Reconfigurable software architecture for a hybrid micro machine tool

Zhong, Wenbin and Chang, Wenlong and Rubio, Luis and Luo, Xichun; (2015) Reconfigurable software architecture for a hybrid micro machine tool. In: 21st International Conference on Automation and Computing (ICAC), 2015. IEEE, GBR. ISBN 9780992680107 (

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Hybrid micro machine tools are increasingly in demand for manufacturing microproducts made of hard-to-machine materials, such as ceramic air bearing, bio-implants and power electronics substrates etc. These machines can realize hybrid machining processes which combine one or two non-conventional machining techniques such as EDM, ECM, laser machining, etc. and conventional machining techniques such as turning, grinding, milling on one machine bed. Hybrid machine tool developers tend to mix and match components from multiple vendors for the best value and performance. The system integrity is usually at the second priority at the initial design phase, which generally leads to very complex and inflexible system. This paper proposes a reconfigurable control software, architecture for a hybrid micro machine tool, which combines laser-assisted machining and 5-axis micro-milling as well as incorporating a material handling system and advanced on-machine sensors. The architecture uses finite state machine (FSM) for hardware control and data flow. FSM simplifies the system integration and allows a flexible architecture that can be easily ported to similar applications. Furthermore, component-based technology is employed to encapsulate changes for different modules to realize “plug-and-play”. The benefits of using the software architecture include reduced lead time and lower cost of development.