Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3134064 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 19, 1964
Filing dateSep 27, 1961
Priority dateSep 29, 1960
Publication numberUS 3134064 A, US 3134064A, US-A-3134064, US3134064 A, US3134064A
InventorsNarbro Alf Lennart
Original AssigneeSvenska Aeroplan Ab
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic program for machine tools and the like
US 3134064 A
Abstract  available in
Images(11)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 1964 ALF LENNART NARBRO 3,134,064

AUTOMATIC PROGRAM FOR MACHINE TOOLS AND THE LIKE Filed Sept. 27, 1961 11 Sheets-Sheet 1 A? Lnprt Naz'bm 3% May 19, 964 ALF LENNART NARBRO 3 AUTOMATIC PROGRAM FOR MACHINE TOOLS AND THE LIKE Filed Sept. 27, 1961 11 Sheets-Sheet 2 Him 29 AND55 SPIN DLE SPEED PR CT wwz May 19, 1964 ALF LENNART NARBRO 3,134,054

AUTOMATIC PROGRAM FOR MACHINE TOOLS AND THE LIKE Filed Sept. 2'7. 1961 11 Sheets-Sheet 5 92 FIRST OOORDlNATE 90 HOL D/NG CIRcu/ r }FROM 5 Junk-#9 5 04) A2 L 2111152 2 Narbru 33 V I A WM M y 1954 ALF LENNART NARBRO 3,134,064

AUTOMATIC PROGRAM FOR MACHINE TOOLS AND THE LIKE File p 27, 1961 11 Sheets-Sheet 4 SECOND COORDINATE SELECTOR 7 6 H 0L DING C/RCUI T Z/Lsnnart Narbm May 19, 1964 ALF LENNART NARBRO 3, 3

AUTOMATIC PROGRAM FOR MACHINE TOOLS AND THE LIKE Filed Sept. 27, 1961 ll Sheets-Sheet 6 PATH OF 900 l O CENTER OF CUTTER A I I CUTTER 08 02 DIAMETER; l8 MM ENTRANCE I DISTANCEI 2 MM a v simian-175 44! AZ Lennari- Narbru May 19, 1964 ALF LENNART NARBRO 3,134,064

TIC PROGRAM FOR MACHINE TOOLS AND THE LIKE AUTOMA Filed Se t; 27, 1961 ll Sheets-Sheet 7 2 n 9 v m: fififigwwfififigwwmnwuu W-M 0000 v o o o o n. 0.00000000000000000000000 an o o o o m e y o o o o o oo o o o -6 f 4 F w m 3 R E P. 0 D 73 4 9 M K B 7. 3 5 9 M H B 7 3 4 9 95456789mummmwwnmwmmuumaum w fimwwmmnumfinmwwm o o o o o o o 00 000 000 o OOOOOOOOOOOOOOO0000000000 O O 0000 000 O0 8 o o o o o o o o o o o o o 000 o o o o o o o 000 o 000 o o o 000 o r \K 1 o 2 m m m m m n m m. m P O m w May 19, I964 ALF LENNART NARBRO AUTOMATIC PROGRAM FOR MACHINE TOOLS AND THE LIKE Filed Sept. 2'7, 1961 11 Sheets-Sheet 8 Z Lennart NarZ/r'u y 1964 ALF LENNART NARBRO 3,134,064

AUTOMATIC PROGRAM FOR MACHINE TOOLS AND THE LIKE Filed Sept. 2'7, 1961 ll Sheets-Sheet 9 ORDER DISTRIBUTOR 33 AZ Lenart Narbra May 19, 1964 ALF LENNART NARBRO 7 3,134,064

AUTOMATIC PROGRAM FOR MACHINE TOOLS AND THE LIKE Filed Sept. 2'7, 1961 ll Sheets-Sheet 11 abc d2 3 12 g 0 OO O 0 o o o E O O A O O O T O O o o O N O 00 OO O 8 O 0 8 E O O o O O i? 2 0 o O a O o 0 00 00 O 3 O 0 8 E 00 O o o O O O O O N O O O Q o 0 O O o 0 O E O 0 O 0 R4 0 O A o O T o O 0 o o N v Mg? United States Patent 3,134,054 AUTOMATIC PROGRAM FQR MALQHINE TQOLS AND-THE LIKE Alf Lennart Narbro, Linlroping, Sweden, assignor to Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget, Linlroping, Sweden, a corporation of Sweden Filed Sept. 27, 1961, SeixNo. 158,624 Claims priority, application Sweden Sept. 29, 1960 8 Claims. (Cl. 3l8162) This invention relates generally to the so-called automation of machine tools and the like, whereby the movable element or elements of a machine tool can be automatically controlled in the execution of a predetermined program of operations in accordance with instructional indicia encoded on a stepwise movable information carrier such as a punched tape, magnetic tape or the like.

More specifically the invention concerns apparatus for effecting accurate quantitative control of the motions of a movable element or elements of a machine tool or the like, wherein a stepwise movable information carrier on which a program of operations is encoded is employed for giving to the movable element of the tool specific instructions which relate not only to its direction and speed of motion for each operation, and to other features related to the operation such as cutter spindle speed'and use of non-use of coolant, but also to the exact distance the movable element is to traverse in executing the operation.

One type of device for such quantitative control of the movable element of a machine tool which has heretofore been employed has been based upon the principle of representing the program to be carried out by numerical indicia on the information carrier, often in the form of symbols for binary numbers, and transmitting to a counting unit numerical values corresponding to such symbols as each is presented to a reading device during stepwise progress of the information carrier theretlirough. The counting unit contains data storage or memory means in which the numerical values are reproduced, and by which the operations of the movable element of the machine tool are monitoredduring execution of the program represented by the numerical indicia on the information carrier. While each operation for which numerical datahas been stored is being carried out, the data storage means is progressively emptied, and at each emptying of the memory unit the information carrier is caused to be advanced through the reading device to permit a new instruction to beread off of it.

Even where the program to be performed by such an apparatus is a simple one, a large number of data storage or memory units is required, and the apparatus has a complicated structure which causes it to be expensive to build and maintain.

For the purpose of simplifying such apparatus it'has been proposed that the information carrier be utilized to take over a portion of the data storage functions by so spacing the numerical indicia along the length of'the information carrier as to represent, by the distances between indicia, the distance through which the movable element of the machine tool was to move in executing each operation. In such a system the information carrier contained coded indicia for each operation concerning direction and rate of motion ofthe movable element, followed by a length of carrier which bore a predetermined'scale ratio to the distance. which the movable element was to traverse during the operation. As the information carrier was moved stepwise through this length, the number of steps that it moved was recorded in acounting unit, and as the operation was performed the counting unit was emptied by signals that were fed back from the machine tool each time its movable elementmoved through a predetermined Edit-fiat Patented May 19, 1954 short distance. While each operation was being executed, the information carrier delivered new information about a subsequent operation to another counting unit. When the first operation was completed, bringing the first counting unit to its zero setting, the second counting unit was caused to assume control of the movable element to start the second operation, and the information carrier was simultaneously advanced to thenext set of indicia thereon, for registering information in the first counting unit. Information on the information carrier was thus registered in the two counting units alternately, each being charged with data concerning a subsequent operation while the other was monitoring the execution of an operation on which data had previously been fed to it.

