CNC Confidence: Rexroth Controls Chosen for Gantry Router

Posted: 08/08/2013 4:06PM

 

KOMO Machine Inc. (www.komo.com) of Lakewood, NJ designs and builds high-quality precision computer numerically controlled (CNC) routers and machining centers for major market segments, including woodworking, plastics/composites and sheet metal applications.

The company recently developed a new version of its successful Mach One GT series of routers, offering the same precision and milling quality as the existing routers, but utilizing a new CNC system that delivers excellent performance in a more affordable platform. KOMO’s new router, called the Mach One GT MTX, features the IndraMotion MTX micro CNC system from Bosch Rexroth Corporation (Charlotte, NC www.boschrexroth-us.com).

Precision Milling: KOMO targets more markets

The Mach One GT MTX Series is an open-bed, gantry-style router with a traveling gantry and stationary table design. Created to serve the needs of medium to large wood milling operations, as well as plastics and light sheet metal machining operations, it is designed to produce excellent, chip-free finishes and is targeted at shops operating with throughput rates up to 80 sheets per day.

“We’re known for offering high-end, fast, responsive machines that deliver profitable performance,” said Jeff Erickson, executive vice president at KOMO. “Our goal with the Mach One GT MTX is to maintain that quality and performance, but with a machine that is more affordable for a broader range of shops.”

The Mach One GT MTX will support high-output production for a wide range of products, from basic milling of medium density fiber board and solid wood entry doors, to engineered furniture and detailed decorative engravings for high-end cabinetry. It has three axes of interpolated motion: The X and Y gantry axes and the Z spindle axis are all controlled by the Rexroth MTX micro CNC. The work surface is a precision-machined high-flow vacuum table available in different dimensions, to accommodate different workpiece lengths.

MTX micro: Compact and affordable CNC performance

Bosch Rexroth has an established relationship with KOMO, supplying linear motion precision ball screw assemblies and Ball Rail® components for their routers and machining systems. Building on this relationship, two factors convinced KOMO that Rexroth’s MTX micro was the right CNC for the new machine: The MTX micro’s technology, and Bosch Rexroth’s reputation as a top-quality supplier.

“We were familiar with Rexroth from our work with them. We also know they have an excellent reputation in the controls marketplace, and that gave us confidence,” said Mike Kolibas, KOMO president. “We had opportunities to work with smaller controls suppliers, but we chose Bosch Rexroth because we knew they would be there for the long haul.”’

According to Erickson, Rexroth had demonstrated the MTX micro prior to KOMO’s development of the new Mach One GT. “We had seen its capabilities, and it was offered at the right price point, so the timing was good,” Erickson added.  

The Rexroth IndraMotion MTX micro is a compact, simple, powerful and low-cost CNC solution for standard turning and milling machines. It provides a turnkey CNC package that is easy to integrate, and delivers ultra-high reliability, precise multi-axis control and fast machining times.

The MTX micro package features a high-capacity CNC control, an integrated PLC that’s compliant with IEC 61131-C programming standards, and a fully integrated human machine interface (HMI). It has a high-performance 32-bit processor that supports up to six CNC motion axes, with control of up to four interpolated axes of motion at any time.

Optimized for milling applications, the MTX micro supports 2.5D and 3D milling and free positioning of the work piece coordinate system in space. It packs a host of powerful NC capabilities into a compact platform, such as 1,000 NC blocks with look-ahead function, axis-specific jerk limitations and control of interpolated milling sequences down to the nanometer level.

Robust CNC performance supported KOMO’s selection of the MTX micro: “We believe it has good look-ahead capabilities, which will allow shops to run the machine faster, yet maintain accurate control of the axes,” Erickson said.

For example, when cutting a wood panel, the Mach One GT MTX will support a high feed rate of 1,500 inches per minute. “As it comes to a corner, it will ramp down to precisely cut a sharp corner without rounding it, and then quickly ramp back up to 1,500 inches per minute, while maintaining control of all the axes,” he said. This will enable the Mach One GT MTX to sustain a higher rate of throughput without sacrificing milling quality, enhancing the return on investment for KOMO’s customers.

