Zone: CNC & Machine Controls

OVERVIEW: The CNC (computer numerical control) system of a machine tool includes the control unit itself, as well as less visible parts of the motion-control system such as the servomotors, drives and axis positioning devices. These components are part of any CNC machine tool, but they might be bought separately and retrofitted later on older machines that are upgraded or refurbished. Also part of the control system are sensors that may allow the control to make certain real-time decisions during unattended or lightly attended machining processes. These can include probes for measuring the position of the part or machined features, as well as monitoring systems for detecting the presence of the tool or the force that is being exerted in the cut.

Featured Zone Content

This part has taken eight setups

Move The Program Instead Of The Part

A complex five-axis part with hard-to-reach datums is machined in two setups instead of eight, thanks to a process that rewrites the tool paths to match the part's position....MORE

closed loop machining

Accuracy Gain From Linear Encoders

If the position of a machine tool’s axis is measured using a rotary encoder, then potentially the ballscrew is being asked to perform two contradictory functions. The ballscrew both drives the axis into position and indicates that position—because the ballscrew lies in between the encoder and the moving element of the machine. Control technology supplier Heidenhain calls this “semiclosed-loop” operation. ...MORE

Daniel Miller of Heidenhain

Control Capabilities Often Go Unused

The value of some control capabilities don’t become apparent until they are seen in use. Heidenhain supports its CNC users with a new Chicago-area training facility. ...MORE

PartMaker 2016 Includes Support for Broaching

Highlights of PartMaker 2016 include new 2 ½ axis milling machining strategies, support for the import of multiple solid models into a single PartMaker CAM project file, specialist support for broaching, fast 2D CAD drafting and toolpath selection, and much more. ...MORE

Automator America AC500 3.0 universal controller

Marking System Controller Expands List of Compatible Equipment

Automator America has released the AC500 3.0 universal controller for its line of pneumatic, electric and scribe marking systems. ...MORE

Mazak SmartBox

Open-Protocol Device Enables Connectivity for Legacy Machines

Mazak’s open-protocol, MTConnect-compliant SmartBox is intended to be a platform for secure entrance into the Industrial Internet of Things, designed to facilitate connectivity of machines and devices and enhance monitoring and analytical capabilities. ...MORE

DNC Box Enables CNC File Transfer via USB

Highland DNC’s ShopLink Flash USB-to-RS-232 adapter enables transfers of DNC program files to and from CNCs via flash drives. ...MORE

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