Such alternation between two counting units was required to avoid delays between operation, since the information carrier employed with such a system had to have very substantial length. In order to insure that the travel of the movable element would be exactly that dictated by the information carrier, the scale ratio of the information carrier had to be so chosen that one step of the information carrier corresponded to the smallest distance unit to which the movable element was to be controlled. Thus if the movable element was to be controlled to .01 mm., and the information carrier moved 2.54 mm. at each step, as is usual for punched tapes, the tape had to have a length of 254 m. to signify a l m. movement of the movable element. It is clear from this example that such a system was impractical and in any case would not suit working methods normally existing in factories.

By contrast, the present invention has for its object the provision of apparatus for automatically controlling the operations of the movable element or elements of a machine tool in accordance with a program of instructions represented by indicia on a stepwise movable information carrier, and which program includes control of the magnitude of the motions of the movable element or elements of the machine tool, wherein the memory functions required for effecting such control are assigned wholly or in substantial part to the information carrier, without, however, increasing the physical size of the information carrier to any substantial extent beyond that which it would be required to have if such memory functions were assigned to memory units in the apparatus itself.

It is thus another general object of this invention to provide means for effecting quantitative control, by means of a stepwise movable information carrier, of all of the operations that the movable element of a machine tool is required to perform in the execution of a complete program of work, and which means can be embodied in relatively very simple and inexpensive apparatus and in a relatively compact information carrier.

The apparatus of this invention is based upon the principle that information concerning the distance to be traversed by a controlled movable element in the performance of any one operation can be encoded on an information carrier in the form of a series of partial instructions, each relating to a portion of the course to be traversed by the movable element in the execution of that operation, and that the partial instruction for each course portion can be presented in terms of information concerning a measurement unit for that course portion, and information concerning a numerical value or coefficient for that course portion. The measurement unit which comprises one part of the numerical information for each course portion differs from that for each of the other course portions, and in each case represents some predetermined multiple (preferably to a power of 10) of a basic measurement unit which is equal to the smallest distance to which control of the movable element is to ans goat be effected. For example, if a tool is to be controlled to .01 mm., that distance would be the basic measurement unit, and the measurement unit for one portion of the course would be a multiple of 100 of that basic unit (i.e., 1 mm.), for another portion of the course would be a multiple of 1,000 of that basic unit (i.e., 1 cm.), and so on. The coeflicient or multiplier which comprises the other part of the numerical information constituting each partial instruction designates the number of such measurement units or multiples which make up the particular course portion covered by the partial instruction.

In one embodiment of the invention the numerical information for the course to be traversed by the movable element during each operation is represented on the information carrier by a series of partial instructions, each relating to one portion of the course and each consisting of a symbol representing a measurement unit for that course portion, followed by a length of information car rier which carries no indicia but which length is propor tional to the numerical value of the coefiicient for the course portion to which the partial instruction relates.

In another embodiment of the invention each partial in struction is given by a symbol for the numerical value of the coefficient for the course portion to which that par tial instruction relates; and information as to the meas urement unit for the course portion is supplied by the sequence in which such symbols appear on the information carrier. In this embodiment the first partial instruction for each operation always relates to the largest measurement unit employed in the apparatus, and each successive partial instruction thereafter relates to a measurement unit which is one-tenth as large as that covered by the preceding partial instruction.

It is another feature of the apparatus of this invention that each of the symbols or indicia employed to encode instructions on the information carrier that governs the program to be executed by the controlled element can have any one of several different significations, and that the specific instruction which a given symbol presents to the controlled element is defined by the position of that symbol in the sequence of symbols or indicia on the tape carrier, without coded supplementary information.

Hence it is another object of this invention to provide apparatus for programmed control of the operations of the movable element or elements of a machine tool or the like by means of a stepwise movable information carrier upon which instructions for the program are encoded, whereby a standard teleprinter punching keyboard or the like, having a relatively small number of symbols, canbe used for the preparation of a punched tape information carrier, but whereby very specific and accurate control can be achieved over every aspect of the programmed operation despite the limited number of symbo ls used on the information carrier.

With the above and other objects in view which will appear as the description proceeds, this invention resides in the novel apparatus substantially as hereinafter described and more particularly defined by the appended claims, it being understood that such changes in the precise embodiment of the hereindisclosed invention may be made as come within the scope of the claims.

The accompanying drawings illustrate several complete examples of the physical embodiments of the invention constructed according to the best modes so far devised for the practical application of the principles thereof, and in which:

FIGURE 1 is a block diagram. of the principal components of an apparatus embodying the principles of this invention, intended for control of the operations of a machine tool;

FIGURES 2, 3 and 4 are circuit diagrams for certain components of the apparatus diagrammed in FIGURE 1, and show the connections of those components with one another;

FIGURE 5 is a schedule illustrating a code system for punched tape indicia that can be utilized with the apparatus illustrated in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 6 depicts a program of operations to be executed upon a work piece by means of the apparatus illustrated in FIGURES 1-4;

FIGURE 7 shows a length of punched tape information carrier containing coded instructions according to the schedule, FIGURE 5, for the program of operations depicted in FIGURE 6, to be executed by means of the apparatus of FIGURES 1-4;

FIGURE 8 is a block diagram of a modified apparatus embodying the principles of this invention;

FIGURE 9 is a schematic circuit diagram of portions of the apparatus illustrated in FIGURE 8;

FIGURE 10 is a schedule illustrating a system of coded indicia for punched tape that can be utilized with the apparatus illustrated in FIGURE 8;

FIGURE 11 shows a punched tape information carrier on which information for the program depicted in FIGURE 6 is encoded in accordance with the schedule, FIGURE 10, to be executed by the apparatus illustrated in FIGURES 8 and 9; and

FIGURE 12 is a more or less diagrammatic fragmentary view of an impulse signal generating device adapted to be incorporated in apparatus embodying the principles of this invention.

Referring now more particularly to the accompanying drawings, the numeral 1 designates an information carrier on which a program of instructions for the control of a machine tool or the like is encoded in a suitable system of indicia, and which is adapted to cooperate with a reader 2 through which the information carrier is moved stepwise by a tape advance mechanism 2'. In this case the information carrier is shown and described as a punched tape, but it will be understood that the invention is adapted in principle to use with other types of information carriers, such as magnetic tape, punched cards, and the like.

For purposes of illustration the unit to be governed in accordance with the instructions coded on the information carrier can be assumed to be a milling machine, having a movable element that comprises a work supporting table 36 and a rotating tool which is mounted in a vertical slide 82 for up and down motion relative to the table. The tool is rotatably driven by a spindle drive motor 85.

Up and down movements, which may be designated as Z and +2 motions, respectively, are imparted to the tool, through suitable drive means (not shown), by a Z- axis drive motor 83. The work supporting table 86 is mounted for clockwise and counter-clockwise rotation (+R and R motions, respectively), and such motions are imparted to the table, through suitable drive means (not shown), by an R-axis drive motor 87. A carriage 76 which supports the table 86 is in turn mounted upon a movable way 79, so that the carriage can move forward -l-Y direction) and backward (Y direction) relative to the movable way, carrying the table 86 with it. Such back-and-forth motions are imparted to the carriage 76, through suitable drive means (not shown), by a Y-axis drive motor 80. The movable way 79 is in turn "movable to the right (+X direction) and to the left (X direction) by an X-axis drive motor 77, operating through suitable drive means (not shown).

