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CNC retrofit


CNC Retrofits: Extend the lifespan of your machine tools with a new FANUC control system


Retrofitting an aging CNC system with a new FANUC CNC will save long term costs and boost the machine’s productivity while adding to the uptime, reliability and efficiency. A CNC retrofit with FANUC’s products can help businesses meet changing manufacturing requirements and customers’ evolving demands.

What is a CNC retrofit?

A CNC retrofit upgrades the control system, the servo and spindle motors, the motor amplifiers, cables and I/O units including the operator’s panel.

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Production Benefits from Retrofitting

Learn more here about how Microtrol Engineering helped retrofit Cincinnati skin mills with new FANUC controls, motors and drives to boost quality and efficiency.  “I always recommend FANUC,” says Brandt Fine, president of Microtrol Engineering. “FANUC is a solid platform. I install, and I don’t have to worry about it breaking down.”

 

Retrofitting to Stay Competitive

Learn more here about how FANUC and Fives helped Lincoln Park Boring Company achieve more efficiency, shorter production times and the ability to go after new business with a CNC retrofit.

 

Standardizing with FANUC Controls

FANUC controls give machine tool builder and retrofitter Bourn & Koch the flexibility needed to get the most out of their machines, while simplifying design and production standards. Learn more here.

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Is a retrofit right for you?


Equipment used in the heavy construction, power generation and aerospace industries can make good candidates for a retrofit since they typically are older, large machines made with “good iron,” and not easily replaced. Many of these start to fail due to their aging electronics, but due to their large size it is not cost effective to replace the entire machine. In these cases, a CNC retrofit is an excellent option.

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CNC retrofits vs. new machines

A retrofit costs significantly less than a new machine, especially when taking into consideration the hidden costs, such as tooling, fixturing, rigging and foundation.  Additionally, new machines may require additional training for the operators and maintenance personnel.

CNC retrofits can cut costs

Continuing to run legacy equipment has a number of hidden costs, such as the time taken to source older replacement controls. This can lead to significantly longer total downtime and production losses.

New FANUC CNCs provide better performance

New FANUC CNCs feature high-speed machining functions, which can speed up processing and reduce cycle times by as much as 50 percent. New CNC technologies, such as block look ahead, acceleration and deceleration before and after interpolation, nano-interpolation, nano-smoothing and automatic feedrate control, can be applied to make machine tools more stable and accurate.

FANUC CNC retrofits benefit 5-axis machines

In the past, limited CNC technology made 5-axis machining inefficient, so that any changes in machine, workpiece, workpiece fixtures or tooling required revisiting the CAM system. With features such as tool center point control and 3D workpiece error correction, 5-axis workflow can now be as efficient as 3-axis with any changes adjusted right on the CNC.

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How to maximize a FANUC CNC retrofit

To get the most out of a CNC retrofit, upgrading the servo and spindle system to a high-speed, digital interface is critical. If the servo and spindle system can’t keep up with the CNC block processing rate, the tool path will not be accurate. . If an older machine tool is communicating through an analog interface to the servo and spindle system, this will impact the speed and accuracy of the system. Modern FANUC CNCs are highly integrated and communicate over high-speed fiber optic cables to the servo and spindle system, which create the high-performance systems needed to deliver the smoothest surface finish on contoured surfaces.

Retrofits can save energy

When servo and spindle motors of a machine tool continuously accelerate and decelerate as they change speed and direction during machining, they use energy and, respectively, give off energy as heat. However, new digital drives incorporate advanced electronics that regenerate electrical energy back to the factory when decelerating the servo and spindle motors. When combined with the low loss power devices and machining processes provided by the CNC, machine electricity costs can be reduced by as much as 50 percent.

Is a CNC retrofit and CNC conversion the same?

To perform a CNC retrofit, equipment must already have a CNC. A CNC conversion involves converting a manual machine into a CNC machine.

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