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Haas VF1 Conversion
« on: May 07, 2016, 12:41:15 PM »
I basically was given a 1991 Haas VF1 about 3 yrs ago.  It was a bit rough, but got it up and going.  The serial comms would not work and occasionally, all programs would get wiped.  This resulted in manually keying in all programs all the time.  Really sucked.  Decided to buy new boards to fix comm issue.  About 3k.  Few months later, get fatal eprom errors.  90 day warranty expired.  Repeat.  6 months later, same result.  The boards they have are all used and just ain't gonna do this again.

Just before getting this machine, I purchased a nice Acer knee mill that was very lightly used and had a dead cnc package.  I built the panel and setup mach 3.  Mill has been nearly flawless for years.

But, I love the flood coolant and tool changer on the haas.  So, instead of dropping 20-30k on another used machine, I'm going to do this conversion.

The x, y, z, coolant, limits, lube, I get all that.  Where I am a little fuzzy is the tool changer operation.  I fully understand the process that has to happen, just not sure exactly how to implement with mach.

Good news is that I do a lot of PLC programming and actually use Modbus TCP quite often.  I haven't found any real step by step on doing this but I get the impression that it will be a custom macro that will send the tool number to the PLC.  PLC would do the following.
Verify spindle is stopped.
Move to carousel height
Rotate spindle at min speed and engage orientation lock pin and stop
Engage shuttle to move in, check limit
Release tool and stay released
Move spindle to carousel clearance plane
Rotate carousel to tool x
Move spindle down to carousel height
Engage tool
Retract shuttle and check limit
Return something to the marco indictating success or failure

On to my questions.  Am I correct in thinking that the macro to Modbus TCP to PLC and back is the solution?
Or, can mach do this more directly.  Assume you would need the dual parrallel port if mach is handling the whole thing.
I am familiar with Mach 3 on my knee mill.  Is mach 4 going to be more suited to this?
Bunch more questions, but lets start here.

Offline Hood

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Re: Haas VF1 Conversion
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2016, 05:25:13 AM »
Personally I would look at one of the higher end controllers available, might actually not work out much  more expensive as you will not have to convert 24v-5v and vice versa.
Also if the servo drives are good then may be worth looking at one of the analogue command capable controllers and keep the servo drives you have.

Not used TCP modbus but have used serial modbus for PLCs on machines and works well...

« Last Edit: May 08, 2016, 05:27:52 AM by Hood »

Offline mc

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Re: Haas VF1 Conversion
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2016, 06:36:12 AM »
I'll echo Hood's comment about using a higher end controller that can handle 24V.

CS-Labs CS-M__/_, Dynomotion KFlop+Konnect (Konnect is a 24V IO expansion boards, if you've got analog servo drives, you'd want a Kanalog board as well), Vital DSP or HiCon, and Galil controllers can all handle 24V.
They also remove the need for parallel ports.

By the looks of it, that tool change sequence would be better handled in a single place, which would vary depending on what controller you use.
It could all be handled within Mach with enough IO. My only concern would be how quickly Mach would be able to stop the spindle on detecting the pin alignment, as Mach3 only has 10Hz update rate for Macros (Mach 4 is faster, but I've not been aware of any specific figures).

My personal preference would be a KFlop, as you can program it directly to handle whatever you want. Once it's programmed, it can control everything on the machine and respond near instantly to input changes, so things like tool changes, you just need to tell the KFlop what tool you want, and it does it and tells you once it's finished.
With something that relies on Mach Macros to tell it what to do, there is usually a delay in responding to input changes.

Regardless of controller choice, the first thing I'd suggest you do, is go through the machine, and make a list of all the Inputs and Outputs you'll need. Once you have that list, it'll give you a far better idea of what you need to get the machine working.
Re: Haas VF1 Conversion
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2016, 08:19:09 AM »
Thanks guys.  Had not considered re-using drives but I have never had a problem with them so this will save a few bucks.  Been reading up on the DynoMotion hardware and it seems really nice.  Not thrilled about having to fumble around with C but looks like its doable.
I am gonna have to dig a little deeper on the tool changer.  I believe the carousel and shuttle are just DC motors with no encoder feedback.  Pretty sure they just index to limit switches and stop.  I pull all this apart and take a closer look.
Thanks for giving me a little direction.

