The plate winding program produces Numerical Control (NC) data which consists of a main routine which contains set-up information and a sub-program that describes a single carriage circuit. The sub-program is called a number of times by the main program to form one layer. During a single carriage circuit (outward and reverse strokes) the carriage advances by a single bandwidth to give a progression to cover the mandrel. The sub-program generally contains incremental motions, i.e. all motions a relative to the current machine position.
After winding a layer the carriage will have advanced a number of bandwidths. If a number of layers are required a single reverse motion is needed to get back to the initial position. An example is shown below for a FANUC control (syntax varies from machine to machine but the general principles are the same).
M98 P7001 L19;Sub-program Number 7001 is repeated 19 times
A -360.00 X-120.00;The band width was 6 mm thus the carriage is moved back (19+1)*6mm. The 360 degree mandrel rotation is to prevent fibre slippage.
M98 P7001 L19;Wind a second layer
The software automatically creates the first sub-program call but the additional calls and intermediate motions must be entered manually.
In the main program the software calculates the program start position so the machine can automatically move to the start position. As the mandrel is not rotationally symmetric the original rotational position of the mandrel is very important. The software assumes that the plate is in the horizontal position prior to the program being run. Positioning the mandrel in 'jog' mode using a spirit level is the best way of achieving this.
If winding programs for different wind angles are created the software will create a full NC program for each wind angle. It user can edit these programs together manually if these need to be wound continuously. Care must be taken to ensure continuity of mandrel rotational position and payout position between programs.
When running NC programs for the first time the user should ensure that he is in a position to stop the machine quickly as minor errors in machine setup can lead to damage to the machine of mandrel if a clash results.