soviet numerically controlled machine tools: problems arid'prospects
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Soviet Numerically Controlled Machine Tools: Problems and Prospects
This piper was preparedthe Office of Soviet Analysis. Commentsare welcome and may be direcicd to
Soviet Numerically Controlled Machine Tools: Problems and Prospects <u)
with ihe Eighth Five-Yeai, Moscowempi-
to place priority on accelerating (he development of numerically
olled (NC) machine toe isncrease productivity and lo modernise lis
defense industries. Ii has met with some success as the number produced annually is now roughly equal to that of ihe United Slates. Soviet NCtool technology, however, is -ell behind that of ihe West, and most of ihe Sonet equipment is mocb less capable than thai available in ibe West The relative backwardness of Ibe Soviet electronics and computer indimry. insufficient numbers of trained NC computer progrimers. engineers, and machine tooloreaucraiic system thai discourages innoviiion.eduction in investment in the machine tool vector have retarded in ogress in Soviel NC machine loots. Consequently, ihe rapid gams in Western manufacturing praJuctivity resulting from ihe introduction of NC machine lools in recent years have not been matched in ihe Soviet Union.
The USSR has resorted lo large-scale imports to overcome shortcomings in domestic produciion of mote advanced NC machine tools, and, for some types of NC equipment, imports now cicccd domestic productionnsosi Soviel NC machine lool and equipment put hates have been within COCOM guidelines, il is believed lhai salable sales of embargoed equipmcni hive been made. Mistaken judgments by licensing officials, misrepresentation by exporters, bong fsde differences in interpreting COCOM definitions, and the svillingness of some Western governments to pei mil the sale ol embargoed equipment arising from differences with US interpolations on Ihe strategic applications of Die machinery in question have ledneven controls on NC equipment going in the Soviet Union Much of ihe imported equipmcni has been alluded to the defense sicior Known applications include produciion of aurrafi. tanks, ammunition, irucks, and ship propellers
Although the Soviel Union now has one of ihe world's major machine tool researchationwide network ol research institutes and design bureaus, and about SO plants producing NC tool machinery, ii will continue to lag behind ihe West for ihe foreseeable lulurc Dismantling of institutional roadblocks, changes in traditional manufacturing practices, and more discriminating allocation o! scarce investment funds will be requiredncrease Ihe output and quality of advanced machine tooti and tn use them more ellecirtrely. The record ol ihe post suggests lhat success tn resolving these problems will be limited, and ihe Soviet Union -ill continue to look to ihe Weal (or NC machine lool technology
Soviet Numerically Controlled Machine Tools: Problems and Prospecis
The major innovation in manufacturing (cchrtcaogt itnee World Wirhe marriage of maebine looit ande process by whicb this occunrd involved changing from operating machine looli by handontrolling (he movemcau of ihe macbmoi in of coded instruct ions transmit led eleciionicallyonlrollci from direction) con-lamed on cardt. tapes, or- more recenily--direcil)
om pule i'
Numerically controlled machine looli irewidely used ihtoughoui :lc Weti. but Soviet industry hat been much slower in adopting this new technology' despite the advantages it offers in.
producthrough nacruKd pccd-Ktion rates and icdsKcd scrap losses
- rtetter Quality control by reducing variations in the pioduct caused by operator error.
More fletihtliiy in chingiag from thef one produtiit of another.
Greater accuracy and the ability to machine mtwr complexparticularly vital in the productrorr of missile and aircraft system
Ihr pace at which the Soviet Union implements numerically controlled machine tools and othertechnologies willraitor bearing on the success or la-lute of Sect efforts So resolve ihe curconomic problems ihtough increased produc livity Moreover, (lie Soviet ability to match the West in the development and production of moreeapon vvttcmt -illan on adViocea in such manufacturing technologies as NC machine tools This study ciar-tinea the Soviet development and production of NC machine tools and manufactur irag systems he- Sonet industrial practices havee use of such system, and the rote o' foreign technology and equipment in Soviet develiwr-ments in ihii area
Sonet Strategy In tbe Drirloptncpt tif NC Machine Toots
Ihreri men III Pruse
Soviet development ol NC machine tools stanedfter work was imitated in the United Staiea. By the. the Soviett repotted ihero! out* milling machine operated by an open-loop positioning system. The firstappearedour years after similar machines were produced in the United States, bui ihe technical level was menthat aitaiacd by US and other Western machine tool mi nuf act titersS prttduction had increasedC machine tools annually compared ioin theigure 11
The relatively slow development of NC Sovicitool production0 was Ihe result of se-icral factors The Sonet electronic* lasdaiStiy Swiiwird. nrd this impedrd the development of nu
nscrtcal control systems and iheir application to ma-chine tools Sooci machine tool builders ficQucnilv had to make then ownollers ind other rieciiscal enuipmcni Carl* Sonet NC machine tool builders thus concentrated on -leultidng less sophisticated machines featuring open loop controls. B. contrast, theshe Westery ruiunusrnt role both in the drtetopntent of the control systemsheir application to machine tools
Moreover ihe Soviets vol lowed certain traditional pMcraa ia producing machine loott. which imprdcv. the development ol iiuitteiscal control. They chase lo develop Conitol sysicnu at accessories to flitting machine tool paMotypes. particularly lathes The SoapjHcoih was timed at eventual mast productirni ol machine took dedicated lo one application foi thenifetime The West, by contrati. practiced
USSR mi! United Stales: Production ofachine Tool*
BR i'xii'd Sl*n>
customatch production, in which engineering was concentraicd on producing more complci machines designed specifically for numerical conirol and forariety of machiningprocess better suited to long-range innovation.
