Interoperable CNC system for turning operations

The changing economic climate has made global manufacturing a growing reality over the last decade, forcing companies from east and west and all over the world to collaborate beyond geographic boundaries in the design, manufacture and assemble of products. The ISO10303 and ISO14649 Standards (STEP and STEP-NC) have been developed to introduce interoperability into manufacturing enterprises so as to meet the challenge of responding to production on demand. This paper describes and illustrates a STEP compliant CAD/CAPP/CAM System for the manufacture of rotational parts on CNC turning centers. The information models to support the proposed system together with the data models defined in the ISO14649 standard used to create the NC programs are also described. A structured view of a STEP compliant CAD/CAPP/CAM system framework supporting the next generation of intelligent CNC controllers for turn/mill component manufacture is provided. Finally a proposed computational environment for a STEP-NC compliant system for turning operations (SCSTO) is described. SCSTO is the experimental part of the research supported by the specification of information models and constructed using a structured methodology and object-oriented methods. SCSTO was developed to generate a Part 21 file based on machining features to support the interactive generation of process plans utilizing feature extraction. A case study component has been developed to prove the concept for using the milling and turning parts of ISO14649 to provide a turn-mill CAD/CAPP/CAM environment.