Bolting past traditional thread cutting

Bolting past traditional thread cutting

A new machine promises to thread bolts in one pass. Recently unveiled by Rebuilders Unlimited Machine Co. Inc. (RUMC), Waynesboro, Pa., the R-UMatic Thread Cutting Machine takes advantage of GE Fanuc's control technology and the technical know-how of auto

The R-U-Matic is a completely automated, single-purpose thread-cutting machine that can thread bolts in one pass.

Control components are complemented by a QuickPanel Jr. 6-in., color touchscreen operator interface.

The R-U-Matic thread-cutting machine using GE Fanuc control automates traditionally manual operations.


A new machine promises to thread bolts in one pass. Recently unveiled by Rebuilders Unlimited Machine Co. Inc. (RUMC), Waynesboro, Pa., the R-UMatic Thread Cutting Machine takes advantage of GE Fanuc's control technology and the technical know-how of automation distributor Advent Electric, York, Pa. The resulting machine is a move away from older, hand-operated designs to a completely automated, single-purpose thread-cutting machine that is fast, accurate, and easy to program.

Constructed in both single and double-spindle versions with a 20R head, the machine threads 0.5 and 2.5-in. bolts with one pass. Using tangential chasers, the one-pass process cuts threads at an extreme pitch — for example, a lead of up to 0.750 in. — with just one cutting pass.

The R-U-Matic's automation system puts a GE Fanuc Series 90-30 PLC in control. Control components are complemented by a QuickPanel Jr. 6-in., color touchscreen operator interface that displays carriage position, motor torque, spindle rpm, parts count, active part, and diagnostics. This data assists the operator with troubleshooting and machine operation. A GE Fanuc DSM314 motion module attached to the PLC is linked to the spindle motor, the carriage servo amplifiers, and the spindle encoder.

According to Kermit Reed, president of RUMC, the system is easy to program and operate. "Because of the QuickPanel front end, the setup and interface are so simple a new operator can be trained within minutes," says Reed. "One of the key features of all the control-system components we selected — the PLC, the motion module, the operator interface — was the user-friendly programming software GE Fanuc included," Reed recalls.

To program the PLC, RUMC used VersaPro software running on an external computer that connects to the PLC via a serial cable and serial connection. All machine cycles, functions, and motion are programmed using this software.

In addition, programmers can customize the interface screen using Quick Design programming software. A DSM314 digital motion controller offers single-point programming, high-speed Local Logic support, and strobe position capture for accurate control of high-speed threading processes. As for the R-UMatic's spindle, it is controlled with an adjustable frequency AC drive, while the carriage servo is controlled with a GE Fanuc Alpha Series drive. The spindle is assigned to the DSM314 module, and speed and direction are controlled by a ±10-V signal.

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