Industrial Automation Show: Vision tips, CNC standards

By Control Engineering Staff January 26, 2006

Sessions at National Manufacturing Week’s Industrial Automation Show and Conference cover scores of hot topics, including tips and tricks for machine vision, and streamlined programming, open architecture, and standards for computer numerical control (CNC). More information on three of the sessions follows.

3A13: Integrating Machine Vision: Tips and Tricks
Wednesday, March 22, 2006, 2-2:50 p.m.
System integrators explain, through their hands-on expertise, integration tips and tricks for machine vision. Specific application examples will illustrate what to do and not to do. Quantified benefits from specific applications will be included. Panel is moderated by Control Engineering magazine. Speakers: Sam Hammond, chief engineer, Innoventor; Ken Brey, technical director, DMC Inc.; Scott Shaw, president, Automated Control Systems Inc. 3A41: Standards-Based Open Architecture CNC for Smart Machining Systems
Wednesday, March 22 10-10:50 a.m. Panel discussion will focus on recent developments in open-architecture standards for computer numerical control (CNC) and smart machining systems, which need a rich set of information to fully exploit their capabilities. Current numerical control (NC) programs are written in “G codes,” which express tool paths. These programs do not include information about as-is or to-be geometry, features, tolerances, material properties, fixture location, material removal rates, or other information developed during design and process planning. This information is stripped out when converting to G codes, the controller’s ability to optimize machining or react to disturbances. Fine tuning to maximize performance with current methods is expensive and time consuming, cost-effective only for very large part lots. Mass customization and penetration to small manufacturers remain elusive. STEP-NC, international standard ISO 14649 “Data model for computerized Numerical Controllers,” provides potential for using the digital product model as machine tool input. STEP-NC extends STEP (ISO 10303), the STandard for the Exchange of Product model data into the NC world. Speakers are David Odendahl, Boeing Aerospace; Dr. M. Hardwick, Step Tools Inc.; Frederick Proctor, group leader, control systems group, NIST. Moderator is Robert Ivester, NIST. 3A44: A look at STEP-NC From an End-User’s Perspective
Wednesday, March 22, 3-3:50 p.m. Boeing is involved in the development, early implementation, and testing of ISO 10303-238 (STEP-NC), an international standard for the transmission of CAM information to CNC machine tools. Misconceptions abound as to what STEP-NC is, its practicality, and long- and short-term benefits. Benefits and misconceptions will be covered, along with present status and results of Boeing’s STEP-NC implementation efforts, including Boeing – Tulsa Portability test results, file size/processing times, and pilot results, from David Odendahl of Boeing.

— Edited by Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief, Control Engineering,
MHoske@cfemedia.com