Created: 5/1/1973

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible


USSR Pushes Production of Numerical Control Machine Tools


copy no 94



Numerical control (NC) machining technology was developed in the United States2 by theInstitute of Technology for the US Air Force. During, NC technology developed rapidly in the United States and spread to Western Europe and Japan. The international COCOM embargo and unilateral US restrictions on exports ofgoods effectively curtailed the export of this technology to the USSR. As8 the USSR was far behind the United states. Western Europe, and Japan in the design, development, and production of NC machines. In that year, however, the USSRrogram to accelerate the introduction and production of NC machine tools and1 had become the world's largest producer, although in level of technology and quality it still lagged far behind the West.

This publication examines Soviet progress in the development and production of NC netalcutting machine tools* and Soviet efforts to accelerate

* Numerical controls are also applied to certain typos of metalforming machine tools and other machinery (such as drafting machines). However, these applications are insignificant.




progress through technical cooperation agreements with firms in western Europe and Japan. It also

includes, as background, the production and use of machine tools generally in the USSR and compares Soviet machine tool production with that of the United States.

Preliminary definitions of NC technology and related considerations are discussed followedeneral discussion of the production and uses of machine tools in the USSR Discussion of the Soviet NC program proper begins with


USSR Pushes Production of Numerical Control Machine Tools

Summary and conclusions

Numerical control (NC) machine toolsa revolutionary innovation in metalcutting machining technology. One NC machine tool isof replacing two to four conventional types. Among industrialized countries, NC technology is most advanced in the United states, followedby Western Europe and Japan, and is leastin the USSR. Currently, Soviet NC technologyoears behind that of the United States.

echnology lag,elated start in production, the USSR now produces more NC machine tools than any other country. Output2 amountednits, nearly double US

The USSR also is the world's largestof machine tools, mostly highly standardized, general-purpose metalcutting machines of the type that are easiest and least costly to produce. The USSR tends to produce general-purpose metalcutting

Note: Comments and queries regarding thisare welcomed. They may be directed to the Office of Economic Research.

rather than special-purpose types,they can be mass-produced. esult, much of the Soviet machine tool output fails to meet the needs of usors and, indeed, forces users to manufacture, at high cost, their own specialized machinery. Thus, although the USSR economizes on the production of machine tools throughtechniques, it loses out on the economies of specialization; hence it tends to produce cheap machine tools but expensive final products.

4. Large requirements for general-purpose machine tools arc generated by Soviet efforts to modernize the entire stock of machine tools in use in production andarge and scattored repair network. f the Soviet machine tool stock isoars old or older and in need of ignificant percentage of machinesoears of age also need to be replacedrelative to new machines, productivity is low and costs of operation high. About one-third of all metalcutting machine tools in use in the USSR are used for repair and for production of spare parts.



effort to modernize the stocktools in both production and repair may be


isdirected. The Soviets need to replace only those in production but should reorganize thenetwork to reduce the need for more machines and to serveecond-hand market for older ones now in use in production.

parallel programs for NCproduction are in being in the USSR: oneaviation industry to service industriesaerospace and military hardware; one intool industry to service the needsindustry. f theof HC machines was for aerospace and Aerospace and military production alsoa large proportion of the annual output of

NC machine tools in the United States.

major Soviet effort is under way inplan period to accelerate output oftools. Planned output5 is totines that Several firms inand Japan have entered into cooperativeand marketing arrangements with For example, Alcatel of France, Saab-Scama


Sweden, and Siemens of West Germany are shipping NC controllers to the USSR for mating with Soviet machine tools. Some arc to be sold subsequently in the respective domestic markets of the supplying countries. Fujitsu of Japan has agreed to provide NC production technology to the USSR.

NC machines can be helpful to tho USSR in the modernization of its machine tool stock. the impact of this technology on Sovietproduction is likely toS than in the United States and may fall far short even of Soviet expectations. To an important extant, the effectiveness of NC machines in the USSR willon whether plant management is sufficiently flexible to use them properly.

