Machines in Motion Inc. opened our doors 12 years ago updating older lathes and mills with the Centroid CNC controller. Every year since, I have seen this product advance in features with even greater ease of use. If there is any one thing I really like about Centroid it is the way they listen. A significant part of Centroid's development team are customers. Those who operate this control every day. Today this industrial CNC controller is powerful, simple to program, and represented worldwide.
Centroid CNC controls will process standard Fanuc G-code programs. Nearly all CadCam manufactures have a post processor written specifically for the Centroid controls. Customers that already have a Fanuc post with their Cad software just continue to use it without missing a beat. With Centroid, CadCam is not your only programming option. Centroid has spent considerable effort refining their conversational G-Code generator "Intercon". This fill-in-the-blank format includes graphic displays pointing out each line of information requested. Then, with the touch of a button, the operator can view his programmed tool path on-screen and in color. This happens before leaving the current operation. Third, for those highly experienced G-Code programmers who only need a blank page to start programming, Centroid provides a Windows type text editor. Just press F6 and you will be handed a blank page to start the process. If you already have a G-Code program loaded F6 will present you with that program's G-code to be edited. Search, replace, cut, and past (and more) will function just as they do in a windows PC environment.
Every Centroid control includes a built in hard drive to store your library of programs.
From the shortest program to huge CadCam files Centroid will down load them to the internal hard drive for use now and archived for use later.
Communications with your control
Sending files to, or retrieving files from, a Centroid control is effortless. This control accepts the commonly used USB memory drives. No more breaking up files so they will fit onto 2 or more floppy disks. Networking has been greatly simplified. All new Centroid control owners can simply plug in a CAT5 networking cable, then, via the on-screen editor, enter a few key parameters into the control's network setup file. Whether uploading from the programmer's desktop or backing up every file on your control, it just doesn't get any easier.
Speed of operation
There are so many individual aspects of part machining that speeding up one or two can produce significant results. To every extent possible Centroid has addressed each of the common operator tasks to produce a truly remarkable reduction in total time per part. Part or fixture setup has been significantly shortened with the use of Centroid's digital touch probe. Not only can you use this tool to setup your part X & Y home but also the Z home. THEN, Centroid has eliminated the operator's need to square up his vise, part, or fixture to the machine. Coordinate System Rotation (CSR) will electronically square the machine's G-Code program to the vise, part, or fixture in under 20 seconds. The TT-1 tool touch off sensor can automatically find and enter each tool's length offset value then store these numbers in the control's tool library. On most every control page there are graphic examples prompting the operator through each task. Programming has been sped up through the use of Centroid's own Intercon conversational G-Code generator. With Centroid uploading a long Cad Cam file is fast. Typically under 5 seconds.
Can we make it "more simple, faster, or clearer". These are the goals of every Centroid control refinement.
Speed of processing
I'm sure someone at Centroid knows the exact number of blocks that can be processed in one second, but I never cared enough to find out. One of my very first control upgrades was for a shop where everyone was fed up with the slow nature of their old controller. For this customer time was everything. After announcing that I had completed the installation this customer proceeded to load the control with a 1.65 Mb program. It was Cad generated, with a distance between points of 0.0001" and programmed at a feed rate that was completely unreasonable for actually cut metal. Nonetheless they proceeded to put their new control through its paces. At that time I didn't really know if this new control would perform to their level of expectations. After this test had run for about 30 seconds I could see their serious faces melt into smiles. That was 12 years ago when the best available processor available was the 486 - 66MHz. The bottom line is you can't move your machine fast enough to outpace a Centroid control computer.
Speed of Cutting
Speed of metal removal is one area where there is no substitute for raw horsepower. Bigger spindle motors mean deeper cutting paths and larger chip loads are possible. More powerful servo motors will produce faster rapids. However there are a couple of areas where the control itself can make a difference. One we already talked about, speed of processing. Shops with high quality machine tools may have never seen this but there are still new controllers out there that will balk at high information throughput. The machine's axis has arrived at its last given point and the control can't coordinate the next move fast enough to produce a smooth finish. Secondly, the control's internal motion control engine will make a significant difference in your machine's ability to maintain the optimum chip load at faster cutting speeds. For example, a 4 flute cutter rotating at 6,000 RPM will present a new tooth to the work piece 400 times each second. Maintaining absolute velocity control is critical to exposing each tooth to the same chip load. It may sound like a no brain-er but it requires a very fast update time and some rather costly hardware to achieve this.
These are a few of the high points. There is only so much I can write about without boring some of you. The bottom line is Centroid has what it takes to remove metal quickly while producing a high level of finish. Combined with the hundreds of refinements achieved during the last 29 years Centroid is a smart choice for any shop owner.
Still have questions? Call me.
Doug Laursen 714 528-7061