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New MHP mill project
« on: September 26, 2010, 02:40:44 PM »
Hi all-

I am in need of advice about my MHP mill I purchased. It uses the Hydropath III controller. When I got it home and connected the power and the air, the machine came to life fairly easy. I was worried because it had a rough ride on my trailer for 100 miles or so.

After playing with it for a few days and finally figuring out most of the buttons, and learning how to do a tool change something changed. I started to get following errors on the x axis. I have a complete set of manuals for the machine, but there is not a lot of information about the “Following Error”. If I jog the machine really easy, then I can make the x axis move, but any faster and it faults out. During the few days playing with it, I cut a 2 inch hole in ½ plate, and by using calipers it is 2 inches. There no bumps in the cut when the axis changes direction. I did not have a chance to do any more tests on run out or backlash before the problems started.

Here is what I know about the machine-- It has a 10 HP spindle, with a pneumatic hi/low changing gearbox (50 to 5000 RPM). It has a 22 tool changer that uses BT 40 collets. It has an automatic oiler. It has a Toshiba variable frequency drive, it has some way to control the location of the spindle orientation because the spindle stops at the same position every time. The servos are 94 volts DC ( I think) and use resolvers. The z axis also has a brake on the axis.

I started to do some simples troubleshooting on the x axis tonight, and here is what I found. With the servo disconnected from the ball screw, the servo is still getting errors, and is also jerky. The ball screw appears to be in good shape, and the ways are in great shape. They are boxed ways if that matters.

I am planning on swapping the x and y servo driver just to see if the following errors follow the drive.

Now for the questions---

Should I continue trying to fix the x axis, or plan on starting swapping the electronics out and re building the mill?

I have successfully built a 6 x 12 cnc flame table, and the hardest part for me was figuring out what electronics to use. After swapping parts and have problems, I ended up using granite devices servo drives, US digital encoders, the BOB from candcnc. I also tried the smoothstepper (which I still have) and the c23 BOB (still have this too) from cnc4pc. Power supplies from Jon at Antek.

So what should I buy? I have been reading up about Ajax, and the DSPMC controllers. I would like to stay with the granite devices servo drive. The only reason is that I can order 1 extra drive and use it on either machine. I would also like to use and industrial PLC. I work with AB, Mitsubishi, Fanuc, Motoman, Toyopuc (Toyoda) and a few others at my day job, so I am very familiar with PLC controllers and the Ladder Logic.

I am planning on spending between 2000-3000, to get it running.

Any and all suggestions are welcome.


Offline Hood

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Re: New MHP mill project
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2010, 05:59:03 PM »
If your going to get a PLC get one with Modbus and then interfacing with Mach is a breeze. Most here use the DL06 PLCs form Automation Direct, mainly I would imagine because they are reasonably priced as far as PLCs go.

Re: New MHP mill project
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2010, 01:02:49 PM »
Here is an update-

The servo driver is an Industrial Drive #sbfp1/2222-48-13000

The servo motor has an encoder on it not a tack.  The name on the encoder is Danaher Contoles


Offline BR549

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Re: New MHP mill project
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2010, 09:31:53 PM »
IF I had a full function Machine center with toolchanger running I would look into the servo problem first. It may be a simple loose wire or bad encoder.

Just a thought,(;-) TP

Re: New MHP mill project
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2010, 09:45:29 AM »

I am planning on trying to figure out what is wrong with the current setup, but if i have to start changing out parts, I am going to have to decide on which is best/cheaper/easier.

I will let you know what I figure out.

Re: New MHP mill project
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2010, 12:57:14 PM »
I found out that both the x and y axis used the same model number drives.  So I "Should" be able to swap these and see if the following error follows the drive or stays with the motor.

The servo drive is


New MHP mill project
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2011, 10:19:34 PM »

Disaster has struck!   I ordered some new solenoid valves to replace the leaking ones.  So for about a month I have been waiting on eBay to find the correct valves, then waiting on the valves to ship.

Fast forward to last week.   I decided to make sure the mill was running before I added the valves.   I figured this  would help in the troubleshooting when something went wrong.   Powered the mill up and "svrpgm" fault.   I called frank at visimetrics for help, and he suggested to try to power the mill with the e-stop pressed in.  And before I knew it, the mill was running.    I had to install the configuration settings again, but the mill was running!!

Decided to call it quits for the night.   Powered the mill up  the next day and the "prgsvr" is back.    it looks like it is here to stay.   I called visimetrics again and frank suggested I change out some boards with some spares I had.    Still no luck:(

Anyway I a m to call frank tomorrow, and hopefully he will have a few tricks up his sleeve.