Control Panel Functions for the CNC Lathe 251

“Control Panel Functions for the CNC Lathe” explains how operators use the machine and control panel functions to operate a CNC lathe. Operators use the handle and jog modes to move a turret or machine spindle incrementally or steadily. MDI mode executes isolated lines of programming and memory mode selects and edits existing programs. Before running a program, an operator may choose to execute the program in single block mode to prove it out or select the optional stop or block delete functions. The cycle start button starts the program. Once a program is running, the operator can use the control interface to adjust cutting variables with overrides.

To use a CNC lathe, an operator needs to know how to perform important operations using machine panel functions to move machine components and control panel functions to execute programming codes. After taking this class, users should be able to explain the purpose of frequently used controls on the control panel of a CNC lathe.

Class Details

Class Name:
Control Panel Functions for the CNC Lathe 251
Description:
“Control Panel Functions for the CNC Lathe” explains how operators use the machine and control panel functions to operate a CNC lathe. Operators use the handle and jog modes to move a turret or machine spindle incrementally or steadily. MDI mode executes isolated lines of programming and memory mode selects and edits existing programs. Before running a program, an operator may choose to execute the program in single block mode to prove it out or select the optional stop or block delete functions. The cycle start button starts the program. Once a program is running, the operator can use the control interface to adjust cutting variables with overrides.

To use a CNC lathe, an operator needs to know how to perform important operations using machine panel functions to move machine components and control panel functions to execute programming codes. After taking this class, users should be able to explain the purpose of frequently used controls on the control panel of a CNC lathe.
Version:
2.0
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Number of Lessons:
18
Related 1.0 Class:
CNC Manual Operations 200

Class Outline

  • Operator Responsibilities
  • Machine Operations and CNC Control Panels
  • Machine Controls and Control Display
  • Basic CNC Lathe Controls
  • CNC Lathe Operational Modes
  • Machine Operations Review
  • Manual Control Modes
  • Manual Control Comparisons
  • MDI and Single Block Mode
  • Control Modes Review
  • Overrides
  • Coolant Override
  • Optional Stop and Block Delete
  • Turret Indexing
  • Chip Conveyor
  • Proving Out
  • Control Panel Functions Review
  • CNC Lathe Control

Objectives

  • Describe the responsibilities of the CNC lathe operator.
  • Distinguish between machine operations and CNC control panel functions on a CNC lathe.
  • Describe CNC lathe control displays. Distinguish between machine operations and CNC control panel functions on a CNC lathe.
  • Describe the functions of the basic CNC lathe controls.
  • Identify the operational modes on a CNC lathe.
  • Describe the manual control modes on a CNC lathe.
  • Distinguish between pulse handle and jog modes on a CNC lathe.
  • Describe the function of MDI mode on a CNC lathe. Describe the function of single block mode on a CNC lathe.
  • Identify the types of overrides on a CNC lathe. Describe the use of overrides on a CNC lathe.
  • Describe manual operations for coolant on a CNC lathe.
  • Describe the role of the CNC lathe operator in optional stop and block delete.
  • Describe manual turret indexing.
  • Describe manual operations for the chip conveyor on a CNC lathe.
  • Describe proving out on a CNC lathe.

