Control Retrofits maximize machining productivity.

Press Release Summary:

Machine Tool Retrofit solutions revitalize mechanically sound machines with new controls, existing-control enhancements, and digital-drive technology. Controls permit optional add-on features, and communication capabilities are provided via Ethernet-ready controls. Features include CNC hardware such as Manual Guide i, machining technologies such as AI Contour Control, Bell-Shaped Acc/Dec for Rapid Traverse, and i Adapt adaptive control.

Original Press Release:

GE Fanuc Automation Launches Machine Tool Retrofit Solutions

Control Retrofits Maximize Machining Productivity and Quality, Decrease Costs

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - March 22, 2004 - GE Fanuc Automation Americas, Inc., a unit of GE Infrastructure, has announced new Machine Tool Retrofit solutions - which help machine tool users leverage existing equipment assets to cost effectively improve productivity and quality, and increase competitiveness in today's challenging business environment. Available through GE Fanuc and GE Fanuc-certified retrofitters, these Machine Tool Retrofit solutions revitalize mechanically sound machines with new controls, existing-control enhancements, and digital drive technology.

"An aging, unreliable, or feature-limited CNC can increase the costs associated with machine maintenance and downtime," explained Douglas Peterson, vice president, CNCs and lasers, GE Fanuc Automation. "By retrofitting a new state-of-the-art control to an existing machine, companies can breathe new life and enhanced productivity into an otherwise mechanically sound - and high value - machine. Fortunately, machine tool users have a tremendous opportunity to achieve productivity similar to new machine levels through quick, cost-effective retrofits."

Available now, GE Fanuc's Machine Tool Retrofit solutions combine consultative expertise from a world leader in CNCs with state-of-the-art technology, fast implementation, and training. Retrofits from GE Fanuc offer machine tool users a multitude of benefits. New controls not only improve performance but also reduce mean time between failure with quicker access to spare parts. Additionally, the GE Fanuc retrofit brings improved communication capabilities through Ethernet-ready controls, allowing machine tool users to connect into manufacturing and business networks for greater access to data and improved decision making. New controls permit optional add-on features - giving machine tool users the ability to modify equipment as machining needs change.

"As a result of a retrofit, end users can spend less time with setup, programming, and maintenance, and machine assets have greater uptime and output," Peterson added. "A retrofit offers these immediate benefits and positions the machine tool user for long-term reliability and higher productivity."

With world-renowned CNC hardware, GE Fanuc also offers a suite of proven optimization capabilities for Machine Tool Retrofits such as:

· Manual Guide i provides fast, automated setups with probing capabilities for tool geometry offsets, tool wear offsets, work-piece offsets and 3D coordinate rotation offsets for more complex parts. Programming and operation is easier through a single, Windows®-like screen. Graphical conversational programming makes it easy to input, verify, and execute a program.

· High-speed machining technologies such as AI Contour Control (AICC) increase the speed at which detailed finishing cuts can be processed, increasing precision and improving surface finish.

· Bell-Shaped Acc/Dec for Rapid Traverse increases the speed on non-cutting motions such as tool changes and moving to and from the workpiece; and

· i Adapt adaptive control completes the suite by maximizing material removal rate and reducing cycle time up to 40 percent by automatically optimizing the cutting feed rate based on the actual spindle load.

In addition to offering Machine Tool Retrofit solutions, GE Fanuc has introduced the new Five Star Machine Tool Retrofit Program, which certifies retrofit providers' technical and project-management capabilities, matches retrofit projects with qualified best-in-class providers, and helps to ensure that machine tool users can maximize the productivity and efficiency benefits of existing-equipment retrofits.

About GE Fanuc Automation
GE Fanuc Automation, a joint venture between GE and FANUC LTD of Japan, delivers automation hardware and software designed to help users reduce costs, increase efficiency and enhance profitability. With solutions and services catering to virtually every industrial segment, GE Fanuc Automation provides a diverse array of capabilities and products, including controllers, embedded systems, advanced software, motion control, CNCs, operator interfaces, industrial computers, and lasers. Headquartered in Charlottesville, VA, GE Fanuc Automation is a part of GE Infrastructure and combines the diverse global strengths of the GE family with the local presence customers need to design, develop and maintain their automation investments.

For more information, visit or contact: GE Fanuc Information Center, P.O. Box 8106, Charlottesville, VA 22906, Phone: (800) GE FANUC, Fax: 434-978-5205, e-mail:

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