NC Programming


The Rock Island Arsenal NC Programming office generates, proves out, and maintains over 10,000 programs for all of RIA-JMTC factory’s CNC production machinery. These machines range from small etching machines to large seven-axis machine tools, and include small chucker lathes to very complex turn/mill machines that can machine parts using milling as well as turning and has the capability to transfer the part from one spindle to another allowing them to create finish parts from rough stock in one operation. The NC Programming department has worked on projects such as the M119, M45, and M198 Howitzers, gages for the tool room, armor doors and gunner protection kits, as well as spare parts for guns that are still in service. They have also been called upon to create N/C Program’s for critical parts for the government bridge and also lock and dams along the Mississippi River. N/C Programmer’s use Unigraphics CAD/CAM system. This allows them to import the part models that the engineering department creates, import holding fixtures that the Tool Design department creates, visualize the images in 3-D, and use them to generate the NC program. It also allows them to use a simulation package to verify that they have the correct tool paths without gouges, undercuts, or scrapping of parts. After the tool paths are complete and verified, the program then gets Posted through one of over 40 Post-processors that they also maintain. The Post-Processor converts the code from the CAD/CAM system to a specific machine tool. The finished program, along with set-up instructions and a full list of tooling then gets downloaded to a Direct Numerical Control (DNC) System for the machinist out in the shop to retrieve.

Tool Sketches

  • Manage and create Unigraphics (CAD/CAM) drawings of over 8000 Tool Sketches
  • Detailed Bill of Material for Tool Sketches
  • Preliminary Design of Special Tooling

Create a CNC Programming Package

  • Fixtures or Open Set-Ups
  • Creation of Cutter Paths for Approximately 200 CNC Machining Centers
  • 3-D Verification of Cutter Paths
  • Process Cutter Paths Using one of over 40 Postprocessors
  • Create Flat Patterns and Nesting of Parts for Lasers and Waterjets

Provide Instructions and Troubleshoot CNC Programs

  • Create Set-Up Drawings
  • Update CNC Programs for Revisions
  • Written Description of what CNC Program is doing
  • Verify that CNC Program is Producing Accurate Part