A frequent complaint in the USSR was the absenceingle coordinating body for numerical control technology and Ihe scattering of research andamong different organualions The dispersal of research and development led to the creation of a
number of nontornpatible interns of numeitealand conflict! between the research ores motions of various manufacturing plant*
Bycosssrau. aon-US Western machine toot maculae -turers drew oa one another's technology and on that of the Unitedhe -uhi advanced in the numerical control field Components such asfrom one country could be fined to the toots produced elsewhere Finally. Western governments and private industry worked closely together tonumerical control technology
Series Production of NC MncUaeijor push to develop scries production of NC machine toots in the USSR begin with the Eighth Five-Yearoscow appears to haveual policy. To meet the needs of the aviation industry and other high-priority military users, the government called for the manufacture of btgb^prcciMOn nvichincs used primarily for milling eoenpiei shapes. For the eiviliia vecic. the major emphasis was to be placed on less cornptea conirol tytirnu for efficient mast production of simpler tools, such as drilling and boring machines. taihcs. and leu compies milling machines
Directives for oocclenting ihe development andof NC machine toolsationwide basis were Issued by Moscow Ino implerncni the deal policy. Ihef Aviation Industry lAviaproml and ihe Minlitryof the Machine Tool Building and Toolingere charged with ihe management of building ibese id-vincedesponsibility for designing and pro-during the control equipment was vested In iheo* Insintosenl Making. Means of Autcctialion. ind Control Systcaas fWJn-vipoe) The Slate Conmuuee for Science and Technology (GKNTL with iheof the rekvaM minisirtes. was delegated the responsibility of drawing up indlan fee
orol NC amtaU< ^
Bap hi] naawtiao
in* coordination of RAD of unified lyilcms employ, ing numerical conirol fo' Other type* of equipment, suchmetalforrning. lettiie. woodworking, f
RAD wat cent rallied toocl"OrI of design bur cam and research institute* vci lap undei Mi-ui an) or*/or*pciSmcnial Scientific Institute for Mctakut-line Machine TocJi (ENhe Minmcy'i research aim. nai expandedumtrr of regional branches These research organiraltnns inleiacird with specific iilanis and research otganirslions of otheror the purpose of developing new NC machine tool prototypes.
The Leningrad fclcmrcnr-xhanical Pbnihe primary maaufaelBrer us ihe new spccialired control systems C'tnch of Mlmprihor. produced not only the ea'l> genera (ion coaiiollcra for point io pointbut newer lyiiems as well for cesniinoous pathutting or coniouring Some control systems sserr also manufactured in smaller plants of Mlnpriboi The Ministry of the Eleciionics Industrymanufactured the electronic tubasscmhliea.nd oihcr machine tool research cganiia-tions conducted RAD on machine tools suppliedollers
The USSR inlso setanon-idc network of computer centers, which weeevelop profrsms for ihe numerical contro-lkri Tenstibliihed nine for rneialCulting machines and erne If meialforrmrig Each cenier hat been linked to the plants in its region by trie-phone and provides technical assistance to enterprises tost start mg machining with numerical control
The new policy alsoayor programtechnology from Eastern Europe andthe USSR signed ccsoeeration agreementsftimi lor product inn
of control systems, and witkroprtsn allies lort RAD. productionachine tools and conirol systems. dc-naOpmcn!ingle programing language, and an inter national programing network tinallr. the USSR imported large numbers ofeon.cn'rr.arrine it-Ms. mainly Irom lh< West,01
From theohe USSR made rapid strides in producing NC machine lords.1 Soviet annual output ctceeded that of the United StatesJ about JO Sovietined of Ihe plaatt ia Uiojlank-uvont had shesp* producing this equipment But moal Sovvrl ootpul was ccinorntrated onf the iimpkr ly-pe of standard rrrodcls of NC lathes and milling, drilling. and boring rnacbttra.he annual rate of growth of NC machine tool production averagedercent, acoording to published Soviet statistics, bail feltoercentthe testthe decade. The slower rateeflecicd ihe cutback ia imestmeni of new plant and equipment for the machinehole, which the Minister of ihe Machine Tool Industry labeled "incasrriprchensibk.*'
The program to etnond numerical control was rein-vigoraied in conjunction wiih theh Five- Year Plan.I alone. IJ additional plants began producing mote contritet NC metakuitin, and mciiiforming equipment, including multisptndk lathes, machining centers,rofile milling machines, and press-forging equipment
Not surprisingly, the Soviet inventory of NC machine tools produecd inirrored the Soviet Conventional machine tool Hock estimated thatercent of the NC machiae toolsian the USSR wereS percent drilling sad boring, andercentby and large timpkr. general purpose NCooh adapted lorhe autornoirvc. tractor, and agricultural machinery building sector* The iargtrsi number of these machine tools were capable of onlyopen loop withoutstepping motor* and controls set by pushbuttons, plugboarda. swiiches. or simplifiedOnly the remainingriceni were advanced NC tools capable of multtaiis coniouring. such as machining centets and compki milling machines.1
Sot until theid the USSR also
ihr development and production of NC rtictal-loeming equipment Punch prettcs were omemg'n metal foaming machine toot* lo be oqaipped with nunwrtcal control, andlacililic*roduced J* prototype* de-tigivcd for various spccial-jjed operations, including hoi and cold rolling of ileal, ricur rolling mills, and caber forge ind-pre-ii cquip-meni i h< total ttoci ol focge-andn uie in ilic USSR wiih numerical conirol was. comparedn annual production of upwardcialforming machines ia ihe Unit ed Scata
The USSR it cur rem i, producingfnumerical control iCNC) and directcontrol (DNC) machine tool lyticmtme niton of lool rnachinery mih CNC iamedia (elates to prototypes ofuilimanual data inputlaihe ttaanufacturieg plam Redere it alto mention of copy grindersfiniihing turbmc blade aciofe-li beingDNC far uieroup setuphe Motcow branch of ENIMSthe fmi DNC tytiem comprisingachineby computer inand it hatperfecting ih'Ce additional prt>iotypet ofgeneration" of
caiet thai three additional systems arc operating ai the Red Praieiariai and Ordrhomtidre machine tool plants in Moscow and at the Minik Prediction Asso-ciation for Ihe Production of Aulomated Line*
During the pan decade. Ihe USSRro gram io produce and use robotsarge scale Soviet robotics technology, at least lor industrial applications, apparent I. is not very advanced The majority ofobots Ihai ihe Soviet Union ma nu fact urea annually are simple preprogramedused in work prore-ss-ng Some comual robots have been developed for use in mining, servicing of nuclear reactors, and drilling in penru front anas but there is no solid evidence thai ihe USSR is producingelves bant scnocomrolled robchi capable of onrialing simultaneously on thice different ases
Finally, the USSR, one of the leaders in the devetop-merrf and use of noni radii icmal metal-rcinovingincluding electrochemicalC Ml laser beams (EDMi and electron beams (FBMl has now applied numerical cooirrJ io all three systems Produeiion in this aica appears io be only pilot scale, however.
