Innovative AI Software Can Monitor, Predict and Diagnose Problems with CNC Machine Tools

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

NUM's new NUMai software provides CNC machine tool users with very cost-effective condition monitoring capabilities. This schematic shows the neural network's prediction of a variable (blue) and the measured value of the variable (red). The residual error is shown in yellow.





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).

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, 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 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.

This NUMai schematic shows the increase in residual error of an estimated variable after a fault condition, resulting in a warning being set.



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 which 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.

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.

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