Furthermore, the Soviet NC machine tool program appears headed in the same direction as conventional machine tool production. Emphasis is on large-scale output of NC machines that are easiont to produce, mostly point-to-point typosmany governed by obsolescent plugboard controllers. Moreover, unlike the United States, the USSR is not designing and building NC machines as fully integrated systems. Instead, controllers are



mated to existing models of conventional machine tools that have been suitably modified to receive them- Such machine tools lack the durability,and flexibility of integrated systems.



What are NC Machine Tools?

NC machines are machine tools such as lathes or milling, drilling, and boring machines whose movements are controlled automatically by ainstead ofuman operator. Generally, controllers arelthough some devices that are essentially electromechanical in operationso-called "plugboard" or "dial-programmed"also sometimes are classified as numerical controllers. Relatively siinplo in design, and severely limited in capability, these systems are obsolescent in the United States, although they continue to figure prominently in the Soviet NC program.

umerical controller isto the controlingle machine tool and isomputer. However, in some advanced sys-

achining program (instructions) is fed into the controller on magnetic or punched tape. 2. Machine instructions are entered by plugs and dials or by adjusting rheostats or valves.



of NC technology, in which simultaneousover the operations of more than one machine tool is carried out (direct numericalhe controlleromputer.

types of control over the movementmachine tool may be distinguished. (or positioning) control, thetype, isoint locatingprimarily with drilling or boring machinesa workpicco at one or more discretesystem is relatively uncomplicated, requiresvolume of input data, and is manufacturedlow cost. Second, contouring (orpath) control generally is used withmilling machines toorkpieceinto complex shapes or contours. requires constant synchronization ofmotion in at least two axes. Hence, ita large amount of input data, high-speedlogic, and powerful scrvomcchanisms. control of three or more axes usually requires

a computer to prepare tho machining program.

advanced typa of NC machine toolfor automatic changing of cutting tools.

drilling, andnd can be designed

for either point-to-point or contouring operations isachining center.

advanced technique for maintaining

metalcutting efficiency and precision by automatically adjusting the speed and feed of the cutting tool according to sensor feedback is called adaptive control. It compensates for variables that are subject to in-process change such as workpiece hardness and thickness, cutting tool wear, and rigidity of both tool and machine. Costs and Typically, in the United States, NC machine tool systems cost two to four times as much as analogous non-NC machines and range from as low asor simple point-to-point types to more0 for highly specialized types of contouring machining centers. In addition, NC machine tools require larger support costsfor programming and tape debuggingnd extra maintenance expenses for specialized electronic equipment and tooling. Costs or prices of NC pachine tools in the USSR generally are not avail-



The one price that has beenublesontouring systemppears to be very low and suggests that NC production in the USSR may be heavily subsidized.

The relatively high initial cost of NC machines in the United Status is more than offset by gains in productivity, savings in labor costs, and reduction in other operational expenditures. NC machines also have unique technological they make possible the machining of parts that is not feasible usingmanually operated machine tools. in they make possible greater precision (closer tolerances) igh degree of uniformity in the precision of similar machined parts. Generally, NC machine tools are used under conditions of low-volume production.^

Large increases in machine productivity are possible with NC technology because humanwith the machine tool during theprocess is greatly reduced.4 Also, manufactur-

For high-volume production, automated machine tools and automated transfer machinery arc more efficient.

4. For example, reduction of operaLor fatigue and non-productive activities such as checking parts tolerances between operations, constant reviewing and checking of blueprints, and handling andof workpieccs.


jigs, and fixtures are eliminated. Thus, in US experience, an NC machine tool is able to cutor more) of the timeor conventional machine toolsj in effect, one NC machine does the work of four or more conventional ones. Furthermore, NC technology cuts costs in parts inspection, scrap and rework, and finished goods and spare parts inventory.

The productivity of NC machine tools,dependsarge extent on the quality and training of plant operating personnel and theand degree of integration of NC machines into the plant production process. Hence, whether the USSR can maximize productivity gains from the use of NC technology to the same extent as the United States will hinge on the flexibility of Soviet plant organization and management, as well as on tho quality and capabilities of the machine tool itself.

Because of unique precision machining characteristics, NC machine tools continue to be

extensively in aerospace and military industry production in the United States. Because of their extraordinary productivity and versatility relative to manually operated systems, however, they are now applied widely in civilian industrialas well.

