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Power Automation America, Inc.
 The new generation of CNCs - PC Based and Open Architecture
 

Power Automation America

  Windows XP based CNC Controls


For as little as $6701 (list price),  a "complete" CNC package is now available from Power Automation America, Inc.   This is a high-performance CNC at the price of an industrial PC. 

This package price of $6701 includes an operator front panel (with a TFT display and an operator keypad), the industrial PC (with built-in 24V IO and an interface to 4 analog servos), the VGA and keypad cables, and all the software to complete the application. The picture above shows several options available within a package such as a set of typical operator push buttons already integrated within the front panel with the largest display.


Comparison of PC-Based CNC Systems

Prices and Features

Product Guide (.pdf)


            

         eCNC Control Brochure              L2 Control Brochure                         LW Control Brochure

All three models eCNC, L2, and LW are based on the Windows 2000 operating system. These models provide an operator interface that is web browser based (i.e., written in html scripts with java or C applets), enabling the viewing of the display over a modem or network while also defining the (standard) technology for display customization.

Both the L2 and eCNC packages are available in two standard interface versions: either SERCOS (digital fiber optic cable to the drives) or Analog (+/-10V analog to drives; 5V encoder feedback). The LW model is available with only the analog servo interface. All models interface to separate operator front panels. All these packages include the industrial PC (IPC), front panel and cables, an interface to the drives and I/O, a set of I/O modules (integrated and/or external) and all the software required to complete the control integration (i.e., Windows 2000, CNC software, integrated soft PLC, CNC utilities).

The 19” rack-mount front panel comes with a 12.1” color TFT display and an adjacent complete operator keypad, including the full set of alphabet and numeric keys, with several CNC mode keys. The 12.1” display can accommodate an optional touch screen add-on. The front panel is only about 2” deep.


 

The M268 operator station front panel (shown at left) includes the 15” color TFT display with touch screen, the machine tool builder’s panel set of operator switches and buttons (emergency stop, machine start, cycle start, cycle stop, twelve programmable buttons) and a manual pulse generator. The depth of this panel, even allowing for a cable bend radius is less than 4” deep. A simple brochure with its mechanical details is available.

 


The L2 IPC for analog drives (shown at right) has integrated I/O (48 inputs, 32 outputs; on the top) and an integrated interface to 4 analog drives (in the middle). The L2 IPC for SERCOS drives has less integrated I/O (24 inputs, 16 outputs) and an integrated interface to 8 SERCOS drives (a single fiber-optic ring). This lower cost hardware platform uses a high-speed Intel Celeron processor capable of handling most applications.

The LW IPC has the same built-in analog drive interface and the same 24V built-in modules as the L2. Its IPC is smaller as it does not have the built-in floppy disk drive (it ships with a USB pen disk) and it has only one spare PCI slot. The LW also has a Celeron processor.

 

The eCNC IPC (analog or SERCOS) has a high-speed Pentium 4 processor for those industrial applications that demand higher CNC performance (such as high speed, high accuracy machining for mold and die work) or for high end CNC features such as many drives (up to 64 total; SERCOS limit is 32, analog limit is 64) or multiple simultaneous part programs for several machines or heads, as on a dial index machine or transfer line (up to 8 stations). The eCNC IPC also comes with an external USB modem.   

This hardware package includes:

  • Industrial control in CE stainless steel shell

  • IP65 front panel in one of two versions: 19” rack-mount single piece (shown above) or 17” wide operator station (M267, at the top)

  • Flat TFT screen: 12.1” color display in 19” rack-mount (shown above), 15” in 19” rack-mount or in 17” operator station

  • Complete operator key pad with the 12” display, with all alphanumeric keys and several CNC mode keys

  • Floppy disk drive (3.5” HDD) integrated in the IPC for L2 or eCNC

  • Interface to either analog or SERCOS drives (4 servos for analog; 8 for SERCOS)

  • Enough 24VDC input and output points for many applications (48i/32o – L2 analog model; 24i/16o – L2 SERCOS model or both eCNC models, analog or SERCOS)

  • 2-meter cable to the I/O module box if required (to access the I/O modules that are not integrated)

  • Standard PC power cord

  • Standard PC peripheral connections (keyboard, PS/2 mouse, COM1, LPT1, two USB, external VGA) and several spare PCI slots in the motherboard

This software package includes:

  • Windows 2000 pre-installed on the PC

  • Power Automation software preinstalled (that includes several utilities)

  • Integrated soft PLC preinstalled (with both Structured Text and Ladder Diagram IEC-1131 languages)

  • Documentation on CD

Each L2, LW and eCNC model of the CNC offers an optional increased level of CNC performance (doubling the blocks/second performance capacity with each upgrade). These levels are stated in terms of the Windows NT models. The standard L2, LW or eCNC has the CNC performance of about 250 blocks/second (about that of the MM3).