The work piece and tool are thus movable relative to one another in opposite directions along each of three mutually perpendicular axes, X, Y, and Z, and the work is also rotatable (in the R directions) relative to the tool. Since the tool and table are movable relative to one another to execute the operations to be controlled by the apparatus, they can together be regarded as a movable element of the machine which'responds to the instructions encoded on the information carrier.

The successive instructions to be given to the machine by the information carrier 1 are encoded on the tape in the form of patterns of holes punched in the tape on transverse information lines spaced from one another at regular intervals along the length of the tape. (See FIGURES 7 and 11.) Each such information line intersects one of a series of drive holes g which are punched in the tape at regular intervals along its length, near its centerline, and with which the tape advance mechanism 2 cooperates in advancing the tape stepwise through the reader 2.

Some of the information lines, for reasons brought out hereinafter, are unpunched except for the drive hole; and others contain coded information in the form of holes punched in one or more of five channels, designated a-e, that extend lengthwise of the tape. In the present case only channels a, b, c, and d of the tape contain holes or indicia that define the program which is to be executed. The fifth channel, designated 2, near the right hand edge of the tape, is utilized only for parity check. A hole is punched in channel e only when required to bring the total number of holes along a line of information to an odd number.

The reader 2 is of course. so arranged that it simultaneeously senses allof the holes along each information line as the line is presented to the reader during stepwise movement of the tape therethrough. The reader incorporates any suitable meanselectrical, optical, pneumatic or mechanical-for detecting the pattern of holes and transferring the information thus sensed, in the form of suitable signals, to an order receiver 3.

The order receiver 3 comprises five relays Baa-3e, each of which corresponds to one of the channels ae on the tape and is adapted to be energized when there is a hole in its corresponding channel along an information line presentedto the reader 2. The relay 3e is utilized for parity check, to stop the program if the pattern of holes sensed by the reader 2 is not an odd number, thus providing a check on accuracy of tracking of the information carrier through the reader 2, proper punching of the holes in the tape, and proper functioning of the reading device. The means for effecting this parity check function will be apparent to those skilled in the art, and is therefore not shown.

The four relays 3a-3d of the order receiver 3, which correspond to channels a, b, c and d of the tape, are connected, through an order receiptor 4, with an order distributor 5, by way of conductors 6, 7, 8 and '9, respectively. The function of the order receiptor 4, as explained in more detail hereinafter, is to cause the tape advance mechanism 2' to advance thev information carrier'through the reader in-step with utilization of information on the tape. When the machine has made a response to the information on one informationline of the tape, the order receiptor effects advance of the tape to the next succeeding line.

The pattern of holes on the complete tape, comprising the total program to be executed by the machine, can be considered as consisting of one or more blocks of instructions, each block relating to an operation to be executed by the machine. In each block, information concerning the operation to be performed is always presented to the machine in a certain preestablished order, and the function of the order distributor 5 is to insure that as each type of information is presented to the reader in sequence, in the form of successive information lines, the information thus presented will be correctly routed to the element in the machine that is intended to respond to such information.

Thus in the embodiment of the invention now under consideration, each block of instructions comprises the following types of information, presented in this sequence:

In the first information line of the block: the direction in whichthe movable element is to travel during the operation represented by the instruction blocke.g., right or left (+X or -X), forwarder backward (+Y or -Y); and whether or not coolant is to be used during the operation;

In the second information line: the speed of spindle rotation;

In the third information line: the feed rate; and

In the fourth and succeeding information lines of the block: the distance the movable element is to traverse in performing the operation.

It will now be apparent that any given information symbol, comprising a combination of punched and unpunched channels along a line of information, can have any one of four different significations, depending upon the sequence in which that symbol appears in an information block. FIGURE 5 is an example of a code-system capable of use in a machine embodying the principles of this invention. As a specific example of the several meanings which a coded symbol can have, consider symbol No. 4 in FIGURE 5, which consists of a hole in channel b, with channels a, c, d, and e unpunched. If this symbol is used as the first information linein a block it designates a command to the machine to move in the +Y (forward) direction, and to operate without coolant. This meaning is given opposite the symbol, in the column in FIGURE 5 entitled Reading 1. If the same symbol appeared in the second information line in a block of instructions it would designate that the spindle speed setting for the operation covered by that block is to be low 2. This meaning is shown opposite the symbol in the column entitled Reading 2. Similarly from the column Reading 3 of FIGURE 5 it will be seen that if the same symbol appeared as the third line of an-information block it would signify an instruction to whichever drive motor is operating the movable element to operate at a feed rate of low 2. Finally, if the same symbol appeared in the fourth information line of a block it would set up the apparatus for a dimensional unit of 1 cm., the significance of which is explained hereinafter.

Heretofore when one code symbol has been used to signify either of two different instructions it has always been necessary to supplement the symbol in some manner to designate which of the different significations was intended. According to the principles of the present invention such supplementary information is unnecessary, and consequently the code system can embrace a substantially large number of instruction possibilities with a limited number of symbols, or in other words, with a limited number of channels on the information carrier.

The order distributor 5, by which this multiple significance for each symbol is made possible, and by which the signals from successive lines of information are properly routed in the apparatus so that the information in each line effects a result which is dependent upon its sequence in the block as well as its pattern of holes, comprises three relays 10, 11 and 12 (see FIGURE 2), each of which actuates a plurality of double throw switches. When the first information line of a block is presented to the reader 2, none of the relays 10, 11 and 12 is energized; but each is energized in turn as each of the second, third and fourth information lines of a block is presented to the reader. The proper sequence of energization of the relays is maintained by having relay 10, when energized, close a switch that provides for energization of relay 11, and the latter, when energized, similarly closes a switch that provides for energization of relay 12.

Four input conductors 6, 7, 8 and 9 come into the order distributor 5 from the order receiptor 4, and each corresponds to one of the channels a, b, c and d, in the information carrier. Each of the input conductors 69 is energized when there is a punched hole in its corresponding channel in a line of information presented to the reader 2. When the first information line of a block is presented to the reader 2, and all of the relays 1t), 11 and 12 of the order distributor are unenergized (as shown), signals. in the input conductors 6, 7, 8 and 9 are respectviely transferred to output conductors 13, 14, 15 and 16. When only relay 10 is energized, such input signals are transferred to output conductors 17, 118, 19 and 20. When relay 11 is energized, signals in the input conductors 6-9 are respectively transferred to output conductors 21, 22, 23 and 24. When relay 12 is energized, signals in the input conductors 6-9 are respectively tran ferred to, conductors 25, 26, 27 and 28.

The conductors 13-16, which carry input signals from the conductors 6-9 when the first information line of each block is presented to the reader 2, are connected to a first coordinate selector 29 having three relays 30, 31 and 32 (see FIGURE 3). The solenoids of these relays are respectively connected to the conductors 13, 14 and 15, and are therefore respectively energized when there are holes in channels a, b and c of the tape. The first coordinate selector is utilized for the routing of feedback signals from the movable element, as described hereinafter. Each of the relays 30, 31 and 32 of the first coordinate selector is so arranged that its energization effects closure of a switch that maintains it energized until a cancelling signal is subsequently sent through a circuit in which said switch is connected; and this is also true of all relays in other units described hereinafter.