Significant Aspects of Soviet Machine Tool "Production and Use

Production Characteristics and Comparison with the united States-

20. The USSR is the world's largest producer of machine tools {seend Total output2 amounted tonits, or more than two and one-half times that of the United Annual output of metal-cutting machine tools, in particular, is enormous.2 the USSR producedetal-cutting machine tools, or about five times the number produced in the United States ) However, in2 the United States imported as many metalcutting machine tools as it produced0ostly high-quality Excluding those valued at less thanainly household types that have no directin the USSR.


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purpose machines from Western Europe andoviet output of metalcutting machine tools was two and one-half times as large as US output plus imports.

At the end1 the total Sovietof machine tools amountedillion units,illion metalcutting machines. Thus the Soviet inventory of all machine toolsarger than that of the United9nd the pool of metalcutting types2 million). These relationships are striking because Soviet industrial output is substantially less than that of the United States.

The USSR also produces metalforming machine tools in large2 compared0 in the United Statesbut they account for onlyf total Soviet machine tool output, compared ton the United States. In many applications, metalforming machine tools are more productive, require less labor input than metalcutting types, and save on metal. For these reasons, the Soviets have planned for several years

6. Machine tools made in Western Europe and Japan compare favorable in quality and technicalwith those made in the United States and are cheaper.

to increase the share of metalforming machines, thus far unsuccessfully, and to expand the product mix. Host of the metalforming machine toolsin the USSR are relatively simple types: general-purpose mechanical presses, hammers, shears, and bending machines. The USSR does not produce nearly enough high-speed hydraulic presses,forging machines, hot and cold stamping machines, and other modern, automated types.

Soviet metalcutting machine tools lack the durability, precision, and flexibility of their US counterparts. For example, Soviet machine toolsajor overhaulears, comparedears in the United States. Reportedly, about one-third of tho metalcutting tool stock in the USSR is under constant repair. Furthermore, users of Soviet tools complain that initial levels of accuracy of many models are quickly lost. Soviet gearcutting machines installed at the Gor'kiy Motor Vehicle Plant0 lost their original levels of precisiononths.

Inferior levels of accuracy and durability are the result of poor workmanship, mismanagement at tho plant level, and poor quality control and


procedures. For example, castings frequently are not properly stress-relieved durability) and slide components are nothardened (affecting accuracy) owing to efforts by plant managers to cut corners in order tocosts, to increase plant profits, and to reach targeted output goals.

25. Two major characteristics sharplythe Soviet machine tool industry from that of the United States. First, emphasis is placed on mass production. Moref allmachine tools are mass-produced. In the United States, most machine tools are produced in small lots and mass-produced machine tools are rare. Second, emphasis is also placed on output of highly standardized, general-purpose machines of relatively simple design. Basic models are kept in production, without major modification, for protracted periodsmanyears.0 the USSR produced more0 engine lathes, nearly one-third of the entire output of metalcutting machines produced in that year and ten times the number produced in the United States (see Again, the USSR produced more than


Table 2-

USSRand US. Production of McUJcullinf. Machine Tooh0 by Major type



and semi-




rinding machines


making machines






or seven

one-half times as many


United States

more than

of all


simple types that are easiest

least cos

produce. By contrast, most US machine tools are specialized types that have been tailored tospecifications and needs. Hence, in most applications, US machine tools are not only more productive but also are more expensive than Soviet machine tools.

26. By mass-producingurpose machine tools and neglecting special-purpose types, the USSR produces cheap machine- tools but expensive



products. Because general-purpose machines frequently are inadequate, users are forced to make expensive modifications, or to build their own specialized machinery. It is extraordinary that

about one-sixth of all the metalcutting machine

tools produced in the USSR0 unitsn amount nearly equal to total US production of metalcutting machine toolss manufactured in plants outside the Soviet machine tool industry, that is, by user plants. More than four-fifths of all the "automatic linos" produced in the USSR0 wore manufactured in user plants or by machine tool plantsideline. In fact, most of the specialized machine tools produced in the USSR probably are built by user facilities.

