UPDATE – As of June, we have shipped our third, forth and fifth control upgrades in our Beta program.
Also we are on our forth hardware revision since the first prototype. I would consider today’s Beta system quite mature, considering we have been internally testing the control hardware and software for the last couple of years.
Rather than rush to market, we have maintain a solid development program.
The key to a proper Beta program is preparation. Back in the old days, with the introduction of the Legacy control, we successfully introduced many new hardware and software features without problems by carefully managing the implementation and quickly responding to any unforeseen problems.
Given our control experience and combine engineering talent, with the NXGEN CNC Beta program, we are not only determined but able to ensure an equally smooth introduction.
What also makes this introduction exciting, unlike before, the new technology available today is phenomenal in what is now possible!
For example, now with the feature rich Windows 7 platform and using a web based software such as TeamViewer allows us to virtually stand right in front of your NXGEN control and operate it!
This a tremendous customer support benefit for Training, Diagnostics and even provides remote software update capability, instantly over the internet, without any intervention!
Before Upgrade Pictures – The Legacy Control
To give you an idea how clean and simple it is to upgrade your machine to the NXGEN control, we are showing Before/After shots of an installation.
To the left is a picture of the a 1997 Fadal VMC 4020 with the Legacy system before conversion.
For ease of service, notice that we have maintained the same Card Cage design with our new control. Additionally, instead of having 11 cards in the Card Cage, we’ve reduced the count in the new control to simply 3 boards; a CPU board, a IO board and a Motion Control board. This greatly increases the MTBF and we did it by not giving up performance, in fact we showing pretty much a ten-fold performance improvement, across the board!
With the NXGEN, just like the Legacy, it is very easy to service by simply removing only what is needed and not disturbing the other system components.
Beware there are some inferior CNCs that use the old “closed box” design, usually packed into a pendant. This design requires that the entire control system to be removed and returned for factor service or they must replace your whole system with a “used box”. The worse scenario is to fix your original problem but get a different problem in the process, not very practical for your CNC equipment.
The open access Card Cage design is one of the best and longest enduring design.
After Control Upgrade – The NXGEN Control
This picture shows the new control installed and powered-up.
Basically the process is pretty simple:
1) Removed the pendant and its wiring.
2) Removed the Power Supply and its wiring.
3) Finally the Card Cage assembly is removed.
We then add our new Pendant and wiring. Now by using the latest technology, we’ve reduced the cable count to about 1/3 of the of the Legacy.
After installing the new Card Cage assembly the new isolated power supply system is installed. This powers the Pendant and new Card Cage, all control power is isolated from the machine power and ground. By isolating the control power we virtually eliminate many of the power and ground loop issues can plague a CNC in reliability and component life (MTBF).
In order to simplify the retrofit process, the original Card Cage wiring is reused as much as possible. For example, where cables before would plug into one of the axis card, now all they plug directly into the Motherboard.
Now with a minor investment, this VMC 4020 machine is ready for another 10 to 20 years and now with all the benefits of the latest technology: Better Parts In Less Time!