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Messages - kf2qd

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General Mach Discussion / Re: PLC With Analog Input
« on: November 29, 2010, 11:50:08 AM »
You should be able to control the THC with just the PLC. Yiou would need some communication between MACH and the THC so it would know when initial heaght has been set. Initial height can be set with just a timer, go down until the switch contact opens, raise for some amount of time, stop motion and tell MACH that the torch is in position. Another timer can be used to raise the torch when the THC run is turned off by MACH. The PLC will work for a THC with just about any type of motor - yiou could use a reversable AC motor, or a DC motor - you would have to use relays to control either - Pheonix contact made some small din rail mounted relay modules that worked real well. If you have 2 analog inputs you could use a potentiometer to set your arc voltage.

I have used an Omron CP1-H PLC to control a THC using stepper motors and it worked well. A stepper interface might work with the DL06, but there is a problem with most PLC's that they don't like the step commands changed while in a move. The Omron PLC has a nice workaround and lets the motion commands be changed on the fly.

Analog output could be used but unless you can program a proper deadband in the motor drive you will have to deal with creep in the THC when it should be sitting stationary.

I would think that it would be easier to treat the THC as a seperate component and not try to control the height with MACH because the  height doesn't have a good number as it is relative to what is happenenig between the torch and the plate.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Let's talk about brushless drives!
« on: November 22, 2010, 02:34:27 PM »
I have used Yaskawa/Omron branded drives and Mitsubishi Brand. Yaskawa and Omron are the same product, though Omron has a version that is Step/Direction Only.

The Omron drives were super easy to use if you used the default settings - 2000 steps per rev of the motor shaft - and had the added benefit that they have a switch dedicated to self tuning - don't have to change parameters to configure the tuning parameters. (had one setup with a large timing belt pulley that wanted to oscilate - flicked the switch and joged the axis a couple times and tuning was complete. Up to 800 watts will run on 220 Single Phase.

The Mitsubishi drives were similar, 1000 steps per rev. 

I liked the connectors on the Yaskawa/Omron drives better than I did the conections on the Mitsubishi motors. You will need to order cables as they come cut to length and terminated.

Seems like prices were in the $1200.00 and up range.

Might also look at Automation Direct though I have no experience withtheir product.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Plasma Table
« on: November 11, 2010, 02:16:00 PM »
I used to build Plasma/Oxy-fuel gantries and a rigid gantry to end truck will probably stay much more square as compared to an articulated one. The other factor to consider is that the more rigid your machine is, the better results you will have. Start out by making sure the machine is as square as possible when you assemble it and then the squaring routine will have as little work to do as possible. You don't want teh squaring routine to be trying to compensate for poor construction/assembly.

Brushless servos - Yaskawa, Mitsubishi, Automation Direct and others make some really nice brushless servos with a stepper interface. Lots of speed, lots of torque and not a lot of heat. Price is a bit higher, but that is always the tradeoff- performance has its price.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Aerotech motion systems
« on: November 09, 2010, 10:47:17 AM »
The Aerotech U500 is the motion control system. It has the same function as Mach3. What are the interface specs for the drives? do they have an option for steop & direction inputs? In its most general form Mach uses a parallel(printer) port to interface with drives having step/direction inputs. This was originally configured to work with Stepper motors/drives. Over time various manufacturers have developed various servo drives witrh step/direction inputs which offer higher performance/speeds than do stepper motors. There are a couple vendors offerring other interface hardware that works with mach to use analog servos, but that adds to the expense and complexity.

Does your aerotech hardware work? Do you have a computer you can install the cards in and have them function? I believe that the Aerotech hardweare will do all the motion control stuff you might want to do, you may have to come up with a user interface (which would mean some programming).

What are yopu wanting to do with CNC? What hardware do you plan on mounting it on?

Sieg Machines / Here's how I home my machine.
« on: November 01, 2010, 02:53:42 PM »
Here's a Manual Homing sequence that works and is repeatable.

First - Jog all axis near (less than 1 ") the "Home" position. Tap the <TAB> key to bring up the Jog Pendant, change Jog Mode to Step and distance to 1".
Select an unused offset, On the offset screen type in 239 for the offset and make sure all values are 0 (zero)
I start with the Z axis - I now hit the Jog Z Up  key and wait for the Z axis to hit the limit switch and stop moving and the E-Stop is flashing. Reset teh E-Stop. on the MDI Screen type G92 Z0 and the DRO for Z will read 0.0000. Now zog the Z axis away from the limit and wait for it to finish moving 1".
Now repeat for each of the other axis.

I do this on a KX3 and have very repeatable results.

Sieg Machines / Re: Welcome to the Sieg Machines forum
« on: November 01, 2010, 02:45:22 PM »
the mill drives the z axis to the home switch the mill stops movement but the Z axis keeps increasing.

What is sounds like is this - the limit also cionnects to the Axis Drive. The axis Drive is stopping because you hit the limit, but Mach is no longer seeing this as a limit so Mach keeps putting out pulses because it thinks things are still moving.

Milling/routing woul;d still use M03/M04/M05, and laser control would require one of the other M code series - others have mentioned an output controlled by M10/M11. You may also need some signal that Mach can use to sense that the laser is ready, but for engraving that is probably not necesary.

for example -
 to route/mill -

G54 (route spindle offset)
M03 (spindle on forward)
profile code here
M05 (Spindle stop)

Move to some "safe location"

M10 (laser on)
code for engraving here
M11 (laser Off)

 Repeat these block as neceasary for the part you are making.

Machine offsets would work well for this - G54 for the router spindel, and G55 for the laser offset. (and other combinations, depending on whether you have more than 1fixture location on the machine.

You would just have to have sufficient clearence for the other tool to get out of the way when using the offsets.

You are looking for a couple air solenoids.

Sources will depend on where you are located. There are a number of comanies who make/sell them and it also depends on what part of the world you are in.

You have 2 options - you can mechanically tie the 2 slides together (the simplest approach as it is easier to control the offset between the to tools if you are running both tools in the same program. Or you can select the slave axis under config and each axis can have its own motor. This is more typically used on a ganrty type machine to keep the 2 ends running together.

If you will never run the 2 tools in the same program you could have 2 configurations that use different pins for the Y axis and one config uses the router carriage and the other config uses the laser config.

All depends on how you want to use the machine.

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