Accu-Router CNC Technology recently announced that the latest Fanuc CNC control (0i-MD Series) is being integrated into all of the company's high-velocity machines.
The control - the "brain" of the machine that tells the motion components what to do - includes many high-speed features important to cell productivity. The end result is the ability to achieve machine motion and machining rates as much as five times faster than older CNC machines, says the company.
John O'Connor, Accu-Router's director of operations, says this type of control was originally designed years ago for aerospace-type applications to achieve machining precision materials at higher speeds to keep the machine from damaging the material. He says Fanuc controls are the gold standard in the industry and the cornerstone of reliability in Accu-Router machines.
"This control allows for the machine to look ahead and anticipate what direction it needs to move to offset the positioning. Basically, it's like driving down the road and, seeing a curve up ahead, you know to ease up on the gas pedal. That's what this does. It's looking beyond the curve and over the next hill. To be able to do that helps you to maintain the accuracy and our part geometry, but also helps you to keep feed rates up at a much higher level," says O'Connor.
He explains that, about 10 years ago, the fastest machining rate you could run at while still maintaining part geometry was in the 300 to 400 ipm (inch per minute) range. Any faster and the parts wouldn't be machined properly.
"With this, you can run anywhere from 1,200 to 2,400 inches per minute in a cut. That's tremendously faster. We tell our customers every day you can justify updating electronics because they can think and process information so much faster now than they used to be able to."
The new controls feature Ethernet with PCMCIA flashcard capability, which is like a flashcard for a digital camera, according to O'Connor. This feature allows the user to "see the machine as a device on your network as if it was another server or computer, and, basically, you can load your production schedule for that day and make things a lot easier on your operator. As a result of that, fewer things can go wrong and interfere with your production."
The new controls can be retrofitted into older machines for about $50,000.
Contact: Accu-Router, 634 Mountain View Industrial Dr., Morrison, TN 37357. Tel: 800-239-5778. www.accu-router.com
This article originally appeared in the April 2010 issue.