Orphaned controls, best to retro. - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    The wood industry has quite a few machines that I think are ripe for retrofits as a big part of the MTB's in the wood world went with the PC frontends with some proprietary software on it. I had a mid 90's Giben (Italian) cnc panel saw that had a foot print of 30'x 30' with a DOS based control on it. More than enough power as it was just a 1.5 axis machine and the only computer juice it really needed was to nest the parts on your sheets. Anyway, that machine got scrapped because the old 386 keep giving us fits and the guys I worked for decided to buy new. If I had the space for it, it would be in my shop and I would have spent the last 5 years trying to get it running Ha.

    Besides panel saws, a large portion of the cnc router/point to point machines in the industry are from Europe and have an unreliable PC running them. These are higher end machines with large work envelopes and are usually 6 figures to buy and they have them running on windows. Unfortunately even alot of the US made machines have a PC with windows running them, not a fan as I have spent many many days down over 6 different machines due to windows junk failing.

    This may discredit my thoughts on these being worthy of a retrofit as alot of the routers/point to points have a huge number of tools riding along like horizontal spindles, saws, drill banks with sometimes 40+ drills in them, main router spindles with tool changers, material handling stuff built in etc. It would be quite a job to get all that working together.

    One consideration I would have high on my list is if the old machine had servos and other main components that could be reused. If you didn't have to gut it back to a weldment or casting and start over, it would be easier to justify updating.

  2. #22
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    Thanks for the tip on the wood industry. I never thought of that, but after you said it I recall several examples.

    Anilam is also a control example that falls into the unsupported category. Actually I really like the control, and they didn't exactly come on any super sophisticated machines OEM, but its an example where more than likely, if the control broke it be tough to fix and would be sold for next to nothing.

  3. #23
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    There is a company locally that gets old routers and retrofits them.

    MTC Purpose Built Machines

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  5. #24
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    I am going to have to retrofit my Anilam 6000 Vmc someday. My plan is to keep the motors and encoders, use Parker drives and probably a Centroid control. The existing I/o board and all the relays should be reusable.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Controls to avoid that aren't supported?

    Seicos by Hitachi Seiki (Fanuc hardware with Hitachi software, sometimes, depending on machine)

    Deckel Maho/ DMG Millplus, control that was a Grundig/Philips creation and then bought out by Heidenhain who was locked with Deckel Maho for its use so they took what they liked from it and added it to the Heidenhain TNC controls. Development of the millplus stopped and now older versions are becoming hard to get info on, especially the pre "millplus" 432 and 532 controls.

    Get an industrial CNC/PLC from Fanuc, Siemens or Heidenhain and you will be good for support for a very long time, and you will have a great control. I have no idea why Fagor was recommended, I've run Fagor machines and do not consider them in the same league. If you choose any of the other less popular brands as a retrofit control they could be an orphan tomorrow.

    Keeping old Fanuc controls running isn't hard though, at least the boards are serviceable and the components are high quality and solid. I would take an old Fanuc over a new mystery brand control any day.

    Writing safe logic for all CNC and PLC processes is not easy and the time taken to reinvent the wheel could have been spent doing something to make money so you can buy a complete machine with a supported control to begin with. I've done both, I'll never get the time back and the knowledge of how to do a retrofit can be summed up as: Don't bother, not if you are serious about the actual making of chips rather than tinkering on machines.

    Just my 2 cents, hope it helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vmipacman View Post
    Thanks for the tip on the wood industry. I never thought of that, but after you said it I recall several examples.

    Anilam is also a control example that falls into the unsupported category. Actually I really like the control, and they didn't exactly come on any super sophisticated machines OEM, but its an example where more than likely, if the control broke it be tough to fix and would be sold for next to nothing.
    A guy recently contacted me - they have a mill and lathe with Anilam control. Low hours, been sitting for years. If they were still supported I'd be all over them. I too like the control. Now, being taken away for scrap. I don't know if they run right now, but I'm not will to take the risk. Don't need a potential boat anchor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eaglemike View Post
    A guy recently contacted me - they have a mill and lathe with Anilam control. Low hours, been sitting for years. If they were still supported I'd be all over them. I too like the control. Now, being taken away for scrap. I don't know if they run right now, but I'm not will to take the risk. Don't need a potential boat anchor.
    If its an Anilam 6000M control I might be interested in buying the control for part. Email me at [email protected] if interested.