27. Because the USSR does not produce high-quality specialized and precision machines,automated types, in sufficient quantities, it has been unable to meet the demand of large, new industrial investment projects from domestic production. Virtually all of the machine tools used to equip tho new passenger car plant at Tol'yatti came from the West, and the USSR is purchasing large quantities of machine tools in the United



States, Western Europe, and Japan for its huge Kama heavy-duty truck plant under construction at Naberezhnye Chelny. Other precision,machine tools have been imported from the West during the past few years for theof other plants in the automotive industry as well.


The USSRelatively greater need for metalcutting machine tools than the United States because of its overwhelming emphasis on capital goods production. In many cases, heavy machinery items can be produced only by metalcutting By contrast, the United States produces relatively greater quantities of consumer durables than the USSRutput that is especially suited to the use of metalforming machinery. reater use of metalforming machine tools would be logical even with the Soviet product mix.

Second, large numbers of machine tools are needed becauso of the lack of vertically integrated production in tho machinery industry. Reliance on sub-contracting arrangements as practiced in the United States would pormit wider specialization in



the production of machinery components and reduce the overall need for machine tools.

30. Third, the USSR requiresarge stock of generai-purpose machine tools to supply the needsuge, largely unspecialized repair and spare parts industry, which is itself the result of poor quality of original equipment. Virtually every plant and farm in the USSRorkshop set aside to repair machine tools and other machinery.ore than two and one-half million workers and more than one million metalcutting tools, or nearly one-third of the entire Soviet stockillion metalcutting tools, were used in repair and to produce spare parts. Thisattor of grave concern to tho Soviets because machine tools are used inefficiently in this application;to official Soviet data, they are used onlyf the time, and then onlyf capacity.

31. Because one-third of all metalcutting machines are used in repair work and one-third aro constantly under repair, it may be inferred that nearly two out of every three machine tools in the


Soviet inventory, at any one time,hat is, only about one out of every three metalcutting tools is actually being used to produce machinery and other industrial goods.

A large quantity of machine tools also is needed annually to replace the aging and obsolescent portion of tho machine tool stock. f the metalcutting stock wasears of age or older and needed to be replaced, according to Soviet sources. The proportion was even higher for machine tools in use in the machinery sector. According to one Soviet study, aof machineears of age also should be replaced because rising maintenance costs and declining productivity, relative to new machines, no longer justifies their continuance in use.

In recent years,f the stock of metalcutting machine tools has beenannually, representingf annual output. This rate has not been sufficient

7. Based on the assumption that most of the machine tools under repair are those in use outside of the repair sector. This assumption seems reasonable since, according to the Soviet press, the machine tool stock in the repair sector is newer than that used for the production of machinery generally and, as has been pointed out, is not used very intensively




to reduce significantly the proportion of machine toolsears of age or older and needing to bo replaced. That proportion has declined by less thaner year

According to Sovietrate is needed to modernize the stock of metalcutting machine tools. ate is unattainable in practice because it would require virtually the entire annual output of metalcutting machine tools and loave only token quantitiesfor installation in new plants and for

In the United States, the inventory of machine tools is older than in the USSRthe average age is more thanearsbut it is more modern. It is older becausef the machine tools in use at the end of World War II are still in operation; fully amortized, durable, and in working order, they are still profitable to use. Older machine tools tend to be taken out of production in the United States and used forrepair and reconditioning, permitting

IT.f annual output of machine tools is exported, mostly to Eastern Europe and to the less developed countries.



newer machines to be used for production. In the USSR the opposite is true; older machine tools are retained in production while many now generalmachines are used for repair work (as well as production). Hence, the inventory of machine tools in use in the repair sector is actually younger than that in use in production.

