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  1. #1
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    Join Date
    May 2006
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    5

    CNC power outage / power saving / pre shift start up

    Good Morning all,

    I am new to cnc machine tool, I have been working with FANUC and various other robots over the last decade.

    We used to leave our robots powered up overnight as the risk of loosing our zero position due to battery drain outweighed the cost of re teaching a bunch of programs.

    When left idle the robots would enter power save mode and shut down the servos. We would also E-stop the work cells.

    The cost to leave these work cells powered up over night was minimal.

    The cnc shop I started at shuts down all equipment over night.
    They have lost the ram on a few machine costing down time ( one still does not have the tool changer after loosing all parameters )

    The owners are penny wise on cost of power.

    I would also would trigger pre start on presses to get lube up and running and flywheels spinning to get machines ready for start of shift.

    The machines would pre start and get warmed up before employess arived.

    Few questions I have:

    Do most shops shut down the equipment over night?

    Can I just leave "controller power on" with hitting e stop?

    With CNC vs robots I know you need to zero return on power up.
    Can I leave control power on and avoid this?

    Can I call a warm up program 30 min prior to first employee showing up?

    With PLC automation I was able to automate a bunch of start up tasks.

    1030pm on suday I would start compressors
    1035pm I would start lube on presses.
    1045pm I would start flywheels one at a time for the whole plant. Smallest press to biggest press to avoid going over x amps on building.

    Can I do something like this with CNC?
    START compressors 40 min prior to shift (already have this in works)
    Start machine centers up.
    Trigger spindle warm up 30 min prior.
    Trigger table warm up 15 min prior.

    3 machine types.
    Fanuc Mitsubishi and Cincinnati.

    Do you guys do warm up with tool in spindle or no tool?

    Can I Add a UPS to controller and keep positions of machine during power outage? This way I can restart program when power comes back up much quicker?

  2. #2
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
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    4549

    Re: CNC power outage / power saving / pre shift start up

    I have a small commercial home shop, only 3 CNC machines. I always leave my machine computers powered up, and the machines E-stopped. It's my opinion that power cycling computers is harder on them than leaving them hot. On some machines the computer comes on with the control power, which in most cases also starts the hydraulic pump (if equipped) and some other hardware. On our machines, computer and control power are separate.

    The air compressor is on a timer and shuts down at 9:00 PM, manually restarted when needed. We work odd hours, but the timer could be programmed to start at a fixed time also, just not needed in our case.

    We run the warm up routines manually when the machine is needed. It would be difficult to automatically run a warm up for two reasons. 1) the E-stops are twist to release, and 2) the warm up program has to be loaded and run. With most CNC machines it would require some major rewiring and configuration to automatically override the E-stop and run a warm up program.

    We normally run the warm up with a tool in the spindle, but I guess it wouldn't hurt anything to run the warm up with no tool in a spindle as long as the tool locked sensor is happy.

    I think the most common way of having the machines ready to go at start of shift is to have an actual human come in early and start up the machines and run the warm up before the rest of the crew arrives.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  3. #3
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    Jan 2008
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    1138

    Re: CNC power outage / power saving / pre shift start up

    I think it's crazy how CNC controllers lose parameters if battery runs out. Is it still happening on modern machines or just old ones?

    There is no reason (other than a dodgy way to increase service $$ on machines) for this to happen. Permanent nonvolatile storage has been cheap and easily available for donkeys years.
    7xCNC.com - CNC info for the minilathe (7x10, 7x12, 7x14, 7x16)

  4. #4
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
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    4549

    Re: CNC power outage / power saving / pre shift start up

    Quote Originally Posted by pippin88 View Post
    I think it's crazy how CNC controllers lose parameters if battery runs out. Is it still happening on modern machines or just old ones?

    There is no reason (other than a dodgy way to increase service $$ on machines) for this to happen. Permanent nonvolatile storage has been cheap and easily available for donkeys years.

    I think that only happens on the older machines. I think most modern controllers have some type of nonvolatile memory. I think our Haas has some kind of SD card or something, it's a 2016 machine. The other two machines (1980's) have been retrofitted with modern controllers and have SSDs in them, and are backed up. There have been a lot of improvements by the machine tool manufacturers in the last 10 years or so, they have moved the controllers into the 21st century.

    If I had an old controller, I would backup the parameters so loosing them to a dead battery would not be an issue. Even if this means going through and writing down the parameters from the screen if there is no other way to do it. There are many posts on this site requesting parameters for xxxx, this can be eliminated by being proactive.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

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