Hello Guest it is June 19, 2019, 09:39:22 AM

Author Topic: Mach3 for press brake controller?  (Read 5778 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Pugs_

*
  •  16 16
    • View Profile
Mach3 for press brake controller?
« on: May 30, 2015, 10:37:29 PM »
Hi all, new here. Long first post but hoping I can get some help here  :)

I got a cnc press brake that needs a new control system and am wondering how hard it would be or if its even possible to use Mach 3 to run it. Some of the specs.

-Has (well will have) Y1, Y2 hydraulic ram axis's with servo valves and linear encoders. Valves will require a +/- 10vdc signal, encoders have to be bought yet so whatever works here. Need the control to close the loop.

-Has 2 servo motor axis for back gage (X and R) control that I will probably upgrade with DMM tech servos and drives that could be run on a step and direction and closed loop at the drive.

- Has an ac gear motor with brake for a crowning axis adjustment with encoder feedback. Assuming I can control this with a VFD with a Fwd/Rev signal and let the VFD operate the brake and have a set ramp to it. Optionally could convert this to a servo motor setup with closed loop at the servo drive. As is I need the control to close the loop from the encoder feedback.

- Has adjustable pressure via a Nachi valve, the driver for this requires a 0-10vdc analog signal. Currently is no feedback on this, I would like to put in an electronic pressure sensor and atleast have a readout of the pressure though, but that should just be a 0-10vdc input.

-Also have a dual pedal foot control that I would want to use to step through the program.

I'm assuming I would need to run a Galil card or something of the like to do the closed loop stuff correct?

Now onto the controller questions. I need Y1 and Y2 to be slaved together but yet be adjustable some times for tilt adjustment, is it possible for mach to do this with like a button on the screen to bump like the left side of the ram down "x" amount?

The machine has a fast approach speed of the ram that is achieved by activating a pair of solenoid valves that switches the high pressure oil to a smaller inner cylinder (inside the large ones) and letting the large ones suck oil direct from the tank, Is it possible for Mach to run this? I'm thinking one would have a rapid speed move to a clearance ht above the material, then maybe the ram has to pause for a split second while these solenoids switch back to putting the high pressure oil to both the large and small cylinders for pressing speeds. Would be good for it stop above the work anyway so operator can make sure sheet is up against the stops.

Would it be possible to prgram this by means of a table of sorts that let you fill in stuf like bend 1 angle, bend1 tab length, bend 1 ht offset, and then bend2 and bend 3 etc? Maybe a way to set up tool offsets for the different punches and dies I might have, say lower dies are work offsets and punches are tool ht offsets. Lower die offsets would affect the ht of the back gage stops (R axis).

Can Mach do bend angles from a stored table that I can fill in from test bends or past work? I mean like with this punch and die, with this material and this thickness, Y has to go this far into the metal to get 90 deg bend or 45 deg bend?

I know its alot of questions, and thanks in advance for any help. I see some guys here have made some neat tubing benders on Mach3 and it looks like my project should be doable, but I have to figure out the details. I have seen Bigtoy's cnc press brake build on dynomotion with Mach 3 and like it as well, but I believe he programs it with G code, and I'm hoping I could do something like a fill in the blank thing to program or it will wind up too complicated for anyone but me to run the thing, not that that is all bad, but it would be nice if it was pretty easy to teach someone the basics of operating and doing a simple new program on it.
Re: Mach3 for press brake controller?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2015, 10:16:35 AM »
Mach 3 does coordinated motion control through G code. It doesn't sound like you need coordinated motion except for the two linear axis. So it looks to me like you could do this job better with a PLC with a couple of motion cards and an HMI screen with a recipe function.  Fill in the recipe with the parameters for a job and the tooling then step through the moves as you bend. I think a relatively inexpensive PLC from AutomationDirect could do the job.  Mach is quite good as a mill or lathe controller but this doesn't look like a good application for it to me.

Offline BR549

*
  •  6,873 6,873
    • View Profile
Re: Mach3 for press brake controller?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2015, 11:45:46 AM »
Mach3 will basically do nothing of what you are asking. Mach3 is a basic 6 axis CNC machine controller for things like mills routers,etc.  It is limited to being controlled with Gcode functions. Anything else is a Kluge or compromise at best.