The Rote af law ai-Joon ladutttry In tbe De-elopmeiriW MaiW Toots
The Ministry of ihe Aviation Industry played an impMiani part ia the early development of NC mi-chine looli. at dadia lion industry iniicd Stain and other mayor Western industrial natrons. As noted earlier. Aniaptom wat chosen as coteadcr with8 u) develop NC machine lool recductiooet upeaganiutions thatthose of* Ulmiankopmin. It had ill own network of research organisations and design bureaus undci the leadership of the Scientific Research InstitutecthncJofy (NIIATi Its chief branchlocated inith subordinate blanchesaround the country According inf^
1 A'lofom also had aitnetwork of compiler rieogriming centers
alto operaict Ihe Savyclovo Machine Tool Plant neat Moscow, which apparently has manu'n-lured (he NC machine tooli used in the aviation industry. The products ol this plant include both mctalcutling and mcialforming toolt. including ttalc-
ar: three-lilt vertical mils, four- andts
ptinei milting machines, ind machining centers*
The importance ofdiminished, hosvever. as NC technology became more widespread in the USSR in. The output from Avtap/om'i Sivyelovo plant obviouslyuch smaller share of Ihe NC machine tool inventory as the number of civilian planis producing advanced NC
CCHiinioa of ihevripob
machine tool* with three or more axes increasednd the total number of plant* producing NC machine tooli of all type* reached SO.
ibe civilian sector. Avi'oprom installedill production gaps. Improve machining Quality, and hatlen startup production.'
the privileged status of Soviet industries producing for the militaryarcthe best material and manpowerA viaprom appears to have been no more successful in developing advanced tool machinery than it* civilianecent Soviet monograph on advanced NC machine toolsiscussion of Savyc-lovoand other evidence indicates thai, in. NC machine tool innovations proceeded ai about the same pace in An'oprom as in civilian industry. Early mulliaxis NC milling machines built at Savye lino were copied from models first produced at ihe Goe'kiy Milling Machine Tool Plant in thend used widely in Ihe civilian sector.C machine tools, like those in the civilian sector, were limited in theo open-loop operation.he technological level in the machine lool field improved and controllers -ith closed-loop capabilities came into production in ihe. Savyelovo. loo. built more eomplei machines. These includedachining centers, and movablewith three- to fivc-aitt coordinate contouring paih capabilities for milling large comptei shapes made of high-strength steel or titanium allocs.
The same problems plagued boih Anapmrn and Mlraiankoprom during the pail decade
shortcomings such as the reluctance to inslall machine tools with numerical control
Slowness in Ihe design and manufacture of prototypes.
Technological shortcomings in the current genera-lion ofomputers, and other electronic components, as well as shortages of machinery hardware.