Job Roles

Certifications

NIMS
  • CNC Lathe Operations
  • CNC Turning Programming, Setup, & Operation

Glossary

Vocabulary Term Definition
auto mode A CNC mode that allows an operator to call up and execute a part program stored in the machine. Auto mode causes the control panel to temporarily take over for the machine panel.
axes An imaginary straight line or circle used to describe the location or movement of an object in three-dimensional space. CNC lathe components move along their linear and rotational axes.
block A single line of a part program. A block is composed of words and is written in code.
block delete A machine control that provides the option of skipping a predetermined series of program blocks that are denoted with a slash (/). A block delete allows the operator to run two versions of the same program.
cathode-ray tube CRT. A control panel component that uses a tube device to deliver display information to the operator. Cathode-ray tube screens have soft keys next to the screen on the control panel.
chip conveyor A moveable belt that helps remove chips from the interior of a machine. Chip conveyors carry chips away from the cutting area.
chip conveyor button A control button on the machine panel that allows the operator to manually stop and start the chip conveyor. The chip conveyor button can be used to manually control the chip conveyor while a part program runs.
chips A small fragment of material that is removed from a workpiece during a cutting operation. Chips are the byproduct of machining.
circuit breaker A safety device that detects overcurrent in a circuit. The circuit breaker of a CNC machine must be closed before the machine can be powered on.
CNC Computer numerical control. A self-contained system of computers and precision motors that executes program instructions to guide machine tool components and manufacture parts. CNC is often used to operate mills and lathes.
CNC control panel The group of controls on a CNC machine that runs, stores, and edits the commands of a part program and other coordinate information. When the part program runs without operator intervention, it runs in memory mode using the CNC control panel.
computer numerical control CNC. A self-contained system of computers and precision motors that executes program instructions to guide machine tool components and manufacture parts. Computer numerical control is often used to operate mills and lathes.
control interface The combination of the machine and control panels on a CNC machine. On a control interface, the machine panel handles manual and automatic operations, while the control panel allows for automated control when a part program runs in auto mode.
control modes One of a number of possible settings that determines the way a CNC machine executes manual and automatic commands. The main control modes include pulse handle mode, jog mode, MDI mode, memory mode, single block mode, and edit mode.
coolant A cutting fluid used for lubrication and for decreasing the temperature of the tool and workpiece to prolong tool life. Coolant can be controlled in a part program using M codes or manually using a coolant override.
coolant menu key A button on the control panel that calls up the coolant menu on the display screen. The coolant menu key allows the operator to control coolant options manually.
coolant override An override that allows the operator to control how the coolant pump operates. Coolant override allows the operator to turn the coolant on and off manually.
coolant stop key A button on the control panel that allows the operator to manually stop the flow of coolant. The coolant stop key functions as a coolant override.
cutting variables A factor that affects how a cutting tool performs its job. Cutting variables include speed, feed, and depth of cut.
cycle start The control button used to begin a program or continue a program that has been previously stopped. The cycle start button must be pressed after each block of a program when the program is run in single block mode.
cycle stop The control button used to pause a program. The cycle stop button, also known as the feed hold, pauses tool feed but not spindle movement.
dry run A preliminary operation to ensure that the part program will machine workpieces properly. A dry run is performed without any parts or cutting fluid.
edit mode The control mode that allows an operator to make changes to a part program. Edit mode stores any changes to a part program in the machine.
emergency stop E-stop. The control that automatically shuts down all machine functions. An emergency stop is the safest and preferred means for stopping the machine in an emergency.
E-stop Emergency stop. The control that automatically shuts down all machine functions. E-stop is the safest and preferred means for stopping the machine in an emergency.
E-stop Emergency stop. The control that automatically shuts down all machine functions. The E-stop button is the safest and preferred means for stopping the machine in an emergency.
facing A lathe cutting operation that feeds a cutting tool across an end of a cylindrical workpiece to create a flat surface and shorten its length. Facing can be performed manually using jog mode.
feed hold The control button used to pause a program. The feed hold, or cycle stop, button pauses tool feed but not spindle movement.
feed rate The rate at which the cutting tool moves down the length of the workpiece on a lathe. Feed rate is typically a linear movement.
feedrate override An override that allows the operator to adjust the feed rate of the tool during operation. Feedrate override functions as a percentage of the programmed value.
flat-panel display A control panel component that displays information to the operator. Flat-panel displays are thinner than cathode-ray tube screens and have soft keys next to the screen on the control panel.
G code programming A method of programming that pairs address letters with numerical values to form words. G code programming is used to write a part program.
handle controls The rotating knob or dial on a CNC control interface that moves the machine components along the axes. The handle controls click in controlled, measured increments that are selected by the operator.
home position The control that automatically locates the turret or spindle in the machine zero position. Home position is also known as zero return or reference return.
inches per minute ipm. A unit of measurement that indicates how far in inches a tool advances in one minute. Inches per minute is used to measure feed.
index The changing of machine components to different positions. When a CNC lathe turret is indexed, it must be located in an area of the machine free of any other lathe components.
jog controls Buttons on a CNC control interface that move the machine components along the axes. The jog controls move machine components in steady movements.
jog mode The control mode that allows for the manual operation of steady axes movement using the jog control buttons. Some machines have a combined handle/jog mode.
