What’s the Diagnosis, Doc?
What’s one Google definition of “diagnosis”? "The identification of the nature of an illness or other problem by examination of the symptoms." My time in the field and working phone support tells me that tool changer and pallet changer “hang ups” are almost as common on machine tools as the common cold is for humans. Most hang ups are caused by Mother Nature, foreign objects, or human intervention. However as machines age, housekeeping, mechanical part failure or electrical component failure can also be the cause.
Know the Symptoms Fortunately when an Okuma machine has an ATC or APC “illness” we don’t have to “wait it out” like we have to wait out a sore throat or runny nose. Whether you’re calling to schedule service, calling your distributor phone support line, or fixing it yourself, the fastest way to diagnose and cure your machine is to know its symptoms. Because Okuma makes both the machine and the control, machine tools with OSP controls as far back as the OSP 5000 (1980’s vintage) have the unique ability to tell you their symptoms.
Check the Diagnosis Screen
Next time you have a tool or pallet change “hung up” take a look at the Diagnosis screen to see if it’s a simple symptom you can correct yourself. More mature controls have a function key at the bottom of the screen that will get you to it. Newer controls (OSP-P100, OSP-P200, and OSP-P300) display a symptom message in the diagnosis section on the ATC or APC machine operation screen. They also have a dedicated screen that can be selected with the display change function key. Even if you don’t fix the ATC or APC yourself, you will at least have the information at hand when you call in for help. If you call for phone support, this is one of the first things we ask. If you’re calling for service this helps ensure we understand the problem and if needed bring the correct parts.
Shown above is a screenshot of the APC operation screen on a P300M controlled machine. The APC diagnosis message box is the white box at the bottom of the page. If the machine is having a symptom that is keeping it from completing a cycle it will be displayed here. Instructions for getting to this screen or the equivalent screen on older controls along with a more complete explanation of the symptoms displayed can be found in the Maintenance manual that came with the machine.
Check Your Diagnosis Message
When everything is good the diagnosis box will be empty. If a symptom develops that is keeping the ATC or APC from completing its cycle the symptom will be displayed in the diagnosis box. If you would like to see the diagnosis message in action you can simulate an illness by moving the machine Z‐axis away from tool or pallet change positions, then turn the rapid travel override dial to Zero. Next in Auto, MDI, or Manual mode command a tool or pallet change, while your machine sits there doing nothing, navigate to the Diagnosis page to see why. When you look at the message, keep in mind, Okuma machines must be at the correct Home Position before they will tool or pallet change.
For more information on locating the diagnosis screen on your control or interpreting the messages see the maintenance manuals included with your machine or contact your local distributor’s service department.
Thanks to Ron Sobanek (Hartwig) for providing this article.