CNC retrofit projects

A CNC retrofit project involves upgrading an existing manual machine tool to a computer numerical control (CNC) system. This conversion enables the machine to be operated automatically and with precise control, allowing for increased accuracy, repeatability, and efficiency in machining operations.  
Encoders application in CNC Project:
OstBridge can advise different rotary encoders, angel encoders, linear encoders for rotary tables and CNC machines.

Relative Brands:
  • RSF
Encoders play a crucial role in CNC machines by providing accurate feedback on position, speed, and direction to the CNC controller. Here are some key applications of encoders in CNC machines:

  • Position Feedback: Encoders are used to determine the position of the machine's axes, such as X, Y, and Z. They provide precise measurements of the tool's position relative to the workpiece, allowing for accurate positioning and movement control.

  • Closed-Loop Control: By using encoders in a closed-loop system, the CNC controller can continuously monitor and adjust the position of the machine's axes in real time. This feedback loop helps maintain accuracy and compensate for any errors or deviations during machining operations.

  • Speed Control: Encoders provide information about the rotational speed of the machine's spindles or rotary axes. This data allows the CNC controller to maintain consistent cutting speeds and control the acceleration and deceleration of the tool during machining processes.

  • Tool Length Compensation: Encoders can be used in conjunction with automatic tool changers to precisely measure the length of different tools. This information is crucial for tool length compensation, ensuring accurate tool positioning and minimizing setup time.

  • Error Detection and Correction: Encoders can detect any discrepancies between the commanded position and the actual position of the machine's axes. If errors occur, the CNC controller can take corrective actions to minimize or eliminate positioning errors, improving the overall accuracy of the machining process.

  • Homing and Reference Positioning: Encoders assist in the homing process, where the machine locates a reference position for each axis before starting a job. By using encoders, the machine can accurately determine its initial position, ensuring consistent starting points for subsequent machining operations.

  • Feedback for Automatic Tool Path Adjustments: In advanced CNC systems, encoders provide feedback for adaptive control and dynamic adjustments. By monitoring the actual tool position, the CNC controller can make real-time adjustments to the tool path, compensating for any external factors such as tool wear, material inconsistencies, or machine deflections.
PLC /Electronic Control in CNC Machines
PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) systems are commonly used in CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines for various applications.

Relative Brands:
B&R PC control

  • Machine Control: PLCs serve as the primary control system in CNC machines. They receive high-level commands and instructions from the CNC controller or computer and execute them by controlling various components of the machine, such as motors, drives, solenoids, valves, and pumps. PLCs ensure precise and coordinated movement of the machine's axes, tool changes, spindle control, and other machine functions.

  • Safety and Emergency Stop: PLCs play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of CNC machines. They monitor emergency stop buttons, safety interlocks, and other safety devices to immediately halt machine operations in case of an emergency. PLCs can also manage safety features like guarding, light curtains, and safety door locks, ensuring operator and machine safety.

  • Sequence Control: PLCs handle the sequencing and synchronization of different machine operations. They manage the precise execution of a series of steps, such as tool changes, workpiece clamping/unclamping, coolant flow control, and other auxiliary functions. PLCs ensure that these operations occur in the correct order and timing, optimizing productivity and reducing human errors.

  • I/O Interface: PLCs provide the interface between the CNC controller and the machine's input and output devices. They handle the communication between the CNC system and sensors, switches, encoders, limit switches, and other devices that provide feedback and control signals. PLCs convert the analog and digital signals to a format that the CNC system can understand, facilitating smooth communication and coordination.

  • Diagnostic and Monitoring: PLCs monitor and collect data from various sensors and devices within the CNC machine. They can track parameters such as temperature, pressure, motor currents, and other vital information. PLCs facilitate real-time monitoring and diagnostics, enabling operators to identify potential issues, perform preventive maintenance, and optimize machine performance.

  • Error Handling and Fault Detection: PLCs can detect errors, faults, and abnormal conditions within the CNC machine. They implement error-handling routines and safety protocols to handle such situations effectively. PLCs may generate alarms, trigger fault diagnostics, and initiate appropriate actions to prevent damage to the machine or workpiece.