New Controller Improves Material Removal, Cuts Cycle Time

June 2, 2011
FANUC integrates iAdapt S for CNC to optimize cutting federate, thereby increasing machine tool productivity
Integrating the new control module within the CNC eliminates the need for mounting space, according to FANUC, simplifying installation and improving the capabilities of the original control program.

FANUC Factory Automation America reports it has integrated its new iAdapt®S adaptive control package into its CNC system to increase machine tool productivity by improving material removal and minimizing cycle time because it automatically optimizes the cutting feedrate based on the actual spindle load.

FANUC FA America is the exclusive supplier of FANUC CNC systems and programs in North and South America, including control systems, drives and motors, and CO2 laser systems. It also offers engineering support, parts, repair, and factory automation and training programs for machine tool builders, retailers, and machine shops.

Integrating the iAdapt S product within the CNC eliminates the need for mounting space, the developer explained, simplifying installation and improving the capabilities of the original iAdapt program, which emphasized roughing-cycle productivity for CNC users. The "On Demand" control feature simplifies the use of the adaptive control by making it easy to setup and operate.

The new iAdapt S brings several improvements that allow operators to improve machine cycle time and tool life. By automatically optimizing the cutting feedrate, productivity increases as cycle times decline by up to 40%, as every part is automatically optimized in real-time, including the first. iAdapt S compensates for material and process variations including: material hardness, tool wear, depth of cut and width of cut.

Also, FANUC FA America reported that feedrate control is 100 times “finer” with the integrated iAdapt S controller, which increases the responsiveness and accuracy of the adaptive control. To view and improve the machining process, a graphing feature that displays both the spindle load and feedrate override versus time has been added. A new 64-entry setting table has been introduced in iAdapt S that makes it simple for the operators to save settings for later use and recall.

A new Torque Override feature has been added that allows the operator to modify the adaptive control set point, “dynamically,” during the machining cycle. And, iAdapt S keeps roughing tools fully loaded — “putting the heat into the chips rather than the part,” according to FANUC — thereby prolonging tool life. This results in fewer minor stoppages, and that will increase machine productivity and reduce labor costs, too.