Offline Hood

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Re: Haas VF1 Conversion
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2016, 08:33:34 AM »
Not thrilled about having to fumble around with C but looks like its doable.

That was what put me off the Kflop, get by with very basic  VB knowledge and have no inclination to learn any other language.

CSMIO/IP-A is what I use. probably not as versatile if wanting to do really oddball stuff but it has almost all you could want anyway.
Use it on my Chiron and it is the best controller I have had.
Vid of Chiron doing my first rigid tapping test.

I used a PLC for the toolchange for 2 reasons, first was I already had it doing nothing, second I am better at ladder logic than I am at VB.

Re: Haas VF1 Conversion
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2016, 10:16:54 AM »
This sounds like good advice.  The C is not desireable.  I'll check it out.  Thanks
Re: Haas VF1 Conversion
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2016, 06:10:56 PM »
I have gutted the Haas.  On a side note, I finally found the source of a mechanical issue I've had.  Was not cutting circles well at all.  Turned out to be nothing more than xy not perpendicular.  Easy fix.  Wish I could fire it back up and cut a circle.  But, it is gutted.

So, I have three DC brushed motors and 3 haas drives that were all working fine.  I attached a picture of the drives and wondering if somewhere could confirm that these are probably serial interface drives.  I really don't want to use the OEM drives anyway as that is kinda the point to this whole thing.  Been looking for DC servo drives wanted to see if you guys could throw out some companies to consider for 3 new drives and and keep my motors.  Seems like everything is AC servo drives.  Not finding a lot of options for a DC drive.

Also, not sure what the KW rating of the motors are but... the Drives have a 10amp fuse on the 160VDC supply.  Also, the 160VDC wires look to be only 18ga wire.  So at most, the motors are 1600 watts and more likely in the 1-1.3kw range.  Thoughts on that logic?

Offline Hood

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Re: Haas VF1 Conversion
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2016, 03:13:55 AM »
Afraid I don't know anything about these drives but they must be pretty old and I would suspect that they would be +/- 10v analogue signal control.

There are a few people that do DC drives for the hobby end of the marked, probably www.cncdrive.com would be worth a look as I think they do drives that would be suitable for these voltages and currents.

For more Industrial related drives maybe http://www.a-m-c.com/products/drives.html

Personally I would have left everything intact and just wired the controller to the original wiring/drives etc but if you don't have wiring info then that may be a problem and as you have already stripped then it's not an option now :D
I think I would still use the original drives though if a manual or tech sheet could be found for them.

Re: Haas VF1 Conversion
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2016, 01:56:14 PM »
Struggling a bit with finding hardware to play with each other.  I have DC brushed motors and 160vdc power supply.  Had settled on the CSMIO in the step direction model.  This was because I'm not having much luck finding analog drives that will handle the 160VDC and accept diffential encoder input.  So I want to use the DG4S-16035 drives.  Mainly because they handle my existing power supply which is a really nice rectified 3 phase setup.  Also, these are the drives I used on my knee mill conversion and I have been quite happy with them.  Thirdly, cost and availability can't be beat.

But, after carefully reading the CS Labs manual, I come accross the fact that their step and direction signal is differential.  The drives only accept single ended.  This is becoming a silly little circle.  Can't really fault their choice as it is the best.  BUT, Mach is based on single ended signals from parrallel port so it would have been nice to offer it both ways or atleast match the market that Mach created.  Of course I could buy their AC Drive and Motor package for nearly 2K which I would almost consider except, its a reduction in wattage and I would have to deal with the mounting and shaft issues.

Hood, I saw in another post where you have used the DG4S drives with success.  Did you have to deal with the Differential vs Single ended issue on the step and direction?  A Single to Differential converter is easy to find and readily available.  Going the other way, not so much.
Re: Haas VF1 Conversion
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2016, 02:26:57 PM »
Never mind Hood.  I found that CS Labs has exactly what I need. 

Finally, I think I have a combination that will work.