WestingHouse CNC Controls ?
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  1. #1
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    Default WestingHouse CNC Controls ?

    looks to have been based in Buffalo, I wonder what
    company they bought out ?
    Or if it's still in business under a new name/owner ?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails westinhouse-cnc-1a.jpg   westinhouse-cnc-2.jpg   westinhouse-cnc-3a.jpg  

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    Never have seen a machine with a Westinghouse control but have heard of machines equipped with them. I do not have any info on what happened to them. I suspect that most machines with Westinghouse controls were made for use in their own factories and few made it to other companies. Would not be surprised if some of the folks that worked on them moved to or started some of the other early NC and CNC manufacturers in the US.

    The late 60s through the 70s some of the "tech" companies of the day dipped into the NC control building business. I'm sure it was seen as an opportunity that was worth investing in. Local to me, Tektronix started building NC controls and installed them on various toolroom type mills and at least one sheetmetal punch. Initially they were used in Tek's manufacturing while bugs were worked out and features developed. Never made it anywhere out in the market though. Only a few were sold AFAIK. Several made it to the used market after Tek spun off their parts manufacturing division and the old machines were sold. One of the mills, still claimed to be operational, made it on to the Portland Craigslist a couple years ago.

    I did some work near an old Kearney & Trecker HMC that had a DEC PDP at the heart of its control while installing some new machines at a customer in the late 80s. It was about 15 years old at the time and down more than up. Pretty much a case where taking a computer designed for an "office" environment and pressing it into use in an shop environment was not a very good idea.

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    McDonnell-Douglas built a control, yes, THAT McDonnell-Douglas. It was called "Actrion III." Not sure what happened to "I" and "II," but it was a nightmare. They decided that they were gonna break into the CNC biz and the control market, back in the late 70s. Got in way over their head then pulled the plug. Every so often I come across one in the back of a plant, usually with cobwebs and dust all over it.

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    We had a Westinghouse control on a Whitney punch press. Punched tape, no CRT G00 interpolation only.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    looks to have been based in Buffalo, I wonder what
    company they bought out ?
    Or if it's still in business under a new name/owner ?
    I've had two .... I don't think they were ever a mover and shaker in the market but they did supply a lot to Whitney for punches. My Panther came from Thermo-King and, as Vanc said, a lot of them were in Westinghouse plants. They did lathes and mills both.

    The head maintenance guy in the Westinghouse plant in Sunnyvale knew his shit. He'd charge in to the exec without fear, make changes, adapt a control off a machine that was being scrapped to a different machine in the plant, had the source, added floppy drives and even a hard disk to a control that wasn't itnended for that, knew his way around the blood and guts of those controls. Nice guy, too. Ah, the goode old dayes

    I do know they started in Buffalo but ended up in Florida. The 2560 had a nice bit-sliced processor, a real minicomputer, with crt and nice features. It was more advanced than the Bendix 5 but in general, similar. Then they came out with the Producer, which was the same control with a few new features and one of those plastic bubble interface panels, like the K&T D control had. Those were great until one cell died, then you had to replace the whole thing.

    They also did time-sharing and had some sort-of conversational systems like Westurn, which was basically a clone of Cinturn, which was just APT macros tailored to Cincinnati lathes.

    In the end, a guy named Teddy Fleuchardt bought the company. He was a famous flake and disappeared after some questionable shenanigans. There was a guy on the east coast doing service for them but he's probaly dead by now.

    They are a good control. Pretty nice to use and reasonably reliable. My problems were almost always with the interface and the core memory. Core is neat but it does have problems. Expensive problems

    I'd take a Westinghouse 2560 over a farkin' Fanuc any day. Made in USA and a better product altogether


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