International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing issue:Published online: 15 Sep 2014 pages:1-16
The design of typical CNC machine tools has remained relatively static over the last thirty years, and gradual improvements can be classified as being evolutionary. The emerging concept of a dematerialised CNC machine tool extenuates from the need to reduce machine tool raw material use in terms of mass by up to 60%. An important requirement for this concept is a detailed catalogue of machine tool parts that links individual components, their attributes and functionalities to ensure that all mass in a machine tool adds value. This article describes DEMAT machine tools and presents research pertaining to the development of a data model and a novel information-sharing platform (ISP) that supports and enables the design of a dematerialised machine tool. It provides a unique approach to design and life cycle monitoring of machines. An experimental software system has been developed using UML machine tool data models implemented as Java classes, and an SQL database is used to store machine tool component data. The database has been populated with typical machine tool components to demonstrate the functionality of the prototype ISP, when developing DEMAT machine tools.