In the process of thinking about wiring an e-stop on my G0704 and how I did it on my X2 I realized I may be making things too hard on myself. Being self-taught I have developed a way of working that may not be the best or optimal. So I thought I would ask those with more experience!
Basically, I run a part time business out of my shop. When I am making parts, I'll make a batch of say 100 of something and then maybe work on the computer to design a new reel or part or make changes or any number of things. This might take 10 minutes or run into several hours. On my X2, I have the e-stop wired to the G540, it does not cut power to the mill. I do have the main power switch right in front of me that I would use in a real emergency. I use the e-stop more like a disable switch than to actually respond to an emergency. In the few times I've had an end mill crash or noticed something going wrong, I hit the e-stop button and things stop moving. I use the e-stop to put the system on stand-by while I'm working on CAD or CAM and then reset and machine when I am ready. I may do this 3, 4 or more cycles in a session.
Now, thinking about my G0704 that I am almost finished converting, I am in "analysis paralysis" about the e-stop and/or system disable functions. So, some questions:
When you operate the mill for short periods, maybe doing something in between, do you shut the main power to the controller and mill off, have some sort of stand-by function (like a disable switch that disables the BOB and drivers) or leave it live and not worry about it? Leaving it live seems a little risky in that the pendant would still be live and if Mach is running and I wasn't careful I could "mill air". Leaving it live also keeps power on the steppers and they get hot just sitting there.
What I am thinking about for the G0704 - and then I'll convert the X2 - is something like:
- implementing a true e-stop that kills power to the supply, BOB, drivers and motors, including the spindle ultimately. I'd have an e-stop button on the mill and another at the workstation.
- incorporating an enable/disable toggle switch that disables the BOB (a C35) and drivers (KL6050) but leaves the power supply, fan and 5 & 12 volt transformers powered on.
Does this make sense? How do others work with their machines?