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FANUC Retrofits for CNC Lathes & Roll Grinders

"The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the U.S. manufacturing industry," said a CNC Engineering spokesperson. "Most of us experienced financial impacts, some change in normal operations and disruptions to our supply chain. Perhaps these impacts even forced us to set aside less immediate needs, like routine machine maintenance and modernization efforts. Now that we can see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, it may be time for manufacturers to turn their attention back to machine maintenance.

"We have seen a recent uptick and renewed interest in retrofitting and modernizing existing CNC machines, especially for CNC roll lathes and grinders," said Gary Caravella, President of CNC Engineering, Inc.

FANUC Retrofits for CNC Roll Grinders

CNC roll grinders are unique, customized and highly precise. "These machines require very specific CNC technology and cannot be retrofitted with just any CNC, but they are not limited to roll grind OEM controls either," said the spokesperson. Roll Grinders like Herkules, Farrel, Waldrich Siegen, South Bend, and Craven can be retrofitted or modernized with FANUC CNC controls and Open Vision Grind from CNC Engineering, Inc.

"FANUC is a leader in CNC and factory automation, with more than 3 million CNCs installed worldwide," said the spokesperson. "The 30i, 0i-F and 35i series CNC systems feature the industry's longest mean time between failure rate, a lifetime commitment to replacement part availability and support and a standard 2-year warranty."

FANUC controls offer a suite of features and options designed to increase machines accuracy. Features such as 16 million line absolute encoders give the machine higher resolution and the ability to not zero return/home each axis after powering up. Options like Bi-Directional Pitch Error Compensation, Dual Position Feedback, Accelerated Backlash Compensation and Straightness Compensation can compensate for an older machine's mechanical wear, thereby increasing the time before additional mechanical work is needed. "The machine does have to be in reasonable shape and repeatable for these options to work. CNC Engineering servo tunes each axis to further increase accuracy and performance," said the spokesperson.

Open Vision Grind for CNC Roll Grinders

"CNC Engineering's Roll Grind Retrofit solution combines the reliability of a new FANUC CNC system with the power of Open Vision Grind software," said the spokesperson. "The robust operator interface and advanced FANUC hardware mean easier operation and less downtime, as well as better access to support, service and parts if needed."

Open Vision Grind for Roll Grinders has a user-friendly, intuitive interface designed specifically for programming and operation of CNC roll grinders. Software features include:

  • Custom Roll Crown Editor for profiling of cosine angle, crown width, crown height, taper adjustment, plunge groove and spiral groove
  • Open Vision Grind's generic sequence editor for dubs and cutoffs
  • Manual Handle Interrupt allows the operator to override feed increment
  • Continuous Traverse to semi-automatically discontinue feed increment
  • In-cycle override of wheel speed
  • In-cycle override of work speed.

FANUC Retrofits for CNC Roll Lathes

"Many roll grinder manufacturers also produce lathes for turning rolls," said the spokesperson. "In addition, there is a multitude of lathe OEMs who produce large lathes that are used for rolls. For these applications, a standard FANUC control is used to update the machine with all of FANUC's advantages previously discussed. Additionally, macro programs can be supplied to simplify some of the roll turning processes."

Moving Forward with a Retrofit

"In today's high demand environment, keeping downtime to a minimum is critical. CNC Engineering specializes in retrofitting machines on customers' floors with minimal downtime, usually three to four weeks," said the spokesperson.

If mechanical work is needed, CNC Engineering partners with mechanical houses that specialize in roll grinders and lathes and can repair machines on the customer's floor, remove parts of the machine that need more complete rebuilding, or even remove the entire machine for a complete machine remanufacture.

CNC Engineering, Inc. has retrofitted more than a 1,000 CNC machine tools over its 38-year history, with a special focus on CNC grinders.

For more information contact:

CNC Engineering, Inc.

19 Bacon Road

Enfield, CT 06082


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