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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > EMCO CNC machines > EMCO Lathe > Retrofit of an EMCO 120 CNC lathe
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  1. #1

    Retrofit of an EMCO 120 CNC lathe

    Hello everyone,

    I would like to present my retrofitting project of an EMCO 120 CNC lathe with a modern controller and new servos.

    The lathe was bought in 2017 and it came from a high school. It was in good condition but the fact that it required three-phase power and had a vintage Emcotronic T1 controller (with the inherent risk of potential problems that could derive from its age) pushed me to take the decision to retrofit it and convert it to single-phase power.

    For the axes, I chose to use 750W AC servomotors and drivers from DELTA, model ASD-B2-0721-B, to replace the original 5-pole Berger Lahr stepper motors.

    The original spindle motor was a 400V DC motor with 3.5hp. To simplify its connection to the new controller, I decided to replace it with a three-phase motor (2.2kW ABB branded) controlled by a single-phase input VFD (DELTA VFD022E21A).

    The choice of the controller was a bit more difficult ... At the beginning I thought to use Mach 3 or Eding CNC but the fact that these systems are PC based didn't convince me. Therefore I decided to take the risk of buying a dedicated Chinese controller on Ebay. My choice fell on a Szghauto "brand" controller (model SZGH-CNC990TDb-2).

    Apparently, as with most products coming these days from China, there are many available controllers similar to this one in which only the brand changes (Szghauto, Newkye, Newker,...). From what I understand, they are all "inspired" by vintage Fanuc controllers. For the moment I am quite satisfied with it. The price was competitive when compared to the cost of a license Mach 3 or Eding CNC + computer + screen + cards, etc. The only problem was the documentation. The Chinglish was almost incomprehensible. I wasted a fair number of hours because of it...

    I will add the photos next...

  2. #2

    Re: Retrofit of an EMCO 120 CNC lathe

    The original EMCO 120 lathe
    Attachment 414498

    The Emcotronic T1 controller
    Attachment 414500

    The original electronics
    Attachment 414502

    Beginning of the disassembly (original headstock motor removed)
    Attachment 414504

    Original headstock motor
    Attachment 414506

    Attachment 414508

    Original 5-pole stepper motors
    Attachment 414510

    Disassembly of the lathe part
    Attachment 414512

  3. #3

    Re: Retrofit of an EMCO 120 CNC lathe

    Cleaning the headstock
    Attachment 414514

    Attachment 414516

    Disassembly of the electrical cabinet
    Attachment 414518

    The new controller (customized by the manufacturer with the EMCO logo )
    Attachment 414520

    Attachment 414522

    Attachment 414524

    The 750W AC servo/driver from DELTA
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The new headstock motor from ABB
    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4

    Re: Retrofit of an EMCO 120 CNC lathe

    To mount the new controller in the electrical cabinet, I ordered a 4mm thick laser cut steel sheet and attached it to the existing cabinet front cover
    Attachment 414530

    Attachment 414532

    Attachment 414534

    I also took advantage of my order to cut out the mounting plates for the new headstock motor, the servos, the limit switches and a back plate for the electrical cabinet
    Attachment 414536

    Attachment 414538

    Attachment 414540

    Attachment 414542

    Since the original headstock motor had a maximum speed of 6000 rpm and the new engine only had 2850 rpm, I had to increase the diameter of the driving pulley so as not to lose too much top speed. In the end, I managed to have a maximum spindle speed of 4250 rpm.
    Attachment 414544

  5. #5
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    814

    Re: Retrofit of an EMCO 120 CNC lathe

    Looking forward to seeing how you get on with the controller. I recently bought the CNC1000TDC from SZGHAuto. I have not had a chance to connect it all up yet as I am busy and need the lathe to do parts at the moment.
    Hopefully I will get a chance in a month or so.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2005
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    1092

    Re: Retrofit of an EMCO 120 CNC lathe

    My choice fell on a Szghauto "brand" controller (model SZGH-CNC990TDb-2).
    From what I understand, they are all "inspired" by vintage Fanuc controllers.
    What cam software you will run with this controller ? I think the postprocessor the same as fanuc ...

  7. #7

    Re: Retrofit of an EMCO 120 CNC lathe

    Quote Originally Posted by Hood View Post
    Looking forward to seeing how you get on with the controller. I recently bought the CNC1000TDC from SZGHAuto. I have not had a chance to connect it all up yet as I am busy and need the lathe to do parts at the moment.
    Hopefully I will get a chance in a month or so.
    Hi,

    It seems to be the same controller with just a different form factor... The installation went quite smoothly. All the cables provided by SZGHAuto were correctly labeled so it was almost plug-n-play. The only "complicated" part was making the turret work with the controller. I had to install an arduino based PLC to convert the turret signals. The painful part was setting the parameters though. The manual they provided was almost incomprehensible and some of the parameters mentioned there didn't seem to apply to my specific model...

