While still using a PC-based system featuring Beckhoff controls, the hardware and software on the Eldorado gundrilling machine from Kays Engineering (Marshall, MO) have been improved with job shop operators in mind.
A 7-in display screen allows for larger graphics and easier-to-read menus. Touchscreen capability improves menu navigation. Large pushbuttons have replaced the keypad, making the control panel more durable and easier to use in a shop floor setting.
The control also features CNC G-Code programming capability, which allows customers to write their own gundrilling programs. This improves machine flexibility with options like variable feeds and speeds, drilling peck cycles, dwell times, and many other basic G-Code capabilities. A simple USB connection for an external keyboard makes it easy to quickly type new G-Code programs while standing at the machine.
As of June 1, 2020, the Eldorado M75-30T gundrilling machine now features an option for a servo-driven fixturing assembly. This option allows the machine operator to more quickly load and unload parts from a more ergonomic position.
The M75-30T features a counter-rotation fixturing assembly that grips the tailstock end of the workpiece. It rotates the workpiece in the opposite direction of the gundrill tool rotation, which improves the accuracy of the drilled hole. With the servo-driven option, a Beckhoff servo motor rotates the ballscrew, which provides advance/retract motion for the counter-rotation assembly.
The servo-driven movement of the assembly is an improvement over the previous manual handwheel actuation. Operated with a toggle switch, the servo-driven option is faster, more repeatable, and eliminates repetitive motion for the operator. Safety features include a torque limiter on the servo drive and mechanical limit switches on the slide. These features prevent the operator from crashing the fixturing assembly and damaging the machine.
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