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CNC Control Systems

computer numerical control (CNC) system consists of three basic components: CNC software that is a program of instructions, a machine control unit, and processing equipment, also called machine tool.

  • CNC software. Both the controller and the computer in CNC systems operate by means of software. There are three types of software programs required in either of them: operating system software, machine interface software, and application software.
  • Machine control unit. In today’s CNC technology, the machine control unit (MCU) consists of some kinds of computers with related control hardware that store and sequentially execute the program of instructions by converting each command into mechanical actions of the processing equipment.
  • Machine tool/processing equipment. The processing equipment accomplishes the processing steps to transform the starting work piece into a complete part. Its operation is directed by the MPU, which in turn is driven by instructions contained in the part program. In most CNC systems, the processing equipment consists of the worktable and spindle as well as the motors and controls to drive them.
  • Auxiliary and peripheral devices. Most CNC systems also contain some auxiliary devices as well as those devices called peripherals. Some of the important auxiliary devices may include (1) Field Buses, (2) Servo amplifiers, and (3) Power supply devices, and so on. Peripherals may include (1) Keyboards, (2) Graphic display interface such as monitors, (3) Printers, and (4) Disk drivers and tape readers.

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