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IndustryArena Forum > WoodWorking Machines > Commercial CNC Wood Routers > Chinese Machines > ('Newbie') Syntec 6mb, Alarm code MLC 97 - Spindle Clamping/Unclamping Failure
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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    4

    ('Newbie') Syntec 6mb, Alarm code MLC 97 - Spindle Clamping/Unclamping Failure

    Hello CNC Enthusiasts!

    This is my first post here, so hello! I’m a student product designer (24 years old) and mainly involved with 3D printing and CAD in Fusion360 and some in SolidWorks.

    I work in a start-up company (in the Netherlands) where we build Campervan interiors. To improve our production we’ve recently bought a new CNC machine. So far we’ve only done a tiny bit of work with a ‘simple’ 3 axis machine, with Mach3, where we had to do everything (tool changing, homing, et cetera) manually.

    Our new machine (We’ve bought it second hand. The previous owner barely used it):
    - Syntec 6mb control system (machine is made by Blue Elephant if I’m not mistaken)
    - 4th axis : the spindle rotates +90 to -90 degrees along the x-axis
    - Tool changer for up to 8 tools
    - A work area of 2500 by 1300 millimeters
    - Automatic homing and tool measuring (and all that good stuff)
    The machine moves around just fine and we’ve seen it work without any problems at the previous owner’s place. Since moving it to our place we haven’t changed anything and the machine had not been disassembled during the moving process.

    But we’re having the following problem:
    When running a test program that involves a tool change or the automatic tool measuring sequence: the machine moves to the tool changer, ‘parks’ the tool without any problems and releases it, then we get the alarm code
    ‘MLC 81 – No Tool’ (which is obvious, because it released it),
    then after about 5 second we get the alarm code
    MLC 97 – Spindle Clamping/Unclamping Failure
    The machine doesn’t do or say anything after this.

    What we’ve checked:
    - We’re able to jog the Z axis up and the machine does release the tool properly.
    - The spindle and tool holders are all clean and undamaged.
    - The air pressure is at 8bar (which the previous owner had as well). Also no leaks have been found.
    - We’ve checked the wiring and everything seems to be installed correctly and no bad connections.
    - We’ve tried setting the reference coordinates of the tool changer more precisely (so that the spindle is not pulling or pushing on the tool holder when ‘parking’ and releasing it).
    - Doing a tool change sequence without the ‘hub’/tool changer, so catching the tool with our hand, still gave the alarm code,
    - We’ve gone pretty deep in google searches and on forums, but couldn’t find anything specific about this problem or alarm code.

    If there’s anyone with more knowledge about these Syntec systems or anyone who recognizes this particular problem, we’d love some help!

    (Some photos and videos that a colleague made: https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...01P2_Tc5wCALvI )

    Kind regards,
    Gideon
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails a96c44b7-cd5f-428c-8d05-ac4411fe0bcc.jpg   122ea657-8905-4945-b54a-925bd5d3099f.jpg   4a71dd45-a687-4775-8027-47975ae0b05a.jpg  

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    14
    Hi, are you able to resolve the issue? If so, what was the problem? I'm curious as a recent purchaser of a similar machine, though yet to be installed, Syntec 6MB controlled machine from the same company. Did you try asking for help in Jinan? Yes. You have to deal with language difficulties, but with some patience and/or use of digital translators it is possible.





    QUOTE=Gninok;2361464]Hello CNC Enthusiasts!

    This is my first post here, so hello! I’m a student product designer (24 years old) and mainly involved with 3D printing and CAD in Fusion360 and some in SolidWorks.

    I work in a start-up company (in the Netherlands) where we build Campervan interiors. To improve our production we’ve recently bought a new CNC machine. So far we’ve only done a tiny bit of work with a ‘simple’ 3 axis machine, with Mach3, where we had to do everything (tool changing, homing, et cetera) manually.

    Our new machine (We’ve bought it second hand. The previous owner barely used it):
    - Syntec 6mb control system (machine is made by Blue Elephant if I’m not mistaken)
    - 4th axis : the spindle rotates +90 to -90 degrees along the x-axis
    - Tool changer for up to 8 tools
    - A work area of 2500 by 1300 millimeters
    - Automatic homing and tool measuring (and all that good stuff)
    The machine moves around just fine and we’ve seen it work without any problems at the previous owner’s place. Since moving it to our place we haven’t changed anything and the machine had not been disassembled during the moving process.

