CNC Software is built on open control architecture.
October 17, 2005 -
OpenCNC® v6.5 enables manufacturers to integrate off-the-shelf hardware and software technologies. Set of lathe macros helps saves programming time, while hand-wheel feed feature lets user hand feed job stream up to programmed cutting and traverse speeds. Software also provides compiled HTML help menus, lead screw compensation for rotary axes, and Sercos SoftSERCANS support. With winPlot, users are provided with clear, 2D plot of machine moves.
(Archive News Story - Products mentioned in this Archive News Story may or may not be available from the manufacturer.)
|Original Press release |
Manufacturing Data Systems, Inc.
3885 Research Park Drive, Suite A
Ann Arbor, MI, 48108
New Version of OpenCNC® Designed to Save Time
Manufacturing Data Systems, Ann Arbor, MI, announces the release of OpenCNC® Version 6.5 with a host of features that saves programming time and improves usability across a wide range of machine tools.
OpenCNC software, the first production-proven, unbundled, software CNC built on an open control architecture, enables manufacturers to save cost and keep up with rapidly advancing technology by integrating off-the-shelf hardware and software technologies. It was introduced to the market in 1990 and is installed on thousands of machines across a range of industries.
OpenCNC Version 6.5 enhances the productivity of the software through several new features:
o New set of lathe macros, including profile definition, finishing, grooving, roughing, and tool definition saves programming time, delivering the maximum machine motion for minimum programming time.
o The new Hand-Wheel Feed feature allows the user to hand feed a job stream up to the programmed cutting and traverse speeds. Handy for debugging programs, this feature allows the user to control machine motion and watch the machine tool follow a programmed path and avoid potential collisions or misfeeds in the program.
o Help menus are now compiled HTML allowing for easier searching and navigation.
o Improved lead screw compensation for rotary axes reduces complexity in set up, saving programming time and contributing to machining accuracy due to improved positioning.
o A low-cost assist for analog servos, a new driver for Sensoray526 card also will be included in the new OpenCNC release. The Sensoray526 card is an economical reader of an encoder input used to run a servo.
o Broadened Sercos SoftSERCANS support with the addition of drivers that will run more variations of Sercos drivers in use on machines today, making OpenCNC even more widely applicable to more different machine tools.
SERCOS (SErial Real-time COmmunications System) is an open, fiber-optics-based, CNC-to-digital drive interface standard. Interfacing a completely open, all-software CNC with an open digital communications standard allows the power and tuning of a servo drive to be managed entirely in software from a single PC, with just one fiber optic cable and a passive communication card between the PC and the drive.
The benefit of the OpenCNC SERCOS interface for machine tool builders and end-user manufacturers is enhanced servo performance, improved part finish, and the cost savings associated with using standard digital interfaces and non-hardware-based open solutions for communications to the machine tool versus using proprietary digital or analog drives.
Other new features include:
o The new winPlot feature allows users to display the machine coordinates during operation for diagnostic and prove-out purposes. The feature provides a clear, two-dimensional plot of machine moves.
o The winSevView feature makes it easy to search and view specific patented Significant Events / files. Significant Events are time-stamped events stored in the control in order of occurrence. With this new tool users can quickly review significant events from any time in the machine's operating history.
Unlike proprietary CNC controls, OpenCNC requires no proprietary hardware or motion control cards. Combining a soft CNC and soft PLC in a single application, OpenCNC is well suited for new equipment as well as machine control replacements and allows the easy and regular installation of software updates. OpenCNC also provides essential software tools and diagnostic features for customizing servo, spindle, ATC and other hardware interface options.
"In an industry dominated by proprietary hardware CNC solutions, MDSI has proven that high-end, multi-axis CNC machine tools can be controlled entirely from software-without any motion control cards, proprietary hardware, or embedded firmware," said an MDSI spokesperson.
OpenCNC provides a common control technology across a full range of machine tools: single- and dual-turret lathes, single- and multi-spindle precision drills, routers, mills, grinders, gear hobs, dial index machines, and gantry machines-all from a single operating system, running from a single processor.
MDSI's OpenCNC® and WinMotion® open architecture machine control solutions improve machine tool productivity, and permit users to easily upgrade hardware, software, and peripheral components without having to reengineer existing machine logic. MDSI is a subsidiary of Tecumseh Products Company, a $2 billion global manufacturer of compressor, gasoline engines, and pumps. MDSI supplies open architecture factory automation solutions that increase flexibility and enable agile manufacturing for the CNC and general motion control markets. MDSI software has logged millions of hours of successful metalcutting production in the aerospace, construction, agricultural and machine tool industries.