Module 1.2 - CNC Controller
This is the controller for the machine and is the most complicated
part of the machine. From here you can load programs, write programs, turn coolant
on and off, jog the machine tool and table and change parameters for the machine.
Spindle Load Meter
If the spindle load becomes too high during machining, you might need to make some changes. Refer to the manual for the machine to see what to do when spindle loads get too high.
Emergency Stop Button
This one is self-explanatory. Be ready to hit this button if something seriously goes wrong.
We also use it before powering down the machine, so you'll most likely have to twist and reset it when you power up the machine.
If you just need to stop the movement of the axes of the machine, we usually just hit the "Feed Hold" button. However, the "Feed Hold" button does NOT stop the spindle from spinning so you can still have a problem or get hurt.
Remote jog handle
Cycle Start and Feed Hold buttons
Cycle Start and Feed Hold are two very important buttons, and you'll probably have one finger on each when running your first programs. Cycle Start starts your program running as long as you have no errors and the doors are closed.
The Feed Hold button will stop the motion of all the axes but will allow the spindle to keep spinning. When you run a new and untested program, keep a finger on the feed hold button so that you have at least a chance of stopping the tool from colliding with anything.
You can simply hit Cycle Start again to keep moving, if everything looks okay. Before pushing cycle start for the first time, you will need to review and verify your entire program. You should also decrease the feed, speed, and rapid travel for a new untested program.
Auger, Coolant, and Jogging Keypad
You can use the 9 jog buttons in the center to move the spindle along the axes of the machine. If you push a button once, the spindle will move will move along that axis based on the Jog Handle value. If you push and hold one of the buttons, that axis will move at a rate based on the amount you choose beside the HANDLE JOG button (0.1", 0.01", 0.001", or 0.0001").
If the JOG LOCK key is pressed before a key for an axis, that axis will move continuously without holding the button. Pushing the JOG LOCK button again will stop the motion. Note how there are both + and - directional buttons for each axis. Be careful if you use JOG LOCK, because the machine will just continue to move the table until it reaches its limits.
In order to run a program, you will first hit the MEM button (under misc. keys, explained later) then you will hit the CURNT COMDS button shown above. You may need to hit the ALARM MESGS button if you get an alarm warning on the screen and want to know what happened.
Pushing the RESET button will clear any alarms that have been resolved.
When running a program, you can push the up or down arrows to change the list of coordinates in the upper right of the screen. In other words, you can track where the tool is or how far it has to go for each line of code.
The PAGE UP/DOWN buttons are used just like on a keyboard to quickly scroll through your program. HOME and END are used to go to the beginning or end of your program.
Row 1 - EDIT
In this mode you can edit an NC program, either under the current commands window, or if you are writing code manually under the MDI mode. The cursor will highlight one piece of code on the screen. If you want to insert code before something on the display type it in and push INSERT. This will insert your code before the highlighted code. If you want to change it, just type in the new code and hit ALTER, which will replace what was highlighted. DELETE will remove the highlighted code. UNDO is self-explanatory.
Row 2 - MEM
Pushing MEM will bring your current program up in memory. Following with a push of the CURNT COMDS button will set up the controller for you to hit CYCLE START. If you don't go into MEM mode and then hit the CURNT COMDS button, hitting CYCLE START will do nothing. The only button you should likely use is SINGLE BLOCK. Pushing this button before running a program will step through the program one line at a time and pause after each line. You have to continue to push CYCLE START to step through your program. This is good if you are running some untested code and you are unsure if it will run correctly.
Row 3 - MDI/DNC
Pushing the MDI/DNC button toggle between two modes, manual data input (MDI) and direct numerical control (DNC). We will only talk about MDI since you will usually use this mode. The MDI mode opens up a scratch pad. Use the pad to to write simple lines of NC code that will be executed by pushing CYCLE START. As an example, you may want to retrieve a particular tool. You can push the mode button once and type T6 MO6 [enter]. This line of code will appear on the upper left. With the doors closed, pushing CYCLE START will initiate a tool change and retrieve tool number 6. Another example is if you need to spin an edge finder. You would type S1000 MO3 [enter]. This would start the spindle spinning at 1000 rpm in a CW rotation. Other common buttons you might push are the COOLNT, ATC FWD, and ATC REV buttons. The COOLNT button turns the coolant on and off. The ATC FWD and REV buttons automatically initiate a tool change to the next or previous tool in the carousel. WARNING: a tool change will automatically start when you press these buttons; EVEN IF THE DOOR is open. Be sure that people are clear from the machine before pushing either of these buttons.
Row 4 - HANDLE JOG
Use this mode to manually move the 3,4, or 5 axes of the machine. The increments written on the buttons in this row tell you how far the axis will move with each click of the handle jog wheel. This mode also allows you to push the buttons around the JOG LOCK button to move the axes. This was explained above.
Row 5 - ZERO RET
This mode is typically used before powering down. When you push the HOME G28 button in this mode, each axis will move to the home position rapidly. Again, be sure nobody is in the way and all loose fixtures, tools, etc. are not going to collide when the axes home themselves. It is good practice to home the axes before powering down the machine.
Row 6 - LIST PROG
This mode brings up all programs in the memory of the controller.
Pushing SELECT PROG will load the currently highlighted program.