Branches of the conductors 13, 14, 15 and 16, desig nated, respectively by 13', 14', 15 and 16, are connected to four relays 34, 35, 36 and 37 (see FIGURE 4) which comprise a second coordinate selector 33, so that the relays 34-37 position themselves in accordance with the pattern of holes in channels a-d of the tape, each of relays 34-37 being energized only when a hole appears in its corresponding channel during presentation of the first information line of a block to the reader 2. The relays 34, 3S and 36 actuate multiple double throw switches, so arranged in series and parallel with one another that current from a current source 38 can be sent to any selected one of eight conductors 39-46, inclusive, each of which corresponds to one type and direction of motion. Thus when channels a-d are all unpunched in the first information line of a block, and relays 34, 35 and 36 are unenergized, current source 38 is connected with conductor 39 which effects motion of the movable element of the machine in the -}X direction, i.e., to the right. By way of further example, energization of only relay 3S energizes conductor 41, which effects motion of the movable element in the +Y (forward) direction; and energization of all of relays 34, 35 and 36 energizes conductor 46 to effect counterclockwise rotational motion (-R) of the movable element. When relay 37 is energized, corresponding to the presence of a hole in channel d of the tape, conductor 47 is energized along with one of the conductors 39-46, to effect supply of coolant during the operation; otherwise no coolant is supplied.

In FIGURE the various motions for which the machine can be instructed are listed in the column Reading 1, and the code symbol commanding each such motion is shown opposite it in the column entitled Punched Tape Code Symbol.

When the second information line of a block of instructions is presented to the reader 2, the relay of the order distributor 5 is energized. Signals then appear in conductors 17, 18, 19 and 20, in accordance with the presence of holes in channels a, b, c, and d of the tape. These conductors are connected to four relays 50, 51, 52 and 53 that comprise a spindle speed preselector 49. The arrangement of the spindle speed preselector is generally similar to that of the second coordinate selector, in that the pattern of energization of three of its relays 50-52 controls the connection of a current source 54 with any one of seven conductors 55-61, each of which corresponds to a different spindle speed setting. In addition, energization of relay 53 (corresponding to the presence of a hole in channel 01 of the tape) effects connection of a conductor 62 with the current source 54. When conductor 62 is not connected with the current source, energization of any of the conductors 55-61 effects a low spindle speed setting; but when conductor 62 is energized the 8 energization of any of conductors 55-61 effects a high spindle speed setting. It is thus possible to select any one of fourteen different predetermined spindle speeds, as set forth in the column Reading 2 in FIGURE 5.

When the third information line of a block of instructions is presented to the reader 2, the relay 11 of the order distributor Sis energized to connect conductors 21, 22, 23 and 24 with input conductors 6-9. The conductors 21, 22, 23 and 24 are connected to four relays comprising a feed rate preselector 63 which is similar in its construction and operation to the spindle speed preselector 49, and the circuit of which is therefore not shown. Any one of fourteen different feed rates can be predetermined by proper selection of the symbol for the third line of information in each block, as set forth in the column Reading 3 in FIGURE 5. J

The output conductors 39-47 from the second coordinate selector 33, the output conductors 55-62 from the spindle speed preselector 49, and corresponding output conductors from the feed rate preselector 63, are all connected to a control station 48, which provides for energization of the drive motors 77, 30, 87, 83 and S5 in a manner to afford individual control of the speed and direction of rotation of said motors in accordance with signals in the several conductors just mentioned, and hence in conformity with the instructions programmed on the information carrier. Details of the circuitry of the control station 48 will be well understood by those skilled in the art, and therefore the control station circuit is not shown.

The fourth line of information in each block constitutes a measurement unit command, and'is part of a series of partial instructions which will ordinarily comprise the fourth and subsequent lines of each instruction block.

For each operation to be executed under the control of the apparatus of this invention the total distance to be traversed by the movable element in the performance of that operation is programmed as a number of course portions which together equal the total traverse distance. Each course portion is preferably programmed in terms of a different measurement unit from the others; and the measurement unit in which every course portion is programmed is some multiple of the smallest distance unit to which the movable element is to be controlled, preferably a multiple which is a power of 10.

As a specific example, assume that in performing one operation the cutting tool is to traverse a distance in one direction of 375.29 mm., and that the smallest distance unit to which the movable element is to be controlled is 0.01 mm. The total 375.29 mm. traverse can be broken down into a number of course portions, each expressed in a different measurement unit, namely a course portion of 3 units of 1 dm. each; another course portion of 7 units of 1 cm. each; a third of 5 units of 1 mm. each; a fourth of 2 units of 0.1 mm. each; and a fifth of 9 units of 0.01 mm. each. Since the movable element is to be controlled to 0.01 mm., that distance can be taken as a basic measurement unit, and the first course portion of 3 dm. can be considered as 3 units of a 10,000 multiple of the basic 0.01 mm. measurement unit. Similarly the second course portion of 7 cm. can be considered as 7 units of a 1,000 multiple of the basic measurement unit; the third course portion can be regarded as 5 units, each consisting of of the basic 0.01 mm. measurement unit, etc.

On the information carrier information for each of the several course portions is encoded in the form of a symbol for the measurement unit (i.e., the multiple of the basic distance unit) in which the course .portion is programmed, followed by a number of unpunched information lines corresponding to the number of such multiples in that course portion. It is to be noted that the number of unpunched lines is one less than the number of multiples in the course portion. A

Thus in the case of the 375.29 mm. traverse of the foregoing example, the fourth information line of the block relating to that operation will contain the symbol for dm. (character No. 3 in FIGURE and lines 5 and 6 of the block will-be unpunched to signify a partial course of 3 dm. Line 7 of the block will contain the symbol for cm. (character No. 4"in FIGURE 5), and the 6 lines next following line 7 will be unpunched to signify a 7cm. partial course.

Obviously the basic distance unit could be expressed in terms of 0.01 or 0.001" inch, and the measurement units employed could be expressed in multiples of that basic unit which in every case constituted some power of 10. In any event each course portion is represented on the information carrier by a multiple or measurement unit symbol, followed by a sequence of'unpunched lines corresponding to what may be considered as a coefficient of that unit, Le, a multiplier which expresses the number of such multiples in the course portion.

The traverse distance information can be programmed in any desired order of measurement units by means of the embodiment of the invention now under consideration, although the usual procedure will be to start with the course portion that is programmed in the largest measure ment unit and follow in order to that which is expressed in the smallest multiple of the basic unit, the last being in most cases the basic unit itself.

When the fourth information line in a block is presented to the reader 2, the relay 12 in the order distributor 5 is energized, connecting the conductors 69 with the conductors 25, 26, 27 and 28, respectively, so that signals in the latter four. conductors correspond to the pattern of holes in channels ad of the tape in the fourth information line. Conductors 25-28 are respectively connected to the solenoids of four relays 65, 66, 67 and 68 that together comprise a measurement unit selector 64. (See FIGURE 3.) Associated with the measurement unit selector are four decade counters 94, 95, 96 and 97, each of which functions in such a manner as to emit a secondary output impulse for each ten input impulses. These decade counters, which are of a known type comprising bistable transistorized toggles, cooperate with the measurement unit selector 64 and with the order receptor 4 in the following described manner.