As part of the complete MTX micro package, the X and Y gantry axes and the Z spindle axis use Rexroth IndraDyn S MSK 60 servo motors. They feature a wide power spectrum, high torque density and compact design to enable easier integration into KOMO’s existing Mach One series machine design.

The Mach One GT MTX is optionally equipped with Rexroth linear products. The Z axis mounting the spindle uses an optional Rexroth precision ball screw assembly, engineered to provide high positioning accuracy, repeatability and long operational life. The X and Y gantry axes also provide for optional use of Rexroth Ball Rail® systems, specially developed for machine tool applications, combining high load capacity and high rigidity.

Modular and well-integrated

Modularity and ease of integration were also instrumental to KOMO’s decision to choose the MTX micro. “The package is well-integrated, which allows us to shave time off our assembly of the machine,” said Steve Ostermann, KOMO engineering manager.

He cited several examples: Power is supplied to all four axes through a single interface, rather than separately to each drive; it features enough I/O interfaces to support the Mach One’s requirements; and the fully integrated HMI is easier to configure than a separate HMI package. The integrated HMI is based on the Rexroth IndraControl family of HMIs. It combines visualization, machine operation and programming in a single unit with IP54 protection for woodworking environments. The 10-inch color graphical display shows the plots of the actual tool center path in full color.

In addition, KOMO technicians used a free software training package called MTX micro Trainer to become more familiar with MTX micro’s HMI functions and CNC operation. This powerful, PC-based training and simulation platform also enabled parallel development and testing of the post processor for KOMO’s Router CIM software, thus generating optimized NC programs before running the machine.

Ostermann said the MTX micro makes it fast and simple for KOMO to commission the router. “The CNC platform utilizes a customer programming language (CPL) rooted in BASIC high-level language and is easy to learn; using CPL enables shorter NC programs for repeat procedures and universally applicable sub-programs.” He added that the MTX micro also includes a comprehensive library of programmable functions blocks for milling and turning, for intuitive building of milling sequences.

Confidence in Rexroth value

According to KOMO president, Mike Kolibas, dual sourcing was also a strategic reason why they chose the MTX micro. Prior to the GT MTX series, KOMO had only one CNC supplier. “I believe it’s important to have more than one source for key components on your products,” he said. “We make machines that are dependent on controls, and with Bosch Rexroth, we have the confidence that they can supply our needs and help us meet our commitments to our customers.”

Kolibas said working with Bosch Rexroth has validated his company’s strategic decision to select the MTX -- and Rexroth -- for the new Mach One router. “Our comfort level is much higher, working with a global company that stands behind the controller and the support around it,” he said.

KOMO is looking forward to introducing the Mach One GT MTX to the market, and the company believes it offers a valuable, competitive addition to their portfolio of CNC routers and machining centers. “It’s a faster machine than our competitors, and we expect it will deliver much higher productivity, which makes it perfect for those shops that need to step up to the next level,” concluded KOMO executive vice president, Jeff Erickson.

Challenge

Create a new version of the KOMO Mach One GT high-capacity CNC wood router, with the same precision and milling quality as the existing Mach One machines, but utilizing a new CNC system that delivers excellent performance in a more affordable platform.

Results

  • IndraMotion MTX micro CNC platform
  • IndraDyn MSK 60 servomotors
  • IndraControl HMI

Rexroth Solution

  • IndraMotion MTX micro is compact, simple, powerful and low-cost CNC solution
  • High-performance turning and milling capabilities provide ultra-high reliability and nanometer-precise accuracy in a cost-effective package
  • Modular, integrated drive, power and communications components save on control cabinet space and cut machine assembly time significantly
  • High-performance 32-bit processor minimizes machining time, supports wood milling throughput rates up to 80 sheets per day
  • Powerful look-ahead capabilities enable faster production while maintaining accurate control of complex sequences such as rounded corners
  • Fully integrated IndraControl HMI is easier and simpler to implement than standalone HMI
  • KOMO technicians used MTX micro Trainer software package to learn CNC and HMI functionality faster

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