A Web based remote control of CNC machines

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Due to the large variety of products in small batch sizes, a modern machining shop floor requires an advancedreal-time control system able to both monitor all the features and adapt the manufacturing system to the rapidchanges of production capability and functionality.This is especially true when the shop floors are combined with the e-Manufacturing concept.e-Manufacturing is a transformation system which enables the manufacturing operations to achieve a predictivenear-zero-downtime performance as well as to synchronize with the management systems through the use ofinfotronics technologies (i.e., wireless connections, web applications, networking systems, etc.).In recent years, the impact of web-oriented technologies has added “velocity” to the design, manufacturing, andaftermarket service of a product. Today’s competition in manufacturing industry depends not only on leanmanufacturing but also on the ability to provide customers with total solution and life-cycle costs for sustainablevalue.Companies are always under a high pressure to improve their efficiency in terms of product development,operations, and resource utilization with a transparent visibility of production and quality control.However, a highly efficient infrastructure, able to integrate all the parts of an automated equipment together andto link them to the e-Manufacturing, is still not available.The objective of this research is to develop an appropriate methodology with open architecture for real-timemonitoring and remote control of some networked CNC machines.A new enabling technology is therefore urgently required in order to bring traditional CNC machine tools on-linewith combined monitoring and control capability. Without it, the advanced factory automation will hardly have thepossibility to become practical in the next generation distributed manufacturing shop floor environments.Thanks to the availability of low cost and Open Source CNC systems, it is currently possible to use CNCtechnology even in very simple and small production environment.The milestone of this research is EMC2, a Linux CNC-executable control program, freely downloadable on theInternet, able to control servo-motors, stepper motors, robots and other automated devices. It allows CNCmachine users to manage a numerical control machine from the parallel port of an even low-performing PC.It provides motion planning with cutter radius compensation, tool length offsets, and constant velocity control.It also have support for non-Cartesian motion systems. This includes hexapods (Stewart platforms and similarconcepts) and systems with rotary joints to provide motion.In order to remotely manage a EMC2 based CNC machine, a computer remote control of a milling station hasbeen realised in two different configurations: thanks to a webcam pointed on the working table, the remotecomputer shows the milling machine movements. The first configuration uses an SSH client and server - indeedit is possible to install them not only on a great number of such UNIX versions as Linux and Mac OS X, but alsoon Windows. The second one uses a remote text shell (like telnet) and three different methods to broadcastimages.The structure is based on a server running Linux (Ubuntu 8.04) on which EMC2 is installed. Thanks to a TCP/IPnetwork, the server connects many CNC machines; moreover users are able to connect their computer to theserver and to control CNC machines by using a wireless LAN. Some tests have been performed by usingdifferent computers (also a brand new netbook) in order to verify the real efficiency of the structur
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine0
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2009


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