Drivingly connected with each of the drive motors 77, 80, 83 and 87 is an impulse generator 78, 81, 84 and 88, respectively (see FIGURE 1), which produces a primary impulse signal each time its associated drive motor moves the movable element through a distance equal tothe basic measurement unit, which in this case is assumed to be 0.01 mm. The impulse signals from the generators 78, 81, 84 and 88 are respectively transmitted, via conductors 89, 90, 91 and 92 (see FIGURE 3) to the first coordinate selector 29, in which, it will be recalled, the relays 30, 31 and 32 are energized in conformity with the pattern of holes in channels a, b, and c of the tape presented to the reader 2 in the first information line of the block. Since the movable element of the machine operates along only one axis at atime, only one of the conductors 8032 will'be carrying primary impulse signals from its associated generator, and the first coordinate selector 29 maintains that conductor, and only that one, connected with an input conductor 93 through which the primary impulse signals are fed into the measurement unit selector.

The outputof the measurement unit selector comprises secondary impulse signals fed into an output conductor 70, and the number of such secondary impulse signals appearing in conductor 70 for a given number of primary impulse signals fed into the measurement unit selector depends upon the setting of relays 65, 66, 67 and 68, as established by the fourth line of information of each block. The secondary impulse signals, of course, comprise the output impulses of the decade counters.

The decade counters are connectable in series with one another by means of the relays 65, 66 and 67 of the measurement unit selector 64. Thus if all four counters 9497 are connected in series, the bank of counters thus connected will emit one secondary impulse signal for each 10,000 primary impulse signals fed into it; if only the counters 94, and 96 are connected in-series with one another a secondary impulse signal will be produced for each 1,000 primary impulses; if only the counters 94 and 95 are connected serially there will be one secondary impulse signal for each primary impulse signals; and if primary impulse signals are fed directly to counter 94 it will emit a secondary impulse signal for every 10 primary impulse signals.

Ifthe pattern of holes in the. fourth information line of the tape is that shown in FIGURE 5 for either character No. 3 (dm. units at preselected machining speed) or No. 11 (dm. units at rapid traverse speed), the hole in channel a of the tape effects energization of relay 65 of the measurement unit selector, andtherefore-primary impulse signals entering the input conductor 93 aresent to the counter 94 by way of a conductor 08; and the secondary impulse signals from counter 94 are sent to counter 95 by way of a conductor 99. In turn the output'of counter'95 is fed to counter 96 through a conductor 100, and the output of counter 96 is fed to counter 97' through a conductor 101. At the same. time aconductor 69 whichtcarries the output of'counter 97 is connected to the output conductor 70, to send a secondary impulse signal into the last named conductor each time the movable elementhas traversed a distance of 1 dm. along its preselected course.

If only relay66 is energized, thev output conductor 70 is connected with conductor 71, which carries the output of counter 96, and hence a secondary impulse signal is released into output conductor 70 for every 1,000 primary impulse signals fed into input conductor 93, corresponding to a traverse of 1 cm. Energization of relays 65 and 66 together connects output conductor 70 with a 1 mm. conductor 72. that carries the combined outputs of counters 94 and 95, to send a secondary'impulse signal into conductor 70 for every 100primary impulse signals fed into input conductor 93. When relays 66 and. 67 are energized together, a conductor 73 which carries the output of only counter 94 is connected with the. output conductor 70, to feed into the latter a secondary impulse signal for every 10 primary impulse signals, corresponding to a 0.1 mm. traverse. Finally, when only relay 67 is energized, the input conductor 93 is connected. to the output conductor'70, by way of a conductor 74, so that primary impulse signals are fed directly into conductor 70.

It will be observed that the coding system illustrated in FIGURE 5 provides for the use of two additional multiplies or measurement units, and is predicated upon a basic distance unit of .001 mm. Utilization of these additional multiplies would of course require the presence of two additional decade counters in the counter chain 94-97, and'these could be readily provided, and could; be connected into and disconnected from the counter chain under the control of relays 65, 66, and 67, as will be apparent to those skilled in the art.

If desired, an additional switch (not shown) could be incorporated in the measurement unit selector, actuated'by the relay 68, by which the traverse of a course portion could be made at rapid feed speed, regardless of the feed rate preselected and dictated by the third information line of. the block containing information for the complete operation. Such rapid feed would be provided for by special coded symbols which included a hole in channel d of the tape (see characters Nos. 10-13 in FIGURE 5). When provided, this special rapid feed would be maintained only through the course portion covered by its symbol, and would be available only for measurement units of 1 mm. and upwards. The provision of this rapid feed feature is especially useful where the tool is required to make a non-cutting return stroke under control of the information carrier.

Similarly, provision can be made for effecting creep feed whenever the symbol for any distance unit of less than 1 mm. is presented to the reader, regardless of the feed rate commanded by the third line of the information block. (See characters Nos. 7, 8 and 9 in FIGURE Alternative symbols can be made available for the 1 mm. distance unit (see characters Nos. 5 and 9 in FIGURE 5), one of which effects feed at the rate preestablished by line 3 of the block (working feed rate) and the other of which efiects reduction to creep feed regardless of the feed rate instruction in line 3. At least a certain last part of each traverse should be accomplished at the creep feed rate to prevent overtravel of the movable element, since there is a slight time delay in the response of the control apparatus.

The secondary impulse signals released to the output conductor 70 of the measurement unit selector are fed back to the order receiptor 4, where they are amplified and passed, by way of a conductor 102, to the tape feed mechanism 2 associated with the reading device 2. (See FIGURE 1.) Each secondary impulse signal fed to the conductor 70, and hence to the conductor 102, causes the tape to be advanced from one information line to the next, that is, through a distance equal to the spacing between adjacent drive holes g. Advance of the tape occurs after the impulse signal has been brought to the order receiptor.

The machine is informed that it is to receive instructions concerning a new operation by a coded symbol (character No. 16 in FIGURE 5) which effects simultaneous energization of relays 66, 67 and 68 of the measurement unit selector, and thereby connects the input conductor 93 with an output conductor 75. Since each advance of the tape occurs after an impulse signal is transmitted through the order receiptor 4, presentation of the new instruction symbol to the reader 2 occurs just before the movable element traverses the last basic distance unit of the course programmed in the immediately preceding information block; and the last primary impulse generated at the completion of that course is transmitted to output conductor 75 in consequence of the energization of relays 66, 67 and 68 is response to the new instruction symbol. The impulse in conductor 75 is transmitted to the control unit 48, to effect an immediate stopping of spindle drive motor 85 and whichever of drive motors 77, 80, 83 or 87 is then operating, and is also sent to the order receiptor 4, to efiect opening of relays 10, 11 and 12 of the order distributor 5 and to deenergize the several relays in the coordinate selectors, the spindle speed preselector and the feed rate preselector, thus preparing the apparatus for receipt of a new set of instructions.

