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Possible commercial application for machine control
« on: February 02, 2007, 08:46:31 AM »
Hello Brian, and all,
I enjoyed talking with you at Cabin Fever.  It was my first visit, and won't be my last!

I am wondering if there is any way to apply mach3 to a machine control application that is not CNC machining.  We often have applications for general machine control, these sometimes require motion (typically Allen-Bradley Logix 5000 Servo control) .

Can you think of any way to create a different front end, like an Man-Machine interface that was specific to the customer's equipment, and use Mach three behind the scene to run coordinated moves on the equipment?

I guess what I am asking is, is there a way to hide all the detailed cnc stuff on the Mach3 screen, load a G-code file and run it repeatedly all day long?  We would have to present the operator with a status screen, or some kind of a view of the equipment.  We do this today with RSView, Wonderware, and sometime custom VB applications.  We would probably want a hard wired push button for start and stop, and of course E-stop.

This could open lots of possibilities if it were feasible.
Best Regards,
Paul Vogt,
Nl-Tec Systems
Charlotte, NC

Hood

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Re: Possible commercial application for machine control
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2007, 02:11:54 PM »
Not sure if I understand exactly what you mean  by "is there a way to hide all the detailed cnc stuff on the Mach3 screen," but you can design your own screenset to only show what you want.
Physical buttons can also be used, one way is by using a keyboard emulator.
Hood
Re: Possible commercial application for machine control
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2007, 04:35:02 PM »
Hood,
This sounds close to what I need, can you give me any tips on how to investigate the process?
Thanks Very Much for any Reply,
Paul

Hood

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Re: Possible commercial application for machine control
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2007, 06:27:44 PM »
There is a programme that comes with Mach called Screen4, it is for making or altering screens to suit your own purposes. There are quite a few of us that have made new screensets and there is a section of the forum specifically for this. Also there is a video giving you the basics of using screen4 and a few that show you how to make buttons for the screen if you want a bit more than the basic buttons. You will find the videos under the downloads section at the top of the page.
 For the keyboard emulator I am sure there is a section in the Mach2 customisation manual about it, if not then its in one of the Wikis. Even though the customisation manual was written for Mach2 most of it is still relevant for Mach3. If you have any more questions just shout, if I cant answer I am sure others Will be able to.

Hood
Re: Possible commercial application for machine control
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2007, 08:08:20 PM »
Hood has you headed in the right direction.  In addition to screen4 there's mach3screen and one other program available to manipulate/write your own screens.  Each of the programs has it's own advantages/disadvantages/eccentricities/etc.  I just finished a wire bender for a commercial application and I just took the classic 1024 set and dumped everything that wasn't essential.  Then I added stuff from other pages (like MDI) so that all the control was on one page.  I also added a few buttons specific to the machine.  You can leave the other pages in the screen set and tell the operator not to use them, or, delete the pages.  It's very easy to change screen sets so it's no big deal.

It's a bit of a learning curve but once you figure out how to do screens, Mach is very suitable to commercial stuff.  Go to the home page and look under Forums/Wiki Customizing Mach.  Also look under Tutorials/documentation/Customizing Mach2 and Tutorials/Documentation/Videos.

The next commercial ap I do I'll probably be looking very hard at the ncpod.  Details are still sketchy but it looks like it's going to be a terrific bit of hardware for both the hobbiest and commercial user.  They seem to be taking their time and working out the kinks before they release it rather than releasing it in a hurry and letting the user work out the bugs.

Regards,
Walt

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Re: Possible commercial application for machine control
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2007, 08:09:31 PM »
Hey Paul, give me call.

http://precisionchaos1.com/contactus.htm


Brett
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!
Re: Possible commercial application for machine control
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2007, 08:12:16 PM »
Addendum.

If you do some looking around here and at CNC Zone, there are some people writing screens that are stunning.  I don't know what your budget is like but you might consider just farming that task out to one of them.

Walt
Re: Possible commercial application for machine control
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2007, 09:42:40 AM »
Hello Paul,
I could tell you about how to make an interface but you have some of the best helping you! This Forum is a great place and the guys here are top notch!

You may want to keep an eye on the Flash stuff that Benny and Jason are working on... That is some very cool stuff!
Fixing problems one post at a time ;)

www.newfangledsolutions.com
www.machsupport.com
Re: Possible commercial application for machine control
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2007, 03:31:03 PM »
Re: Possible commercial application for machine control
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2007, 08:28:21 PM »
Thank you to all who have made suggestions.
I will dig around on the forums a little and figure out how this works.

I love the wire bender!

Best Regards,
Paul Vogt