Mighty Viper V500 Retrofit

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14 Feb 2012 00:16 #17641 by Nickelwater
First off, i am new here so greetings to everyone.

I own a die casting company with machining capabilities. I have a particular machine which is a 1998 Mighty Viper V500 VMC which i would love to retrofit with a new control. the current control is a Mitsubishi Meldas 520AM and personally i do not enjoy it at all. It is very slow and outdated and the part program memory is somewhere between 10-20MB (YUCK!).

There are also many quirks which have cost us dearly and im sure will continue to just because of their nature, for example whenever you move the machine in manual mode it forgets its position and to start an automatic program you must cycle start it, immediately stop the program, call it up again and then start it. If this process is not followed the machine will "forget" its z height and will move to a position and then drop the z axis down into the workpiece and.or table. we use several expensive custom ground form tools so you can probably see how just a single oversight, however rare, can cost us dearly.

So, the above is my reasoning behind wanting to retrofit a new control. I also must admit that i am comparing it to two brand new 2011 Hurco VM10 machining centers which are running their WinMAX control software.

My question that i am hoping the community can help me answer is whether or not EMC2 would be worth the switch, as well as whether it would be compatible. I am not at the plant currently, however i can provide specifics on servos or anything else that would be needed for an accurate opinion tomorrow.

Thanks in advance, i look forward to working with you all

Nick

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14 Feb 2012 12:26 #17658 by BigJohnT
LinuxCNC (new name thanks to greedy people at EMC) is a very mature CNC controller. I personally have retrofitted my Hardinge CHNC and built a plasma cutter using LinuxCNC. As soon as time allows I have a mill (in progress now) and a VMC to be retrofitted with LinxCNC.

wiki.linuxcnc.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?Videos

If your VMC has drives that take +-10v analog velocity inputs and have encoder feedback to the existing controller (ie a typical setup) then the conversion is fairly simple. Most other setups can be used as well.

Depending on your needs a Mesa 5i25 + 7i77 and a D525MO Atom mother board might be all you need to convert the machine...

John

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15 Feb 2012 06:40 #17675 by jmelson
Nickelwater wrote:

First off, i am new here so greetings to everyone.

I own a die casting company with machining capabilities. I have a particular machine which is a 1998 Mighty Viper V500 VMC which i would love to retrofit with a new control. the current control is a Mitsubishi Meldas 520AM and personally i do not enjoy it at all. It is very slow and outdated and the part program memory is somewhere between 10-20MB (YUCK!).

You might want to contact Stuart Stevenson at MPM in Wichita. They have a Viper B5000, I don't
know if that is a similar machine, but they have done a number of improvements to the machine.
They have not - YET - done the retrofit, but it has been mentioned that some time it would get
moved to LinuxCNC also.

There are also many quirks which have cost us dearly and im sure will continue to just because of their nature, for example whenever you move the machine in manual mode it forgets its position and to start an automatic program you must cycle start it, immediately stop the program, call it up again and then start it. If this process is not followed the machine will "forget" its z height and will move to a position and then drop the z axis down into the workpiece and.or table. we use several expensive custom ground form tools so you can probably see how just a single oversight, however rare, can cost us dearly.

Yeesh, that sounds like whoever configured the control set it up wrong.

My question that i am hoping the community can help me answer is whether or not EMC2 would be worth the switch, as well as whether it would be compatible. I am not at the plant currently, however i can provide specifics on servos or anything else that would be needed for an accurate opinion tomorrow.

Nick

Well, Stuart can also answer how LinuxCNC performs in a commercial shop with multiple
machinists. They have Haas, Cincinnatti, G&L, Fadal. Toyoda and other machines as well as the Viper.
They have a Dahlih, a 5-axis Cincinnatti and the G&L running under EMC2 with Pico Systems
interface hardware. (Seems like they did another one, too.) You should really download the
LinuxCNC CD and at least run it from the CD on a computer to see what it looks like.

