Solution provided for a CNC Router when an axis on the motion controller stopped working

Photo of Ruben Ordonez

Written by Ruben

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Recently, a customer in South Africa, with our PC Based CNC Professional retrofit conversion, was in dire straights.  The Y axis on his Galil motion controller board went bad.  The cause is unknown and unusual as Galil motion controllers are very reliable.  The customer could have sent in the motion controller board for repair but since the customer is in South Africa, the logistics are a big hassle.  It would have taken several weeks probably before he could get his machine running again.  This was no good for production.  So the customer contacted us and asked if there was anything we could do.  Luckily, the customer had purchased a motion card with an extra axis which was not being used for anything.  The goal then was to move his Y axis servo drive connections to use the 4th unused axis and have it work with our software as if the Y was still connected.  We scratched our heads for a minute and came up with the idea to use CNC Professionals SLAVE command to slave the 4th axis to the Y axis commanded position.  We were not sure at first if this would work since usually there are two working axes slaved together.  In this case, there would be nothing connected to Y except for an encoder signal.  We wondered if the Galil card would error out due to excessive position error on the Y axis.  We did some research and motion testing on our test bench and luckily, it seemed to work.  We sent a software update to the customer to make sure he was using the latest version and had him rewire his axis.  After a few tweaks, it worked perfectly.  The customer is able to continue to use the machine until he has a time when he can afford to send the motion card in for repair.  Just goes to show the versatility of the CNC Professional software.

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