Soviet effort to replace itsof goneral-purpose machines with more

modern ones is probably misplaced. Only the machine tools in production need to be modernized. Instead, the USSR needs to reorganize its repair industry in order to increase specialization and cut down on the number of machine tools needed. Moreover, the repair industry ought toecond-hand market for older machine tools used in production. In summary, the Soviets have sought quantitative solutionsualitative problem. The issue is not to replace all machine tools, but the right machine tools.

the Soviets are faced with two echnologically outdated andmachine tool stock; and, an organizational


structure, both of machinery production and repair, thatignificant proportion of the machine tool inventory to nonproductive orproductive use. Tho strategy adopted to deal with these problemsreplacing older machine tools with newer ones and increasing the uso of NC machinesisartial solution, at best. What is neededundamantalof the way macliinery production isin order to maximize the benefits of both NC machines and basic machine tools. Also, machine tool output should be restructured to increase the supply of specialized, especially automated, machine tools; to reduce the output of standard, general-purposend to improve the precision and durability of all machine tools. Growth of NC Machine Tool Production

38. NC machine tools for the civilian economy havo been under development in the USSR since theew institutes and plants in the machine toolntilesearch

5^ Principally, by the Experimental ScientificInstitute of Metalcutting Machine Tools (ENIMS), the Leningrad Machine Tool Plant imeni Sverdlov, the Odessa Milling Machine Tool Plant imeni Kirov, the Moscow Ordzhonikidze Machine Plant, and the Gor'kiy Milling Machine Plant.




and development was phlegmatic and slow-paced. appeared to lack centralized direction and strong government backing. According to official data, the USSR produced lessC machine toolsostly conventional machines with plugboard control (seend


"A NA.





: nA>


W kA



USSR and US: Produclion of Numerical Control Machine Tools




There is some evidence that planners, for many years, did not fully appreciate the usefulness of NC machines in the production of standardized


machine tools have also beenin the aviation industry, probablyin industries producing aerospace andequipment. Two major aviation institutes are known to have had longstandingprograms. Regional aviationUfa, Kazan', and Smolensk are also believeddeveloping NC machines. The types of NCdeveloped in aviation institutes are Furthermore, it is not known whetherdevelopment by the aviation industry areless advanced than those in the machine

8 the USSR belatedly recognized

the need for NC machino tools and officially

ajor new program to accelerate develop-

TtT. However, one Soviet study, in the

showed that about one-third of all machinery output

was in batchesnits or less, an ideal batch

size for the application of NC technology.

11. The Scientific Research Institute of Aviation

Technology and the Moscow Aviation Technology



merit and production. Output was to be increased substantiallynd the groundwork laid for greatly increased output. The relatively low state of NC technology and the slow pace of progress in setting up production were given as reasons for the new program. Desire to catch up with US and Western advances in NCand pressures from the Soviet aerospace industry also may have been important factorsthe government's decision to expand.

41. Responsibility for design and production of electronic control units was vested in the instrument manufacturing industry, and for the development and production of machine tools proper both in the machine tool industry and in the aviationhe State Committee for Science and Technology was given some undefined responsibility for the planning of future NC applications.

12. No division of responsibilities between the

machine tool industry and the aviation industry

12. The announcementajor new NC development role for the aviation industry is the first official recognition that this industry has been engaged in development and production of NC machine tools.




was specified, and no agency was designated to carry out interministerial coordination ofand production activities. Hence, it may bo assumed that two parallel, and independent, NC development and production programs have been put into force; one to produce NC machine tools for use in tho civil machinery sector; the other toNC machines for aerospace and military

43. Since the new program was announcedroduction of NC machine tools in the USSR has accelerated rapidly. According to official Soviet data, C unitsroducednof more%9 and almost nine times the number produced utput amountednits, an increase ofbove thatnd output in the USSR for the first time exceeded that of the Unitedomparison of Soviet and US production of NC machine toolss shown in Table 3.

TT. Soviet output was still below peakC units in Hence, US NC manufacturing capacity1 was still larger than that of the USSR.




44. ajority of tho NC machine tools produced in the USSR are manufactured by the machine tool industry. Data on output of NC machine tools by this industry are available for the5 (plan), 5 the machine tool industry producedutotal ofnits;ut; and5 is scheduled tonits out. The residual output originates in plants and institutes of the aviation industry and is intended for use in the production of aerospace and military hardware (seend However, it is possible

libit 4

USSR: EriUnalcd Production oi Numerical Machine Took for Cmllaji and

0 [ 2 3 4 Pt"

Tot- 6

MOO MM 4 2 5

I ita MttBto- of lhe Machine Tool

iotfuced I, tbe Miniitrjon

that some NC machines from tho machine tool industry are also used in military production.