lack of trained programcrs and serviceresearchhad lo rely at limes on civilianas ihe Odessa branch ol EN1MS.orkmachine tool building protects tmallv. like
The Status of Multiaxb
NC Machine Tools In the USSR
Although the Soviets have progressed in NCthey are well behind the West in mulliaxis machine tools operated by advanced controllers and computersmall number of multiaiis NC machine tools were produced ai seven plants?ut these machines required careful monitoring, lacked feedback systems, and werecapable of achieving circular designs in cutting only through successive point-to-point movements around anit. "linearcries production of NC machine tools capable ol contouring on three orea continuously, and of control* tuned for these advanced load, was not fullyix more plants have been added (appendix B)2 the USSR hasonlyachine tools capable of NC simultaneous contouring on three or moreeche estimated annual production in the USSR01 warof these jdxtneed machine tool* compared to about 5COO in the United Stales and moren Japan Our estimate, show that of theodel* of mulliati* machines introduced in Ihe USSRnly one-fifth were produced in the following five years in numbers larger thaner year by Soviet plants, and the remaining four-fifths continued to be produced at ihe rate of onlyear orfar below-those achieved in many Wcitcrn industrial countries. Soviet technologist lag in ilatc-of the-an machine tool prod union i* most striking when comparing machining cenier outpui:0 the USSR produced onlyachining centershe Untied Slatesn Japan
TV inhnital lama ol Itn Woterit equipmentnetnulHr teaUbtoS "SclSa ibr coirifmr; In*
n wcumrniione! COCOM etnbaiso rota, sioct aoVjifflf .NC ioH> <na. iv* be Hart to Sane and fail Furopan niliurt mlmii IV tnathmoy imy altotainconedtreilaivd. Anuria, n. nbtcb air *oi COCOMmir>
i The USSR beganiHotluciion of control uniu in ihelthough no figures arc available en tones production of eon troll* is lor leu advanced NC machine*.buidik thai1 the annual Soviel outpul ofconirol unm -a>niu. Output of four- and ftvc-aats until -asl pr eduction in the IJ nitre Slate*7 washree ain corarolkn andour- and frvc-am unita Soviet controllct production probablymitfwiih increased NC machine tool
lors Coo lit bo ting to lite la ia Production of Mai da lit Numerically Cool rolled Machine Tools The difficulties thai ihe USSR has encountered to date in large-scale prcduciioo of advanced NC machine loolt itemumber ofdecisionshe, theal backwardness ofcountry and lyttccaicof Ihe Soneti>iiim
The Soviethetimpler p< mot (pet and ihrnmaking incrememal changes along ihe way.fitted in with ihe traditional approach loin the USSR,lso representedlo doubts being voiced hath inand the Wctl about the cconi'nicachining center,arieachiningat one telling olumber of
ihoe were relan.el. umplc omnium, such as dciB-sng. which could be raore ccoisoawcally Caseimpler and awca Cheaper atachuw
Adapting numciNal tontrols io basic model) ofpurpose conventional mac hint loott requiredtypes of conirol such as open-loop systems and stepping motors and much lest rumples electronics design This decisionillingness in ihe lite
oe*tl olutomated machining lawer than thai for US aad British machines and to forgo the aVvelopmeau of aa mlra-Structure needed for scries production ol advanced machinery.'
'TrebiHsloglcal Problems When Western countries moved into series production of com pater-tided and NC muhiaiis tools in, the USSR was unable to loiiow suit because of.
Insufficient technological capability lo producefeedback lyitcms. and requisite computer!
A shortage ol programen and service personnel
The unavailability of ptei'iion-m; hinod hardwire needed for building iheae tools
CaarnWIers. Tee decision to concer-rase on iheof simpler NC machine tools led io ibe widespread production of simpler open-loop control systcmi These were generally maied to machines driven by electric or elecirohydrnuhc stepping motors, employed leu advanced solid-tlate circuitry baied on transition and semiconductor diodes, andandled only two-tut lines' o> circular pos-nonang In ihend early IffNa, ibe Sovm developed at lean seven of ihcse Inncontrol lyiicmt
When the USSR began series production of mutualn toott capable of limuliancoui contour ing or. three or more aiei in rbcserew generation of controllers had to be developedJ) and NileontioHcrs. wnaefc met ihete roowite-menu were not ptodveed5espectively. and then only in very smallese controllers had integrated circuits, like those in the West.0 the USSRedeli capable of muliiaaii closed loop contouring Uy thai time the demand for controllers began to cacecd the mppli Since araly it* Leningrad Electromechanical Plant in the civilian sector *ai offirtalli ihaigrd with controller production andnot meeting in nrndoc lion schedule, machine tool manufacturer! in thr USSR began n'aking ineir own eonuollc-s
report ihai Soviet control kes suffer from numerous design ind qualityth atiet.ua.lit to pLlDI en-rironntenl. improper tailoring to tlx requirement* ol the tool* lo which the>mated, inferior workmanship, and poo* quality of the component pant. The coniioli ate neither reliable nor durable, they are eipectcd to functionCOO houit "tlhotit repairvbotcatrdlovssociation infor ciampk. (ailedouts Three full-lime teelvniciant were needed to service eight NC machine tools at the plant
ControJIcn also tuffcr from poor quality control and manufacturing priciices. The So*iett do not use icsTini methods applied in the VVrsi to overcome "infanthS period of rally breakdowns of the equrprnent' Theii ccotrcakrs appear to ctcccd the normal WestciB raic ofailarca per year becaute mult-aits rnachinea in ibc USSR are not used at iniemively. Components are often damaged because of the beating and cooling permli atiociaiedconndnab-'t machine toole
Soviet controller* do not yet embody the advanced technology common to the West The curieniof Soviet eonttoHcts lacks com-non Western features toeh atmemory systems (migncticemiconductor memory (inlcg'itrd circuiui.lab-bit memory ta hybrid between magnetic and semiconductor systems!
