Control Built for the Jobshop

Control Built for the Jobshop

The Infimatic Freedom
The Infimatic Freedom NC 200 delivers high-end control features at jobshop affordability.

Companies under the MAG umbrella combined their individual machine control talents and developed a new proprietary control.

The Infimatic Freedom NC 200 control is designed to be used with machines made by MAG companies and with any other machines on the market.

“This is not a legacy control, but a major upgrade that is completely compatible with older controls. Its hardware, interface and capability all have been improved, and it’s based on a completely new digitalcontrol hardware platform,” Dr. J. Manjunathaiah, vice president and general manager of Infimatic LLC, said. Infimatic LLC (wwwinfimatic.com) is a separate division within MAG Industrial Automation Systems that is developing control systems.

The control’s human machine interface (HMI) is a Windows-based front end with a proprietary real-time operating system on the back end. It is designed to be easy-to-use, and the Freedom NC 200 lets untrained operators be up and running in about four hours, and experienced machinists in about half that time.

According to Dr. “J.”, the new control lets Infimatic offer the features and capabilities of other highend controllers, but at a price jobshops can afford. The control can also be customized to meet the needs of specific markets, one of which being jobshops using MAG Fadal machines.

Currently, the control is featured on the VMC 3016 FX, the VMC 4020 FX and the company’s recently released VMC 4525. There are also plans in the works to integrate the control into MAG Fadal’s larger machines.

There are several control features geared toward the typical MAG Fadal machine user. One is that the new control runs the old G-codeformat programs of the legacy Fadal controller. Another is that the new control includes GibbsCam shopfloor programming, a control resident version for seamless CAM/CNC integration.

“We are looking at the average jobshop and how to compress part-making cycle times. And the way to do that is by taking the CAM and control integration to the next level. The goal is to be able to take a part concept, put it into the CAM model, post process, get the G-code, load it into the machine, cut the part and measure it with a probe. Then, feed the probe information right back into the control software for process changes at the quality assurance level,” Dr. J said.

He also points out that shops no longer have to generate G-code offline. They can do it at the machine with the Freedom NC 200 and without a separate PC.

To better match specific market needs, Infimatic offers the new control in three distinct packages — the Productivity package, the Performance package and the Die/ Mold package. The Productivity and Performance packages have high-performance and enhanced high-performance CPUs, respectively, while the Die/Mold package sports multiple highperformance CPUs.

The control packages can be field upgraded in less than four hours. So if a shop purchases the Productivity package then suddenly gets some die and mold work, Fadal can field install a second CPU without having to change the machine’s electrical cabinet.

That is possible because Infimatic precisely engineered its modular cabinets with distributed, scalable architecture and plenty of room for expansion options — including up to 5 axes of interpolated motion — all in a simple and optimized form-factor.

Built-in flexibility extends to the input/output functions, which can accommodate cabinet or field mounting. It features a communication power feed that’s separate from the mains bus for uninterrupted feedback, and software on demand for automatic application configuration. The use of Ehternet network hardware also increases system capacity and configurability, simplifies set up and enhances reliability.

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