Original Date: 04/07/1997
Revision Date: 04/14/2003
Information : Distributed Numerical Control System
(equipment: Digital Electronic Corporation Microvax 3300; Intel based PCS running Microsoft windows)
Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) developed a Distributed Numerical Control (DNC) system which eliminated the previous method of part programs being driven from paper/mylar type, mag cartridge, or floppy disk depending on the capability of each particular CNC machine controller. Part program distribution is now done electronically from one master repository. This new technique guarantees that the machine operator is using the latest revision of the control software, and allows the operator to download new versions directly at the point of operation instead of time consuming trips to tape libraries where the operator may not get the latest released version of the controlling software. Configuration Management control has been made easy by having only one repository for the latest controlled version.
DNC was the first Client-Server application installed at RIA. It uses industry standards for communication Transfer Communication Protocol/Internet Protocol, Network (Ethernet), and database management (Statistical Query Language compliant). A total of 168 machines with more than 20 different types of machine controllers are now connected to RIA’s DNC system. The turnaround time for program changes was reduced 90% resulting in a cost savings of $200K annually; $5K was saved annually on distribution medium; and shop floor libraries were eliminated.
Through DNC, a direct communication link was established between the programmer and the shop floor using DNC notification capabilities which increased the feedback response for efficient transfer of information. The DNC workstation is also used to access work instructions and labor reporting systems.
Program Change Order (PCO) management was the next step RIA took in improving the manufacturing process. PCO is a six state process which manages program changes and revisions in a streamlined method eliminating redundant steps in the overall change process. The six states are as follows:
1st Issue Indicates part program is new and not previously used for production.
Proving Formerly a 1st Issue part program that has been edited at least one time.
Hold Indicates this program was formerly a Production program and has been edited; this program can only be downloaded immediately after the edit was made; afterwards, it can only be downloaded by a programmer, foreman, or leader.
Allow Indicates a programmer or foreman has authorized use of a program in a Hold status for production.
Reject Edits made to a Production part program that have been rejected by the programmer.
Production A part program which was in a 1st Issue status and has been run successfully with no further changes required.
RIA stands with industry leaders in the area of NC machine control. The Arsenal’s DNC system provides a structured methodology ensuring that part program integrity is maintained at all times.
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