I got into work today and went to reset the machine, now it is competely unresponsive!
PAEI Plasma Table, LazyCAM, MACH 3
I cant even move the plasma cutter head with the key controls. It shows they are moving in MACH 3 but they are NOT moving in the real world.
FYI - I just started with this company and have little experience with this machine.
I know in a rush to get out of here last friday I cut everything off without telling the machine to return to its original position.
It is like the motors are completely unresponsive.
Naw, I don't buy it. That's like having all four wheel bearings seize up on you car at the same time while it's sitting in the garage. The motors would have stalled and caused 7 kinds of racket. That unit has no overload protection on the motors so it would not have "detected" the stuck bearings. Something else you did got the motors moving again. The chances of having all the bearings fail at the same time is about as high as winning the power ball lottery twice.
It sounds like the motors were not powered up. They will "lock" as soon as they are under power. Servos will hum and steppers will start to warm up. MACH does not know if the motors are not powered up or not turning.
Thanks for the reply... You are right too!!! It seems the stepper drive is having problems getting signal/power to the motors. Sometimes it works fine and then the next day... its on the fritz.
Also, it will be in the middle of a program sometime and suddenly STOP like it has hit something. and it is usually about the same place everytime...
The control box is probably comprised of 3 or 4 separate motor Drives. If they are all stopping at the same time it has to be something common to all 3/4 drives. That would be the DC motor volts from the main supply. There is one other possibility. There may be a +5 volt small supply to power the stepper drive inputs (opto's) and if it flakes all 4 drives will lose step signal at the same time. If the drives lose DC they will "freewheel" so you can turn the motors by hand. If you can move the motors by hand when it refuses to run then start looking for a problem in the main power section (DC voltage). A meter on the DC+ and DC - of the motors will show you if it's missing and allow you to track it back.
The +5 bias is used on the older drives. PAEI (Precision Automation Equipment INC) is the old Practical CNC company that shut down (and PAEI magically appeared at the same address). Then it too shut down.
Their controllers left something to be desired. the steppers were not too bad but the servo boxes looks like they were wire by slave labor and the beatings were hurting morale!
Thanks for yet another reply!!!
It seems to be working alright this week... If it starts acting up again, I will take yet another look at the situation and reevaluate.
In the mean time I am having a devil of a time trying to cut circles from the center point out to the edge of the circle and then to complete the circle.
I am using LazyCAM... TOM, might you have any input on this? I have a thread over in the LazyCAM section asking for advise, but have had little input. I have the dxf file attached as well.
You probably need to move this over to the Plasma forum in the general section. I don't use LazyCAM although I am an avid MACH guy so I can't help much.
The CAM program for plasma should be able to put in automatic lead-ins and outs, kerf offset, and the IHS moves along with separate pierce height and cut height parameters.