lathes A machine tool used to create cylindrical parts. Lathes hold a cylindrical workpiece on one or both ends while moving a single-point cutting tool along the surface of the rotating part.
M codes A word in a part program used to signal an action from a miscellaneous group of commands. M codes change cutting tools or turn on or turn off coolant and the spindle, among other actions.
machine control unit MCU. A small, powerful computer that controls and operates a CNC machine. Machine control units are comprised of a machine operations panel and a control panel.
machine operations panel The group of CNC machine controls that allows operators to manually control the machine. The machine operations panel, or machine panel, directly guides tool movement and the operation of machine components.
machine zero A position that is permanently set by the manufacturer of each particular CNC machine. Machine zero is acts as the zero position for a given machine.
machine zero The default position for the components of a given machine. Machine zero is permanently set by the manufacturer of each particular CNC machine.
manual data input MDI. The mode that allows an operator to manually enter and execute blocks of programming code at the control panel. In manual data input mode, code is entered one block at a time, and each block deletes from the machine as soon as it is executed.
master program A part program saved into the memory of a CNC machine. A master program needs to be updated with any changes made to the part program for those changes to affect the master program.
MCU Machine control unit. A small, powerful computer that controls and operates a CNC machine. MCUs are comprised of a machine operations panel and a control panel.
MDI Manual data input. The control mode that allows an operator to manually enter and execute blocks of programming code at the control panel. In MDI mode, code is entered one block at a time, and each block deletes from the machine as soon as it is executed.
memory mode The control mode that allows an operator to call up and execute a part program stored in the machine. Memory mode does not involve manual input unless overrides are implemented.
millimeters per minute mm/min. A unit of measurement that indicates how far in millimeters a tool advances in one minute. Millimeters per minute is used to measure feed.
offsets A numerical value stored in the CNC controls that repositions machine components. Offsets are used to adjust for variations in tool geometry, part size, and tool wear.
operational modes One of a number of possible settings that determines the way a CNC machine executes manual and automatic commands. The main operational modes include pulse handle mode, jog mode, MDI mode, memory mode, single block mode, and edit mode.
operator A person trained to run a computer numerical control machine on a daily basis. Operators monitor and adjust machining operations.
optional stop A code in a part program that pauses the machining cycle at key moments. Optional stops can be manually turned off so that the program completes without stopping.
override A control that adjusts a programmed element of part machining during operation of the part program. Overrides can control speed, feed, and coolant flow.
overrides A control that adjusts a programmed element of machining during operation of a part program. Overrides can control speed, feed, and coolant flow.
part program A series of alphanumerical instructions used by a CNC machine to perform the necessary sequence of operations to machine a specific workpiece. Multiple part programs can be stored in a CNC machine at one time.
part programmer The person responsible for the creation of a part program. Part programmers translate a workpiece design into program instructions for the CNC machine control unit.
proving out Performing a series of steps to verify the accuracy of a part program. While proving out, operators use displays, dry runs, and single blocking to check a program for errors.
pulse handle mode The control mode that allows for the manual operation of incremental tool movement using the hand controls. Some machines have a combined pulse handle/jog mode.
rapid feedrate override An override that allows the operator to reduce the rate of rapid tool movement during operation. Rapid feedrate override may reduce tool feed to 25% or less of the original rate.
rapid mode A mode used in conjunction with jog that increases the rate of spindle feeds and speeds. Rapid mode can move components as fast as 600 ipm (15,000 mm/min) or faster.
rapid positioning The quick movement of a machine component to a certain location. Rapid positioning can be done manually using the jog controls.
reference return The control that automatically locates the turret or spindle in the machine zero position. Reference return is also known as home position or zero return.
single block mode The control mode that allows an operator to execute a part program one block at a time. In single block mode, the operator must push the cycle start button to execute each block.
soft keys A button located on the control panel that has a different purpose depending on which function key has been chosen. Each soft key's function is visible between brackets on the screen.
spindle The part of the machine tool that spins or rotates. On the lathe, the spindle holds the workpiece.
spindle speed override An override that allows the operator to adjust the speed of the spindle during operation. Spindle speed override functions as a percentage of the programmed value.
stock Raw material that is used to make manufactured parts. Stock is available in standard shapes, such as long bars, plates, or sheets.
tapping The process of cutting internal threads in a hole with a rotating multi-point tool. Tapping operations cancel overrides because tapping requires that spindle speed and feed rate be timed together.
threading The process of cutting a long, spiraling groove into a cylindrical workpiece with a single-point tool. Threading operations cancel overrides because tapping requires that spindle speed and feed rate be timed together.
tolerances An acceptable deviation from a given dimension in part specifications. Tolerances are checked after a successful first part run.
touch-sensitive display A control panel component that displays information to the operator. Touch-sensitive display screens allow the soft keys to be located and manipulated by the operator on the screen itself.
turning A machining operation that rotates a cylindrical workpiece while a single-point tool is guided along the length of the part. Turning can be performed manually using jog mode.
turret A lathe component that holds a number of cutting tools. Turrets rotate or index to place tools in cutting position.
zero return The control that automatically locates the turret or spindle in the machine zero position. Zero return is also known as home position or reference return.