    What cam software you will run with this controller ? I think the postprocessor the same as fanuc ...
    I'm using Fusion360 with the standard Fanuc postprocessor. It only required a few minor tweaks to some canned cycles.

  8. #8

    Re: Retrofit of an EMCO 120 CNC lathe

    The follow-up...

    I also had to change the headstock encoder. I chose an "omron" with a resolution of 1024 steps/rev (x4). Its support was machined in a small EMCO Compact 5 CNC lathe that I had at the time...
    Attachment 414632
    Attachment 414634

    Beginning of the wiring
    Attachment 414636
    Attachment 414638
    Attachment 414640

    Wiring finished
    Attachment 414642
    Attachment 414644
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  9. #9

    Re: Retrofit of an EMCO 120 CNC lathe

    Attachment 414648
    Attachment 414650

    And new vinyl decals (of course )
    Attachment 414652
    Attachment 414654
    Attachment 414656

    And here is the finished lathe on its new custom made bench
    Attachment 414658

    And doing its job...
    Attachment 414660

    Overall, I am quite satisfied with the end result. The controller takes standard G code (USB or RS-232) and is quite simple to use. The mechanical part of the lathe does not seem to have much wear neither. The backlash in the ball screws is less than 2um and I can easily work within 0.01mm on mild steel.

    The only annoyance I have is the lack of torque at low speed. I may need to reduce the belt pulley ratio and tweak the VFD settings to mitigate this.

    I hope someone finds this project useful :wave:

    Cheers!

  10. #10

    Re: Retrofit of an EMCO 120 CNC lathe

    Quote Originally Posted by mukanico View Post
    The only annoyance I have is the lack of torque at low speed. I may need to reduce the belt pulley ratio and tweak the VFD settings to mitigate this.
    Quote Originally Posted by mukanico View Post
    Since the original headstock motor had a maximum speed of 6000 rpm and the new engine only had 2850 rpm, I had to increase the diameter of the driving pulley so as not to lose too much top speed. In the end, I managed to have a maximum spindle speed of 4250 rpm.
    This is not the best way to achieve the RPM required. Most certainly the motor can easily handle 120Hz, (check the MFG for max RPM it's probably 6kRPM.) By increasing motor pulley diameter you've reduced torque to the spindle. This will be troublesome if you work steel at 2" diameter.

    Correct setup would give full motor torque to 60Hz, and as Hz increased to 120, available torque would drop but full HP would be available. As small diameter parts need less torque this is acceptable. This is how most spindle motors are configured. For my Emco I chose an ABB 2.2kW, 4 pole motor and run it to 6000RPM. This essentially matches the original motor exactly.

  11. #11

    Re: Retrofit of an EMCO 120 CNC lathe

    Thanks for your input!

    Indeed I struggle a bit with the low torque on "larger" steel parts. When I bought the VFD for this project I chose a model with vector control since I read that this type of control would allow for near full torque at low rpm. Unfortunately I don't see much difference with it on or off, hence my assumption that something could be wrongly configured on the VFD. I will try your advice to go back the original pulley ratio and increase the VFD frequency to still maintain the top speed. Do you also have an EMCO 120?

  12. #12
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    Oct 2004
    Posts
    814

    Re: Retrofit of an EMCO 120 CNC lathe

    Quote Originally Posted by mukanico View Post
    Hi,

    It seems to be the same controller with just a different form factor... The installation went quite smoothly. All the cables provided by SZGHAuto were correctly labeled so it was almost plug-n-play. The only "complicated" part was making the turret work with the controller. I had to install an arduino based PLC to convert the turret signals. The painful part was setting the parameters though. The manual they provided was almost incomprehensible and some of the parameters mentioned there didn't seem to apply to my specific model...
    I think the CNC1000 has a faster processor, more memory and more I/O but likely the software is the same.

    I have been messing around with the control at home and working out quite a lot of things. I too had issues with the toolchanger, not so much about converting signals but more the macro. The macro itself wasn't too bad if you only wanted to use the 8 tool positions with 8 offsets but as I made a VDI turret for my lathe I wanted to be able to use the full 99 possible offsets. That didn't seem to be an issue at first but then I soon realised that it was messing with the graphic view. I asked SZGH if there was a mod function in ther software but sadly there wasn't and they said basically I would just have to use 8 tool positions and 8 offsets or use the 8 positions with 99 offsets and put up with the graphics display showing incorrectly.
    Thankfully however I found a way to basically mimic modulo so now I can do as I presently do with Mach, and call for example T1515 and the turret will go to position 7 but use offset 15 and the graphics will display properly.

    You mentioned earlier that they sorted you with the Emco logo screen, did they just send a file or did they load that before you purchased? I was trying to do my own but couldn't seem to manage to overwrite the default one.

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