AUTOMATIC TOOL TRAJECTORY ASSESSMENT AND CORRECTION SYSTEM

Period of Performance: 01/01/1994 - 12/31/1994

$65K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Tetra Precision, Inc.
2335 Laurel Lane
Palm Beach Garden, FL 33410
Principal Investigator

Abstract

RESEARCHERS ARE DEVELOPING AN AUTOMATIC TOOL TRAJECTORY ASSESSMENT AND CORRECTION SYSTEM FOR USE DURING PROCESS DEVELOPMENT AND PROCESS MONITORING OF CNC MACHINE TOOLS. THE DEVELOPED SYSTEM DIRECTLY MEASURES THE SPATIAL COORDINATES OF THE DYNAMIC TOOL PATH EMBODIED IN A PARTICULAR PART PROGRAM FOR COMPARISON WITH THE DESIRED PATH COORDINATES. AN OFF-LINE PROCESSOR AUTOMATICALLY CREATES A MODIFIED PART-PROGRAM TO CORRECT THE PATH ERRORS AND DOWNLOAD IT TO THE MACHINE CONTROLLER. THE TOOL TRAJECTORY MEASUREMENT SYSTEM IS BASED ON THE LASER BALL BAR DEVELOPED AT THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA MACHINE TOOL RESEARCH CENTER. THE INSTANTANEOUS TOOL COORDINATES ALONG THE PATH ARE OBTAINED BY SIMULTANEOUS READINGS OF THREE LASER BALL BARS AND TRILATERATION. SUCCESSFUL DEVELOPMENT OF THE SYSTEM ALLOWS FOR SIGNIFICANT REDUCTIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF TIME NEEDED TO DEVELOP VERIFIED PART PROGRAMS FROM DESIGN DATA. OTHER BENEFITS OF THE SYSTEM INCLUDE RAPID RECOVERY FROM MACHINE CRASHES, ABILITY TO PERFORM STATISTICAL PROCESS CONTROL IN A MUCH MORE SCIENTIFIC MANNER, AND RAPID DIAGNOSTICS FOR MACHINE MAINTENANCE PURPOSES. IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS TECHNOLOGY ALLOWS FOR SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS IN THE PROCESS ACCURACY OF COMMODITY-GRADE AS WELL AS SPECIAL PURPOSE MACHINE TOOLS.