The Sen-ieii aic still pnmanly adaptingrather than mici opto numericalMicroprocessor production in (lie USSR, which begins still only at the pike plant ptoduc-lion stage Reports indicate (hat microprocesiors lie Only no- being designed into new products, and it willew yean lor seises production to get undeien then, the Serviel machine lool builders will have to competeother industries torsprceessoet for controi aatti
ioblemt with Soviet third-generation control-Icrs. which are capable of medium-scale integraiton. suggest "ky the de-elop-roeae ia ihe USSR of the neai
3 purtvir i* tit rorarel vmu iikS ai -Li--omiii IvSlarrim.iM nvgnin iiinWJJurimtiiiu IM cunt'ohfon
generation ofthat will have large-teak (LSI) or teI Sligoing io be difficult' Sncb dr<ckie> ment needs io be accomplished, however, if ihe USSR it to eapand its use of NC machine tools andthem into group* of machines as la automated production or fletible machining systems
Ce-nt/arm. Another faciei contributing; to the lag in of ad ia need NC machine tools was Soviet backwardness in the technology, product ion. andf computers inhe Scniett eipectcd to meetifth of their domestic needs fen min-computer* i- tbe last half of. The production of peripheral equipment was in even worse shape, as does, line ptinters, and equipment for remote processing were in greal SCscaly
In contrast, duringomputers in the Wctt were rapidly applied to machine tools in three way> First, small geoeril purpose computer* replaced some of Ihef convcnironil control system in indrviduil NC machines tCNClentral computer was used to feed programs dtrccily androup of machine toolsinally, compuicrs were ipplied to control tprcially designed and miegrated complei sruKhia ng lyucwn thai often included robot*
Thus, while the majority of NC machine tools now being produced in ihe Wen are computer ope tiledf the Sonet NC tool inventory hat that capability. The shortage of minicomputeri held back the integration of computers with NC tools The old" generation of Soviet caympulcis, tuch as the Ural and Minsk series, were large and suited only to generating simple prngrams on two aies becaute of
'Ihr"tnlc ofhaidouble BoHri On isc owe tuiwlin in -ifwneiHUw The vail ifwnonvjonrwu itw< Sin anw inidlci TW turn iheW nana* can I-> 1U1 taa he hindlnlhr ra-ujr ef cipahilii-ri nl the tool u>ontnvtlnatuched. Ihn liadi le the mini!f the oriloinwive eha-uieriiiici of thea undachine motLapablet wmi pjntirio nnaainnualhawnrimaa Alaal trsmmx ml ive-iWrr-jlw ctaard-Laar- miliiilniiiUVintBxiarge -tenlc IntngriMn
(heir limited memory capacity.0 addressable uniis ofeKl ate needed ioontouring peogiam for throe or more aaes0inicernpoier introduced ia thend Mill widely Used, has JJK loul memory, which cnablci il to guide machmri with three aacv Bul becauie not all of ifab memory isportion of the memory is used simply to operate thecomputer ii icnerally employed wiih machine tools functioning with medium- raiher than large-scale integration.
The modctniuiion of numerical conirol systems hu been hckl baca also because of shorta-.es in trained personnel foe maintenance and repair of conirol and computer equipment and the oomplciitics of program ing machinedifficult and lime-consuming operation ai the early stages of the development of advanced numerical control In theciel writer estimated thatours were required lorogram of average coenpleiitt. while each machine lool in use in mill orrograms on the average. As lateJ, mosi Soviel NC machines were Hill being programed by hand, although computers were in wide use in ihe West. To overcome these difficulties. Ihev j ! ter centers, as noted above The Soviets a'so failed tocneiil programing language, such as the AutomaticallyTool, or APT. drseloped inn the United Slates
Ho'i-en. There have been senow probiems inand obtaining hardware component! for ad-vanced NC machine tools So widespread has this problem been that iteadily admittedachine tool symposium in the USSR1 thai half of ihe Soviet machining centers with numerical controls are equipped with impsncd components The shortage of these components resettedroduc iio- system thai was hinoiically slow to respond on its own to innovation and from the govemment'i failure io plan for ihe manufacture of inch eomponcnu
Motorsase in poiai Tt* tiictuon toon mass peod action of Hand aid general purpose machine tools fined wnh numerical control also meant man production ol simpler forms of coniiol.
electronics, and drives. Open-loop systems,of these simpler NC machine looli,impler drrve men as esectrohydraauc steppinghese were buill inplants. Theof machining centers and other mulliaits con-louring machines2 required Uiemorc tophii-itcated servomotors, which can be integrated with feedbackhere isreat shortage of these -ihe first major plant for lervomotofii nill under construction The Sovjets also neglected loegular source for producing permanentey component in these motors Action on another ke> component, ihvrinors. wai lahen onlyhen four planii were assigned to manufacture them
The Soviets have also encountered difficulties inproduction of wboomponcnis for feedbacksuch as transducers and rcsoivcrs.closed-loop machine tool operations arcThe failure to provide for prtyJuction ofcomponents, which have been imported,the original decision by Ihe Sovietconceal rate initially on large scale productionsimpler, open-loop type of NC machine tooliihc USSR centrally organire the productiontciewi with bearings, or "haguiding ihe movement! of machineeach of ibe mator axes in NC toots.one plant produces bul) screws for all ofIhe key
machines used in thii plant to manufacture this component were imported from the West because the Semen lacked the precision equipment required to machinr thoe components
i ISe wor-eni ihr* isnirol in dnCKKmia* lure nap -amia* IVrew to tht winim i
bab-ttawHi irii im<<i> ooIiii W
rw* ihrmU"krutr ladun >rnrit(
Finally. manufacturing shortcoming* thai have in the pail affected ihe reliability ol conventional machine look aic plaguingUhe advanced tools a* well These include
stress-relieved eastings, whsch canachine loolr buckle
- In-propcrl) hardened slides, which can ueai rapidly and unevenly andanad loss in accuracy after only several months of use.
