Over time, the Fadal VMC machine control consisted of five basic models:
CNC Multi Processor
While the model names changed, the basic working of the internal control remained the same. Usually the name changed when the pendant was given redesign. Sometimes the main processor hardware was updated as technology improved.
The first Legacy control did not have a name, it was just identified as the VMC 40 control. The CNC 88 name was based on the Intel 8088 processor. Later, the HS was added to denote High Speed after internally upgrading the main CPU and axis boards.
The 32MP came about when a Windows 95 system was added inside the pendant that allowed the operator to access Windows and the Gibbs software while the machine was running.
Finally with the CNC MP, the pendant was redesigned and renamed to emphasize the use of multi-processors in the control.
The software continually evolved regardless of the control name and software compatibility spanned almost all of the model names.
We use the name Legacy because it covers all the models, as does the NXGEN Control!
What is Compatibility?
There are those who claim that their CNC is “compatible”, a little investigation shows that is not the case. Compatibility is a matter of percentage.
Our in-depth Legacy knowledge and experience allows our engineering team the ability to cover all the details required to provide a new control that maintains the highest percentage of compatibility in all aspects. We believe compatibility involves not just the CNC programming, but also the Operator Interface and the Service Maintenance. We address the entire process for maximum compatibility.
However, we are not identical to the Legacy in all aspects. The major difference is in performance; the NXGEN control measures typically 10x faster and 10x better than the Legacy system!
The NXGEN Control is compatible with a majority of parts used in a Legacy Control.
Below is a comparison of Legacy and NXGEN parts:
Our goal is to be the most Legacy program-compatible Control ever! Simply load your program and you are ready to go.
We even support the L-word subroutines and engraving, something that many others fail to do.
|MANUAL key operation is exactly the same. Press MANUAL in the waiting state of a program to exit Auto/Single Step, or to exit Jog mode. When the machine is idle, pressing MANUAL cycles through MDI and ENTER NEXT COMMAND user modes.|
|Spindle ON Key|
|Operates identical to the Legacy. Press to turn the spindle off or use SHIFT+Press combination to start the spindle.
To further help the operations, the Spindle key also reads FWD, REV, or OFF and changes color when pressed. Red means off, and Green means on.
Jog operates exactly like the Legacy. Another important feature to get right, since it is one of the most commonly used functions — especially during set-up.
To help improve the function and decrease set-up time, we have added enhancements beyond the compatible essentials.
Below is a list of familiar and new Hotkeys:
|Jog Keyboard Hotkeys|
|X, Y, Z, A, B||Override the Axis Select knob with desired axis to Jog.|
|H, M, L||Override the Increment knob with the desired .01, .001, or .0001 increment.|
|1, 2, 3, 4, 5||Override the Increment knob with preset increments of .001, .002, .003, .004, or .005.|
|I||Override the Increment knob with a custom value.|
|P||Enter an exact desired position to move axis to. You can even enter G28 to feed all axes to zero.|
|S||Save the current position to a text file. Each time you press S, the location is saved in a file until Jog exit.|
Using the menu system, several features can be accessed while still in Jog, saving time that was usually spent exiting and re-entering Jog Mode.
The following are operations which make Jog more flexible and more useable:
|Basic Spindle operation can be easily adjusted on the fly by pressing SPINDLE FUNCTIONS touch key. Includes ability to enter a new spindle speed, change direction, orient the spindle or unlock it.|
|In the SERVICE Menu, you can adjust the Backlash during JOG without having to do it the old way of exiting JOG, entering the BL command and then pressing JOG again.
This is just one example of making the user interface faster and easier. You can still do it the old way – it’s your choice.
ENTER NEXT COMMAND
The Command Mode is the most fundamental requirement for true Legacy compatibility.
Starting back in the late 1970’s, the Legacy control was one of the first to offer a true microprocessor-based control using a standard keyboard interface. The first machine introduced was the VMC45. It had an E-STOP button, a Feedrate Pot and a keyboard interface. Instead of having the typical dedicated hard-wired buttons, the simplicity of a computer keyboard interface provided ease of manufacturing and flexibility for software feature updates. If you added a new feature, you simply added a new command. Over time, some basic dedicated buttons were added with the introduction of the CNC88 on the VMC40.
In designing the NXGEN CNC, retaining the original Enter Next Command structure has been one of our highest priorities. Our goal is for an operator that is familiar with the CNC88, CNCHS, CNCMP or the 32MP control to walk up their new control and begin using it with as little training as possible. This greatly minimizes production interruption and the operator training when upgrading to our control or purchasing a new machine using our control. The NXGEN control is truly a Next Generational Control – providing an interface with the comfort of the past and a seamless integration of the latest touchscreen technology in the industry today.
The Enter Next Command prompt is always available. Now you have the option of still using the commands or using the new “One-Touch” features, it’s your choice.
Below is a list of the familiar and new Commands:
|AMPS||Intuitive Amplifier Adjustment Procedure NEW!|
|AU, From, To, Dry Run Opt., Direct Start||Run a Program|
|BAL, X, Y, Z values||Amplifier Balance Offset NEW!|
|BL, Axis #(1–5), Value||Set Backlash|
|CHIL||Display Current Settings, Options NEW!|
|CL||Open Command Lock|
|CLOSE||Shut Down NXGEN Software NEW!|
|CS||Find Cold Start / Machine Zero|
|DD||Display Bucket Number|
|DI||Display Diagnostic Mode ENHANCED!|
|DF||Display Fixture Offset Table|
|DS||Toggle Display Switches On/Off ENHANCED!|
|DT||Display Tool Offset Table|
|DTT||Display Tool Time Table|
|FEED||Adjust Feed Forward Settings NEW!|
|FI, Axis #(1–5)||Find Index NEW!|
|FO, Fixture #, X, Y, Z Value||Set Fixture Offset|
|HO||Return To Home (All Axis)|
|LE||Learn Program. Use S During Jog|
|MD||Manual Data Input Mode|
|NE||Edit New Program|
|NU, Increment Value||Renumber Program|
|OR, RPM||Orientation Speed Adjustment NEW!|
|RI||Open Reinitialize Memory Menu|
|SERVO||Adjust Motor Settings During G8 Smoothing NEW!|
|SETA–SETZ||Set Axis Location As Home|
|SETCS||Set Home To Cold Start Position|
|SETH||Set Current Location As Home|
|SETIN||Switch To Inch Mode|
|SETME||Switch To Metric Mode|
|SETP||Edit Parameter Table ENHANCED!|
|SETTO||Reset Tool Turret Location|
|SL, Tool Number, Optional Increment||Set Length Offset|
|SV||Edit Pitch Error Compensation ENHANCED!|
|TC, Option 1-5||Tool Changer Open ENHANCED!|
|TO, Tool Number, Diameter, Length||Set Tool Offset|
|VER||Show Software Version Number NEW!|
There are many Legacy operators that use the Menus System instead of mnemonic commands such as TA,1.
With the NXGEN control,the use of the latest Touch Screen technology has allowed us to not only maintain compatibility but also greatly simplified the interface by eliminating the menu levels.
For Example, using older command menus would required three selections to input a program (MEMORY/INPUT/PROGRAM).
Now with the touch screen, it has been reduced to just one touch selection. The logic is the same, we just made it much faster and easy to use!