Product News: AI software for condition monitoring of CNC machine tools

Jan. 27, 2021
The neural-network technology learns optimum machine behavior.

NUM has launched artificial-intelligence software that provides CNC machine-tool users with condition-monitoring capabilities.

Compatible with all of NUM’s latest-generation Flexium+ CNC systems, the NUMai software package is a complete, fully integrated solution for CNC machine tools; it does not require any additional sensors, and runs on the same industrial PC as the CNC system’s HMI (human-machine interface), according to its maker. 

NUMai software can be utilized as soon as a machine tool has been commissioned and is ready to start production, or on a machine that is already being employed for production purposes. The software initially acquires all pertinent operating data over a period of time (typically a number of hours) while the machine is being used for normal production tasks. Ideally, per NUM, a diversity of part programs is run, involving a variety of different machining conditions, in order to ensure that the data is as comprehensive and as reliable as possible.

The collected data is used to teach a neural network so that any deviation from the ‘good’ machine behavior and performance can then be detected and predicted; a suitable PC program for subsequent online-performance monitoring and diagnostic purposes is generated automatically.

NUMai condition-monitoring software capitalizes on the inherent flexibility of NUM’s latest-generation Flexium+ CNC platform. As standard, every Flexium+ CNC system includes a PC that can handle data from the servo drives’ measurement points, a PLC that has direct access to machine parameters, and an NCK oscilloscope feature capable of reading values in real-time. All system communications are handled by FXServer, using fast real-time Ethernet (RTE) networking, according to NUM.

During everyday use in the production environment, NUMai software runs in the background on the industrial PC that forms part of the machine tool’s CNC system, continuously monitoring and evaluating the machine’s performance. Any discrepancy or deviation beyond user-defined thresholds is notified to the PLC, which decides what action should be taken—from a simple advisory message to an emergency disengagement.

The new NUMai condition monitoring software option can be installed and used on any Flexium+ CNC system running NUM’s Flexium software version or higher.