45. Data inndicate that output of NC machines for aerospace and military production



USSR: Production of Numerical Control Machine Tools for Civilian and Aerospaco/MiMary Industries


shows that the

share of NC machine

tools for aerospace

and military production

will stay at about one-

third of total produc-

. However, this share may be substantially greater than is implied by the unit output data if measured in terms of the relative commitment of skilled manpower and technicalbecause types of NC machines needed for aerospace applications are generally more complex than for civilian uses and have more exacting specifications for precision, versatility, and reliability.

46. Comparison of Soviet and US output on the basis of official soviet data is difficult and oven misleading becauso of striking differences in the composition of output. Although no official breakdown of unit production by type is available

COM-IJfi-.N'l IAI.


for the USSR, it is believed, on tho basis of*oata on model types and other information, that most of the NC machines produced to date are point-to-point types, many equipped with plugboard type controls. Some relatively simple contouring machines have been produced, but no machining centers are yet in quantity production.

In tho United States, highly productive, technically advanced types of NC machine tools dominate the product mix. 2 most of the NC machine tools produced were contouring. Plugboard NC machines amounted to slightly more thanf total NC production. . of output consisted of machining centers.

Nearly all Soviet NC systems consist of conventional machine tools that have been modified to accept NC controls, unlike current US practice in which machine tools are designed specifically for use with NC equipment. Such integratedgenerally afford considerably increasedreliability, and durability overmachines modified for use with NC components.

T*n 1 tho USSR producedifferent models of NC machines. About four-fifths were point-to-point types; nearly one-half of these utilizecontrol. Ten models were contouring typos.



machine tools perform adequately ihwhere the work load is light and highis not needed but may behan adequate under conditions of heavy or multiaxis machining applications. The Soviets may be forced to modify existing machine tools for use with NC equipment in order to save on extensive engineering design lead-times, to avoid complicated industrial problems of changeover to new model production, toimited design capability, and to achieve more rapid increases in output of NC equipment than mightbe possible.

Problems in Soviet NC Machine Tool Development

49. Soviet NC technologyoears behind that of the Unitud states. Progress has been retarded by backwardness in electronics and data processing technology, shortages of high-quality electronic components and computer hardware, and by tho lack of adequately trained engineers, designers, and technicians, in very recent years, shortages of skilled manpower for the development of NC equipment may have been aggravated by cora-




petition for computer designers and similar,from tlie Soviet computer industry."*

50. The USSR has lagged behind the United States most notably in the development of NC contouring machines and machining centers. ew contouring machines have been built and are in operation in civilian industry but for the most part are limitedxis simultaneous control. Accordingery recent source, users of contouring machines in the USSR are usingndomputers to generate NC contouring programs. The limited memory capacity of these computers makes it likely that available programming for contouring is limited to relatively simple type programshe same source indicated that the reliability of existing Soviet NC contouring machine tools is low. One prototypexis contouring (milling) machine, reportedly builtas seen by US

Skills needed to develop electronic numerical control units are similar to those needed to develop computers generally. Tho program to accelerateof NC machine tools coincides roughly, in time,ajor program to modernize computer production in the USSR.

Generally, at0K) addressable units of memory are needed to writer more axes. The first-generation (vacuum tube) K memory and the second-generation transistorizedith anemory fall far short of this requirement.



tool experts1 at BNIMS, the main scientific development center for machine tools. In the United States, most contouring machines

that have been built are capable of machining in

3 axes simultaneously, and many are controllablexes."

ix prototype machiningmagazines holding fromuttingexhibited in the USSR. However, onlyorizontal milling machine) reportedlyof contouringxes simultaneously.

The others exployedxis point-to-point control. In the United States, mostcenters operater more axes withcapability.

