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Offline ger21

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Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #150 on: September 21, 2014, 08:30:04 PM »
I don't believe that Mach4 can operate like that, but I'm not the one to ask.
Gerry

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Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #151 on: September 21, 2014, 11:49:46 PM »
Im new with servos , so maybe im just wrong all together. I was under the assumption that how servos preformed under industrial applications.

Offline smurph

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Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #152 on: September 22, 2014, 01:40:54 PM »
Mach 4 has and never will close the servo loop.  It doesn't need to.

The loop can be close in three places:

1) The motion control software. (Mach does not do this.  Windows is not a real time OS).
2) The motion controller hardware.  (Galil, Vital System DSPMC, K-Flop, etc...)
3) The servo drive (Position controlled drives that take step/dir as input).

And we are talking servos here.  Steppers are generally never closed loop.

In the absence of #1 above, software never needs to close the loop.  The software can generate the motion profile without the loop being closed.  This is analogous to you in a car driving from your driveway to the stop sign down the street.  You plan your route (motion profile) before getting in your car (software).  Once in you car (hardware), it is your job to follow the planned route.  If you don't make it to the stop sign, you apply more throttle to get you there.  If you go past the stop sign, you put the car in reverse and apply throttle to get you there.  The end point didn't change and thus the route doesn't need to either. 

So if the loop is closed on the motion controller or servo drive, then there is no need for the software to close the loop. 

So to answer your question, any step/dir plugin that Mach4 supports will work with position controlled servo drives to close the loop.  Any plugin that Mach4 supports that closes the loop on the motion device will work with analog command controlled servo drives.

The Mach4/Galil combination running on my Matsuura MC500 is definitely closed loop.  It is using old school analog drives with PID filter on the Galil that manages the following error.  If you are retrofitting a machine with existing analog servo drives, using a plugin/controller that closes the loop on the controller is the way to go.

The newer and far more simple way is using position controlled drives.  Less tuning required as most of these type servo drive tune themselves.  If you are building a new machine or replacing the drives in an older machine in a retrofit, then this is the way to go.

When we were at IMTS, there were three machines demoing Mach4.  One used a Galil controller with Yaskawa EtherCat servo drives.  (Servo loop closed on the Galil).  Another used an ACS controller with Yaskawa EtherCat servo drives.  (Servo loop closed on the ASC controler).  And then another machine that used a Vital System HiCON controller outputting Step/Dir signals to Yaskawa position controlled servo drives.  (Servo loop closed on the drives).  All of these machines worked flawlessly.

We really had a good show at IMTS.  Mach Motion did a fine job!  The machine using the HiCON was running a SolidCam produced high speed pocketing tool path that was moving the machine @ 600 IPM.  It was simply amazing to watch a 3/16" end mill remove a 5/8" pocket depth of metal in 1018 steel in a matter of 3 minutes.  With precision!  Industrial?  I would emphatically say yes!  The Mach4 machine was capable of keeping up with the Hurco that was also demoing the SolidCam tool paths.  Yeah...  we had something to grin about.  :)

All of the Mach4 machines were running Mach4 Hobby.  How is that for you guys?  Hobby priced software that can keep up with the big boys!  Videos of the show will be forthcoming.  So stay tuned!

Steve
Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #153 on: September 22, 2014, 02:31:50 PM »
I was reading Kflop only halts when there is a fault but doesn't alter what ever it needs to to make sure it gets from point a to point b. Might as well stay with steppers in my opinion. I cant see pay that much more just to know I have a fault. I will look into galil though thanks.
Yes solidcams something else . I use 2014 daily. I cant believe some of the stuff its capable of doing in the time frame.

Offline smurph

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Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #154 on: September 22, 2014, 03:49:28 PM »
K-Flop can work in servo mode with K-Analog.  It has a PID loop.  The PID loop is what gets it to point B.  If the PID parameters are not correct (needs tuning) the following error will bee too great and then ANY controller will fault.  Even real-time OS based systems like EMC.  But with a proper PID setup, you will get to point B with K-Flop.  There is NOTHING that will guarantee hitting the numbers with an improperly tuned system.  

If you are interested in the K-Flop, talk to Tom.  He's a really nice guy.  He will tell you exactly what it will do and how to accomplish what you want to do.  Mind you, the K-flop is an advance controller with some amazing flexibility, so there is a bit of a learning curve with it.  But if I didn't already have Galil controllers, I would probably be using a K-Flop or a DSPMC.  Tom is working on the Mach4 plugin now.

There is nothing simple about setting up an analog servo system.  You either have experience with it or are faced with a steep learning curve.  That is why the newer drives also have position control modes.  It makes dealing with servos a lot more simple.  And usually cheaper too.  So if you are not faced with the task of re-using the analog controlled drives, use the position mode drives and a cheaper step/dir controller and call it done.

From what I saw at IMTS, SolidCam is the leader.  There are others that attempt to do what they do, but it just isn't in the same league.  It ain't cheap though.  But well worth it if you make your money with it.  It does require one hell of a machine to run it to it's full capabilities though.

Steve
Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #155 on: September 22, 2014, 04:07:56 PM »
Steve ,
Thanks for clearing that up.
At this point Ive purchased nothing for the new system. So its all up in the air . Ive been reading allot about Kflop( obviously not understanding it all) that seems like the control I want .
The best part of solidcam in my eyes is as my machine changes or what ever type of automation I can dream up I , me myself can design a post processor that's capable of running it no matter what craziness I can think of . Sky's the limit. When the Gcode comes out its perfect as if as
Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #156 on: September 22, 2014, 05:16:09 PM »
Its been over a week and I have been very surprised that this was the first IMTS has been mentioned.

I did not want to be the first, as wasn't sure it was my place. But have to agree with Steve. Machmotion had a strong presence  and some impressive setups and showings. I would advise if anyone is looking at upgrading to Mach4 and also a control upgrade to look seriously at Machmotion as their connection with Artsoft is very strong and you should have a good, to great transition.  Very professional and willing to help in any way.

Their screenset was very impressive (thou, at the time lacked a 4th axis). I'm sure by the first of the next year they will have a sweet system available.

 :D and no I'm not their spokesmen, just an outside observer.

Offline smurph

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Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #157 on: September 22, 2014, 06:18:50 PM »
We have been waiting a bit for MachMotion to get their show footage available.  When they do, I will link to it.  Want to see what Mach4 can do?  The guys at MachMotion have paved the way.  There were lots of jaw dropped stares in the SolidCam and Yaskawa booths.  Even the big boys came over to have a look.  It WAS impressive.  MachMotion did a first rate job.  But what else are you going to expect from a group of first rate guys?  :)

Steve

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #158 on: September 23, 2014, 08:00:07 AM »
Is there any chance that 360 deg. rollover could be added for the A axis ?? (please)  :)

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.

Offline smurph

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Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #159 on: September 23, 2014, 02:19:07 PM »
Brian is working on that right now.

Steve