Development of a Small Envelope Precision Milling Machine.
Thesis DisciplineMechanical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
The credit card industry is huge with over two and a half billion cards shipped annually. A local card manufacturer, with a production volume in excess of forty million cards annually, approached the University of Canterbury to design and develop advanced card manufacturing technology. The motivation behind this development was the desire of the sponsoring company to keep abreast of new technologies and to have the ability to manufacture and supply cards with this new and emerging technology into a highly competitive world market. This thesis reports the research surrounding the development of a dedicated new machine tool explicitly designed to implement the emerging technologies found in the international credit card industry. The machine tool, a dedicated milling machine, was not developed in its entirety within these pages; however, three major constituents of the machine were researched and developed to a point where they could be implemented or become the subject of further research. The three areas of interest were; • A machine table system that avoided the increased zonal wear to which linear bearings are subject, typically due to short high frequency traversals, and also the high friction and mass generally found in dovetail slides. • Design requirements demanded the use of a single commercially available carbide cutter to produce 1500 components per hour. Therefore, a purpose built high (revs per minute) rpm spindle and drive system specifically for use with polymeric materials, (R-PVC in particular) was deemed necessary. • Tracking the cutter depth in relation to an RFID aerial track embedded within the credit card core. The aerial tracking was to be dynamic and occur during the machining process with the machine “remembering” the depth of cut at contact with the aerial. Each of the three areas was researched via an in-depth literature review to determine what and if any material had been published in these fields. For the development of the machine table a novel flexure hinge idea was considered. Considerable material was discovered about flexures, but very little was found to be relevant to the application of high displacement metal flexures necessary to meet the required levels of table movement. In effect the proposed machine table system and research in this field would be novel. The high performance spindle investigation became directed into a much narrower focus as it progressed; that of determining the power consumption required to machine the integrated circuit pockets in an R-PVC work piece. This was due to the lack of information pertaining to the physical properties of polymeric materials, in particular the specific cutting pressure. The depth following sensor array was configured using capacitance detection methods to determine the distance between the cutter?s end and the aerial tracks. Capacitance sensing methods, whilst not new, were developed into a novel arrangement to meet the specific cutter tracking requirements of the proposed new machine tool. Each of the respective development areas had concept designs completed and were prototyped before being tested to determine the effectiveness of the respective designs. The outcomes from the testing are reported herein, and show each constituent part to be basically feasible, in the application. The results were sufficient to indicate that each development showed distinct potential but further development and integration into the machine tool should ensue.
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