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Retrofit CNC Control

Marathon offers its new and affordable NCT model CNC controls for machine tool retrofit projects.

The NCT-200 TOUCH control family provides the following features:

Interface programs available for machines such as Mori Seiki, Okuma, Takisawa, Makino, Mitsubishi etc.

  • NCT-201 Control System

The New NCT-201 Control System

NCT 201 CNC Control

The new NCT 201 control’s CPU is conveniently located behind the large 19” LCD monitor. The monitor features a user friendly touchscreen for easy operation. If preferred other optional pointing devices (mouse, track ball, touchpad) can be connected using the 4 USB ports provided at the right side of the screen. The CPU features the newest 1.8 GHz Intel® Atom™ low energy consumption microprocessor and therefore does not require external cooling fan. The Windows CE CPU connects to the peripheries via super fast EtherCAT bus, and with one ETHERNET cable the operator panel can be connected to a computer network. The system program of the NCT 201 fits WINDOWS CE operation system perfectly, exploiting it to its full potential, such as its professional file management, computer peripheries management (data storage devices, printers, data input peripheries, pointing devices, etc.), and other services (network, internet, remote machines, picture and video displaying, playing sound files, etc.).

The CNC control and operator’s panel assembly is offered as a stylish closed boxed unit that can be fixed to a pendant, no more sheet metal work is needed. If preferred it can be built in to a front machine panel, as it is customary with CNC control panels. NCT provides its customers with fixtures (built in frame, screws, supporting arm, suspending arm and rotating or pivoting joints) for the professional construction of any installation design.

NCT 201 Control System Layout

The NCT-201 features three advanced technology components:

1.Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Professional operation system (MICROSOFT)

2. EtherCAT communication channel between CNC and its peripheries (BECKHOFF)

3. EnDat22 (physical) absolute measurement system (HEIDENHAIN)

 

Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3 is a real-time operating system for a wide range of small-footprint consumer and enterprise devices. Development tools like Platform Builder, a Visual Studio 2005 plug in, provide an integrated development environment (IDE) that enables you to build applications and Windows Embedded CE operating system software in a familiar environment.

EtherCAT is the open real-time Ethernet network originally developed by Beckhoff. EtherCAT sets new standards for real-time performance and topology flexibility.

The EtherCAT technology overcomes the system limitations of other Ethernet solutions. The Ethernet packet is no longer received, then interpreted and copied as process data at every connection. Instead, the Ethernet frame is processed on the fly, the newly developed FMMU (fieldbus memory management unit) in each slave node reads the data addressed to it, while the telegram is forwarded to the next device. Similarly, input data is inserted while the telegram passes through. The telegrams are only delayed by a few nanoseconds.

EtherCAT reaches new dimensions in network performance. Thanks to FMMU in the slave nodes and DMA access to the network card in the master, the complete protocol processing takes place within hardware and is thus independent of the run-time of protocol stacks, CPU performance or software implementation. The update time for 1000 distributed I/Os is only 30 µs. Up to 1486 bytes of process data can be exchanged with a single Ethernet frame - this is equivalent to almost 12000 digital inputs and outputs. The transfer of this data quantity only takes 300 µs.

The EnDat interface from HEIDENHAIN is a digital, bidirectional interface for encoders. It is capable both of transmitting position values from incremental and absolute encoders as well as transmitting or updating information stored in the encoder, or saving new information. Thanks to the serial transmission method only four signal lines are required. The data are transmitted in synchronism with the clock signal from the subsequent electronics. The type of transmission (position values, parameters, diagnostics, etc.) is selected by mode commands that the subsequent electronics send to the encoder.

This bidirectional EnDat 2.2 interface is now available with a clock frequency of 16 MHz for high-response applications with direct drives, especially those found in the electronics industry. The increase from 8 MHz to 16 MHz significantly reduces the access time to the position value, and makes shorter cycle times possible. This means that EnDat 2.2 is now the fastest purely serial interface for position encoders based on the RS 485 transmission characteristics.

Machine Operator Panel

NCT 201 Operator Panel

The NCT 201 control can be connected to any custom machine keyboard, it is not necessary to buy the NCT operator panel. The flexible system allows the users to create their own machine interface via the Input/Output PLC lines, in which they can optionally combine the touch screen’s virtual buttons with the custom machine panel’s real buttons. The NCT 201 optional machine operator’s panel matches the monitor module in size, style and color. It is also perfectly compatible with the monitor when they are built-in or on a supporting arm, as they form an integrated system. The NCT 201 operator panel features 20 programmable user buttons besides the standard operating devices by NCT (handwheel, feeding override, jog, mode buttons, emergency stop button, etc.). The transparent button covers pop out on the operator side, allowing for an easy insertion of machine specific titles under them. Every Fanuc size button on the NCT control panel has LED lighting that can be easily seen from every direction.

Programmer Keyboard

In the standard version the operator can use the virtual keyboard on the touchscreen monitor for data input. The keyboard image on the monitor only appears and takes up space when it is needed for data input. As it is merely virtual, it is easily adjustable for different languages, which the operator can easily change if needed. The size and placement of the buttons makes the data input very comfortable. The speaker at the bottom of the panel emits a clicking sound when the buttons are touched. In order to protect the touch screen a self-adhesive screen protector foil is used. Since the usage of virtual keyboard does not cause mechanical deformation, they cannot wear out, only the foil can become dull, or scratched, both of which can be solved by replacing the screen protector every once a while.

