IJCRR - Vol 03 Issue 07, July, 2011
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A STUDY ON THE DESIGN OF MICRO-LATHE FOR EDUCATION AND APPLICATION
Author: S.Syath Abuthakeer, P.V. Mohanram, G. Mohan Kumar
Abstract:As the factory automation progresses, the number of specialized product is increasing rapidly. Previous years have been characterized by the growth of 3-D micro-components production. Now-a-days, machined parts are becoming progressively smaller. So, production of machinery which remains in a conventional size is often inappropriate for such products. The term ?micro factory'' represents an entirely new approach to design and manufacture which minimizes production systems to match the siz of the parts they produce. The micro-lathe was one of key components in \"Micro-factories\" claiming \"small machine tools for small mechanical parts?. There is an alternative to manufacture microcomponents by micro-machine tools and micro-manipulators using conventional mechanical techniques. In India, Robot, Micro-factory, several prototypes of micro-machine tools (MMTs) and micromanipulators (MMs) have been developed. Furthermore, there is an increased need for engineers trained
in micro-machine tool design and operation. This development necessitates thorough and systematic education in both industry and education institution. Inexpensive educational micro-machine tools will facilitate the required education in India. In this study we design and manufacture a prototype of an inexpensive LabVIEW controlled micro-lathe. This will facilitate the micro-machine tool education in India as these activities become active.
Keywords: Micro-machine, micro-lathe, LabVIEW
1.1.RATIONALE AND STIPULATION OF THE MICRO-MACHINE TOOL
There is a great effort towards the miniaturization in the last few decades. We can see the effects of that trend in every aspect of our lives. From the laptops to the cellular phones, we always prefer the smallest one since the idea of ?the smaller the better? has penetrated into our minds and one can be equipped with more gadgets as miniaturization goes further. Miniaturization process of mechanical components started with micro fabricated sensors and was followed by micro fabricated parts and micro actuators. In recent years integration of micro components such as precision mechanisms, sensors, actuators and embedded electronic circuits into micro systems has become one of the most prominent research areas all over the world. When the micro components were first introduced, they were simple and could be naturally integrated directly into the product. However, developments in micro system technology resulted in a large variety of micro components made from dissimilar materials and technologies. These miniaturized products use even smaller components, and in more and more cases they are micro components with sizes of components less than one millimeter. A new bid to manufacture pieces with overall sizes smaller than 1mm using conventional mechanical technology was made in. This proposal was based on the development of micro-factories (composed of micro-machine tools, micro-manipulators (MMs), assembly devices, etc.) to manufacture and assemble 3-D micro-devices employing conventional mechanical techniques. The micro-factories can help to reduce the consumption of resources (energy, materials and space); and can help to increase the productivity. The micro-machine tools (MMTs) in such micro-factories must be sufficiently precise to produce components according to industrial and research demands. The conservation of energy has been the slogan for the past decade in order to reduce energy consumption. The conservation of energy by reducing the machine tool size for machining micro components is attaining popularity as micro-factory. Micro-factory can be said that it is a small manufacturing system for achieving higher throughput with less space and reduced consumption of both resource and energy via downsizing of production processes. The energy-saving effect factoriesareminiaturizedto1/2size.Theenergysaving effect is large when the size of the processing and assembly Equipment is extremely large compared to the dimensions of the products. As for watch manufacturing, the amount of Energy consumption may be reduced to approximately 30 Percent of the conventional factory by the half-miniaturization of the production systems .The term micro-factory represents an entirely new approach to design and manufacture that minimize production systems to match the size of the parts they produce. In the earliest attempt to turn the concept of micro-factory  in to a reality a micro-lathe smaller than a human palm was developed in 1996. And it was the first big success for the further step into the concentration on process physics of micromachining including materials and micro structural effects, machine tools, tooling and sensing, workpiece and design issues, software and simulation tools, and other issues  micro factory. The first micro press was developed in the year 2000. In the micro-world, the error sources of MMTs can be reduced by reducing their sizes ,, and . Some prototypes were made in order to demonstrate the advantages of this proposal. Countries such as Japan, Ukraine and Mexico have developed micro-machines tools with overall sizes from 130 × 160 × 85 mm to 32 × 28 × 30 mm,, and . In Mexico, the research in this area began in 1999 and the main goal was to develop micromechanical technology for automated production systems based on low-cost and high efficiency equipment and instrumentation .In the low-cost micro-equipment development, the principal challenge is to obtain high precision employing low-cost components. Advanced countries like Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Europe, Ukraine ,Mexico, Gemany and USA not only manufacture production micromachine tool but also educational