I am posting this for a friend since he is not on the forum.




Summary of CNC Lathe Repairs Needed on Romi M17 Lathe

Machine Specifications: Romi M17, 2004 Manufacture Date,
Control Model: Fanuc Series 21i-T
General Condition:
Excellent, I am diligent with cleaning and oiling the ways and cleaning the machine. Accuracy was always excellent. All mechanical operation of spindle, motors, knobs, dials, coolant pump, etc. were excellent prior to having the software/control problems.
Problem with its Operation:
The lathe was working well up until last year. Then, last fall, I was attempting to input some new figures(tool paths), with the canned input application, but the control would not “Rough the Tool Path” or “Rough the Figure”. Thus, the control seemed to not accept my inputted geometry/tool path as feasible. It would not accept them, even though the tool path was very simple. What seemed to be happening was the control had lost the “X” (cross-slide) tool offsets. When I looked at the tool offsets on the tool screen, they seemed abnormally high(20’s). I think they should be in the 1-12 inch range). I called Romi support and they suggested changing the batteries in the drive controllers? And or the control. I located the control board battery and removed it to get the part code from the item to order it properly. I quess I left the battery out too long and somehow lost the control program bootup screen/interface. Now, the control does not boot at all. With this battery not being fresh, the control was possibly “forgetting” the tool offsets/touchoffs) I note that I have never replaced this CNC control battery since purchasing the machine in 2005. I could not find any other batteries in the larger control cabinet, only the one battery in the CNC user interface cabinet.
“Roughing the Figure” is the control’s method of converting the numeric inputs for the tool path coordinates into G-code. In the past, this operation would create an error code if the tool tip interfered with the tool path figure( possible gouging the part), or if the path was geometrically impossible, etc. A gross problem with the tool offset measurement would also create an error message or a work stock measurement that was grossly different from the tool path figure. An example would be a tool path that was larger than the work envelop/mechanical travel of the crossslide on the Z or X axis.
I have been able to do all my required work with this lathe using the Romi Control “canned cycles” that came with the machine. I am under the impression you can connect a laptop with CAM software to the Fanuc control via the RS-232 port for direct control of tool paths/program entry. I would like to explore the possibility of this functionality after getting the lathe working properly as before my current problems occurred.
I note that there is a 3 inch floppy disk with the assembly inspection log book on the inside of the control cabinet door. I assume this is some type of recovery disk or boot floppy for the control. I assume I may have to reload the control software with an older laptop PC with a 3 inch floppy drive and hard-wired RS-232 jack/port. (after replacing the drive control battery)
I have delayed the repairs of this lathe because I assume I will have to have $2500-$3500 in cash ready to pay a Romi factory engineer (including travel and fee/parts from the Kentucky USA headquarters to my location). I have been short of these monies this year due some other automotive expenses, but plan to have the money in the next few months.

I am planning to order the following parts next month so they are handy when the repair man arrives:
New Control Battery
New Main Drive Belt
Cross Slide Limit Switch (currently cracked)

I need the following repairs to this Romi M17 Lathe:
1) Reload the CNC control software and trouble shoot the control’s inability to “ Rough the Figure”, Retain tool offset entries, etc.;
2) Swap out the Cross Slide limit switch and assure proper function;
3) Swap out the main spindle drive belt, tension properly;
4) Change the oil system filters(I already have the two filters in hand), bleed air from system;
5) Do any needed routine maintenance for this machine of this age.
6) Check for overall proper functioning with routine tool path entry;

I am currently cleaning the coolant pan and generally cleaning and inspecting all parts of the machine that I can reach easily.
If you are in the Austin Texas area and think you can repair this lathe, I will happily pay for your labor and travel to my shop. I will try myself to reload the software, once I acquire the new battery , limit switch, and main drive belt. But, I may have difficulty finding a computer with the 3 inch floppy and RS-232 cable.

Again, thank you for your time reading this letter. Steve Latchem,

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