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    From the recent discussion in the Tried and True Machine thread, it looks like Haas is headed for this category.

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    Someone just posted a success story on eMastercam about having an old Fadal control replaced by Calmotion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhajicek View Post
    Someone just posted a success story on eMastercam about having an old Fadal control replaced by Calmotion.
    That doesn't fit into what's generally regarded here as an extensive retrofit.

    It takes less than a day to install the Calmotion and be up and running again, allegedly even a cave man can do the installation. There's several other Fadal retrofits that are similar in scope and ease of installation

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ianagos View Post
    I got a quote from szgh too do you have any experience with them? I’m interested.

    Seems like a good control to retrofit a machine with.

    Just fitted one (SZGH CNC100TDC) to my lathe, works well and support was good although usually delayed by 24hrs due to time zone differences.

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    Centroid and PC based control machines are only I can think of made in this century that are abortions that go cheap.

    Neighbor had a Centroid mill. POS control. Sold it for cheap to another shop that thought Centroid was god's gift. That mill is still just a paperweight.

    If you want a machine to make parts go buy one. If you can't afford something that runs with a good control you shouldn't be on Practical Machinist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    Centroid and PC based control machines are only I can think of made in this century that are abortions that go cheap.

    Neighbor had a Centroid mill. POS control. Sold it for cheap to another shop that thought Centroid was god's gift. That mill is still just a paperweight.

    If you want a machine to make parts go buy one. If you can't afford something that runs with a good control you shouldn't be on Practical Machinist.
    91sn32q.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    If you want a machine to make parts go buy one. If you can't afford something that runs with a good control you shouldn't be on Practical Machinist.

    Honestly your and my idea of a good control differs, i like freedom to chose and have little more qualms with changing controls than i do changing vices on the machine table.

    Equally i own my machines to make me money to spend on nice things, not more ugly out of date OEM style cnc machines. Though i think its probably fair at last to state that going out and buying a decent machine today and you do get a nice control and not one running on at least 20 years behind the curve computing technologies as had been the norm till pretty recently.

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    If you're just starting out, you don't really need the latest greatest control to make parts. I've got 30+ year old CNCs in my place with the original controls that are still cranking out good parts and still get support. Sure they're not as fast as the new stuff, but none of my current parts require zoomy speeds. When I worked I Doosan I got a bit spoiled with all the new stuff on the floor, but really, an old Fanuc 11 or Okuma OSP 5000 will make good parts. All my iron is in great shape and they still hold tenths. The only real inconvenience was getting rid of the tape readers.

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  18. #36
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    I don't lean as far as Garwood, but I'll say this...Never seen a first rate machine tool equipped with a Centroid when new.

    It's a retrofitter control. I have seen folks retrofit them to what used to be first rate machines, but like almost every retrofit I've seen, they have issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vmipacman View Post
    I know retrofitting can be a very polarizing topic. All I'm curious about are some brands or models that are ripe for retrofitting.
    i.e Newish and capable, but with a terrible control. What are the WORST supported controls, (but not vintage!), just a control that was fairly modern but short lived. What are some machines that people stay away from just because of the control (ironically that would also be any retrofitted machine Nothing Fanuc, Fadal, or Haas, they all have good support and the controls are robust and easily sourced.

    For example, I had a good experience recently buying an Ecoca 18x60 lathe. Came with some kind of Mitsubishi(not Meldas)/other brand PC based control with absolutely zero support available. So it had sat broken most of its life. Really good condition. I think its an early 2000's machine. It was a purchase that worked out good for me because I got great iron for almost nothing. I don't mean to get into the pitfalls of retrofitting, just what brands or models are the best to start with. And I'm not reselling, just thinking of replacing and older Fanuc turning center.
    As far as I understand vmipacman is his or her intent to specifically FIND machines with orphaned controls but have good "Iron".

    The idea is that he / she has the means to hunt down potentially great machines for very little $ assuming that the machine's control can be cleanly retro-fitted some how... Hence the request for a 'Hit list" of recently extinct controls to narrow the "Quest" for good iron that can be made good as a whole machine ?

    At least that's how I interpreted the question ? (shrugging shoulders ).

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  22. #38
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    I had a Tree Journeyman circa 1979 with the original Tree controller. I don't think Tree uses their own anymore. I retrofitted it with a Centroid. It works great. Very stout and the motors work just fine.


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