When a complete cessation of a program of operations is desired, as for removal and replacement of a work piece in the machine, sharpening the cutting tool, or any other reason, the tape is provided with an unpunched information line (character No. 1 in FIGURE 5) immediately following the new instruction symbol. This constitutes a deliberate use of the parity check, by which operation of the machine is stopped if there is not an odd number of holes in any one of the first four information lines of a block. The unpunched information line or coded stop symbol can also be used in any one of the first four information lines of a block, in which event the operation will be halted when that symbol is presented to the reader 2. In this manner the apparatus could be used for automatically predetermining traverse direction, use or non-use of coolant, spindle speed, and feed rate, for example, while leaving governing of the traverse distance to manual control.

Instead of using the information carrier to provide specific dimensional control information to the movable element of the machine, the machine can be instructed to respond to a mechanical contact or trip dog control which is actuated by the movable element itself when said element reaches the end of a predetermined course of traverse. Symbol No. 15 in FIGURE 5 designates such trip dog control when that symbol appears in the fourth information line of a block. When such control is employed, the machine is nevertheless instructed by the information carrier concerning the functions covered by the first three information lines of a block.

FIGURE 7 illustrates a tape punched in accordance with the above described principles, for effecting the execution of the work program illustrated in FIGURE 6 and using the code system illustrated in FIGURE 5. In the first operation the cutter moves in the +X direction (to the right) with coolant (symbol No. 10 of FIG URE 5, on line 1 of the tape); at spindle speed high 3 (symbol No. 13, on line 2 of the tape); and at feed rate low 5 (symbol No. 7, on line 3 of the tape). The total distance for the traverse is 325.00 mm, which comprises the 305.00 mm. width of the work piece, an 18 mm. cutter diameter, and a 2 mm. entry distance. Symbol No. 3, on line 4 of the tape, designates that 1 dm. is the measurment unit for the first course portion, and lines 5 and 6 are unpunched, signifying that the first course portion will be 3 dm. The second course portion is through a distance of 2 cm., and symbol No. 4 (1 cm.) therefore appears on information line 7, followed by one unpunched line. Line 9 contains the symbol for 1 mm. at creep feed (symbol No. 9), and lines 10 through 13 are unpunched to signify that the final course portion is 5 mm. The new instruction symbol (No. 16) appears in line 14 to signify that the first operation is completed.

The second operation is a downward (+Y) cut, to be performed with coolant, and symbol No. 12 therefore appears at line 15 of the tape. The spindle speed is again high 3 (symbol No. 13, on line 16) and the feed rate low 5 (symbol No. 7, on line 17). The total traverse is 908.02 mm., and the coding of this information on lines 18-37 can be identified by reference to the schedule, FIG- URE 5, noting that this block of information on the tape contains no symbol for cm. because the coefiicient of that multiple is zero.

The third operation, which is coded on lines 38-51 of the tape, is a traverse to the left.(-X direction) with coolant, at the same spindle speed and feed rate as before, through a total of 325.00 mm. The fourth operation, coded in lines 52-74, is a rapid traverse back to the starting point, in the upward (Y) direction, without coolant, with spindle speed zero. Although the third information line of the block representing the fourth operation (line 54) contains the symbol for feed rate low 5, this instruction will in effect be overruled because in subsequent lines 55 and 64 the symbols for 1 dm. at rapid feed (symbol No. 11) and 1 mm. at rapid feed (symbol No. 13) are presented. Note that in the last portions of the course three units of 1 mm. each are traversed at rapid feed (lines 64-67), and thereafter the final 5.02 mm. are traversed at creep feed to prevent over-travel. Line 75, following the new operation symbol in line 74, is unpunched, to effect stopping of the machine for removal of the finished workpiece and insertion of a new one.

Although the four operations for which information is given on the tape illustrated in FIGURE 7 carry the tool through a total distance of over 2400 mm., the total length of the tape in which this information is encoded need be only about 19 cm.

It will be appreciated that the code system illustrated in FIGURE 5 can be punched onto the tape with a standard teleprinter keyboard and punching mechanism, suitably modified.

In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG- URES 8, 9, 10 and 11, each operation to be performed by the movable element of the machine is again covered by an information block occupying four or more lines on a punched tape information carrier 1l3, which is movable stepwise through a reader 2 by means of a tape ad vancing mechanism 2. Again, the coded information on the first three lines of each block relates to the direction of travel for the operation and whether or not coolant is to be used (first line); spindle speed (second'line); and feed rate (third line). The fourth and subsequent lines'of each block again contain numerical information concerning the partial course distances tobe traversed by the movable element in the performance of the total traverse, but in this case a predetermined succession of measurement units is followed, starting from the largest multiple and proceeding to the lowest, so that each successive information line after the third'represents a predetermined multiple or measurement unit. On each of the fourth and subsequent information lines in each block a coded symbol designates the coefficient of the multiple that is applicable to the course portion for that multiple.

Thus if the numerical information for each traverse is to be encoded in a total of tour information lines, the fourth. line of each block might. contain a symbol for the coefficient of the 1 dm. unit, the fifth line would contain the symbol for the coefficient for the 1 cm. multiple, etc. If seven information lines are to be allotted to numerical information, the fourth and subsequent lineswould each contain a symbol for the coefficient of the respective measurement units m., dm., cm., mm., 0.1 mm., .O l mm., and .001 mm.

FIGURE 10 illustrates a code schedule based upon this system, with the numerical values of the symbols in the column headed Punched Tape Code Symbols defined opposite those symbols in the column headed Reading 4 and Subsequent. FIGURE 11 illustratesa tape coded according to this system for the same sequence of operations encoded on the tape shown in FIG- URE 7. Note that the fourth line of the first information block in FIGURE 11 contains code symbolNo. 5, designating a numerical value of 3, and since the fourth line of a block is always used for the dm. measurement unit in this system, the information in that line constitutes an instruction for a -3 dm. course portion. Line 5 of block one contains the code symbol for 2 (No. 4 in FIGURE and by its position designates a course portion of 2cm. Line 6 contains the code symbol for 5 (symbol No. 7 in FIGURE 10) and by its position in the information line sequence signifies a course portion of 5 mm. The zero symbol (No. 2 in FIGURE 10') is used on-lines 7 and 8 to denote zero units of 0.1 mm. and .01 mm. each.

The apparatus used with a tape encoded according to this modified system differs in certain respects from that described above, as may be seen from FIGURES 8 and 9.

Information sensed by the reader 2 is passed through an order receiver 3 to an order receptor 4 and thence to an order distributor 104 as in the previously described embodiment of the invention, but in this case the order distnibutor includes provision for routing the numerical information contained in the fourth and subsequent lines of each block in accordance with the sequence of measurement units preestablished for the apparatus. Hence'the order distributor includes relays 10', 11 and 12, which function in the same manner as the correspondingly numbered relays in the previously described embodiment of the invention, but there are no conductors corresponding to those numbered 25-23. instead, enengi'zation of relay 12 closes a switch that provides for successive energization of each' inturn of a group of relays 105-109, there being one such relay for each measurement uni-t for which the apparatus is to be programmed.

