EVALUATION OF RETROFIT APPLICATIONS OF NUMERICAL CONTROLS.
STANFORD RESEARCH INST MENLO PARK CALIF
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The retrofit conversion not only means an upgrad ing and rehabilitation of certain machine tools, but also implies a pervasive change in the manu facturing system in which they are used. The addition of numerical controls provides these machines with a greatly increased capability for complex three-dimensional sculpture-machining work. Their ability to hold closer tolerances and produce more consistent results was increased by a factor of about two, and their productivity was also increased more than twofold at the same time. Additionally, three of the four machines had their work-size capacity increased appreci ably, and two machines were radically changed as to their basic type classification-from horizon tal milling machines to profilers. Two of the retrofit machines are unqualified successes as re gards their performance, but the cost savings do not appear to be as great as had been expected. The other two machines have greater cost savings possibilities but still have operating difficul ties, which may or may not be corrected. Author