    But we’re having the following problem:
    When running a test program that involves a tool change or the automatic tool measuring sequence: the machine moves to the tool changer, ‘parks’ the tool without any problems and releases it, then we get the alarm code
    ‘MLC 81 – No Tool’ (which is obvious, because it released it),
    then after about 5 second we get the alarm code
    MLC 97 – Spindle Clamping/Unclamping Failure
    The machine doesn’t do or say anything after this.

    What we’ve checked:
    - We’re able to jog the Z axis up and the machine does release the tool properly.
    - The spindle and tool holders are all clean and undamaged.
    - The air pressure is at 8bar (which the previous owner had as well). Also no leaks have been found.
    - We’ve checked the wiring and everything seems to be installed correctly and no bad connections.
    - We’ve tried setting the reference coordinates of the tool changer more precisely (so that the spindle is not pulling or pushing on the tool holder when ‘parking’ and releasing it).
    - Doing a tool change sequence without the ‘hub’/tool changer, so catching the tool with our hand, still gave the alarm code,
    - We’ve gone pretty deep in google searches and on forums, but couldn’t find anything specific about this problem or alarm code.

    If there’s anyone with more knowledge about these Syntec systems or anyone who recognizes this particular problem, we’d love some help!

    (Some photos and videos that a colleague made: https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...01P2_Tc5wCALvI )

    Kind regards,
    Gideon[/QUOTE]

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    4

    Re: ('Newbie') Syntec 6mb, Alarm code MLC 97 - Spindle Clamping/Unclamping Failure

    Hey. Yes we did manage to fix it (I totally forgot about this thread haha, oops).

    It turned out to be a loose connector.
    We were so sure there had to be something wrong with the sensors, so we had someone, with sufficient experience with electronics, come in and check all the wiring (from the "control tower" to the machine). Nothing wrong there. So we turned on the machine and tried a tool change while looking in the electronics cabinet ("control tower", whatever you want to call it), we saw the light for the corresponding sensor turn on/off. Then looking at the input and output bits, in the system, we didn't see anything change.

    At the back of the screen/input panel there are a couple connectors that connect all the drivers and controller boards to the 'computer'. There was one connector that was in it's socket and seemed to be connected correctly, but when we pushed on it it turned out to be just not seated corectly and only making half contact.

    Might have happened during transport, just wiggled loose, So I gues when encountering problems with some sensors not working, check the input and output, in the software aswell as hardware, and double check ALL connectors even though they look to be in their sockets correctly.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    4

    Re: ('Newbie') Syntec 6mb, Alarm code MLC 97 - Spindle Clamping/Unclamping Failure

    One additional thing we discovered:
    We had trouble doing the automatic tool measuring. It wouldn't go low enough (to the tool tip measure sensor) even though we had the tool changer to table hegiht set correctly (as is shown in instruction video's online). Turned out there were two reference values for the Z axis. One which is the height from where it will go very slow approaching the sensor. And then a seconde one which is the maximum coordinate to which it will go before giving an alarm. This second one was stored under 4th reference point of 6th axis. Because for each axix there are 4 reference coordinates and all four of the Z axis were already used for something. So this was confusing but once figured out it is no problem at all.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    14
    Hi, thank you very much for your replies. Deeply appreciated!
    You mention "4th reference point of 6th axis". Can you briefly tell me what the 4 reference points are, and explain 6th axis?
    Where did you find this information? We both know the documentation is very poor, and difficult to comprehend the English....to say the least. I'm attempting to get the company to improve this, with difficulty.
    Have you had occasion to directly all for assistance
    from Jinan?
    As mentioned, I have yet to install my machine, still sitting in our shop for over two months since collecting it from the NY harbor. Completing the task involves several large machines out of the way to move the thing, along with having a workload that prevents doing it sooner than later.
    I have two other cnc routers. One of them, an occasionally temperamental , 18 year old machine from Germany, refuses to"give up the ghost". Crazy.
    Thanks again!



    QUOTE=Gninok;2368220]One additional thing we discovered:
    We had trouble doing the automatic tool measuring. It wouldn't go low enough (to the tool tip measure sensor) even though we had the tool changer to table hegiht set correctly (as is shown in instruction video's online). Turned out there were two reference values for the Z axis. One which is the height from where it will go very slow approaching the sensor. And then a seconde one which is the maximum coordinate to which it will go before giving an alarm. This second one was stored under 4th reference point of 6th axis. Because for each axix there are 4 reference coordinates and all four of the Z axis were already used for something. So this was confusing but once figured out it is no problem at all.[/QUOTE]

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    4

    Re: ('Newbie') Syntec 6mb, Alarm code MLC 97 - Spindle Clamping/Unclamping Failure

    Hey.
    So we haven't actually had any contact with the manufacturer. We did send out a message but managed to resolve it before we got a reply. So we didn't go any further into that. We also bought the machine second hand so we actually never really had any contact with the manufacturer/supplier.

