When considering a new CNC Control, we believe you will find that Numatix provides your shop with more capabilities, higher productivity, greater features, and faster installation time than any other control available today.
The following outlines the concept of how the Numatix CNC Control is capable of reducing your overall machining cycle time drastically without altering any of your current machine physics or part program.
High Speed vs. High Productivity
High Speed is typically considered to be cutting motion of 500 inches per minute or higher. This level of machine tool performance must be designed in from concept.
High Productivity is all about making the machining process as efficient as possible. This can be accomplished in a number of areas.
• Faster metal removal
• Lower machinist time
• Lower pre production (CAD) time
• Control speed of use
• Extend cutter life
• Increase dimensional precision
• Improve part finish (Less benching time)
Many machine shops are currently cutting materials at 15 to 50 I.P.M. when their machine tool is capable of cutting speeds from 200 to 350 I.P.M. (or more) without any redesigning or mechanical modifications. The Numatix CNC Control will allow your machine to perform at its maximum designed speed while enjoying all the benefits associated with PC based controls. The retrofit solution will save you the huge expense of purchasing a new machine, new tooling, and the additional floor space that would be needed.
How can my machine cut twice as fast?
Higher rates of controlled cutting are accomplished by keeping the cutter moving and keeping the tool pressure constant. This sounds like a simple concept, but in practice it becomes quite a challenge. Cutter performance can only be optimized when each flute of the cutter is engaged with the metal such that an identical chip load is present. On a manual mill, when you crank on the axis feed handle you can feel it stiffen up as your cutter engages the metal. In the next instant the handle wants to fly forward as the cutter exits. The next flute engages and it starts all over again.
These same forces are at work in your CNC machine. You don’t feel it, but the motors do, and most controls cannot correct for these intermittent forces fast enough to prevent a flute from taking more of a bite than the next. Most of today’s CNC controls (and nearly all controls over 6 years old) are simply not fast enough to properly execute precise motion control at speeds above one million encoder pulses per minute. Yes, most controls can count at and above this speed; however, their response time is too slow to tightly control the velocity of 3 or 4 or 5 axis all at once. From the stand point of the control, there are two main factors involved when producing higher speed/high productivity cutting:
1. Closed Loop Update Time.
This is the time necessary to read the axis current position, compare it to the desired position, and then output the correct signal to the axis drivers.
The Numatix high productivity CNC addresses this part of the equation in two critical areas. First off, the Numatix control software motion engine is under 250Kb in length. This extremely efficient program prevents the main CPU from laboring over megabytes of instructions and frees up valuable processor time.
Secondly, the Numatix control utilizes the fastest available motion interface hardware. This DSP motion card is a second computer processor all by itself. In the Numatix control, your machine’s digital encoder feedback is compared against the commanded position at a rate of 5 times every millisecond, resulting in a corrected output to the axis driver. Note also that the Numatix control executes this update in such a way that the high rate of processing does not diminish when additional axis are added to the system.
2. Continuous Feed Rate.
Continuous feed is only possible when the CPU is free to process all of the required information. This includes looking ahead, calculating G-Codes and parametric values for positioning, the non stop flow of point to point information and much more. The Numatix control has taken continuous motion to the next level by calculating machine motion (actual axis speed) based on the surface geometry being cut. This function is similar to constant surface speed on a lathe.
The non stop flow of point to point information is made possible by avoiding data starvation. Data starvation occurs when, in the middle of a high speed motion, the control needs more processing time for one or more blocks. If the current motion ends before new data is available, the servos stop for a split second, then continue. The Numatix control avoids this condition by buffering. Operations that may be slow are buffered so their average time affects the speed rather than their worst time.
Even with buffering, what if the next move is delayed for a few seconds, such as in the case of a network? The answer is that in addition to buffering the network, the feedrate is reduced gradually when the buffer is not full and deceleration is never greater than a preset value.
In addition to avoiding data starvation, continuous motion is achieved by constant program look-ahead. When a Numatix control is at work, you will notice the axis motion speeds up when rounding an outside corner and slows a bit when changing direction on an inside corner. The control looks ahead and calculates the best feed according to feed changes in any one of the axes. The control commands the machine to decelerate ahead of time when a reduced feed is programmed. This important characteristic keeps the cutting tool pressure constant. This level of continuous feed is calculated internally through 8 axis of motion without the need for any additional user input.
Below are additional advantages gained when using the Numatix CNC Control:
Decreased Machinist Time
Using a PC based CNC has never been this easy.
F1 context sensitive HELP menus provide you with the information you need without searching through a big heavy manual.
Our off line version is included with your purchase of Numatix. You can use its graphics and powerful editor to prove out a program without tying up the machinery.
You may choose to add specific machine menu items that prompt the operator for information and then alters the part program as required.
It is also possible to write your own complete help file inside your part program. Use this to provide the machine user with information on tooling, setup or other program specific details.
It goes without saying, when your machine completes each part in one half of its previous cycle time, there will be less machinist time per part. With Numatix, the entire machining process is optimized through its ease of use.
Lower Pre Production (CAD) Time
While other controls supply a few predefined G and M codes, Numatix has used up every letter from A to Z. The built in programming power of this control makes it possible to take on jobs that, in the past, you may have turned down. Along with all of the well known standard codes, Numatix also allows many plain words in English and from the Basic programming language. If you’re inclined to program every move on a CAD/CAM, then rest assured, all major CAD manufactures have a Numatix post processor.
Control Speed of Use
Context sensitive help is as simple as pressing F1.
Your control comes complete with all the tools available to customize your screen. Many customers find it valuable to generate custom menus that prompt the operator through their part setup or to complete complex formulas based on the operator’s input.
Extended Tool Life
Customers have told us about one more benefit to machining with Numatix. We continue to receive reports of noticeably improved cutting tool life since the integration of their control. Apparently, with each cutting surface performing an equal amount of work the entire cutting tool stays sharp longer.
Increased Dimensional Precision
The ultra fast update time of this system prevents even the slightest amount of over shoot. Our built in axis tuning tools will set the acceleration and deceleration rates within the capability of your machine tool. If for some reason one axis is unable to complete its motion, all axis will wait. Following error is absolutely the smallest possible value.
Improved Part Finish
By maintaining an absolute constant cutter velocity, Numatix allows the tool to remove metal at its maximum rate while producing a finish that is unbelievably smooth. The Numatix control will remove 50% of your current machining time by simply eliminating that final or clean up pass.