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Thread: Windows based CNC controls

  1. #1
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    Default Windows based CNC controls

    What are peoples thoughts on Windows based controls as far as generality between them for different builders. I have not worked with them but a few times. How are they as far as viewing the common things in troubleshooting such as Current servo error, alarm diagnosing, Servo loads, I/O lookup, Ladder viewing ect.

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    What do you mean by windows based ? I've worked on many machines CNC and others that run software on Windows CE running in the background.

    I did a job on a makino cnc station that used a GE Fanuc control on windows ce that was great.

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    Sorry let me explain a little more. I am looking at specifically a windows based control such as many typically seen on a lot of working CNC's. Not necessarily just a layer over the top of a main base such as a fanuc where you would go to change all parameters, read diagnostics, ladder etc. I'm not sure maybe I am asking to generic of a question. I have had problems trying to find some of these things on the controls. So I am trying to find out the similarities and where to find information for troubleshooint if this is somewhat the same over different builders.

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    Petro,

    Are you referring to MachMotion, Camsoft, and other controls of that sort?
    Cody Stamper



    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of cnc-professional-forum.com and its management)

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    Yes exactly. I worked on a bridgeport CNC with a windows controller, a Fidia, and a milltronics in the last 6 months. Granted I was able to fix there machines very quickly, but finding any data or diagnostics was not exactly something I or anyone else in the plant new how to do. So here is my questions.
    Typically can you access these diagnostics and if so are they in a typical location.
    1. Ladder
    2. Servo diagnostics such as load meter, servo error, Keep relay (fanuc) like settings.
    3. Parameter area and descriptions
    4. Gridshift like Zero setting functions and 2nd reference parameters.

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    I've downloaded a copy of Mach3, and it looks pretty unimpressive. No logic that I can find. Looks like a lot of the higher level stuff has to be done in Visual Basic. I was looking at retrofitting a manual lathe with Mach, and now I don't think I'm going to waste my time. It's not that much more for a Siemens 802 retro.
    Cody Stamper



    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of cnc-professional-forum.com and its management)

  7. #7
    philserveng Guest

    Default

    I think you are mis-informed, most CNC controls on the market today are windows based.

    i.e; Siemens 840D, Fanuc 31i, Meldas, Fidia, Heidenhain for example.

    The difference comes in the hardware configuration, Fidia runs a mask directly on top of windows and is difficult to fault find unless you are trained on the diagnostic features of the control. Even the simplest of tasks can be a bear to find.

    The bigger controls companies mentioned above, try to keep faith with the tried and tested "ladder" or "PLC" diagnostics and have developed the windows based system to mimic their earlier stuff. As a result, most people familiar with the earlier controls will be able to troubleshoot these later "windows" based ones.

    (Heidenhain, until recently ran their control on their own version of DOS !!).

    Training is the key to all these controls, without it you have a black box with inputs and outputs attached.

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    phil,

    If you read post 2 and 3 you will see that we're not talking about control overlays.

    Mach and Camsoft software run off of a "true" PC where the PC becomes the PLC. Their claim is that I can buy any off the shelf PC and install their software and control my machine. Whereas that is totally impossible with the upper level Siemens/Fanuc overlays.

    Not to start an argument, but the 31i along with the 16i/18i/21i/30i/32i controls are NOT windows based. Only the 160i/180i/210i/300i/310i/320i are a true Windows based control with a hard drive. Then there are the 300is/310is/320is machines that are still open source and Windows based, but they do not have a hard drive.
    Cody Stamper



    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of cnc-professional-forum.com and its management)

  9. #9
    philserveng Guest

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    You are correct, I did not read the posts in detail.

    I agree 100% with you that it would be impossible to run any of the higher end NC controls with an off the shelf PC loaded with 3rd party software, either windows or pc based.

    I work for a Swiss-German machine builder and they now offer Fanuc 31i as an alternative to the Siemens 840D control. The 840D was NT and is now XP based, I naturally assumed the Fanuc 31i was/is similarly equipped......sorry if I was mistaken.

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    No harm.
    The 31i is definately equipped similar to the 840D minus the windows overlay. Although the more I'm around the 840 the more I like it. I'm not a fan of the way the logic gets structured or the fact that on the earlier machines I had to have a copy of Step7 to communicate, but the NC functions were/are ahead of their time.
    Cody Stamper



    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of cnc-professional-forum.com and its management)

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    Default Re: Windows based CNC controls

    Hi

    I tried mach3 and I installed it in a conventional lathe.
    Changed the lead screws to ball screws. Used 8Nm servo motors with AC drives (Delta). Fixed a 4 station turret.
    For spindle i used a VFD(Delta). Put a new coolant system. Hand held MPG installed. Retained the manual chuck and the tail stock.
    Its Working fine.
    Now I purchased camsoft with galil motion controller card. The software costs 2300$. The motion controller card kit costs 800$. I have ordered it for a studer cylindrical grinder. Will use it with century star drives and motors. Can post result in 10 days time. Hope it will work fine.

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    Default Re: Windows based CNC controls

    Cody I've just signed up and don't know my way around as yet, I'm looking for information on troubleshooting
    a Onsrud 72C10 wood router with English made AMC-4 controller. A good friend of mine owns it and is pulling his hair out trying to find the information needed to get it operating properly apparently it will run away to the stops. The manual he has doesn't cover troubleshooting well. Can you help me or point me and him thru me to the best place to fix his problem. He makes rifle stocks and hasn't been able to work for weeks now and is going to panic mode. Onsrud doesn't have manuals available on their site to purchase or download. I've checked.
    Thanks,
    Gabby

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    Default Re: Windows based CNC controls

    That is a one of a kind machine I am sure. Anytime someone says router and CNC together usually had very few sold. I have never even heard of a AMC-4 controller. I am guessing it has a windows front end and some drives. If this is the case. Troubleshooting and setup procedures are often complicated. Hopefully someone else may have the same control to fill you in on this.

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    Default Re: Windows based CNC controls

    Petro,
    Thank you I have passed your response along to him.
    I can only hope someone will have a fix for him,
    I haven't heard from him for a while and he's probably
    working hard to get it up and running because
    without it he has no income!
    Gabby

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    Default Re: Windows based CNC controls

    HI
    my machine brought up some errors that are giving me a hard time to reset.
    the errors are as follows....
    PROTECTIVE DOOR OPEN
    X AXIS AT LIMIT SWITCH
    Y AXIS AT LIMIT SWITCH
    Z AXIS AT LIMIT SWITCH

    I have positioned the axes within limit and closed all the protective doors but the error is still there.
    please assist.
    the machine is an SCM PRATIKA 310M
    many thanks.

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