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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    159

    Unidentified VMC for retrofit

    Gday Guys,

    I picked up this complete VMC dirt cheap on market place. The the old Heidenhain controller it uses has some issues and frankly I'd like to update the machine controller. I have my eye on the SZGH set up.

    Anyway the guy I purchased it off never used it and it has no name plates anywhere. So my question is does anyone know what make this machine is?

    Pics attached.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20240609_161207-3200.jpg   20240609_161257-3200.jpg   20240609_161313-3200.jpg   20240609_161322-3200.jpg  


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    5722

    Re: Unidentified VMC for retrofit

    Best guess is a really old Haas, just based on the sheet metal and what I can see of the frame.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    159

    Re: Unidentified VMC for retrofit

    It has American Glentek drives and servos. Those would have been fitted to Haas machines back then?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    5722

    Re: Unidentified VMC for retrofit

    Quote Originally Posted by rotec View Post
    It has American Glentek drives and servos. Those would have been fitted to Haas machines back then?
    It's possible, but I have no direct knowledge of that. I'm just guessing it may be an old Haas based on the overall design of the machine.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    4674

    Re: Unidentified VMC for retrofit

    Hi,
    I would guess the Glentek servos are DC motors and the drives are transconductance amplifiers. That would have been common in the 80's or thereabouts.

    The drives require an analog input, and that is derived from the control. The number of controllers on the market with analog outputs has severely diminished over the years with really only the expensive ones
    like Galil still in the hunt.

    Most modern controllers which are both much cheaper, and a much wider choice of makes and models are Step/Direction output (in the main), but such controllers would require you replace the old servos.
    Is it your intention to retain the old servos and drives or would you consider swapping the old servos and drives for modern AC servos?

    To replace the servos with modern ones is obviously expensive, say $600 to $700 per axis, but that is offset somewhat by a cheaper controller. The advantage is that the Step/Direction controllers are pretty straight forward
    as a hobbyist refit.

    To reuse the existing servos and drives obviously saves having to buy new ones, so I know that would appeal, but then you'd have to get an analogue controller. Jim has a long and fruitfull history with Galil controllers,
    but they are expensive to buy new. There are less expensive brands, but they all (including Galil) have the complication that you need to program and tune PID control loops....not for the faint hearted.

    You need to ask yourself whether you have the technical inclination to program and tune analogue servos, as I say, not for the faint hearted. If that sounds overly difficult then new AC servos look like a good solution
    but could easily cost 2k.

    Craig

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    159

    Re: Unidentified VMC for retrofit

    Hi Craig, Thanks for your input, I was actually more seeking information about the make of machine itself! As frankly I have no clue what it is. This is just for my own curiously.
    The retrofit will be straight forward, I've done a few. I will be using the SZGH-CNC1000MDb (4 axis). These are fantastic and straight forward to set up. Their engineers are great and will also build the macro and supply the relay pack for the ATC.

    The servos on the machine are actually Glentek AC servos and drives. These will be retained and I will use a step / direction to analog converter between the modern Chinese controller and the original analog Glentek servo drives.

    If the original drives / servos give me trouble I will swap them out for Chinese AC servos and drives.

    Should make for an nice machine when all done.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2024
    Posts
    53

    Re: Unidentified VMC for retrofit

    Quote Originally Posted by rotec View Post
    Hi Craig, Thanks for your input, I was actually more seeking information about the make of machine itself! As frankly I have no clue what it is. This is just for my own curiously.
    The retrofit will be straight forward, I've done a few. I will be using the SZGH-CNC1000MDb (4 axis). These are fantastic and straight forward to set up. Their engineers are great and will also build the macro and supply the relay pack for the ATC.

    The servos on the machine are actually Glentek AC servos and drives. These will be retained and I will use a step / direction to analog converter between the modern Chinese controller and the original analog Glentek servo drives.

    If the original drives / servos give me trouble I will swap them out for Chinese AC servos and drives.

    Should make for an nice machine when all done.
    Hlo sir, I am a cnc machines retrofitter already working with clients from Canada, USA, vietnam etc
    I read your post and happy you using a chinese controller, You can discuss with me if you are interested in Taiwan controller Syntec. Its just my advice sir, pls dont take it personally. i hope you will contact me at [email protected] ( +918168294379-my whatsapp)

    Thanks & regards
    Pankaj

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