traditional low quality of cutting tools that last, on the average, about one-fourth as long as these Western counterparts
Other Factors Impeding NC Machine Tool Production
The (Mitionference held at Ivanovo in the fall1 on machine tool modern!ution agreed thai additional funds were needed within the machine-building field 'or manufacturing ofloola. despite Moscow'salling foe greater machine led modernization. Moreover. R. C.rominent Soviet economist andof this conference, urged shortly afterward in an article in "roWo that additional investment be shifted ai the national level away from such sectors asli metallurgy, timber, coal, and landand into machine tool modernization on the grounds lhat ihe benefit from such funds would be greater for these fields tf ihey were put intoimproved and cost-saving machinery
AtlhougNxommend it vans stemmedurl from the veiled interests oft is equally true that progrest in modernizing machinery and in acquiring thetsnc capsul and iniiiiuiicnal support was held back by powerful interests who wiihed to maintain the traditional strategy oflargequantities of conventional looting Thedirec-tor ofachine tool department I N. Sncrvskiy. pointed our at Ihr conference that Coiptan had planned lo double investment in machine tool modernization duringh Five-Year Plan period He claimed, however, thai pressures for maintaining the traditional system were greater and morethan those for innovation
In the USSR, production of advanced NC machine tools "ii also impeded by the absencearge-scale base of product spcCtatiialion In the West, machine
not building is earned outarge network of independent firms devoted solely lo ihc production of machine took and backedast network, of independent firms furnishing spccialirrd parts and components In the USSR, machine tootsariety of multipurpose plants, lest than hall of which speeialire in machine tool production Whenayar producer of NC machine tools such as Leningrad's Red Proletarian Plant must use some of its resources to produce thousands oflants for whom machine tool buildingtdcliBc can haidly be ripecied lo have the espertisr and interest in tackling advanced NC machine lool production
Another factor impeding innovation hat been the separation in the USSR between tool builders and ihe manufacturers of ekctrooies and other components Compote and control system development and ihe building of actual machines are usually closely linked in the Unitedn the USSR, production of machinery and components has been parceled out among four different ministries, with Mlniiankoprorti being res[oniible for building Ihc machinery. Stinp'i-bar for control systems. Mmtlihi'oipeom for elect ri cal subassembliei. AfrnWslfrorrajAjvnwn foe drivesuch ai motorser manufacturers foe various hardware items Many rvoHemi in advanced mo In jlool production have resulted from this divisron of labor, including constant breakdowns in production schedules, design shortcomings, and the development of systems uruuitcd to ihop (loot condi lions
Moreover, established budgetary practices at the plant level, including iaccniivcs. have provedio lool mode rut ration Plant managers ce-niinoe to
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ite on meeting quantitative output goal) vet by the central planning authorities, and these goals are more eaiily met by keeping dder model* in production. Ihii in torn discourage*ven Moscow's ctToruew ncenuve structure, including tpeeijl awards for innovation, have not been effective, linked, linee lucb awards malie up only IS percentactory manager's budget, they ate cleaity not enough toeal incentive lo innovate or lo deviate from standard managemeni practices
The high cost of electronic equipment Id thehas servedeierrent to productthe West, electronic comporwnts areand tbe cost of computers andfallen drasncall over the past twoindicate thathe USSR the pricefor rnachin. molt continues to behoveringO0t thehange ratej"continue lo be very eipensive As reportedby the chief of Vladimtr Machine Too)bureau, hit institutionS purchasedcontrol systemubles.it currently still sellingublesUnited States, the costotnesutcr-aidedtoed breaks down intoercent forpackage including computer.ercentdrive package, including motor andandercent for the machine itself.components in comparable Sovici> ithan half of tbe total
Faced with inch problems, only ihe occasionalwould scire (he initiative and undertakeof NC tools, especially of Ihe moreThose who were
eh .rgrd with innovation often delayed NC tooltretching out the production of first prototypes twerecade or more Some suspendedon advanced leol development ot production to meet their regular production quota of conventional tools Ptinis that had already iprnt yearscl-iimii ptcaotypes tome tin-res refused io CO mto series preduction because of diflicuttics in upeialing and
programing the toots, and the prolonged costswith these effons. Others began scriesbut produced far fewer than accessary for cost effectiveness.
Role of foreign Tec boot ovj-
The USSR resorted to lirge-scalc imports duringo speed tip development and production of NC machine tools. Bynd. the annual value of Sovici imports was three limes greater than ni the beginning.
These ir-iponstimbc> of funcs-ens in both the defease and civilianl the beginning of theresearch ceganirations such as ENIMS puichascd foreign tooli for letting and evaluating thusome cases for deciding on models for future purchases from abroad. Machines and iheir components were also imported for reverseThe Soviets found, ho-ever. thai reverseof muliisiis NC it.it hint loots was not practicable, given the compleiity of the machinery's hydraulic and electronic tystenu
The fiilore to produce controllers in large enough Quantities for NC machine tools with three or more iset led to lharp increases in imports not only of coaiiolat alto of NC toolsto rileniive efforts to acquire NC production technology from the West. Machines, cotiltollcis, and other components were purchased to aid production diicctly -hen
that was needed for startup pu'pnse* could not be obtained from domestx sources
- The limited use of the equipment made it inefficient to develop and manufictuie lueh machine toolt utyrtscitically.
Similar models produced domesticallyhc-rt supply ind could nol be obtained tn time to meet pt eduction schedule*
was available in the USSR bui did not have the icquisnc quality
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USSR also hii engaged in Cooperativeith foreign manufacturers They lomeiimts help directly in improving Soviet-manufactured machine') oi issue licenses that enable the Soviets to produce the machines, equipped uiih key foreign-made paiu. for resale abroad in Western market* Coopcralive ar-rangemcntfelped Soviet designers andObtain Western kno-hov. and keep Soviet manufacturers abreasi ol Western innovations and standards.
