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A framework and data processing for interfacing CNC with AP238

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Tomorrow's manufacturing workstation will be autonomous and intelligent with the ability to interpret geometric and manufacturing knowledge and automatically to manufacture components. STEP-NC is one of the building blocks that will support this endeavour for a new paradigm of the intelligent autonomous manufacturing. This paper outlines a framework for a STEP-NC controller, which represents one of the building blocks for tomorrow's manufacturing workstation. The conceptual controller consists of an interpreting module (interpreter), a planning module (planner), a simulation module and a CNC kernel. The interpreter reads an AP238 file and converts it into internal data, which the planner utilizes to sequence the specific machining operations and processes. The work illustrates the feasibility of the framework for interpreting STEP-NC information in an AP238 format and storing the data within a STEP compliant data structure for use in machine planning. The implementation tools and methods for interpreting the AP238 file are outlined through an example part/case study to demonstrate the STEP-NC conversion process.
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Keywords: CNC; NC programming; STEP-NC

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Mechanical Engineering, Shandong University, China 2: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, UK

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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