Motion Control - The Heart Of CNC

- Aug 17, 2018-

The most basic function of any CNC machine is automatic, precise, and consistent motion control. Rather than applying completely mechanical devices to cause motion as is required on most conventional machine tools, CNC machines allow motion control in a revolutionary manner. All forms of CNC equipment have two or more directions of motion, called axes. These axes can be precisely and automatically positioned along their lengths of travel. The two most common axis types are linear (driven along a straight path) and rotary (driven along a circular path). Instead of causing motion by turning cranks and handwheels as is required on conventional machine tools, CNC machines allow motions to be commanded through programmed commands. Generally speaking, the motion type (rapid, linear, and circular), the axes to move, the amount of motion and the motion rate (feed rate) are programmable with almost all CNC machine tools. The CNC command executed within the control tells the drive motor to rotate a precise number of times. The rotation of the drive motor in turn rotates the ball screw. And the ball screw drives the linear axis (slide). A feedback device (linear scale) on the slide allows the control to confirm that the commanded number of rotations has taken place3.