As the tape'is advanced to successive lines containing numerical information, the relays 105-109 are energized in sequence by current brought to them through one of a group of conductors 11d from the order receiptor 4. As each of the relays 105-1ll9 is closed'in turn, it effects connection of an input conductor 111 from the. order re-ceiptor with one or more of three output conductors 112, 113=and 114. The latter output conductors correspond to conductors 25, 2d and 27 in FIGURE 3, and effect energization of one or more relays in a measurement unit selector 64, corresponding to -the relays 65, 66 and 67. Similarly, decade counters 94-97 are associated with the measurement unit selector to supply secondary impulse signals which correspond to predetermined multiples of primary impulse signals generated during motion of the movable element;

As each coded numeral symbol is presented to the reader 2, a corresponding number is set into a counting chain 115 of a known type. The storage of this numerical information in the counting chain is effected by four relays in the order receiver, corresponding to relays 3a-3d, which are energized in accordance with the pattern of punched holes in the information line presented to the reader 2. As each secondary impulse signal is fed into the counting chain from the measurement unit selector 64, such impulse signal decreases the setting of the counting chain by one, until the number of impulses thus supplied is equal to the number set into the counting chain and the counting chain setting is reduced to zero. When the counting chain setting is one unit from zero, the tape will havebeen. advanced to the next information line, to present a new symbol to the reader 2 and cause the relays in the order receiver 3 to be energized in accordance with the pattern of punched holes. comprising that symbol. The secondary impulse which sets the counting chain to zero is allowed to pass through the order receiptor 4, to cause anew numerical setting to be transferred to the counting chain as dictated by the pattern in which the relays in the order receiver 3 are already set. This same. impulse. also causes the next relay of the group -1h9 to be energized so. as to set up the measurement unit selector for a new multiple.

The last described embodiment of the invention has the advantage that the numerical information for each operation can be contained in a relatively small number of information lines along the length of the tape. its disadvantages include some lack of flexibility because the traverse of the several course portions must always be accomplished in a preestablished order of multiples, and because the number of code symbols for the several numerical coefiicients is limited, obviating the possibility of an optional rapid traverse or creep feed through one portion of a course otherwise traversed at a predetermined machine speed. Apparatus embodying this systern can be so arranged, however, that the movable element is automatically driven at creep feed when a predetermined numerical value remains in the counting chain and the measurement unit selector is set for some appropriate multiple such as mm.

:Instead of the several relays shown and described, other suitable switching means could be employed in either embodiment of the invention, such as electron tubes or transistors. instead of the measurement unit selector 64 and the decade counters 94-97, the apparatus embodying the invention could also be modified by employing a pulse generating measuring means like that shown more or less diagrammatically in FIGURE 12.

This consists of a rotatable screen disc 116 having a series of notches or transparencies 117, at regularly spaced circumferential intervals, separated from one another by opaque areas. Each notch, together with its adjacent opaque area, has a circumferential extension which corresponds to a predetermined measurement unit, such as 0.1 mm. Radially inwardly of the notches 117 the disc has a series of openings or transparent portions 118, so arranged that there is an opening 118 in radial alignment with every tenth notch 117, and the openings 118 have a somewhat greater circumferential extension than the notches 117.

Adjacent to the orbit of the notches 117 is a fixed photo-electric cell or photo-transistor 119, so disposed in relation to a light source (not show) as to generate an impulse signal each time one of the notches 11! comes into alignment with it. A second photo-transistor 120 is similarly arranged to react to the passage of the open ings 118.

The screen is arranged to rotate in unison with a drive motor for the movable element to be controlled, so that an impulse is generated by the photo transistor 119 each time the movable element moves through a distance equal to the basic measurement unit, in this case ().1 mm.

When the apparatus is to effect traverse of a course portion based upon a 1 mm. measurement unit a relay 122 is energized to close an element of a switch 121 which provides for connection of the photo transistor 119 in an output circuit comprising a conductor 126. However connection of the photo-transistor 119 with the output circuit is also dependent upon closure of a switch 124 that is actuated by a relay connected with photo-transistor 120, to be energized by impulse signals from that phototransistor. Hence when relay 122 is energized, the switch 12d will close shortly before photo-transistor 119 emits each tenth impulse signal and will open shortly thereafter, to allow such tenth impulse signal to be transferred to the conductor 126.

When an impulse signal is desired for every 0.1 mm. distance unit, a relay 123 is energized to close an element of switch 121 which connects photo-transistor 119 with an output conductor 125.

The impulse signal generating device just described functions properly in both directions of rotation of the drive motor with which it is associated. It will be apparent that the accuracy of the device as a measurement means does not suffer from the generated impulses being divided, as would be the case if they were fed to a counter chain, since the impulse signal that is utilized is always that which is generated by the photoatransistor 119 in cooperation with a notch 117, irrespective of which measurement unit is being used. Obviously additional ranks of openings like the openings 1:18, but spaced apart by distances which are larger multiples of the spacing of notches 117, can be provided to afford other measurement unit values. It will also be apparent that transistors could be utilized as circuit breakers in lieu of the relays shown in FIGURE 12.

From the foregoing description taken together with the accompanying drawings it will be apparent that this invenr tion provides a method and means for controlling a program of operations of a machine tool or the like in accordance with information encoded on a stepwise movable information carrier, whereby a large amount of measurement information, affording accurate control down to very small measurement units, can be incorporated into a relatively very short length of information carrier. It will be also apparent that the method and apparatus of this invention lends itself to control of a large number of different functions of the controlled instrumentality without requiring an unduly large number of different code symbols or characters to carry the information concerning such functions, so that the information carrier can be a punched tape which is prepared by means of a standard teleprinter keyboard device, and so that the apparatus in which the invention is embodied can be relatively simple and inexpensive.

What is claimed as my invention is:

1. In apparatus for controlling a movable element of a machine tool or the like in accordance with a program of operations which requires the movable element to move a predetermined distance along a predetermined course in the execution of each operation: impulse signal generating means connected with the movable element for generating a primary impulse signal each time the movable i6 element moves through a predetermined small distance unit; a plurality of counters, connectable with the impulse signal generating means to receive primary impulse signals therefrom, for generating a secondary impulse signal in response to receipt of a predetermined multiple of primary impulse signals denoting the traverse of a larger distance unit by the movable element, each of said counters being responsive to a different multiple of primary impulse signals; means for storing instructions concerning each operation to be executed by the movable element, said instruction storing means comprising an information carrier containing a sequence of partial instructions, each relating to a different portion of a desired course along which the movable element is to move in execution of an operation, and each of said partial instructions being in the form of indicia on the information carrier designating one of said multiples and a coefiicient denoting the number of the large distance units corresponding to that multiple which constitute the length of the course portion to which the partial instruction relates; instruction translating means to which partial instructions in the instruction storage means can be successively presented and by which each partial instruction is translated into signals to which the movable element is responsive; order terminating means, responsive to secondary impulse signals, for removing each partial instruction from the presence of the order translating means and presenting the next succeeding partial instruction thereto when a succession of secondary impulse signals has been generated which is numerically equal to the coefficient designated by the first mentioned partial instruction, said order terminating means comprising a device for effecting s-tep w se advance of the information carrier; and order distributor means responsive to signals from said instruction translating means for so connecting said impulse signal generating means and said order terminating means with said counters that a secondary impulse signal is fed to the order terminating means each time a succession of primary impulse signals is generated that is numerically equal to the multiple designated by the partial instruction then being presented to the order translating means.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said order distributor means so connects the counter means with the impulse signal generator and the information carrier advancing means that the latter advances the information carrier through a fixed distance at each secondary impulse signal; and wherein each of said indicia on the information carrier comprises a symbol designating one of said multiples, and the coefficient for the partial instruction is denoted by a length along the information carrier following said symbol and terminating at the next succeeding symbol, which length is equal to said fixed distance of information carrier advance multiplied by said coefficient. I

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein each of said indicia on the information carrier comprises a symbol designating the coefiicient for a partial instruction, and the multiple for the partial instruction is denoted by the order in which said symbol appears in a sequence of partial instructions; wherein said instruction translating means comprises a reading device to which symbols on the information carrier are successively presented; and wherein said instruction storing means also comprises a counter chain adjustable to different numerical value settings and responsive to signals from the reading device to be adjusted to a setting corresponding to the numerical value of the coefficient designated by the symbol presented to the reading device, and which is returnable unit by unit to a zero value setting by secondary impulse signals from a counter connected with the counter chain by the order distributor means.