, lenports or Multiaiis NC
Machine loots From the West
Wciiern Europe supplied more lhan four-fifthi of ibe USSR'* nonCommuniti imports of machine tools during, nearly half originated in Wesi Cci many Japan -asajor supplier, while ihe United States accountedelatively small share o' the total (table I)
COCOM controls on sales to Communist countries of cimiinuoui path NC machine toolsilh three ors and very-high-plecition machine luol) keptimports lower lhan they might otherwise have been fThese commodities bic defined atnme relaiatinn in embargo controlsoviet imports of NC machine tooii surged, ruing fromercent intohird of the total mclalcultrng machine tool imports from Ihe Westlmost half of the ad.inced lool impont.nine, -ere machining centers
Austria. Swiuerland. andot members ofbeen important luppliers oftools and control equipment They produce
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electronic equipment, such as controllers and CNC con tin nous-path NC machine rools wiih three or more axes, in targe numbers. The USSR has alsorrangements with these countries, the most recentoint Soviet-Swilt machine tootgroup to improve Soviet NC machine tools using Soviet electronics and computers. Inrorrnation on Soviet imports or advanced toots from non-COCOM nations is sketchy, but considerable ainouim ofequipment, probably including some exceedingNil-lines, have been imported from these countries. The Swiss, the leader among Ihe non-COCOM nations in the production ofin lis toots, ship half of their total machine tool exports to the USSR.. Swi&erland. Austria, anil Sweden ranked as thend ninth-largest Western exporters of machine tools to the USSR.
Although most Soviet machine tool and equipment purchases from COCOM countries were svithin COCOM guidelines, sizable sales of embargoed equipmeni may have passed through COCOMof mistaken judgments on the equipment by licensing officials, rnisjepresenintiem of their products by exporters, bona fide differences in interpreting COCOM definitions in the least restrictive sense, and. finally, the willingness of some Western governments lo permit the sale of embargoed equipment arising from differences with US interpretations ott theapplications of the machinery in question.
Thus, the Soviets have been getting help where their technology lag is most pronounced. At earlyhe USSRC machine toolt fromCompany of France. Since then there hasteady stream of Western technological assistance in the development and. to some extern, in theof such advanced NC equipment as machining Centers. In Ihe, the Soviets acquired manufacturing know-how from Fujitsu of Japan for the production of stepping motors Since then many agreements have been signed providing technology for mating numerical controls sviili machine tools, the preparation of NC program tapes, theof the tools, and feedback andumber of agreements have been signed that extend numerical control technology to
other conventional machine tools in fields such as blanking presses, plasma-arc welding, casting, plating, and poster generation (table 2)
How important advanced Western machine tools are to the Soviets may be iafencdomparison of Imports wiih dorncstie production. For example, ihe USSR, which hasajor buyer of machining centers from Western Europe and Japan,nitsrom Japanthan the total Soviet domestic production during tbe same period (table
' Military Applkarioers of Imported Western NC Machine Tools
indicates that such procurement
hay been carried out by the Soviets since theoms known example* include:
Foor heavy-duty NC machining centers, probably for tank turret machining, were delivered?
Propeller shops of several Soviethipyards including Severodvinsk submarine plant purchased computer ire! lathes. NC milling machines, and proiilcK C
inch NC gcar-cuitingfor usenuclear submarine reductiondelivered lo the Soviet Union8
- C C chemical milling machines (or production of helicopter rotor blades probably have beenin helicopter manufacturingear Karon. RSFSR.
computer-nioco assemblyrc imlallcd inn three so-ict i'cti plmu that produce both civil .mil
- Automatic machine tnol
inunllcil in die Kalinin Plant. LciiingiaO.or ihcf smllciv warhead cites.
An unidentified NC machine mil C
reportedly employed to produce yarnotnber at Tbilisi Atrlrimc Planl JI
Imports of MuJeiairi NC Machine Tool) From Fall era Fairopr
M$ess impoitanl Source olmpoits of NC niultiaiis machine tools than ihe Well. That >iea also fell behind Ibe West in ihe list decade in developing NC machine toolalthough Hast German numerical control loch nology. which "it the most advanced in fuifin
Europe, did not lig much behind ibai of the West in the lOoOi |a,duccd In First NC macaiae luol prototype*nd0 IpticcM of ill NC ioob to the USSR. the Cast German, sold theC nacbaae tooli. ilibovgh ihoehard-wKcd. point-to-poim lypei. Theyachinery center at the Red Proletarian Machine Tool Plant in Moscow to limilnrire ihe Soviets villi the operation of fUii German NC tool* and to train Soviet technicians in maintenance and programing Moreover. Host Germany also engaged in Ihen prototype nroduciion of advanced machine tools suCb as machining centers and interns ofmachine tool* (FMS) Inait Germany tailed to move into series product-eeiti NC machine tool* and FMS Althoughot entirely clear why this happened. ciCcukctuoa oa esportang early genera taoe NC maeotne took to ibe USSR aad Tamera taropc probably
played aa important role *
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A serious effort appears to be under way in Eastern Europe to close ibe teebnoiogical gap. These countries currently haver fewer muluaxii NCach in production, including machining centers. About half of these are estimated to be opera ted byScries production of control ten has oow started in East Germany, Cicchcolovakia. Hungary. Poland. Romania, and possibly Bulgaria C t
J the Hungarians are emerging with the mosi sophblicaled prograralof and graphics modeling in Eastern Europe, and Hungary. Czechoslovakia, and East Gcrmaoy have produced prototypes ofmachining lyitems (FMS)