If the operator prefers a QWERTY keyboard, that can easily be connected via any of the 4 USB ports. The wired or wireless keyboard can be located in a fixed drawer under the NCT control panel and the machine keyboard, in an ergonomically comfortable position. A shelf can also be provided under the keyboard for documents, such as workpiece drawings program prints, etc.. For the wireless keyboard offered by NCT, we also provide foil cover, which can protect the keyboard from moisture and dust ensuring a long service life. Naturally flexible industrial keyboards can be used as well.

High-Speed Rail

Peripheries will be connected to the NCT 201 CPU via EtherCAT (industrial ETHERNET). The peripheries can be NCT IO units, NCT drives, or they can be other standard EtherCAT peripheries from other manufacturers as well (e.g.: BECKHOFF, YASKAVA, ABB, HITACHI, BAUMÜLLER, LENZE, SEW, WAGO, etc.). The “high-speed rail” system is designed the way that behind the EtherCAT connection lead unit different I/O units of different functions and sizes (like railway carriages) can be connected via an LVSD bus and a flat cable. This assembled “train” is mounted on an OMEGA rail, frequently used in the construction of electrical cabinets. Presently 12 types of “carriages” of different functions are offered by us, but we are expanding the selection, and our customers can request custom “carriages” as well.

The following I/O units are offered presently:

1. EHU the locomotive of the head unit. EtherCAT connects to this.
2. I16 16 pieces 24 VDC INPUT/1-line
3. I32 32 pieces 24 VDC INPUT/1-line
4. I16S 16 pieces 24 VDC INPUT/3-line for inductive sensors, buttons, switches. There is a seperated 24 V and 0 V connecting point at every input.
5. O8RM 8 pieces of OUTPUT/10A relay with alternating contact
6. O8R 8 pieces of OUTPUT/5A relay with locking contact
7. O16 16 pieces of transistor OUTPUT/0,5A / 24 VDC
8. MU2 2 pieces of TTL encoder input and 2 pieces of analog out put (15 bit)
9. MUED 2 pieces of EnDat22 input
10.MUSI 2 pieces of SINCOS encoder input
11.ANI 8 pieces of analog input. It can be used in 7 pieces/12 bit channel for example for temperature measurement and in 1 piece/16 bit channel for analysis of vibration.
12.TCP 2 pieces of touch probe connection.

Servo Drives

NCT Servo Drives

The new NCT servo drives are perfectly compatible EtherCAT peripheries. They can be connected to the CPU of the NCT 201 control panel via one EtherCAT bus. The wide-band channel provides the speed command to the drives, and the absolute position to the CNC software. The signals of the measuring system of the servomotors are received and evaluated by the servo drives. The measuring system of the motors can be absolute (EnDat22), or incremental.

Servo Motors

NCT Motors

The development of the NCT servomotors is one of the most successful in our R&D department. The NCT Model A, Ai, AiS, AMS and TORQUE motors satisfy all customer requirements. We developed our asynchronous motors in design, size, speed, and electric parameters especially for machine tools. All of our motors can be ordered with EnDat22 absolute encoders or incremental measuring systems.

MOST IMPORTANT HIGHLIGHTS OF NCT 201 COMPARED TO PREVIOUS MODELS:

1. WINDOWS CE PROFESSIONAL software with WINDOWS compatible file managing, keyboard usage, USB, ETHERNET peripheries, remote machine, etc.

2. The updating and replacement of the system software, parameters, PLC for the NCT 201 control or NCT servo drives require merely downloading from a PENDRIVE or via ETHERNET. The new system software or parameters downloaded from the NCT homepage can be installed easily without professional help.

3. Loading the drive parameters does not require any external device. Using the parameter software of the control panel the parameters of the drives can be easily set. The most optimal settings can be found with the HELP function of the monitor interface diagnostic assistance.

4. The home screen of NCT 201 can be changed and saved easily, and after that the user customized screen appears at every start up.

5. The integrated PLC of NCT 201 can be programmed by using the well-known LADDER system. The LADDER makes maintenance and repair work efficient. In the PLC window of the control panel the ladder can be shown graphically, which illustrates logical conditions and processes via the “green stream” process. We provide a high level programming language (PYTHON) for PLC programmers, machine builders to create their own user interface.

6. One of the main advantages of NCT 201 is the multi channel design. This means that there are many logical CNC controls in one physical unit. Every channel is a separate CNC control, which executes their own technological program, while constantly coordinating with the other channels. The number of channels is only limited by the CPU speed, there is no logical limit. The control panel possesses all functions and services which are needed to help CNC automation, such as special tool handling or simultaneous action and superimposed axes.

7. Along with the multi channel development, the simultaneous 5 axes machining is the other focus of our R&D activity. Our machine tool designers and motor developers created our new tilting headstock with the most advanced technical solutions (with NCT TORQUE motor), which can be adapted in various NCT machining centers. With the cooperation of our application engineers and CNC software developers we provide our customers with the most user-friendly programming and user interface for 5 axes machining.

8. Any threading function can be built in easily, because of the flexibility of our software and hardware system. The operator of NCT 201 can change the turning speed, or even turn off the spindle during threading. By using the thread corrector function when the spindle is idle, the thread cut can be set and the control ensures the correct recutting of the thread.

9. Nowadays a CNC control panel cannot lack programming and graphic testing, background editing during machining process, which is naturally provided in NCT 201.

10. Though the most effective CNC programs are still written in G code, during unique or small series machining programming time can be reduced with SMART NCT programming help. The contours of the workpiece can be drawn even with finger, and by filling in a few dialogue tables it can be finished in the matter of minutes. The part processing can be graphically simulated. Naturally it can be done during the execution of another part program as well.