Need to replace cnc controller on a bed mill in maintenance / toolroom application.
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  1. #1
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    Default Need to replace cnc controller on a bed mill in maintenance / toolroom application.

    We have three aging milling machines from the mid 90's. A King Rich Servo Sam 6 & Sam 7, and a Bridgeport EZTrack. The 6&7 both have 4th axis. None have tool changers.
    I know these are not industrial grade production machines, but they fit our,(power plant), needs very well. We have been quoted $73k for two control and AC axis drives for the Sams. The control is some German name that I can't recall right now.
    We don't need a control that can run the space station, but I don't want a toy either.
    Any recommendations
    have fun
    i_r_

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    Maybe look into accurite, their controls are very good.

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    At that cost I'd just buy a pair of new TRAK bed mills.

    Check out Centroid, and you might also look for threads on the CNC Zone, they tend to be more focused on conversions and the like.

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    I would definitely go Centroid for that application. I absolutely love the Centroid control. I have also used Accurite, Milltronics, and Prototrak. Just the controls with servos are probably in the $18-22k range. Unless they are doing additional mechanical work I think $73k for two machines is high. For three machines $73k is not a bad price.

    For toolroom work the Centroid is very user friendly. What I really like about it is that you can write a program in the conversational part of the software, and then go back and edit the g-code if necessary. I love it.

    Or if you write a program with CAM software and load it on the machine, same thing - you can go in and edit the g-code at the machine. Very helpful if you're trying to tweak a program!
    Last edited by Joe Miranda; 11-19-2019 at 10:09 AM. Reason: response didn't fit orignal concern

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    For 73k you can find 2 - 3 decent HAAS used machines. But yes. I'll be following this thread.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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    I retrofitted my old Milltronics Knee Mill with Centroid All in One DC control about a year ago, best thing I ever did. Easiest transition and a great control with up to date features.

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    After alot of reading yesterday, I've decided on the medium mill (2kw) plug and play AC system from Centroid. Price on the web is $19,100 for 3 axis, with 4th its going to be what Joe said at $22k-ish. That is with four AC axis drives. I am going to try and find someone in the area that has one that I can go lay my hands on. Good excuse for a road trip. Last Centroid I touched was about 15 years ago and didn't care for it.
    I have not recieved a quote back from Acu-Rite on the control for the Bridgeport. My machinist has had experience with them and is like a little kid waiting on his red rider bb gun.
    I'll keep yall informed
    have fun
    i_r_machinist

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    Quote Originally Posted by i_r_machinist View Post
    After alot of reading yesterday, I've decided on the medium mill (2kw) plug and play AC system from Centroid. Price on the web is $19,100 for 3 axis, with 4th its going to be what Joe said at $22k-ish. That is with four AC axis drives. I am going to try and find someone in the area that has one that I can go lay my hands on. Good excuse for a road trip. Last Centroid I touched was about 15 years ago and didn't care for it.
    I have not recieved a quote back from Acu-Rite on the control for the Bridgeport. My machinist has had experience with them and is like a little kid waiting on his red rider bb gun.
    I'll keep yall informed
    have fun
    i_r_machinist
    It's been a few years, but I loved the Centroid control I used. We had the tool probe attachment, IIRC guy said it was $1k addon or so, but very very nice. The graphics are pretty nice too. One thing about Haas is the graphics page is pretty much worthless. The Centroid is more like a Hurco where you can change views (iso, front, top, etc) and zoom in and out and actually see what is going on. Also, similar to a Hurco is you get conversational and G code.

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    Seems to be more and more folks thinking that Centroid is to be considered an actual "industrial" control package these days.

    I talked to one of these outfits at IMTS 2016 (?) and they were not able to handle random tool change macro's yet, but expected to by the next summer.

    Pretty sure that they were NOT up to speed last I checked.
    But maybe by now?


    Has anyone had any experience with this issue yet?


    -----------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    At least it's not going on a grizzardly or mini shit mill

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    Hmmm - so Ox my (now 14 year old) Centroid mill doesn't have a tool changer, but you can change tools (by hand) however you want. So what do you mean by "random tool change macros"??? Macro code for whatever the weird specifics of particular tool changer are?

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    My bad, I guess I should have said "Migrating Tool".


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    Ox

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    I had a boss control on my V2xT Bridgeport. I changed to a Centroid M400 about 12 years ago. It is freeking wonderful!!!!