    About the reference points:
    As far as most of the 'parameters' go (settings in the machine) they will be set in the factory I think. There are some that you will probably need to calibrate yourself, like the coordinates (reference points) of the tool changer/hub for example. There are some video's on youtube, and I think some with the documentation as well I believe, that show you how to do this. So in the machine is a list of parameters and somewhere in that list are a bunch of 'reference points' for each axis. You can set 4 reference points for each axis and there are parameters for a total of 6 axis (x, y, z, 4, 5 and 6). Our machine only has 4 axis so all the parameters under 5th and 6th axis are set to 0. BUT for all the coordinates of the tool change and tool measure cycles the machine actually needs 5 different reference points for the Z axis. So one of these values was stored under the parameter named '4th reference point of 6th axis.'

    We found that out because when trying to measure a tool the machine actually wouldn't go all the way to the tool tip measuring sensor. So we started the measure cycle a couple times and just compared the coordinates, that the machine was going to, to the stored parameters and this all pretty much lined up. Then it caught my eye that '4th reference point for 6th axis' was set to some value. Even though we don't have a 6th axis so it was supposed to be 0, but the number that was put in there was pretty close to the coordinate of the tool tip measure sensor. So we started the measure cycle again and turned out that the height to which the machine would lower the tool was exactly that number, which was just a bit to high so the tool wouldn't go all the was to the sensor and the machine would give an error.

    I MUST ADD we did change the home position of the Z axis, since our machine would otherwise hit our ceiling. If this was the cause of the coordinates not matching up anymore... it probably was. So it's very likely that you will not encounter these problems. I just thought it was a good thing to add to the discussion seeing as it might otherwise get confusing when you do encounter problems.. and this might not be the only case of values being stored under a different name then you'd expect. So it's a good thing to keep in mind when troubleshooting.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    14
    Thank you again, very much. I point the machine in its location yesterday and have now started setting it up. I am reasonably good with electronics and wiring and have come upon incorrectly numbered cables. Along with that I realize that the wiring gauge is to small for the power feed, especially because I opted for including switching on the console for both a vacuum pump and dust collector. I will use a separate terminal block with separate freed for these two accessories. There is no doubt the wiring would easily overheat and melt. Yes, the quality control could be a little better. My email is antons@optonline.net(xxx) if you would like to stay in touch. I am in New York. Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gninok View Post
    Hey.
    So we haven't actually had any contact with the manufacturer. We did send out a message but managed to resolve it before we got a reply. So we didn't go any further into that. We also bought the machine second hand so we actually never really had any contact with the manufacturer/supplier.

    About the reference points:
    As far as most of the 'parameters' go (settings in the machine) they will be set in the factory I think. There are some that you will probably need to calibrate yourself, like the coordinates (reference points) of the tool changer/hub for example. There are some video's on youtube, and I think some with the documentation as well I believe, that show you how to do this. So in the machine is a list of parameters and somewhere in that list are a bunch of 'reference points' for each axis. You can set 4 reference points for each axis and there are parameters for a total of 6 axis (x, y, z, 4, 5 and 6). Our machine only has 4 axis so all the parameters under 5th and 6th axis are set to 0. BUT for all the coordinates of the tool change and tool measure cycles the machine actually needs 5 different reference points for the Z axis. So one of these values was stored under the parameter named '4th reference point of 6th axis.'

    We found that out because when trying to measure a tool the machine actually wouldn't go all the way to the tool tip measuring sensor. So we started the measure cycle a couple times and just compared the coordinates, that the machine was going to, to the stored parameters and this all pretty much lined up. Then it caught my eye that '4th reference point for 6th axis' was set to some value. Even though we don't have a 6th axis so it was supposed to be 0, but the number that was put in there was pretty close to the coordinate of the tool tip measure sensor. So we started the measure cycle again and turned out that the height to which the machine would lower the tool was exactly that number, which was just a bit to high so the tool wouldn't go all the was to the sensor and the machine would give an error.

    I MUST ADD we did change the home position of the Z axis, since our machine would otherwise hit our ceiling. If this was the cause of the coordinates not matching up anymore... it probably was. So it's very likely that you will not encounter these problems. I just thought it was a good thing to add to the discussion seeing as it might otherwise get confusing when you do encounter problems.. and this might not be the only case of values being stored under a different name then you'd expect. So it's a good thing to keep in mind when troubleshooting.

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