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20 Jan 2013 23:57 - 20 Jan 2013 23:59 #28877 by emcPT
The history:
I had retrofitted several machines (mostly lathes) and normally I am able to maintain the original controller.

Currently I have a very good iron machine, a CNC machine with 5 tons to retrofit. It have a 15kw spindle, 12 tools, x z axis and also live tooling with the corresponding C axis.
The current control is no longer viable (or it is, but I will always stay dependable of the remaining old hardware).

So I am now considering in a retrofit using linuxcnc.
I must say that I normally use the forum for reading and check my email for announcements that I had subscribed. I also was a few times in IRC.
I use linux, but I do not master it, and often I need to search for everything that I what to do in my linux box.
One year ago I also gave it a try, I even bought mesa hardware. Mostly because of time and because linuxcnc did not had implemented the basic stuff that I needed I quieted.


I was hoping, before I get my hands again on this, and spending a considerable amount of resources, that someone more experienced could reply to the following questions. This is to prevent reaching a point where the answer was: you should ask that before!

So where they go:

1) One year ago, calling a tools in a lathe had a syntax different from the Fanucs, okumas, ..., that I really like. T0405 for example. It was necessary to use a D word. I also remember that the tool data table was hard to figure out as it was initial made for milling. From what I remember to read this is now implemented. Can it be confirmed?

2) The lathe that I will retrofit have the tools upside the Z zero (far away from the user). This is the most usual in cnc lathes, I think. I remember that in axis it was not possible to see the tools like that, and they would be seen in reverse. What is the current status?

3) Although not very important to me to use the live tooling, it would be a waist to let them go. It would value a lot the machine and will make it more versatile. Anyone knows about someone that is using them on a lathe? I understand that this will imply a lot about the spindle and so on, but I was wondering if this was already addressed.

4) I also remember that changing something on the visual looks of the axis front end was something that was hard. It is still hard? My machines are prepared to work in a determined way and normally the user does not need to press a lot of keys, but the front end of the controller needs to be "clear". A 10" touch panel would be nice.

5) Cycles. Mainly the G71 G72 G73 (in respect to the Fanuc) . They were not implemented one year ago, but I read a discussion where it seams to be already implemented. True or false?

6) My machines are not intended to make a few parts or for hobby. They normally work a lot and security of the operator and the machine are important, so I was looking for something STABLE. Although from what I read it is stable, but are any opinions against?

Sorry for the long post.
Thank you
Last edit: 20 Jan 2013 23:59 by emcPT.

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21 Jan 2013 00:22 #28882 by cncbasher
overall I do not see any major concerns over what is required , do not think Linuxcnc is just for hobby use , indeed their are many retrofit installations to large commercial machines and lathes , I have some running 24 /7 without problems .
and some of us myself included do this as part of our day jobs , it is mostly a situation to sit down and draw out what is needed , connections etc then fit the interface to what is required , yes this can take time , but certainly with Mesa products and others
what you require can be done and has been .

regarding the gui screen this is being looked at , search the gui section for GSCREEN and Gscreen Industrial for ideas, again most ideas can be incorporated , and ideas are welcomed .

it all depends on how you feel to tackle this , and off the shelf linuxcnc fits all .. I doubt it , being able to adapt and change Linuxcnc yes indeed this is one of the major attractions , their is plenty of experience available to assist you .
but it may take time to implement everything you require

calling a toolchange is simply a M5 T6 with perhaps a call to a tool offset this is mostly standard stuff , and a lot of commands are scriptable in anycase if the needs arise
you probably better looking at the development branch of Linuxcnc to be able to use the newer additions . especialy if this is a long term retrofit , as probably by the time you are done most will be in an update .

again to summarise : no major hurdles !

Dave

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21 Jan 2013 00:39 #28883 by ArcEye
1) The new work on the tool table is in the master branch, not stable and not completed AFAIK, I think Andy Pugh is looking at it

2) www.linuxcnc.org/index.php/english/forum...cktools?limitstart=0

5) Not implemented but see www.linuxcnc.org/index.php/english/forum...ines-g71-g72-etc-etc

6) If you want stable, there is no point in using the master, use 2.5.1 and put up with any shortcomings, after all it is free.

regards

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21 Jan 2013 01:12 - 21 Jan 2013 01:16 #28885 by cncbasher
sorry missed a few points on the origional post

Canned cycles :
were introduced in the early days due to everything being input'd on the machine by the operator , and because the machines had limited memory and usualy paper tape !
in these modern machines now with plenty of processing power and memory , there now are other ways of producing the same from within commercial cam programs
and the scriptable benefits of linuxcnc for example NGCGUI

so although it would be nice to have perhaps , their are other alternatives in some cases

Livetooling :
i dont see this as a problem as usualy it is nothing more than a spindle motor , so could be controlled via it's own vfd for speed and relays
modbus etc
Last edit: 21 Jan 2013 01:16 by cncbasher.

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21 Jan 2013 04:10 #28891 by cmorley
Livetooling

I'm sure he meant the C axis part - this has been done but I don't see a lot of info on lathe C axis how-tos.

My question as been how does one switch back and forth between regular spindle control and c axis control in the same program.
particularly if the C axis has to home.
The only example I remember had two configs: one for regular spindle and oner for c axis control. which seems a pain in the ass.

