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CNC Retrofit Package Replaces or Adds Controls on Milling Machines

CNC machining job shops are essentially multistage process operations where there is potential for improvement at each stage. "Most low-to-mid volume run production machine shops struggle in achieving their share of the 5-10% maximum profit margins typically realized on most jobs. If a machine is down for any significant amount of time, you have cut into your production output, increased the cycle time and you are losing money. Therefore, if a machine is down, you need to move fast to get your machine back up and running," said a Servo Products Company spokesperson.

With the goal of breathing new life into old CNC mills, or turning a mill into a CNC as a cost-effective alternative, Servo Products Company, a progressive designer and manufacturer of manual knee-type milling machine tools and accessories since 1964, offers the Orion CNC Retrofit package for knee mills and lathes. The CNC Retrofit kits-1000 M (Milling) and 1000 T (Turning)-are intended to provide quality upgrades while saving the customer money over purchasing a new machining center.

The pre-configured retrofit package is virtually a plug & play solution that is designed to reduce vital machine downtime for almost any make or model of knee mill. It features a PLC control panel, VFD spindle speed control, true servo motors, ball screws, auto lube pump and runs on single-phase power. End users can add an optional LED work light, wireless MPG pendant, power drawbar lockout solenoid and dual channel eStop for safety, for a complete milling machine package.

Servo Engineer Garry Yaworski came up with the CNC retrofit kit due to the fact that there were existing controls in the field that featured obsolete analog systems and failing controls. If an end user has one of these systems where support may be nonexistent, the Orion kit is a fast upgrade.

According to Yaworski, "The ball screws and brackets are already in place on these systems, so you just need a new control and motors. The idea was to supply an `octopus' style control box, with all of the cables and attachment pieces that the user could install on an existing knee mill in the shop. Preconfigured, you simply bolt it to the existing machine and connect all the motors. This system can also be used to update a CNC machining center."

Servo's Orion quickly turns a manual knee mill into to a 3- or 4-axis CNC and is adaptable to multiple manufacturers. Packaged as a 3-axis kit for milling machines, it is also easily upgradeable and pre-wired for a fourth axis. Importantly, the third axis can drive the knee so you have a full 16" of travel up/down, or Servo can provide Elrod ball screw driven quill kits.

The retrofit system is as simple as installing power feeds, with the servo motors built in, and typically installed in a day. The 400W true servo motors provide up to 300 in/lbs. of torque and a maximum rapid travel speed of 105 IPM. Servo also offers the Elrod belt & pulley style systems. Both systems operate on 208V to 240V single-phase power, which is ideal for small- to mid-size job/home shops that do not have three-phase power.

The turn-key retrofit solution features an integrated frequency drive that controls the spindle speed. It also includes an I/O board, MPG pendant, ball screws, auto lube pump and spindle and feedrate overrides.

Servo can custom tailor their CNC packages to fit specific machine requirements, whether it is a new installation or a retrofit replacement for an old control. Solutions for most milling, turning or grinding applications are also supported by Servo's partner company/distributor High Quality Tools (Eastlake, OH/Largo, FL), a one-stop retail supplier of replacement parts, tools and accessories for vertical knee-type milling machines. Servo has a network of approximately 250 dealers throughout the U.S.A.

For more information contact:

Servo Products Company

34940 Lakeland Blvd.

Eastlake, OH 44095


High Quality Tools

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