USSR has not yet developed acomputer program for use in generatingNC routines. tandardized few plants would be able to usecontouring machines even if theyavailable. Users would be forced toown computer programs which, typically, re-

TT. These typos are used almost exclusively in the production of aerospace and military-related (particularly jot engine and airframe.



quires several man-years of development effort- In the United States, several standardized programs have been developed for use with WC equipment and can be applied to most of the common businessin use. The Soviets have shown intense interest in purchasing in the US one such program.


NC units in the USSR often do not meet the needs of machine tool makers. Complaints in the Soviet press reveal that many NC production are obsolete and that newer types of controllers intended for machines already inare not being produced. Frequently, NC controllers are defective and the services of the manufacturers to correct defects are unavailable.ery recent case, not one ofC controllers orderedachine tool manufacturer from the Smolensk plant worked on delivery, and no technical assistance from the manufacturer could be obtained. Moreover, plants of the instrument industry are not meeting planned delivery schedules, and some

Automatically Programmed Tool, the mostpowerful, and comprehensive NC programming system available. Originally developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it is now undergoing further development at the Illinois Institute of Technology.


machine tool manufacturers arc making their own control units-

In addition, Soviet controllers suffer from numerous design and qualitative shortcomings. These include: poor resistance to plant environment (heat, dust, noise, ormproperto the requirements of the machine tools to which they are mated, shoddy workmanship, and poor quality of component parts, particularly electronic devices, electrical starting and regulating and tape drive mechanisms. The poor quality of Soviet controllers persists because of lack of customer sanctions against producers and disinterest by the plants of the instrument industry which, very largely, are producing controllers onlyideline.

In the United States, electronic controllers are built with integrated circuits. This greatly reduces size while improving reliability of the electronic portion of NC systems, sovietrollers generally employ less advanced solid state circuitry based on transistors and semiconductor diodes. In the United States, controllers userack punched tape inputs. In the USSR,




5-track punched tape is used, although across-the-board conversionrack punched tape isunder way. Eight-track tape is more flexible, particularly for programming multiaxis machining, because it permits more auxiliary machine operations to bo encoded.

USSR is attempting to acceleratein advanced NC machine tooL technology. research and development activity is under


way at ENIMS, at several machine tool plants, and in institutes and plants of the Ministry of the Aviation Industry. In addition to prototypes of advanced multiaxis contouring machines andcenters that have boon built, the Soviets are working to develop even more advanced systems such as adaptive control and DNC.20 One adaptive control system reportedly has been built in prototype.

Soviets have demonstrated good progress

in DNC, at least in the laboratory. At the Moscow

achine tool show in the

USSRrototype DNC system called a

"link line" thatixture of NC machine

tools, including contouring machines and machining

15^ Notably, Gor'kiy, rv.inovoK, Leningrad (Sverdlov) ,

and Odessa.

20. See paragraph

complex. Automatic parte handling devices transfer the workpiece through sequentialentral computer controls tho entire machining process. The USSR may intend to use link lines for the production of spare parts in an expanding network of regional repair centers in the machinery sector.21 One such DNC system is in use in the United States, and others are slated to be produced.

Western Technical AssistanceKey to Five-Year Program

58. 8 tho USSR has gained access to

Western NC technology through technical exchange

and cooperation agreements witii Western countries

and Japan. Since the United Kingdom first agreed

to exchangeinformation" with the USSR

in NC technologyhe scale and scope of

contractual arrangements have steadily widened. In

lcatel of France contracted to manufacture

21. Centralized repair and spare parts production for mutalworking machinery is being organized in the USSR under the All-Union Association for Machine Tool Repair (Soyuzstankorenont) which is subordinate to the Ministry of the Machine Tool Industry. The Association currently operates nine specializedand spare parts facilities and plans to add five more during the 9th Five-Year Plan. As yet, they account formall fraction of repair



controllers for the USSR. At least some

of tnese are to be mated with machine toolsuced by the Leningrad Sverdlov plant and marketed in France and elsewhere in western Europe. The

Ryazan machine tool plant also, reportedly, is "

manufacturing NC machine tools using Alcatelprobably for the domestic Soviet market. aab-Scania of Sweden and Siemens of West Germany entered into similar arrangements for supplying the USSR with electronic controllers to be mated with Soviet machine tools and marketed in Sweden and West Germany, respectively.

