Rolf Wissner GmbH was considered one of the first companies to specialize in the manufacture of high-speed cutting (HSC) milling and laser machining centers years ago. At that time, however, available CNCs did not meet the critical HSC requirements, which were a 0.1-msec or less blockprocessing time and support of adaptive lookahead technology. What did meet these requirements was OpenCNC software from MDSI. It worked so well that the machine builder continues to use it.
Because of OpenCNC, Rolf Wissner customers benefit from unlimited program and data-storage space. "The CNC software quickly and effortlessly transfers enormous amounts of geometric data using copy and paste," says Ingmar Klipp, control engineer and project manager for OpenCNC at Wissner. The system uses one processor (single CPU) for both CNC and PLC to accelerate data exchange. This also lets users retrieve machine and production data in real time without additional hardware — even over the Internet.
Unlike classic closed controls, OpenCNC gets faster with age. "With this system, our customers bring performance up to date by replacing standard PC components," comments Rolf Wissner, the company's managing director. The CNC software capitalizes on today's powerful, yet less expensive, PChardware components.
Customers not only update hardware but also the system's software — directly over the Internet if they so desire. "We are already testing the next release of OpenCNC, which is in its final stages," says Klipp. With improved algorithms for high-speed cutting, this version increases machine performance by 25%.
A major cost advantage of OpenCNC is that the software doesn't break down like hardware can. For Wissner, this means fewer spare parts and, thus, less storage space required.
Because the system is a true open architecture, users can manipulate the CNC kernel, if necessary. Once familiar with OpenCNC, customers make their own adjustments, which saves Wissner the cost of doing it. In addition, the system's architecture lets customers standardize their controls, so any employee can work on any machine.
Ann Arbor, Mich.