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    FWIW, I've done 2 Centroid retrofits and used one for daily job shop type work. I found it to be far more useful and easy than any of the conventional controls (Brother, Siemens, Haas, Fadal, etc). I specifically chose the CNC10 because it was Linux based, now they are a hybrid setup with the frontend running on Windows and the backend running Linux (I believe). I appreciated the ability to use USB for transferring files. They had networking support, but I didn't set that up.

    The one gotcha is they never supported resolvers, so you have to upgrade the motors or maybe find resolver to encoder convertors. I'd jump on a Centroid to retrofit my Fadal if they supported resolvers.

    The irony is that my Fadal has rebuilt motors in it because they came off my Shizuoka when I did the Centroid retrofit...because they had resolvers.

    Centroid integrated the DIY part of the biz (Ajax CNC) into their mainline offerings after finally seeing the light, so industrious people can pick the solution they need. The Acorn is a neat product that didn't exist before, it's a 3 axis step and direction controller that uses a Beagle Bone Black for the motion controller.

    The reason this is special is that the BBB is a Linux single board computer that was designed in conjunction with TI. It has 2 realtime processors for doing motion control type jobs, in addition to the normal ARM processor every cellphone has. Linux runs on the ARM to provide high level stuff like network control and the PDU (I think that is the name) units are 32bit processors that get programmed by the ARM at startup. It's a unique design that is highly under-utilized in favor of the more popular Raspberry Pi. The BBB and rPi have their uses, but the BBB came with 4GB of storage on board and a pre-installed OS, starting it up and using it was dead simple and it was pretty powerful -- 1Ghz processor with 512MB of RAM, plus the PDUs, Ethernet, video, and 1 USB. When it was introduced the rPi was a 700Mhz single core with 512MB of RAM and was pretty limited in overall performance.

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    Dynapath is still in the game and their WinDelta control looks pretty good - DynaPath
    It's a 'real' cnc control and intended for retrofits. Haven't used it myself yet.

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    Another vote for Centroid. 10-12 years ago I had the local Centroid rep do my retrofit on a 40 taper knee mill. I took the old control out and mounted some of the new components so the installer could do the wiring, etc. We were able to use the existing Baldor servos, a transformer and a few other items. Including the probe system and me supplying a WIN7 computer price was a hair over $6K. Later I had a 4th installed using an Hardinge head with a new servo replacing the stepper.

    Not even a single problem in all the time I've used the mill (unlike the 4 other brand new machines I purchased over the last 30 years).

    Personally, I would stay away from any controls that use proprietary coding. Centroid is common Gcode that can be intermixed with conversational and macro programming statements. Combine that with a large color monitor and you've got a nice easy machine to use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Harrington View Post
    ........The one gotcha is they never supported resolvers, ......
    I'd call that a serious plus rather than a gotcha. The vast majority of runaway axes I've seen were on resolver based CNCs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    I'd call that a serious plus rather than a gotcha. The vast majority of runaway axes I've seen were on resolver based CNCs.
    But they don't make differential encoders

    I like Dynapath also. They are a real control. In fact, they were the very first (production) control.

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    Quote Originally Posted by i_r_machinist View Post
    We have three aging milling machines from the mid 90's. A King Rich Servo Sam 6 & Sam 7, and a Bridgeport EZTrack. The 6&7 both have 4th axis. None have tool changers.
    I know these are not industrial grade production machines, but they fit our,(power plant), needs very well. We have been quoted $73k for two control and AC axis drives for the Sams. The control is some German name that I can't recall right now.
    We don't need a control that can run the space station, but I don't want a toy either.
    Any recommendations
    have fun
    i_r_
    Siemens maybe?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    Dynapath is still in the game and their WinDelta control looks pretty good - DynaPath
    It's a 'real' cnc control and intended for retrofits. Haven't used it myself yet.
    I don't know how Dynapath is now. Back in the day they appeared to me to be their own worst enemy. They didn't have any factory authorized repair men in the Pacific NW. When I called for service they said they'd have someone out the next day. Great, until they told me he was coming from the factory and it'd be $800/day plus air fare and overnight lodging. Okay, forget that.

    They did suggest a guy in LA. $2500 wasted on him swapping boards. Finally gave up on him after I found he'd been fired from Dynapath.

    The local CNC fixers all said Dynapath was too hard to deal with to bother getting involved.

    I sure liked the Delta 20 control though.


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