Don't Crash! There's a CNC Control for That.
You’ve debated for months, maybe even years. You’ve saved your money; you’ve shown your financials to just about everyone. You’ve made the final decision. You’ve just made the biggest investment in your shop’s history - the most money you’ve ever spent on a CNC machine tool.
This new machine tool moves faster than any other CNC machine in your shop. It has more axis movement than three of your older machines combined! So many axis movements that manual programming is no longer an option. You create your first program and you walk it out to your best machinist, Johnny.
Ouch! Expensive (But Common) Mistake
Johnny has never run a machine like this before, but you both feel very confident. After all, you have the famous bright red “Emergency Stop” button. You think this will stop the machine before any damage occurs. Then Johnny presses cycle start for the very first time, and you both see just how fast the tool change occurs. Then the CNC control reads its first G00 move…and before you know it, your brand new machine tool has an alarm on the control. Once the coolant mist clears, you realize your largest investment has been “CRASHED!” I know, you’re thinking “Not in my shop,” we use single block and the distance to go! But I’ve seen it over and over again. It’s not a matter of IF, it’s a matter of WHEN!
Last month I blogged about some of Okuma’s firsts in CNC Control Technologies. Today I’ll spotlight what I think is Okuma’s most valuable Intelligent Technology: Collision Avoidance System.
With Intelligent Technology, Crashes (and Other Mayhem) Can Be Avoided
Collision Avoidance System (CAS) is a real time software application that works with a highly accurate 3D machine model and the power of Okuma’s THINC® OSP CNC control. The 3D machine model is tied to the encoder position of the axis movement. With the look-ahead of the OSP control, we can avoid costly collisions by automatically stopping the machine tool prior to the collision occurring. As you’re working your way through the NC program, the real time application is working in the background, prepositioning the model, milliseconds ahead of the actual machine movement. With this type of intelligent processing we can stop the machine tool within 2 mm of a collision occurring.
Yes, Even in Manual Mode
But, you say, “most of my collisions occur in manual mode.” CAS will also avoid collisions while Johnny is jogging to touch off a tool or perhaps discussing last night’s football game with his buddy. CAS is keeping a close eye on the entire machine working area, including tooling, workholding and even that long boring bar that’s about to pierce the firewall of your pricey CNC machine tool.
This system is available on all of Okuma’s machine tools that have a P200 or P300 CNC control. CAS pays for itself several times over in the lifetime of an Okuma machine tool.
So when you purchase your next CNC machine tool, ask for Collision Avoidance System and take advantage of Okuma’s latest technologies. Save that big red button for its true intentions!
What kind of crashes lurk in your nightmares? Comment below, or contact us. We can put your mind at ease.
Tim Thornton is Controls Product Specialist, Okuma America Corporation