You would be better off to use a dedicated press brake controller that is DESIGNED to be able to control your press Brake with Industry standard opererating functions AND SAFETY features. ELSE you will be the only one that understands how it works AND if someone ELSE uses it and gets hurt or killed YOU will be held responsible.

(;-) TP
Re: Mach3 for press brake controller?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2015, 07:40:20 PM »
Not to burst anyone's bubble about legal stuff but it doesn't quite work the way most people think.  I had an iron worker and every time I walked out in the shop the guard was off. I would jump on the guys for working unsafely, then they would show me how the machine could not do the job it was designed to do with the guard in place.  So I redesigned the guard so that it would work properly for the work we did.  People said "Now you will be liable if someone gets hurt!"  At the time I said "So I am supposed to stand by and watch someone get hurt, and somehow feel better because while I did nothing they can't sue me?"

A few years later I was involved in a personal injury lawsuit over a machine I had allegedly built. Turns out it was a copy built by some else. However I learned that the guy couldn't sue his employer because of the changes they had made because the workman's comp law made them immune from being sued. My own dirtbag lawyer was proud of getting a settlement from a company that cleaned the floors at GM around a huge press when a lazy employee fell off a ladder he hadn't properly tied down.  GM wasn't sued because they had actually built this press for their own use and were protected by workman's comp law.  So installing a control on a press brake for your own use won't get you sued even if someone gets hurt.  However do NOT ever sell it to someone else, as that makes you a manufacturer and then anyone else can sue you. Since you'll probably use this press, it would be good to remember it might be your fingers, hand, arm, or body that gets mangled and proceed accordingly.

Offline Pugs_

*
  •  16 16
    • View Profile
Re: Mach3 for press brake controller?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2015, 09:37:18 PM »
I know the safety concerns, and plan on putting a Laser system on it before anyone other than me runs it. I mostly wanted to know if Mach3 could run it or not. Even if it was programmed in Gcode, could a wizard be made that spit out the confusing Gcode from a set of simple fill in the blank boxes? If so atleast that way it would be more user friendly. But if it can't handle I'll keep looking, but after seeing Bigtoy's press brake on youtube and build thread, along with several tube benders on here it looked like Mach3 could very well handle it with ease, thus the questions.
Re: Mach3 for press brake controller?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2015, 09:43:39 PM »
Re: Mach3 for press brake controller?
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2015, 08:14:14 AM »
Another consideration is the long term operation.  I have lots of PLC controlled equipment out there that has been running for 15 to 20 years without a control system failure.  We once tried a PC based controller to get a more friendly user interface. Just couldn't keep it running. A touch screen controller failed, the new part needed an updated BIOS the PC board manufacturer hadn't updated the BIOS yet so we were stuck.  It was always something. On that job I pulled the PC out and used an off the shelf PLC which is still running 18 years later.  Parts for that PLC are still available and work with it too. I am guessing the goal here is to make money not work for yourself.

Offline BR549

*
  •  6,873 6,873
    • View Profile
Re: Mach3 for press brake controller?
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2015, 11:09:03 AM »
I agree with Gary a PLC is the way to go here.  Can it be done in Mach3 sure , BUT it will not be a standard type operation that most operators understand.  Can a conversational screen be developed ? Sure if you have the time and money to get it done. Will you have problem with teh PC type installation ? Most likely . Mcah3 and PCs are not always a friendly mix.

Just a thought, (;-) TP

Offline KTM

*
  •  92 92
    • View Profile
Re: Mach3 for press brake controller?
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2015, 03:04:56 AM »
I have retrofitted many pressbrakes as well as CNC machines and have found that the best pressbrake setup is with a PLC and HMI with recipe management.
You could definitely do it with Mach3, but it will take a lot more work and will need a lot of macros and work arounds. Tuning of the proportional valve outputs, tooling libraries and program parameters, angle calculations and compensation are much easier in a PLC and can be easily changed if something doesn't work. You may also run into problems with the hydraulics, as the valves may need closed loop feedback to ensure that both cylinders are constantly synchronised. The cycle/next step is also controlled by the completion of the bending cycle, the footswitches will only control the movement.There are many other smaller intricacies that you will find as you go along, which will need correcting and adjusting.

Regards

Steve

Offline Pugs_

*
  •  16 16
    • View Profile
Re: Mach3 for press brake controller?
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2015, 06:04:39 PM »
Yep, I have since found these guys;
http://northamerica.icontrol.net.au/

Sounds like it will do everything I want and the price is pretty reasonable.