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Messages - engineeringpunk

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i think if you saw these axis drives up close you would understand why i wanna replace them. they are notoriously unreliable. very expensive to replace. the one that i pulled out had replaced resistors on it from some prior repair job. I like the SEM motors, but i think i want rid of these drives. I'll keep the big DC power supply for the motors. as far as i know it works ok, and i'm not sure where to find a high voltage, high amperage DC power supply. I'd rather buy my whole new control knowing that all the pieces will mesh well and retune the motors than base my whole control off of the fact that i have analog motor drives from 1991 that are going to be near impossible to replace if one goes for good. If i put in Rutex drives, and one breaks, a replacement, even if it isnt a rutex, wont be difficult to locate. If my logic is crappy here, please tell me.

OK, here goes pictures and then I will explain all i learned today.

here's pics of the 2 machines from the front. They're identical. I think the serial numbers are even close.

Now each machine has 2 control cabinets, one on each side of the machine. Here's one side. It houses the spindle drive, some contactors and relays, and a big honkin ass transformer. Then there's a closeup of the spindle drive. I have the manual on it. I actually had to call 3 different companies and make my way up to "level 3" tech support before someone could help me. The level 1 guy didnt even try and the level two guy tried a little but then admitted he had no idea about the product i was trying to get info on.

Here's the other side. It houses the actual control components, axis drives, DC power supply, a smaller transformer, and a buttload of wiring.

Here's a closeup of the axis drives. I actually took one out and got some info that was slikscreened onto it. i shouldve taken a pic when i had it out. It's made by Motion Science, Inc. of San Jose, CA. I think they have been absorbed into Cleveland Motion Controls who i plan to call tomorrow.

Here's a pic of one of the axis servos, the Z axis particularly. It has a tachometer and a 3 channel differential encoder. I will call SEM tomorrow as well to get some more info on it, since their website, http://www.sem.co.uk, sucks.

Lastly we got a pic of the inside of the machine looking up at the tool changer.

Now onto what i've learned today. I dont think gecko drives are gonna cut the mustard with these servos. I have, however, found Rutex R2020 drives, at only a little more $$ per pop to be a little more beefy. 200V at 40A beefy. So i think i'm gonna buy 3 of those guys. I still don't know whether or not i wanna do mach3 or flashcut. Flashcut looks more user friendly, but mach3 looks more versitile. I've downloaded mach 3 to start playing with it. That takes care of my axis drives.

I'd still like to use a G-rex g100 motion controller to deal with all my ins and outs, limits spindle speed and communication with the rutex drives. Anyone see a problem with this that i dont? It should have enough to deal with everything. tool changes, coolant, limits and homes, and the spindle. i hope.

Later on i will PDF my wiring diagrams and the manual to the Vector drive that i worked so hard to get and post them up here for all to check out. This is turning out to be very interesting.

I took a bunch of pictures today that i will put on when I get home tonight. I also have a call in to Gecko about whether or not their drives will adequetly power my servos. If i do end up having to keep my servo drives because it would be not cost effective to purchase new ones, i like the looks of those pixie boards. I also have a copy of the wiring diagram i will put in PDF format and post so you guys can check it out. I also got ahold of the users manual for the spindle drive that i can post in PDF format. It's a Control Techniques V400 Flux Vector AC Motor Control and Drive with a max capacity for 4kW motors. That means my spindle is likely 5HP, or maybe 5.5HP. Tomorrow morning i'm gonna take some of the paneling off to get a better look at the inner workings of the tool changer, the limit switches, and the spindle motor.

Ok now i'm somewhat more confused. If i'm completely off base tell me, but it shouldnt matter what kind of amperage i'm dealing with in my machine. As long as i have good servo drives and spindle drive, i can choose from a bunch of controllers. What prevents me from using the same hardware everyone else uses if i have the drives to run these servos and spindle? Also, could you clarify what you meant when you said S&D to analog cards?

What part of my plan makes me have to go to Galil? Is it the spindle/tool changer/coolant control?

Trying to get all my ducks in a row here i need to control this much stuff:
X-axis servo, encoder, and limit switches
Y-axis servo, encoder, and limit switches
Z-axis servo, encoder, and limit switches
Spindle on/off, direction, speed, and somehow orient
tool changer engage/disengage, and index
coolant on/off

This sound about right? So this would be 3-axis, and how many input/outputs, and digital or analog? or both?

Here's some pics i have of these machines from last year...when they still worked. My buddy kevin is making something on one of them. I'll get more and better pix tomorrow

Show"N"Tell ( Your Machines) / First Post, First Machine, LOTS of questions
« on: February 26, 2007, 10:29:39 PM »
OK everyone. My name's Zach and I'm a Manufacturing Engineering student at the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA. I have a decent electronics background as well. My school is about to throw away 2, count'em, 2 1992 Bridgeport Discovery 308 VMC's. They run the very awkward SX-16 control, made by Bridgeport. Mechanically, the machines are in decent shape. Electrically, well, they're broken. The controls are bad in both and parts aren't available. I have all but completely convinced the school to let me retrofit a control onto one of them as a project. I'm thinking very seriously about using Mach3 as my control software but am also looking at FlashCut. Any opinions on their software would be appreciated. Here go machine specs:

TRAVELS................................: 18" X, 12.5" Y & 16.1" Z
SPINDLE SPEEDS.........................: 60 to 6000 RPM
SPINDLE TAPER..........................: BT 30
FEED RATE RANGE X & Y AXIS.............: 1 to 472 IPM
FEED RATE RANGE Z AXIS.................: 1 to 295 IPM
SPINDLE DRIVE..........................: 5 or 7 HP (i'm not quite sure yet)

Tomorrow after my first class, I'll take some pics and throw em up here for you guys all to see. I've already done a little investigating on the servos. Here's what i got.
All three axis are SEM brand DC Brushed Servomotors MN:MT30U4-31
CStall Torque: 35lb/in 13.5A
Max Speed 4000rpm 125V 86A
Tacho 9.5V/1000rpm IP44 IC40
Made in January of 1992
I'm gonna call SEM tomorrow and get the manuals on them for the rest of the specs. They dont make the 31 model anymore, but they make a 26 and a 36 with specs up online.

I haven't got the lowdown on the spindle motor itself yet, but i do know this. Currently the spindle is controlled by a V400 Flux Vector AC Motor Control 4.0kW max which is made by either SECO, Danaher Motion, or Control Techniques. I'm not sure who owned who when it was made, but i'm gonna make calls tomorrow. I'm also gonna look into the types of encoders currently on the machine.

Now for my list of questions:
What kind of hardware am i looking at needing here?
Do I need to buy a PLC, if so i've used allen bradley and DIRECTLogic. Opinions?
Servo Drives? Can i use the ones already in there..as far as i know they work. Would Gecko Drives be sufficient? Any other recommendations?
I want to still be able to use the tool changer and flood coolant. What do i need to take into consideration? I have the wiring diagrams and currently there is a little PCB designated "Spindle orientation board" sitting right by the big AC motor drive. I assume i have to keep that?

After i do an initial cost report on this and present it to my school, i can start buying equipment and get this rolling. Any input you guys can give would be greatly appreciated.

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