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1990's vintage Allen Bradley controls- no good ?

Milacron

Super Moderator
I just bought a 1992 year CNC router with this Allen Bradley control

I've always got the impression, that for machine tools at least, these controls were undesirable...but never really knew why...just noticed the 10 foot pole marks. What are the "issues" with these things...is it ease of programming, features, support, or ? Is the quality of electronics similar to Fanuc or Yasnac, or is it kinda in between Fanuc and "home made", like Anilam stuff of that era ? :confused:

Anyhoo, I got this thing so cheap I figure it's worth a shot...plus a CNC router is a pretty simple machine really...but am still curious what the deal is with Allen Bradley CNC ?
 

minder

New member
Allen-Bradley have never established A presence in the CNC market, I think there were several factors, Technically the early control system's seemed to buck the trend the way alot of the main players were going, I never seemed to get any really good feedback or support answers when I was looking into integrating one of their controls.
It seemed almost like, 'Well everyones getting into the CNC market, maybe we should'.
At least that is the feeling I got.
Allen-Bradley have in the past, sold alot of equipment that was either made for them with their name on or re-branded other poeples stuff.
Plus they have always been expensive.
Their forte was in the PLC market, but again, expensive.
M.
 

Milacron

Super Moderator
It seemed almost like, 'Well everyones getting into the CNC market, maybe we should'.
At least that is the feeling I got.
You other comments seem reasonable, but this one is harder for me to swallow. Reason being I once owned and used a 1978 OKK VMC which had Allen Bradly NC control. So, they actually had a long history of being involved in NC and later CNC.

In fact, it's my impression they were one of the biggest players in NC controls back in the 1970's. So, to me, it's more like they sort of fizzled out with CNC rather than "jumped in" that market.
 

Gary E

New member
A-B was building 5 axis N/C controls back in the early 1960's. You could have specified it on any number of machines from Cincinnati, K&T, DeVlieg, W&S, Brown & Sharpe, and even Sheldon and many other machine builders.

Just because it does not have a Haas control, that most here are familiar with, dont think that other controls are orphans.

but am still curious what the deal is with Allen Bradley CNC ?
They are good controls, you should have no problem with it. And if you do, there are plenty of tech's to fix it.
 

minder

New member
You could be right, but I have been involved in the PLC/CNC scene since about 1978 and seen the development overtime, even then Allen-Bradley then did not strike me as a leading player in CNC.
There were alot of people doing inovative things, due to the lack of powerfull processors, much was being done with descrete logic because of this, and eventually a trend and practice developed, I saw Fanuc come into the USA and experiment with US made systems before they bought out GE (1050 anyone?) and eventually became the world leader, with their own system.
Others followed their methology.
In the early 1970's there were CNC machines based on data processing computers like Digital, just because there was not alot else around made for machine control.
I retro-fitted one Japanese machine that originally had linear interpolation and did not have one mathematical processor in it, all descrete logic.
M.
 

Mark McGrath

New member
"before they bought out GE(1050 anyone)"
Ge were at the GE2000 control which was built by Fagor in Spain when GE decided their market share was not big enough to fit with their business model.So,GE paid Fanuc $200 million for a half share in Fanuc.I don`t think the deal was worldwide but was certainly a big part of it.
Mark.
 

miran

New member
ab8400mp

i run a allen bradley 8400mp and i just love it its my favorite control of all time and i have ran quite afew cnc controls at my young age of 52.
 

Dan from Oakland

Active member
We have one CNC router with an 8400 control on it and it works just fine. There are several aftermarket sources for service, tech assistance. It takes G code just like every other control, and you enter offsets just like everyone else- it just depends on what you are familiar with and how snooty you want to be. If we found another machine with this control, it would not be an issue. We have run this machine daily for
at least 12 years and I think we replaced a key pad and 2 monitors in that time. Ours is integrated with Baldor drives.
Dan
 

scojen

New member
Don,
We have a 5 axis CNC router with a AB 9/260 series control and aside from a few minor issuses. The thing just keeps on moving the toolbit where we want it for the last 15 years. If your machine has old DC servo drives I would strongly suggest you check the brushes in the servos for wear and replace as needed believe me it is much cheaper than a servo rebuild or a new one. Don't ask how I know. 5 servo rebuilds and or replacement runs about 15k without labor.

Scott
 

Milacron

Super Moderator
Since I posted that post years ago, I've found there are some specialists that work on the controls and have parts for them. Another neat thing is the control itself is a "clamshell" design such that in theory you could disconnect it and ship it off UPS if it ever needed repair. Also the memory is non volatile, so even if the batteries die you don't loose parameters. Pretty nice control really.
 

Dan from Oakland

Active member
Don' want to hijack this but can anyone recommend someone to work on older Allen Bradley 7300 series controls? Is an Allen Bradley guy always an Allen Bradley guy?
thanks, Dan
 

PROBE

New member
You could be right, but I have been involved in the PLC/CNC scene since about 1978 and seen the development overtime, even then Allen-Bradley then did not strike me as a leading player in CNC.
There were alot of people doing inovative things, due to the lack of powerfull processors, much was being done with descrete logic because of this, and eventually a trend and practice developed, I saw Fanuc come into the USA and experiment with US made systems before they bought out GE (1050 anyone?) and eventually became the world leader, with their own system.
Others followed their methology.
In the early 1970's there were CNC machines based on data processing computers like Digital, just because there was not alot else around made for machine control.
I retro-fitted one Japanese machine that originally had linear interpolation and did not have one mathematical processor in it, all descrete logic.
M.

Back in 1969 my first servicing job was on 5 axis symultanous Bunker Ramo 3000 control on Sundstrand Omnimill machine (few years later Bunker Ramo became AB). No microprocessors, just thousends of 2N1301 transistors.
Remember that at that time majority of NC machines producers were american, and they used american controls. With the slow down of machine tool manufacturing in US also the control producers started to disappear.
 

doug6949

New member
Allen-Bradley have in the past, sold alot of equipment that was either made for them with their name on or re-branded other peoples stuff.

About eight years ago I became a VAR for Machine Mate. At the classes I met an engineer from Allen Bradley. AB was re-branding the Machine Mate control. This engineer said AB had put their name on so many competitor's products over the years he couldn't keep track of them.

The AB version of the Machine Mate had proprietary crap added to it so they could bleed your bank account if it needed repair. The licensing scheme (or scam, depending on your point of view) for RSLogix comes to mind.

AFAIK, AB controls have generally been quality stuff. But I wouldn't want one.

Doug
 








 
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