4. In apparatus for controlling a movable element of a machine tool or the like, and by which the movable element can be caused to move a predetermined distance along a predetermined course in the execution of an V 17 operation: impulse signal generating means connected with the movable element for generating a primary impulse signal each time the movable element traverses a predetermined small distance unit along said course; a plurality of counter means, connectable with the impulse signal generating means to receive primary impulse signals therefrom, for generating a secondary impulse signal in response to a multiple of primary impulse signals, each of said secondary impulse signals thus denoting traverse by the movable element of a larger distance unit, and each of said counter means being responsive to a different multiple of primary impulse signals; an elongated information carrier containing a sequence of instructions, each relating to a different portion of said source, and each of said instructions being in the form of an indicium signifying one of said multiples, followed by a length of information carrier terminating at the next indicium, which length denotes the number of the larger distance units designated by that multiple which make up the length of said course portion; detecting means for translating indicia on the information carrier into signals by which control of the movable element is effected and to which indicia on the information carrier can be successively presented as the information carrier is moved stepwise therethrough; means responsive to secondary impulse signals for advancing the information carrier stepwise through the detecting means by a uniform distance at each secondary impulse signal; and means responsive to signals from the detecting means for so connecting the counter means with the impulse signal generating means and with the information carrier advancing means as to send to the latter a secondary impulse signal each time the primary impulse signal generator generates a succession of primary impulse signals numerically equal to the multiple designated by the last indicium presented to the detecting means.

5. In apparatus for controlling a movable element of a machine tool or the like and by which the movable element can be caused to move a predetermined distance along a predetermined course in the execution of an operation: impulse signal generating means connected with the movable element for generating a primary impulse signal each time the movable element traverses a predetermined small distance unit along said course; a plurality of counter means connectable with the impulse signal generating means to receive primary impulse signals therefrom, for generating a secondary impulse signal in response to a multiple of primary impulse signals, each of said secondary impulse signals thus denoting traverse by the movable element of a larger distance unit, and each of said counter means being responsive to a different multiple of primary impulse signals; an information carrier containing a sequence of instructions, each relating to a different portion of said course, and each comprising an indicium relating to a different one of said multiples and designating the number of the larger distance units designated by that multiple which make up the length of said course portion, said indicia being arranged in a predetermined sequence of multiples; detecting means for translating indicia on the information carrier into signals by which control of the movable element is effected and to which indicia on the information carrier can be successively presented; information carrier advancing means for moving the information carrier stepwise past the dctecting means, from one indicium to another; a counting chain connected with the detecting means to be charged by signals from the detecting means to a numerical value corresponding to that designated by the indicium presented to the detecting means, and adapted to be discharged by one unit value by each secondary impulse signal; means synchronized with the information carrier advancing means for so connecting the counter means with the impulse signal generator and the counting chain that a secondary impulse signal is sent to the counting chain each time a succession of primary impulse signals connoted by the indicium then being presented to the detecting means; and means connecting the counting chain with the information carrier advancing means to cause the advancing means to move the information carrier from one indicium to the next when the number of secondary impulse signals fed to the counting chain reaches a value designated by said one indicium.

6. In apparatus for controlling a movable element of a machine tool or the like to cause it to execute a predetermined program of operations: an information carrier containing a sequence of indicia, arranged in a predetermined order according to types of functions to be performed by the movable element, and each of which indicia designates a quantitative value for the type of function to which it relates; detecting means to which indicia on the information carrier can be successively presented and by which such indicia are translated into signals by which the functions of the movable element are controlled; means for stepwise advancing the information carrier through the detecting means, from indicium to indicium; a plurality of function selectors, each corresponding to one of the types of functions to be performed by the movable element; a plurality of signal receptors for each of said function selectors, each adapted to receive signals corresponding to a different indicium for quantitative value and to translate such signals into a response of the movable element; and order distributor means synchronized with said information carrier advancing means, for connecting the detecting means with each of said function selectors in turn, in accordance with said predetermined order, as successive indicia on the information carrier are presented to the detecting means, so that signals appropriate to the function and quantitative value which are respectively connoted and designated by each indicium are transmitted to the function selector corresponding to that function, and thence to the signal receptor corresponding to that quantitative value, even though the same indicium may have another signification when appearing in another order in the sequence of indicia on the information carrier.

7. In apparatus for controlling a movable element of a machine tool or the like to cause it to execute a predetermined program of operations: an information carrier containing a plurality of information lines arranged according to a predetermined sequence whereby each information line connotes, by its position in the sequence, a particular type of function to be performed by the movable element, each of the information lines having a plurality of defined stations along its length, at each of which an indicium may appear, the number and spacing of said stations being uniform from line to line and the pattern of indicia at the stations along an information line denoting quantitative information concerning the type of function that the line connotes; detecting means to which lines of information on the information carrier can be successively presented, said detecting means comprising a plurality of indicia responsive signal generating elements, one for each of said stations along an information line and by each of which a signal is produced when an indicium appears at its station in an information line presented to the detecting means; means for advancing the information carrier stepwise through the detecting means, one information line at a time; a plurality of function controllers, one for each of the types of functions to be performed by the movable element and each comprising a plurality of signal receptors, each of which corresponds to one of the signal generating elements and is responsive to signals from its corresponding signal generating element to effect quantitative control of the movable element; a plurality of switching means, one for each signal generating element, each of said switching means being alterable to a plurality of conditions, in each of which the switching means connects its signal generating element with a different one of the

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2832023 *Jul 19, 1956Apr 22, 1958Teletype CorpModular tape control system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3284618 *Mar 16, 1962Nov 8, 1966Licentia GmbhNominal value position control system
US3290492 *Dec 7, 1962Dec 6, 1966Bunker RamoNumerical control system
US3652994 *Oct 23, 1969Mar 28, 1972Braun AgSelective control system for slide projectors
US4204155 *Jul 28, 1978May 20, 1980Advanced Semiconductor Materials/AmericaAutomatic four-point probe
Classifications
U.S. Classification318/569, 340/870.19, 340/4.36
International ClassificationG05B19/408, G05B19/23
Cooperative ClassificationG05B19/238, G05B19/23, G05B19/408
European ClassificationG05B19/408, G05B19/23, G05B19/23S