micromachine tool in a balanced manner. As the economic development of India progresses toward becoming an advanced nation there is a need for an effective policy for science, engineering and technology and their education. Particularly, that for the machinery, automobile and electrical industries is more urgent. Because the resources, fund and technology for the domestic industry are not sufficient, and also technology protection policy in the level of advanced nation is nonexistent, there is a great deal of problems associated with the Indian Machine tool Industry. In particular, Micro-machine tool systems which are based on an industry are less manufactured in India. Therefore, it is an urgent problem that the Indian industry develops capability to manufacture integrated special tool system, such as Micro-factory ,Micro-machine tool, micromanipulators, Robots; Educational high level technicians for the special fields. Sufficient equipment and other necessary materials are needed for experiments essential for effective education. It is more suitable to use specially built micro machine tool for educational uses. In our country, certain educational institutes recognize this problem and utilize educational micro-machine tool, but this machinery depend on total import. Therefore it is expected that this research contributes towards micro-equipment education by domestic production of educational MICRO LATHE so it can reduce the import and foreign exchange and eventually manufacture of Micro-lathe for production. The necessity of educational Micro-machine tool is considered by this method: and an economical prototype micro-lathe is designed, manufactured and studied. In the low-cost micro-equipment development, the principal challenge is to obtain high precision employing low-cost components. For this reason, we have proposed to use the labVIEW control systems to increase the micromachine tools accuracy without increasing significantly the total device cost.
1.2 DEVELOPMENT OF MICRO-LATHE An interest to produce mechanical parts with sizes less than 1 mm arose worldwide in the 80‘s. Some methods based on micro-electronic technology were proposed; nowadays, these developments are called Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) . The microelectronic technology allows developing micromechanical components with simple shapes (two and a half dimensions), and the materials employed in this technology are silicon, silicon oxide, metallic films (mainly aluminum), and piezoelectric materials like quartz. These microdevices applications are encountered in many industries such as the automotive, the biomedical, electronics, computer, etc. The manufacture of micro-components employing micro-mechanical systems (microfactories) was proposed in the 90‘s as a new alternative to cover some of the micro-world applications where MEMS could not be applied. A research group from Japan proposed the development of tools that allow generating other kind of application which can be made from different materials and can have 3-D geometry shapes. The main goal was to create MMTs, micro-manipulators (MMs), etc. at a scale comparable with the size of the produced microcomponents. Their proposal consisted of transferring the conventional mechanical methods to the micro-world and to develop micro-factories able to produce micro-devices. A micro-factory contains several systems: a manufacturing system, an assembly system, a quality control system, a transport system, a maintenance system, and others. The microfactories allow a decrease in the consumption of energy, space, and resources. The produced micro-components can be used in the watch industry, the automotive industry, medical facilities, biology investigations, etc.  and . For example, in the medical field, the micro-equipment demands are: microscopy, diagnosis, non-invasive surgery, etc. in the industrial field for the development of microrobots to inspect inaccessible or dangerous places, pipe inspection, transportation machinery, archeological research, etc. Another interesting application field is the development of micro-actuators, for example: micro-grippers. for manipulation with living cells, microgenerators, micro-motors, etc.. The first micro-machine tool was developed in the National Institute of Advance Industrial Science and Technology of Japan in 1996 . Nowadays, there are many groups in different countries around the world such as Germany, Korea, Switzerland, Mexico, USA, etc. interested in this field ,  and . Researchers from the National Institute of Advance Industrial Science and Technology of Japan developed an automated micro-factory to produce components for micro-bearings in 2000 . The assembly of micro-bearings was made in the same micro-factory with a semi automated process. Particularly, in Mexico, investigation in micromechanics began in 1999. The main goal is to create technology for automated micromechanical devices for production based on low-cost and high efficiency equipment and instrumentation. To achieve this goal, it was proposed to work out the micro-equipment as sequence of generations where the first generation of micro-equipment is produced by conventional machine tools. The microequipment of this generation will be able to produce the second generation of microequipment having smaller overall sizes than the previous one. Employing the second generation, it would be possible to produce the third generation of micro-equipment, and so on. The sizes of each new generation devices are smaller than the sizes of the prec++edent ones. This process can be repeated until the micromachines with overall sizes of some micrometers have been obtained . Based on this study, the prototype of LabVIEW controlled Micro-lathe is developed for production maximized education efficiency, it can be learned easily and a disjointing and assembling are possible.