Standard enables data flow between CNC, CAD/CAM

Troy, NY—To remedy the fact that NC programming has remained the only function in the design-to-manufacturing process that didn't use full-fidelity 3-D information, on, the official ISO STEP (STandard for the Exchange of Product model data) number for the STEP-NC standard, AP-238, was recently introduced.

11/23/2004


Troy, NY— Developed 40 years ago, the ISO 6983/RS274D language for computerized numerical control (CNC) programs was designed in an era when paper tape was the most popular medium for moving data between computers. Back then, the logic necessary to process simple commands was barely affordable for a CNC machine. Until now, even though the average microprocessor can easily process 3-D data, NC programming remained the only function in the design-to-manufacturing process that didn't use full-fidelity 3-D information.

To remedy this situation, AP-238, the official ISO STEP (STandard for the Exchange of Product model data) number for the STEP-NC standard, was recently introduced. In AP-238, the information required to control a machine is linked to the information created by CAD and CAM systems to create an independent, fully documented CNC control file. This will make developing a CNC part program more efficient because the machining instructions can be defined more concisely.

CNCs can also use this richer information to optimize and check a part program for the tooling available at manufacturing time, instead of having it fixed during planning. An AP-238 data set describes all that the shop floor needs to know about the product and the process, including all the required tolerances, so drawings will no longer be required on the shop floor.

The activity model and information requirements behind AP-238 have been standardized separately as ISO 14649. These models were originally developed by a joint European and Japanese project. The first model they produced was for the data necessary to control milling machines. The leading developers of the milling model represented Siemens; Aachen and Stuttgart universities in Germany; Komatsu and Fanuc in Japan; and Heidenhein in Switzerland.

AP-238's draft international standard is now available on the TC184-SC4 documents Web site as wg3n1534, and will soon be circulated by the various national standards organizations. For those without access to the SC4 site, it can viewed at ftp://ftp.steptools.com/private/ap238/ap238_dis_package.zip .

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
David Greenfield, editorial director
dgreenfield@reedbusiness.com





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Big Data and IIoT value; Monitoring Big Data; Robotics safety standards and programming; Learning about PID
Motor specification guidelines; Understanding multivariable control; Improving a safety instrumented system; 2017 Engineers' Choice Award Winners
Selecting the best controller from several viewpoints; System integrator advice for the IIoT; TSN and real-time Ethernet; Questions to ask when selecting a VFD; Action items for an aging PLC/DCS
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
click me