Options for the hardware package:

  • Motherboard memory capacity upgrade

  • Touch screen overlay for the rack-mount 12.1” display

  • 19” rack-mount panel is available with 15” color TFT display with touch screen (no operator keypad; a virtual keyboard is used instead)

  • 6.4" TFT with operator keypad in a small front panel configuration

  • Operator push buttons and rotary switches mounted on the IP65 front panel (10 holes are predrilled; the cycle start/stop, jog plus/minus, feed override and spindle speed override)

  • Ethernet network PCI card (built-in network is standard in LW; a network card is optional in other models)

  • Fieldbus I/O interface PCI card (either CAN bus, DeviceNet, Interbus-S or Profibus-DP)

  • Longer I/O interface cable (up to 35 meters)

  • Additional I/O modules (one is pictured below, with several IO boxes connected in a chain):

  • 24VDC discrete I/O modules available in 24i/16o increments, up to 792i/528o possible on any model

  • Analog I/O available in a module with 4 A/D and 4 D/A channels

  • Relay Output module (16 relays, each with one N.O. contact rated at 3A, 24VDC or 110VAC)

  • Additional interface connections to more drives (up to 64 analog or 32 SERCOS for eCNC; up to 12 on L2, up to 8 on LW)

  • Each analog axis interface module has 4 encoder inputs, 4 D/A channels and 4 A/D channels

Options for the software package:

  • Other IEC-1131 languages for the integrated soft PLC programming tool (i.e., Function Block Diagram, Instruction List, or Sequential Flow Chart)

  • Additional CNC stations can be supported (for multiple independent part program paths as with several machines or heads, up to 8 on eCNC or up to 2 on L2; the LW is limited to 1 station).

  • CNC options for such special features like 5-axes transformations, an electronic gear box (for applications like gear hobbing), angled grinding wheel transformation, laser power control, punch/nibble control or other special features. Note that most of the common CNC features are included in the CNC package. Not all high-end features (like 5-axes transformations) are available on the LW.

  • Visualizer product allows HMI overlays (this custom screen overlay package uses bit-map pictures and icons; screens are configured using menus and drag-drop; no software programming is required for this screen layout or development as it interacts with PLC/CNC variables).

  • Compile cycles are possible (the customer can write dll(s) to interface with the CNC software at a very low level, enabling the customer to add/change features and/or internal CNC operations)

The list price for an L2, LW or eCNC package varies based primarily on the operator panel configuration but also the number of axes.

All of the Power Automation controls have at least two USB ports. The commercial PC market offers a variety of small, low-cost, high-capacity USB flash drives, sometimes called a memory stick or pen disk. These small devices typically provide at least 64MB of storage for less than $50 (often much less), with capacities ranging to 1GB. The prevalence of USB ports in computers as well as the convenience of these inexpensive flash devices have made the floppy disk drive less important, both for relative capacity (e.g., 1.4MB vs. 64MB) and robustness (an encased pen disk vs. a floppy). Just insert the device into a USB port and the capacity of dozens of floppies is immediately available as a removable disk drive. The LW is shipped with one of these pen disks; the LW does not have a built-in floppy disk drive.

Since the CNC presents standard PC interfaces, a customer can use his own peripheral devices. A standard PC keyboard with its PS/2 connector and a standard PC mouse with its PS/2 connector are convenient inexpensive operator devices (or USB could be used for either). USB devices such as CD R/W units are also convenient, as an alternative to the small USB flash disks mentioned above. There is a single standard 25-pin parallel port available for a PC printer though USB has become more popular for a printer interface.

The LW is our most popular control, having so many features for such little cost. Like the L2,  the LW can handle the same variety of operator front panels and display sizes as the other models and has the same 48 inputs and 32 outputs (all 24VDC) and a built-in interface to 4 analog servos (e.g., 4 axes or 3 axes and a spindle). The LW is expandable to 8 servos and to 255 bytes of IO (with external IO modules); a PCI slot is available for an optional field bus card. The big difference in the LW is its smaller package than the L2. The other differences are a built-in network interface and no internal floppy disk drive. However, this IPC has two USB ports just like the L2 and eCNC so file transfers among PCs is still easy (see the memory stick comments above).

 

Drives and motors can also be obtained from Power Automation America, Inc. but they do not have to be purchased from us.  There is a long list of compatible drive vendors.  The analog interface is straightforward; encoder feedback is required.  The SERCOS interface is accomplished solely via system parameters, not the vendor-dependent parameters, so the compatibility depends on the particular vendor’s support of the SERCOS specification.

