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Author Topic: General questions about spindle PWM control and ATC  (Read 7077 times)

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General questions about spindle PWM control and ATC
« on: September 16, 2007, 02:52:55 PM »
Hi everybody, I've got some real NEWB questions that I need answered...

I've got a 1991 Haas VF1 that burnt a couple boards in, going to cost $3000+ to repair, and I'm considering retrofitting the machine with Mach.  I want to make sure of a couple things before I make any decisions though:

1.) Will I be able to use the machine's existing VFD to control spindle speed?  It's a Mitsubishi FR Z220-3.7k-UL, manual can be found at the link below:


I read through the manual and I see that the VFD can take PWM signal to control the spindle, but seeing as how it's so old, I'm not sure if I would be able to wire it in to Mach or not.  I'm having trouble finding info on how exactly you connect a PWM controlled drive to Mach.  Any help or direction would be great.

2.) From what I can tell in the Mach manual and posts on the forum, it is possible for Mach to control an automatic tool changer.  My Haas has a motor driven carousel changer that I would want to incorporate in Mach.  Is this possible and, realistically, how difficult is it?  From what I can tell, it would take some macro programming...just not sure how much.

Again, any suggestions are greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

Offline poppabear

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Re: General questions about spindle PWM control and ATC
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2007, 10:35:17 PM »
yes, look under ports and pins, under motor control you can use PWM, also, if your drive has paramters then you can also control it via the modbus.

ATC:  Yes, they can also be done, If you have a read-a-head swap arm changer though, your gonna hav eto invest in a PLC with a motion module.  If it is just striaght carracell and swap arm not read a head then you can get buy with the C axis on mach
Commercial Mach3 & Mach 4, Design/Build/Retrofit CNC and Industrial machines.
Re: General questions about spindle PWM control and ATC
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2007, 11:15:14 PM »
Thanks for the reply poppabear...I actually just ran across your example ATC macro which sheds some light on things.  My ATC is a simple rotary carousel which shuttles straight sideways to the spindle, controlled by two motors...one for the rotation, one for the shuttle.  I don't see why it couldn't be controlled as another axis...

Regarding the PWM control, I read in the Mach manual that the signal uses the spindle step/dir pin.  What I really need to know is if/how my specific VFD can be wired to this pin..what do I look for in the manual as far as wiring?


Offline jimpinder

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Re: General questions about spindle PWM control and ATC
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2007, 11:03:43 AM »
With reference to your controlling speed with Mach 3 -
I was trying to look through your Mitsubishi guide, but found it very difficult.

What external inputs will the Mitsubishi take, to control speed. - I found one bit that was very like my Omron inverter, which, unfortunately cannot be controlled directly by Mach 3.  My Omron requires external switches for M3 M4 M5 - which I have rigged up with external relays driven by Mach3, but the speed control is by an external potentiometer connected to three terminals on the Omron - and is designed more for a speed control at the machine, rather than a computer controlled environment.

I have the inverter right next to the computer anyway, and can change speeds on the fly if I wish, so it is no great problem. In future I will fit an external potentiometer, driven by a servo - that Mach 3 can do.

There is another system on the Omron, where you can pre select four speeds, and select these by a signal on two wires. Mach 3 could do this very easily by a small Macro. I haven't tried this yet, because, quite frankly, I find with the Omron next to the computer, I can change to the speed I want without effort. - Although it might be different if I wanted to go away and do something else while the machine was working.
Not me driving the engine - I'm better looking.


Re: General questions about spindle PWM control and ATC
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2007, 04:04:05 PM »
Jim look and see if the Omron does 0-10v speed control, sounds like it does if it can use the pot control. If so Mach can handle it with a speed control board. That is how the Hitachi VFD does it. Works very well. (;-)

Ryan now that MACH has Brains it should much easier to control the ATC directly through a modbus device interface.

Ryan looking through your docs you have several options for the speed control PWM or 0-10v, or 0-5v. Looks like you are set.

(;-) TP
« Last Edit: September 17, 2007, 06:29:08 PM by vmax549 »
Re: General questions about spindle PWM control and ATC
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2007, 10:46:38 PM »
Guys, thanks for looking the manual over...I thought the VFD would interface but I wanted advice from somebody that could tell me for sure!  THANKS!  Of course, figuring out how to actually do everything properly will be another story....

Regarding the ATC, I'll have to read alot more about it...but at least I know it can be done now.

Thanks again everybody...I'll be back for more when I start pulling my hair out!



Re: General questions about spindle PWM control and ATC
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2007, 07:40:21 AM »
ONe last thing, WE LIKE PICTURES (;-)

(;-) TP