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Topics - engineeringpunk

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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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