 


 

Only the Power Automation control combines the power and performance of a CNC with the simplicity and flexibility of a PC.

 


 

Pricing and Features

 

Product

Model

List Price #

Display Options

Axes @

Inputs/Outputs

CNC

Stations

PLC Scan time per 1000 instructions

NC Blocks/Sec* ISO

Max.

Std.

Max.

Std.

Max

Std

eCNC -MM7

$12,255

H - 12.1”

opt: 15”

S - 6.4”

64

A-4

S-8

792i/528o

48i/32o

8

1

40

microseconds

1800

eCNC -MM5

$11,630

H - 12.1”

opt: 15”

S - 6.4”

32

A-4 S-8

792i/528o

 

48i/32o

4

1

80 microseconds

450

L2 – MM5

$ 8,775

H - 12.1”

opt: 15”

S - 6.4”

A-12

S-8

A-4 S-4

792i/528o

 

A-

48i/32o

S- 24i/16o

2

1

80 microseconds

450

L2 – MM3

$ 8,150

H - 12.1”

opt: 15”

S – 6.4”

A-12

S-8

A-4 S-4

792i/528o

 

A- 48i/32o

S- 24i/16o

2

1

200 microseconds

225

LW-  MM3

$ 7,550

H - 12.1”

opt: 15”

S - 6.4”

A-8

 

A-4

792i/528o

 

48i/32o

1

1

200 microseconds

225

 

Notes:

# indicates each approximate price is for the analog drive interface and for a front panel configuration with the 12.1” TFT color display in the 19” rack-mount panel. The other front panel configurations will cost more or less than this most frequently ordered model. Each CNC model can be purchased without a front panel (which is the lowest possible cost). The SERCOS model will be priced slightly different than the analog model. The LW comes only in an analog drive interface model. There are no drives or motors included in these prices, just the CNC (with the IO shown), the front panel and the 2-meter cables to connect the two.

 

H – Horizontal (19” rack-mount) operator panel configuration (with the 12.1” display);

S – Smaller operator panel configuration (with 6.4” display);

opt – indicates an optional size for the 19" rack mount panel.

The 12.1” color flat TFT display viewable screen is equivalent to a 14” CRT display. The 12.1” display has a touch screen option. The 15” display option always has a touch screen. The 6.4” TFT display in the smaller panel package has a lower cost than the 19” panel. Another front panel configuration (M268) is also available (at a slightly higher cost) with several common items in one panel: 15” touch TFT display, machine tool builder’s panel (i.e., operator switches and buttons) and a manual pulse generator.

 

@ - the limit for the eCNC is 32 SERCOS axes or 64 analog axes or 64 total axes (with mix of analog and SERCOS). The limit for the L2 is 8 SERCOS axes or 12 analog axes or 12 total axes. The ‘number’ refer to numbers of servo drives in the system so a spindle servo drive (analog drive with 10V speed control or a SERCOS drive) will be counted as one of the axes even if it has no feedback. Within this chart: A – analog drives; S – SERCOS drives.

 

* measured for 1 CNC station with 8-axes simultaneous motion. Power Automation can also run nearly unlimited blocks/second for a short duration of time (based on the NC part program content). The left-most column above shows MM3, MM5 and MM7 identifiers; those are the block performance equivalent models in the CNC NT models.

 

Number of CNC Stations = the number of independent part program paths (i.e., the number of simultaneous machine part programs in the machine; if each machine ‘head’ runs its own part program then each is a separate station).  The term CNC Station is synonymous with CNC Channel.

 

Additional I/O modules are available in 24i/16o increments (24VDC). Relay modules (16 relays) and 10V Analog I/O modules (4 in, 4 out) are also available. The analog drive interface external module will expand the number of possible analog servos in an increment of four because that module includes 4 D/A outputs (10V), 4 encoder inputs (5V) and 4 A/D inputs (10V). The interface to each analog drive includes the +/- 10V analog output voltage for the speed control and an incremental encoder input (5V TTL, A quad B) for the position feedback. SERCOS drives on a fiber optic network ring enable a wide variety of feedback systems without affecting the CNC hardware because the motor or axis feedback goes to the drive rather than to the CNC since the servo position loop is closed in the SERCOS drive.

 

List Prices and specifications are subject to change.   

Contact the factory for OEM prices.

 

Additional information on our controls:   

CNC system hardware specification (in pdf, about 600KB, 20 pages) contains the dimensions and weights for the CNC models and most accessories. This information is also in our Hardware Manual but it has been collected into this smaller manual for easier reference to such information.

 

 

Power Automation America, Inc.
8601 Jameel Road Ste 140
Houston, Texas 77040

Phone: 713-263-9400

Fax: 713-686-9301

Email: sales.america@powerautomation.com

 

 

 

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