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Unitronics - Can a PLC Achieve the Same Results as a CNC Controller?

Posted by Kelly Howe on April 18, 2017 09:00 AM

This post is brought to you by Unitronics.

Summary:  Shriram Automation needed to replace a faulty CNC controller that was automating a gun drilling application.  They recreated the entire CNC using a Unitronics all-in-one PLC, which also enabled them to add user friendly operator interfaces with the integrated color-touch HMI.  The Unitronics PLC was more reliable than the CNC controller and offered new features backed by industry-leading technical support.

Shriram Automation, based in India, integrates custom automation solutions across a variety of industries.  Using PLCs and other control equipment, they create reliable, state-of-the-art solutions; Shriram often uses Unitronics PLC+HMI all-in-one controllers for these processes, for easy to use and easy to program control.

One application that Shriram controlled using Unitronics is a single axis gun drilling machine.  A servo motor powers the drill and drilling is done in several stages at different speeds.  Additionally, depending on the material, the drilling speed may need to be changed while drilling.  They also wanted the controller to managed related processes including the spindle, coolant and lubrication.

Unitronics CNC blog.jpgThis drill system was originally controlled by a CNC controller, but this controller kept failing due to hardware problems.  Unable to get adequate technical support for their CNC controller, Shriram decided replace it with a Unitronics Vision430 PLC+HM.  This powerful PLC has an integrated 4.3-inch color-touch HMI panel and onboard I/O; Shriram was able to recreate all the features of the CNC program using the Vision430, while adding user-friendly HMI screens.  According to engineer Sunit Gupte, adding a touch screen HMI “gave operators flexibility doing operations and parameter feeding.”

Unitronics CNC blog2.jpgThe Vision430 was not only able to match the performance of the CNC controller, but also surpass it.  Sunit Gupte explains “this is the best PLC I have used ‘til now.  I have used Unitronics in rubber, steel, pharma, textile, packaging and food applications.” The integrated HMI more user friendly, but using the advanced PTO function blocks, Shriram was able to develop the program for position controlling.  The Vision430 is programmed using an all-in-one software environment, reducing development and configuration time.

“This is the best PLC I have used ‘til now. I have used Unitronics in rubber, steel, pharma, textile, packaging and food applications.” - Sunit Gupte

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Topics: PLC, HMI, Unitronics, Vision430, CNC program