59. apanew dimension to foreign technical assistance to the USSR in the field of NC technology. Fujitsu Ltd. contracted to supply the USSR with production know-how for its FANUC series of electronic controllersnd associated hardware (pulse motors). Similarly, discussions are under way with Olivetti of Italy for the purchase of manufacturing know-how for Olivetti controllers.

TTi Three diTforent models: the most advanced model is capable ofxis contouring with twocontrolled axes.

60. The extent of Western sales of complete NC systems to the USSR is not known. Reportedly, NC machines have been purchased from Sweden, the United Kingdom, West Germany, and Japan.

61. The USSR is actively testing and evaluating

Swedish and Japanese NC machines and theirat ENIMS. It has been reported that Fjuitsu may supply ENIMS with an advanced DNC In addition, the USSR is keenly interested in advanced US NC machine tools, especially multi-axis machining centers. Recently, the USSR has negotiatedarge US machine tool producer to purchase thrco advanced multiaxis machining centers valued at nearly S2 million to be installed at ENIMS.

62. The intonsive Soviet effort to purchaseNC machines for ENIMS may indicate that foreign systems are undergoingrelude to future Soviet purchases. certainly, it means also that foreign NC design technology is being extracted by the Soviets. This approach could save the USSR many costly roan-years of engineering development effort.

3 3


63- The USSR is also taking advantage of gains

made byermany in NC technology. Eastrhas the most advanced NC capability in Eastern Europe and is serially producing NC machine tools, although most are believed to be point-to-point types, in addition, some machining centers also are being produced,NC system has been developed. East Germany soldC machine tools to the Soviets1 and planned to East Germany hasachine tool center at the Krasny Proletariat Machine Tool Plant in Moscow to familiarize the Soviets with the operation of East German NC machine tools and to train Soviet technicians in NC programming and maintenance. Plans and Prospects

64. 1 the USSR already had become the world's largest producer of NC machine tools. f planned goals are realized, the USSR also may have the world's largest capacity to produce NC machines, by number if not by value. The USSR plans to increase output at an average annual rate of aboutaor the five yearsimplying an outputachines Prob-


ably US output in that year will notnits. Output in the USSR increasednd is planned to jump an. An average annual rate ofs needed to fulfill planned output goals.

Despite the high growth rate implied, the USSR probably will meet5 unit output goals for NC machine tools. High growth rates are possible because of the Soviet practice of mating NC control units to conventional models of machine tools that are already sorially Furthermore, acquisition of Western-made NC controllers through present arrangements with firms in Western Europe and Japan will facilitate growth in unit output.

Technical improvement in the quality andof NC controllers is planned, includingfrom transistorized circuitry to integrated circuitshiftoverrack punched tape for most models beginning. The resolution of controllers and the machining accuracy of NC machine tools also are to be raised. The Tomsk Mathematical Machine Plant is topecial-



producer of controllersthe largest -in the

USSR. Nevertheless, Soviet machines are likely to remain qualitatively inferior to US and western

ably will not incorporate modern design based on integrated circuits, although Soviet NC machine tools that use Western-made controllers will be based on integrated circuit designs.

67. Product mix is to be expandedo include moreodels, including

several different models of machining centers.

Eleven models of NC machines are to be serially

produced under conditions of "flow line mass However, the technological composition of Soviet output is unlikely to match that of the United States or Western Europe. Most models in production will be point-to-point or simpletypes. C machines, more5 planned output, will be NC lathes,highly standardized types that are easiest to produce. Multiaxis (three or more axes)NC machine tools and machining centers probably will continue to exist mostly as prototypes.

Cumulative output of NChould total0 units, aboutf the planned output of conventional metalcutting machine tools. The economic effect of these machines will depend on how they are used and in which applications. As with computers, their potential may far outweigh actual performance in the Soviet environment. In aerospace and civilian production involving runsnits more or less, NC machines can be helpful. If, as is currently the case with many conventional machine tools (andhey are used only part time, as in repair, their potential will be wasted. The effect of NC machines ought to be more significant in theeriod, as the quality and capabilities of Soviet NC machines improve.

Original document.

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