I have been running EMC since 1998 on a Bridgeport retrofit, and it works great for me.
I am a happy camper since I got rigid tapping working on it, that saves me a LOT
of headaches. I have NEVER, in 14 years, had EMC crash or wreck a part due to
some software failure. (I have had some messes and accidents due to operator
error, such as forgetting to touch off Z, of course.) I have the CNC computer on my
local network, and ship files back and forth from the CAD machine where I also do
a lot of G-code editing.

Stuart at MPM has proved that EMC can run large machines safely and accurately.
I think his shop has also proved that typical machinist/operators can use it without
a steep learning curve. I think they HAVE had a few anomalous events that cause
crashes or wrecked a workpiece, but I don't know if it was ever determined what
the cause was. It may have been a flaky computer, or an operator mistake.

I know a few other significant commercial shops are using EMC, but I don't know
the people there.

As for compatibility, assuming it uses analog velocity servo amplifiers and digital
encoders, then it is almost certain it could be converted. If it has resolvers,
then there are converter cards that can be used. If it has digitally-controlled
servo amps, then that may take a little more work to interface to.

Jon

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16 Feb 2012 01:36 #17696 by Nickelwater
Ill be completely honest. While i learn quickly and im very adept with computers in the sense of pcs and servers and the such, i have no experience dealing with the electronics behind a cnc. Ive dealt with plcs and relays and the such on our die casting machines, however those are just simple switches and whatnot.

I hate to ask for training wheels but if anyone out there would be willing to help me determine what i have to work with and the steps to take until i start to get a bit of understanding, i would be forever grateful. The lucky part is that from reading on the forums here is appears that i am in a very not only knowledgeable but also very helpful community. I hope that i can get this project going smoothly and then pass my knowledge on to others.

i have included an image of one of my servo drive units and i have pictures of all 4 (theres 2 "servo drive units", a "spindle drive unit", and a "power supply"). And if anyone can take me under their wing so to speak, i will post pictures of anything else needed.



i suppose my first question is how to tell whether this is an "analog velocity" servo amplifier

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16 Feb 2012 02:18 - 16 Feb 2012 02:19 #17697 by Nickelwater
well crud. just google-ing a bit of information i am fairly certain im looking at a digital amplifier. im going off of a diagram i found depicting a digital set-up as :

Machine control -> Motion Control -> Drives -> Motors

and the fact that i have another separate unit in my cabinet call a "numerical control system" and looking very much like it is the said "motion controller"

now what?
Last edit: 16 Feb 2012 02:19 by Nickelwater.

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16 Feb 2012 03:08 #17700 by PCW
Replied by PCW on topic Re:Mighty Viper V500 Retrofit
Can you find the servo drive manual or machine connection diagram?

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16 Feb 2012 03:23 #17701 by Nickelwater
I spent a little while (only 15mins od so mind you) on google and couldn't come up with anything, however ill call mitsubishi tomorrow and see if I can't find some documentation

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16 Feb 2012 03:34 - 16 Feb 2012 03:35 #17702 by PCW
Replied by PCW on topic Re:Mighty Viper V500 Retrofit
www.meau.com/functions/dms/getfile.asp?I...00001000007061800000

looks like it (but unfortunately looks like a proprietary serial interface of some kind)
Last edit: 16 Feb 2012 03:35 by PCW. Reason: ommission

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16 Feb 2012 03:43 #17703 by Nickelwater
Would that mean none of it is useable by emc2? And that id need to get new drives should I choose to proceed

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16 Feb 2012 06:22 #17707 by jmelson
Nickelwater wrote:

well crud. just google-ing a bit of information i am fairly certain im looking at a digital amplifier. im going off of a diagram i found depicting a digital set-up as :

Machine control -> Motion Control -> Drives -> Motors

and the fact that i have another separate unit in my cabinet call a "numerical control system" and looking very much like it is the said "motion controller"

now what?

No, that really doesn't tell you a whole lot. What you need to know is the type of
signals from "motion control" to "drive". In other words, what signal does the
drive take to command motion?

I found some info on this series at
www.meau.com/eprise/main/sites/public/DO...=010&ManualType=0065
Most of the way down the list is an item for MDS-B which may not be the exact manual for this model,
but it looks close. It doesn't show the pinout of the control connectors, though. That might be
in some other manual.

Jon


Jon

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