Regular lathe tool changing and offsetting is available as a patch - it's not been added yet - haven't heard about it in a while.
It was more a matter of integrating it properly into linuxcnc, rather then it not actually working right.

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21 Jan 2013 06:15 #28893 by emcPT
Thank you for all the reply's.
Indeed the replys are more or less inline to what I expected, and this is the reason that I have afraid. All seams that is possible and a few things are "almost there" but not quite. Don't get me wrong, I know that we are talking about free software and all efforts are without any obligation, but at the same time, if I will spend 8k in hardware and do not reach a stable situation, I will regreat.
Regarding the cycles. I must have them working. I do not use standard CAMs and all the code that I use is "pre made".

I will take a deeper look on the subjects, but when I read a post in this forum, posted by the most experienced users, the concepts seam quite hard to follow.

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23 Jan 2013 18:40 #29014 by andypugh

1) One year ago, calling a tools in a lathe had a syntax different from the Fanucs, okumas, ..., that I really like. T0405 for example. It was necessary to use a D word. I also remember that the tool data table was hard to figure out as it was initial made for milling. From what I remember to read this is now implemented. Can it be confirmed?

There was a change made to the development branch (normally called "master", sometimes 2.6) that allowed this syntax for a tool change.
It does not have universal support, as there is some unease about having two such very different behaviours in the same software. It might not make it into a released version.
An alternative to the Daniel Rogge patch would be to use the G-code remapping option.
www.linuxcnc.org/docs/devel/html/remap/structure.html
This would let you re-define T1122 into M6T11G43H22 (for example). If you are re-mapping then I _think_ it might be possible to also use the U/W offsets in the tool table as wear offsets.
Note that the tool table editor now allows you to not display irrelevant columns.

If there is enough support for the idea it is possible that the T1122 tool change format might be turned on simply by the LATHE=1 line in the INI.

2) The lathe that I will retrofit have the tools upside the Z zero (far away from the user). This is the most usual in cnc lathes, I think. I remember that in axis it was not possible to see the tools like that, and they would be seen in reverse. What is the current status?

There is a workaround for this using coordinate system rotation. I haven't tried it, but at least one chap seemed happy with it as a solution.

3) Although not very important to me to use the live tooling, it would be a waist to let them go. It would value a lot the machine and will make it more versatile. Anyone knows about someone that is using them on a lathe? I understand that this will imply a lot about the spindle and so on, but I was wondering if this was already addressed.

It would be very easy to control live tooling with user-defined M-codes for example. M103 P1000 for clockwise at 1000 rpm. www.linuxcnc.org/docs/2.5/html/gcode/m-c...tml#sec:M100-to-M199

4) I also remember that changing something on the visual looks of the axis front end was something that was hard. It is still hard?

Yes. Axis is still hard. However it is entirely possible to create your own GUI from scratch (though it is a lot of work). Alternatively Chris' "GScreen" GUI is written in Glade and can be easily modified.

5) Cycles. Mainly the G71 G72 G73 (in respect to the Fanuc) . They were not implemented one year ago, but I read a discussion where it seams to be already implemented. True or false?

Not implemented. I don't know what happened to that work. Again they _could_ be added with the remapping technique mentioned earlier.

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30 Jan 2013 22:46 #29310 by emcPT
Thank for all that reply.

During the past days I was testing the hardware of the machine, especially the servos motors (they are 4Kw and 2.5Kw). If I could not control the servos then I would probably not try to use the machine as the solution will be expensive. But I was able to make the machine move, so I will try to change the obsolete control.
Most probably I will not try to use the live tooling, at least for now as it will be hard to implement and I have many others immediate concerns related to linuxEMC, but as the project will go forward I will ask more.

Now I am in the process of acquiring hardware, and my current concern is the VFD. Until now I only used +-10V to control the output speed of the VFD. What is the best way to control them? My goal is to be able to make threads on the lathe. I do not have any drive now, so I can buy the best suitable. The Mesa hardware (if is relevant for the answer) that I have is: x1 5120; x1 7133TA and x1 7137TA

Thank you

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30 Jan 2013 23:10 #29313 by andypugh

I will not try to use the live tooling, at least for now as it will be hard to implement

Actually I think it will be quite easy.

my current concern is the VFD. Until now I only used +-10V to control the output speed of the VFD. What is the best way to control them?

If it works with +/-10V then you can use that. Mine works with 0-10V and direction inputs, but that too is relatively easy.

The Mesa hardware (if is relevant for the answer) that I have is: x1 5120; x1 7133TA and x1 7137TA

The 7i33TA has 4 x analogue outputs, which sounds like enough to control the X and Z axes, plus the spindle VFD and the live-tooling. You also have enough encoder inputs for tha axes, and a spindle encoder, with one spare, possibly for the toolchanger.
The 7i37TA can handle the other IO, including direction "contacts" for a typical VFD.
Is there any reason not to re-use the existing spindle drive?

All that is needed for LinuxCNC to be able to do threading is a spindle encoder.

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31 Jan 2013 01:09 #29322 by emcPT

Is there any reason not to re-use the existing spindle drive?


I would LOVE to use the current spindle motor as it is built in the spindle. This is very good as no belts are present. The reason is that the spindle motor drive is damaged, being this one of the reasons to start the conversion. Even if it was not damaged the protocol to the main drive is for sure "closed".

I searched a lot and I could not found any possibility off using the current motor spindle as it seams it is proprietary from Okuma.

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