NC Systems

Types of NC Systems

When classified according to the machine tool control system,there are three basic types of NC systems :
1. Point to Point.
2. Straight cut.
3. Contouring.

The classification is concerned with the amount of control over the relative motion between the workpiece and cutting tool . The least control is exerted over the tool motion with the point to point systems.  Contouring  represents the highest level of control.

Point-to-Point NC
Point to point is also sometimes called a positioning system. In PTP the objective of themachine tool control system is to move the cutting tool to predefined location.  The speedor path by which this movement is accomplished is not important in point to point NC.  Once the tool reaches the desired location, the machining operation is performed at that position.  NC drill presses are a good example of PTP systems.  The spindle must first be positioned at a particular location n the workpiece. This is done under PTP control . Then the drilling of the holes is performed at that location,the tool is  moved to the next hole location, and so forth.  Since no cutting is performed between holes there is no need for controlling the relative motion of the tool and workpiece betwwen hole locations.  On positioning systems the speeds and feeds used by the machine tool are often used by the machine operater rather than by the nc tape. Positioning systems are the simplest machine tool control systems and  therefore the least expensive of the three types. However for certain processes such  as drilling operations and spot welding.  PTP is perfectly suited to task and any higher level of control is unnecessary.

Straight Cut NC
Straight cut control systems are capable of moving the cutting tool parallel to one of the major axes at a controlled rate suitable for machining . It is therefore appropriate for performing milling operations to fabricate workpieces of rectangular configuartions. With this type of NC systems it is therefor appropriate for performing milling operations to fabricate workpieces of rectangular configuartions . With this type of NC system it is not possible to combine movements in more than single axis direction. Therefore angular cuts on the workpiece would not be possible. An NC machine tool capable of performing straight cut movements is also capable of point to point movements.

Contouring NC
Contouring is the most complex flexible and teh most expensive type of machine tool control . It is capable of performing both PTP and straight cut opeartions . In addition th edistinguishning feature of the of contouring NC system is their capacity for simultaneousl control of more than one axis movement of machine tool Figures below illustrate the versatility of continuous path NC. Milling and Turning are the common examples of  the use of conturing control.


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