Can LinuxCNC do this? 2 head plasma

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10 Sep 2017 18:50 - 10 Sep 2017 19:05 #98792 by scubawarm
scubawarm created the topic: Can LinuxCNC do this? 2 head plasma
I want/need to retrofit a large (14'wide gantry) ESAB Avenger 1 Plasma table with two 600 amp heads that was purchased at auction.

I have been looking at my options. With MACH4 I could maybe get the second head to work as a slave to the first one and just have another setup when only using one head. Pretty much leaning towards VitalSystem complete Ethernet closed loop system with Yaskawa drives. if I go this direction.

I want to keep this as simple (Ethernet wherever possible) and professional as possible not worried about saving a few dollars here and there. But, am an experienced programmer so having the power and flexibility these "hobby" systems provide is very attractive... Oh saving $50K is not bad either.

SO: Would like direction on:
Which software to use for plasma?
Are two heads possible?
If I do go LinuxCNC, what is the simplest closed loop cards that are recommended?
What THC with that card system?

Thanks much for anyone's time and input.
Last Edit: 10 Sep 2017 19:05 by scubawarm.
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10 Sep 2017 21:02 #98799 by Todd Zuercher
Todd Zuercher replied the topic: Can LinuxCNC do this? 2 head plasma
Two heads are possible, but what are your expectations? How are the two heads controlled/connected? Do they move together,independently or semi independently? In other words do they move together with fixed spacing or variable spacing or totally inddependent of each other?

I can envision how all three could be accomplished with Linuxcnc, However programming to prevent possible collisions between totally independent heads could be complicated. If they were mounted for independent movement on a single gantry, I would be inclined to slave them within Linuxcnc, with a 2nd linear axis controlling the head spacing. For example, if the two heads moved in the X axis the U axis would control the space between the heads.
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10 Sep 2017 21:15 #98800 by scubawarm
scubawarm replied the topic: Can LinuxCNC do this? 2 head plasma
Just after being able to do two identical sheets at the same time. So a fixed spacing between them on the gantry. With a 14' wide gantry can do 2 ea 6' wide X 20' sheets at the same time. Not always, but at time would be nice to really kick out some material especially when cutting thicker plates. Having separate Z THC would be nice just for a part tip up or something, but not mandatory.
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10 Sep 2017 21:41 #98801 by Todd Zuercher
Todd Zuercher replied the topic: Can LinuxCNC do this? 2 head plasma
I think having separate Z THCs shouldn't be too hard. (Not much harder than one.)

I've done several CNC routers with two milling heads, and I don't see this as being much different. (Although these machines have only had a fixed head spacing, with independent Z axis.)

I can definitely see the advantage of having a variable head spacing, for best material usage for different sized parts.
The following user(s) said Thank You: scubawarm
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11 Sep 2017 13:43 #98830 by scubawarm
scubawarm replied the topic: Can LinuxCNC do this? 2 head plasma
Thanks again for your replies.

OK... Still searching and learning... Eliminated UCCNC as it is only closed loop on the spindle at this time.

Am I understanding this correctly? If I use MESA cards I would just need a 7i93 card flashed with SVST8_41M2 for the 8 PWM and encoder inputs all done via IP and then add a 7i37TA for the limit switches gas control, torch firing etc. And THCAD-10 for the torch height control?

A unrelated topic but..... Is there a reason most people reference the long axis on a torch table as Y vs X as on a mill or even our punch/plasma table we have? Just seems backwards in my mind.

Also still trying to figure out the configuration of all this, much more complicated then other options, but then again, much more powerful. Any suggestions for a plasma touch screen GUI? Can't seem to find a good one.
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11 Sep 2017 14:49 #98834 by Todd Zuercher
Todd Zuercher replied the topic: Can LinuxCNC do this? 2 head plasma
I generally set up the machine so Y is forwards/backwards and X is left/right from what ever perspective the machine operator will normally view it.
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11 Sep 2017 14:56 #98837 by scubawarm
scubawarm replied the topic: Can LinuxCNC do this? 2 head plasma
Perfect! As I see it too....

Not a MESA card expert too? :)
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12 Sep 2017 01:57 #98856 by PCW
PCW replied the topic: Can LinuxCNC do this? 2 head plasma
What interface do your servo drives have?
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12 Sep 2017 03:09 #98857 by Todd Zuercher
Todd Zuercher replied the topic: Can LinuxCNC do this? 2 head plasma

scubawarm wrote: Perfect! As I see it too....

Not a MESA card expert too? :)


No, I'm not an expert, but I've used a couple of them.

PCW above IS Mesa.
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12 Sep 2017 21:00 - 12 Sep 2017 21:15 #98898 by scubawarm
scubawarm replied the topic: Can LinuxCNC do this? 2 head plasma

PCW wrote: What interface do your servo drives have?


Yaskawas are AC Servos with 13bit Incremental

X: 2ea - One on each side of gantry.
Amps: Yaskawa Sigma 2 SGDH-08AE-S
Motors: Yaskawa Sigma 2 SGMPH-08AAE41D
Gearbox - Alpha unknown gearbox ratio

Y: 2ea - (One currently other is missing but plan to replace with same or newer model)
Amps: Yaskawa Sigma 2 SGDH-04AE
Motors: Yaskawa Sigma 2 SGMPH-04AAE41D
Gear box: 28 : 1

Z: for raising the torch can't read anything: unknown motor and drive
plan on replacing with servo and THC open to suggestions
Has 14.5 : 1 Gearbox

Eventually would like to use this table for 4 and 5 axis type torching,
Second torch head mounted 90 degrees to primary
and build a rotary for pipe etc.

Thanks much!
Last Edit: 12 Sep 2017 21:15 by scubawarm.
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