East European! are major luppiiers of conventional machine tools io themore lhanercent of all Soviet machine toolihe USSR may be preparing tbem toajor source of advanced NC machine tools as well.laninitialed for joint Sovtei/Eail European RAD. programing, aod production of machine tools and control systems.ungary. Poland, and East Germany revealed plans for exportingnumbers or microcomputers to the USSR.hat begun to export software, computers, and peripherals,apes and discs.aid to be shipping some three-axis machine tools that have mechanical component* and software imported from the West. The USSR and Bulgaria signed an
agrtemcorfor eorjperation on ad-
vanced loot manufacture. Bulgaria, which hasextended help from Japanese and Western manufacturers, baa also agreed to ship moreobot* annually to the USSR
Mcdernliaiion or the machine tool sector Is essentia! for Soviet industrial growth, because machine toolritical to the manufaciure of complex machineryncrease productivity io Soviet industry. The USSR hat had difficulty, however, in utillzJag tab aew technology, and bat lagged severely io irtoving from curly vintage NC tools lo advanced compuier-operated multiaxis machine tools now common in the Weal. Excessive concentration on mass production of simple general purpose tools fitted with less complex control systems as add-ons, the Iwiidocss of Ihc Soviel electronics and computer industries,gjditie* of (be Soviet industrial system. iosufTicieoi numbers of trained machine tool opera ton, engineers, and programed, and. moreslowing invcjtoKQt growth have all impeded innovation
The USSR now has one of Ihemajor centers (or research on machineationwide network of research inititulcs and design bureaus, and about SO pianit producing. NC machine look Mctakuiiini and meorming took and neat radii tonal metalntuipmeni [electrochemical, laser, and cicc-iron-beam machining) are being Hi ted wiih aanten al control. Scene upgrading, of the Soviet mac Sine tool inventory should be accomplished in the long ran, but. in ihc critical period of, improvements are unlikely io come quickly enough to be aa important factor in raising Soviet industrial productivity. Since the, the production of conventional tools, still the backbone ol the industry, has fallen largely because9 investment fundi for the machine lool sector were oilercent below tbai originally planned. Although NC tool production was not affected by the cui.perccm* annual growthppears insufficient to take up ihe ilack.J goal ofOO advanced multiaiismore thanimes from (he current production of aboutunattainable
Short on both conventional and advanced tooling, the USSR may be loqutred io rely aa heavily on imports as it did in. How much imports art constrained by hard currency availability or by COCOM controls it difficult so judge Imports nil roture-all. however Dismantling ofroadblocks, changes tn traditionalpractices, and more 'itcnrnmating aHocation of scarce insestment fundi also "ill be required to increase the output of advanced machine took and to use them more effectively in increasing productivity The pan record tuggestteases io modernu-ing the machine tool industry will be limited
Numerical Control MaoDficlurlDf Ttchnoloyj
Machine toot* may beuavrrically controlled (NC) type* and conventional machinesmachine toot, an those that are not NC rcjaipped and ate controlled by aaC machine* are equippedonirol lyiurn that Operate* the machine by mean* of numeticalli coded peted into th- system ia the form of punched tape, the p'.ay lieof prerecorded opera tintomputer.
The ttcpi in preparing and ceteraiing an NC machine tool arc atart programer. after studying engineering drawings of the parti that need to be fathioned, visualizes Ihe machine operation* required to machine the workrogram ii prep* red and -typed"ape or card (or. in the latestof looli,he program it then machine scanned and converted Into machine tool movement! by the conirol unit or controller (figureontroller! may handle perforated tape, magnetic tape, tabulatingr even ilgnali that are tent directly fiom computer logic or computer peripheral equipmeni Mich at diik or drum noro; -
Numerieal' control programin| fa Hi into two claiics or systems. Tbe simpler method, aiually used in dnlling or boringa pointoint oroning. The programed commaruil place thetool, or table ia specific potation* aad the tool then drill* oror cutnptc- The tool docs not touch the workpiecc while mcmng between pcoutiorts Also, the lool generally menc* along only oneo (figure )l
The more complei lyitem involrc* continuous path ofethod used in milling, turning, and grinding machine* In thisod the cutting tool moves along the surface of the woekpacce. cuttiog the me ml into cither straight nr complei. or evenshapes Their movements are designated as
iclcrpotalion, and labeledinear (irraightlineircular (curvedr parabolic (free-form machining used io shaping molds or in sculpturing die* I
The control units may he constructed for cither open-SuOpor cioaed-loopacned-loop system, as shown in futuretncthod for clsecsieg ihe cocratioaa of the mi chine tool and correcting eeficencirs The movement of the tool tabic oriog tool is morutoredeedback unit, which may be electronic, mechanical, or optical. As shown in theauge inchransducer or inductndicates the position the machine table,r tool hai reached Ja raponsehe tape or computer demand and tcporti ihii rinding back to tbe control unit, which then continually compares these signals with (bote given in the original command. The controller then give* new signals compensating for nny inacairarit* in movemeol. iwppini the exyrrecting motion wbro Input and feedback signals arc tbe tame. Such mcaiurlng systems era essential where great accuracy it required.
On the other hand, an open-loop syiieni does noteedback mechanism (seeachines with open-loop syitctns arc simpler in const ruction god require less electronic circuitryesult, they cost leu. are cheaper to produce and repair, and require leu sophisticated control mocha on mi. gauges, and driven
Tbe feature* doomed to fara rati otitic of the fust twof NC tnscbtac look. Generallythese tools rely on hard-wired control ivs-tcnu in which the configuration of the cleevtynic circijiiry delermiriM Ihe range of control functions that can be performed.
r igace i
Oar-Am. Closed-Loop Numericallyoll id Suit in
_imal! ccmput' mand peiriioai of d'tutfle iysiem; The lumpOicrV.tvf
( vcaii'iiv n'-*'
feed and SfXCd-ri^eeilcuIaUw^
enms is used by lool wear orxiioa
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1 1 I
c4 io ihe USSR awl
* Therom Lfomir *tJntBafwvrtt by rS*if-ti in (he Senile*Tooltmuiioci.Original document.