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custom application
« on: October 11, 2010, 01:45:13 PM »
Hi, I was wondering if I could get some insight into a specific Mach3 application that is not controlling a milling machine or lathe.

The machine I have Mach3 loaded to is a automated stapling machine... it has a fixed staple head (from another machine) using a custom built and designed table (my work) I got asked to load the software and get this machine running correctly.

My steppers, proxy's, and controller were bought as a kit along with the software. I have 2 sliding tables (X,Y) on top of one another and my working head is fixed. The machine acts like a giant sewing machine. My path generation comes from my designs and I can edit on the fly in the software as needed.

I read the instruction manual, which I found to be a bit lacking and on top of that the guy who sold me the equipment is being a bit vague with his "support" because he will make extra $$ if he has to make a service call to sort me out.

I found it strange there would be no troubleshooting guide in the manual - or did I miss that section?

My main issue is my machine head is actuated with an air cylinder running off a solid state relay... I tried to activate it with M3 M5 code but it was extremely slow and did not fire (hooked up to a test light for safety reasons) I tried several variations and when I took the M codes out it fly's!

I was thinking about trying coolant ON/OFF to see if that works... if that does not work is my only other recourse writing a custom macro?

Again, I just hooked this stuff up and only have a few hours running it... mostly head scratching.

Thanks.

Offline Hood

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Re: custom application
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2010, 03:06:10 PM »
M11/M10 may work for you better. What happens is if you have M11P1 output 1 will switch on with very little delay and M10P1 will switch it off,.
However it will not actually switch on or off until you command a G0 or G1 move.
Hood

Re: custom application
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2010, 04:06:33 PM »
I will try those codes the next time I fire it up... I usually start with G90 G0 before moving to my first location, then I was using M3 M5.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Offline Hood

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Re: custom application
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2010, 04:26:50 PM »
Depending on how your machine actually works you may have to use a couple of dummy axis moves to switch it on and off, eg if you dont use a Z axis you could enable one and have a G0Z0 after the M11P1 and then maybe a G4P* if you need a pause then M10P1 and then another dummy Z move to switch it off.
Hood
Re: custom application
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2010, 05:10:46 PM »
Yes, I don't use Z axis - there are no Z call-outs in my paths at the moment... right now it is just trial and error.

Mostly I want to see if I can make it work without writing a macro if I can help it.

Thanks for the suggestions - I will implement ASAP and will let you know what works with this particular machine setup.

I can't work on it till later this week because the PC (used) fried the motherboard due to a power surge!

Cheers.
Re: custom application
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2010, 10:23:18 PM »
So I finally got to work on the machine again after building some parts for it - busy in the shops for a while... I fixed my PC issues and wrote some new programs. I wired in a 110V solenoid to my air cylinder and got it to fire with M3 and M5 but it is still very slow - about 2 seconds on the firing and it does not cycle with my machine head with splits out staples every 1/2 second.

The boards in the controller box are custom wired for one output which is functioning properly, it's just not fast enough... the staple head works on a flywheel/clutch assembly with is powered by a 1075RPM 110V motor - the flywheel engages every 90 degrees of rotation... the staple head is actuated by the air cylinder/solenoid which pulls on a rod attached to the clutch mechanism.

All the mechanics are working great except this delay in the code... the only other issue is getting the proximity switches set up correctly... the home works correct but the other end still touches the switches - I will probably be able to figure that out by playing with it a bit more.

I am not sure if the slow response thru the use of M codes will be resolved without writing a macro... we were also considering using some type of timer on the cylinder similar to what is on some drag racing shifting systems - they are able to control the switching in microseconds of an air cylinder - just a thought.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks, Alex.

Offline Hood

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Re: custom application
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2010, 02:55:06 AM »
2 seconds to fire? or are you meaning 2 seconds from start of fire to switch off again? Check you dont have any delays set for spindle on General config page.
Have you tried the M11/M10?
Hood
Re: custom application
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2010, 05:54:25 AM »
2 Seconds from start of fire to switch of again (M3 with M5 on next line) I will check for delays this morning. I did try M11/M10 but there was no function at all - just skipped right thru without registering any output (running from diagnostic window - stepping thru one line at a time) - maybe something in the way I wrote that code?
I will recheck this morning also.
Re: custom application
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2010, 09:08:54 AM »
I checked in General Config... I did not see an spindle delay - at least nothing jumped out at me as being wrong. I rechecked my G code path... nothing up with it. M11/M10 are not recognized... it just skips right over those commands. The only program that is currently running properly is with M3/M5 but as I said 4-5 times as slow as what I require.

A few questions:

1) On the diagnostics page there are some M/G code buttons - there is a page that comes up once they are selectted... are those the commands that the software recognizes or are they just for reference? because M11/M10 are not on that list...

2) On the diagnostics page Abs Max XYZ (far right on the page) - can this be reset somewhere to zero all those numbers as in the current position? I am trying to zero my machine head under the work piece and am having difficulties with the software thinking it needs to go to another position outside of set limits... is there a toggle between absolute and incremental?

Offline docltf

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Re: custom application
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2010, 10:30:20 AM »
oldmech

 move your electric solenoid from the air supply to the trigger of the staple gun.this could help with the amount of time used to fire the gun.
it will make the action more positive and easier to control with code.this way you can control a relay for the trigger solenoid with the port settings for
the Z axis and g-code.it would get you some pretty good trigger speed.

bill