion of the product life cycle (what process do I want to support)(Feeney, 2002). These models are built by using Integrated Definition of functional modelling (IDEF) 0 approach. This approach is an integrated family of methods for business analysis between different collaborative works. With the completion of AAM, stage an ARM has been built.

(ii).

ARM: - This model denotes the piece of product information (what are the information requirements of the activity in industry terminology) (Feeney, 2002), which are needed for the particular application. The information of ARM is described by the information model via library of pre-existing definitions. The building of ARM is usually done by the experts where they decide what entities and their attributes should be defined. This model can be written in EXPRESS, EXPRESS-G or IDEF1, but mostly EXPRESS and EXPRESS-G are used.

(iii).

AIM: - This is an EXPRESS model which contain exactly same information as ARM. Only difference is of information encoding in terms of the STEP integrated resources (how do I model the required information using STEP and EXPRESS) (Feeney, 2002; Wang & Xu, 2004). The encoding is done by using mapping tables, the format of which is formally defined and uniform across STEP.

(iv).

UOF: - It is a subset of ARM of an AP containing entities and related constructs that support some specific functionality. A number of APs were produced containing UOFs (Kramer & Xu, 2009) such as: AP 219 contains UOFs

of

administrative_data,

dimensional_measurement_analysis,

feature_profile, functional_limitations and part_properties (10303-219, 2007). (v).

AIC: - It is an interpreted UOF in terms of the STEP integrated resources. The idea is that, an AIC developed for use in the AIM of one AP can be reused in other APs. Currently, over 20 AICs have become international standards (Kramer & Xu, 2009).

(vi).

AM: - It is a tiny module with small functionality like AP. AM replaced AP because AP was found to be insufficient to support reuse environment. Like an AP, an AM has an ARM written in terms of the domain being modelled

22 (Feeney, 2002). In AM of an AP the Module Integrated Model (MIM) is called an AIM. The MIM is a reinterpretation of the ARM using STEP integrated resources. The AMs are able to refer each other to build a complex functionality (Kramer & Xu, 2009). (vii).

CC: - It is the subset of an AP, which enables the implementation of very large and multi domain APs in STEP architecture (Kramer & Xu, 2009) such as: AP214 has 20 CCs (10303-214, 1997; Nielsen & Kjellberg, 2000) and AP 238 has 4 CCs (10303-238, 2007).

2.4.3

Architecture of STEP

ISO 10303 is the most successful product data exchange standard. Its structure is recognized by two approaches: classic and modular as shown in Figure 2.7. As STEP is composed of APs, which contains activity model and conformance class. In the classic approach of STEP architecture, the AP is composed of AAM, CC, ARM, mapping and AIM. In this approach, there is a separate module for each of the components of AP. The information of APs is processed by the AICs to exchange common product data to two or more APs. While implementing classic approach in product data integration, some limitations had been found such as: high cost, document duplication and repetition and less interoperability in APs (Batres et al., 2007; Kramer & Xu, 2009; Le Duigou et al., 2009; Mehta et al., 2009). In order to overcome these drawbacks, some provisions were proposed in a classic approach (Feeney, 2002; Gielingh, 2008). The result of these provisions was the introduction of modular architecture of STEP. In this approach, the common information requirements are divided, organized and mapped into smaller packages known as AMs. These AMs can be used with other AMs of APs. The AP of this approach is composed of AAM and CC definitions (Kramer & Xu, 2009). In this approach, an AIC is replaced by AM, however the objects of both are similar. The main objectives of modularization is “to enable the more efficient technical development, standardization, implementation and deployment of STEP standard without changing the fundamentals of the current technical architecture” (Feeney, 2002) and to meet the high level industry requirements which are (Feeney, 2002; Houshmand & Valilai, 2012):

23 (i).

Reduce the high cost and lengthy time to develop an AP.

(ii).

Enabling the implementation of a combination of multiple APs.

(iii).

Enabling application software reuse.

(iv).

Eliminate duplication and repeated documentation of the same requirements in different APs.

(v).

Reuse data generated by an implementation of one or more APs.

Figure 2.7 STEP architecture approaches (Fowler, 1995) STEP significantly improves the interoperability between CAD systems but in the meantime, it also created the requirement of new standard to exchange the information between CNC machines as well as CAM systems. Accordingly, in 1999, an international project was started to bring the benefits of STEP to CAM and CNC known as STEP-NC (ISO 14649) (Suh et al., 2002).

24 2.5

STEP-NC

As ISO 10303 standard resolves the problems relating to the product data exchange between CAD, CAPP and CAM systems. Therefore for establishing a seamless data flow between CAM and CNC, a new standard, ISO 14649, was introduced commonly known as STEP-Compliant Numerical Control or STEP-NC in short. This standard offers the possibility of seamless data integration of application throughout design to manufacturing cycle (Kramer & Xu, 2009). Currently, the attention of ISO is on the development of STEP manufacturing environment, which includes STEP in, STEP out and STEP throughout (Shin et al., 2007). The aim of STEP-NC is to provide remedies for the shortcomings of ISO 6983 by specifying machining processes rather than tool motion. It is done by using object and feature oriented concept of working steps which provides a seamless link in CAx to make CNC more open, interoperable, portable, adoptable, flexible and intelligent. The major benefit of STEP-NC is that, it uses existing data models of ISO 10303 for enabling of smooth and seamless information exchange in CAx (Cai et al., 2005). ISO 14649 contains high degree of information sets, which includes “What-to-make” (geometry) and “How-to-make” (process plan) (Shin et al., 2007).

2.5.1

Versions of STEP-NC

Currently, there are two versions of STEP-NC (ISO 14649 and ISO 10303-238) that are under development by two different sub committees of Technical Committee (TC) 184 under ISO.

2.5.1.1

ISO 14649

It is being developed by SC1 of TC 184 under ISO, whose preliminary focus is on machine control (ISO, 2002a). The models of this version were written in EXPRESS language and are of ARM type (Hardwick et al., 2013). In this version of STEP-NC, a CAM software has total access to all of the production data (Krzic et al., 2009). The ISO 14649 is made of several parts such as:

153

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7

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