Tue, 01/19/2016 - 03:08
Konecranes Machine Tool Service retrofit packages give customers several approaches to maximize the performance of their equipment. Some customers have discovered that a retrofitted machine tool can be a better option than new equipment, at about half the cost.
Konecranes Machine Tool Service is the nation’s leader in machine tool maintenance, rebuilding, retrofitting and repair services for all types and brands of machine tools. Since some machine tools can last for decades, retrofitting older equipment is often a smart choice, potentially saving more than half the cost of a new machine. Besides gaining state-of-the-art controls and rejuvenated performance, a retrofitted machine retains the added advantage of its robust original construction.
“There are several economical and affordable ways we quote a retrofit to give customers access to newer technologies,” says James Thompson, Sales Project Engineer/Estimator, Konecranes Machine Tool Service. “We can do retrofits that can take place in a customer’s facility with a fast turnaround utilizing our ‘retrofit kits’ with minimal impact to production. We provide retrofits that range from a control-only option to a control, motor and drive amplifier retrofit to a complete machine re-wire. Since all these can be done ‘kit fashion’ from our facility, customers can obtain a quality retrofit while saving on time and travel expenses.” The best option will depend upon goals, budget and the condition of the machine.
In a control-only retrofit, Konecranes Machine Tool Service replaces the CNC control and reuses the existing servo motors and drives as well as the wiring, electrical devices and components. A thorough electrical inspection of the machine is performed first to ensure that it is a good candidate.
A control, motors and drives retrofit also retains all of the existing machine wiring, electrical components and devices, but Konecranes Machine Tool Service replaces the armature and feedback cables to the servo motors and drives. This option can attain the reliability of a new CNC control system without the added cost of rewiring and replacing all the wiring, electrical components and devices.
The third option is a complete retrofit. This involves replacing the existing control system; including new AC digital servo motors and drive amplifiers sized to match the machine’s capabilities. As a result, the machine electricity costs can be reduced by as much as 50 percent. For this option, all existing wiring is stripped from the machine and discarded. New wire is properly sized and wired to the electrical devices and components. A new operator’s pendant and control enclosure are normally part of this package.
“Customers with older machine tools are often sitting on a real diamond in the rough with enormous potential,” says Thompson. “Typically these machines are over-engineered by 30-50 percent. Being more rigid they can take a bigger cut with less vibration. Combining that old iron with today’s modern controls and new software functions can create a machine that is both reliable and precise, for about half the cost of a new one.”
Konecranes Machine Tool Service is experienced in servicing and integrating Fanuc, Fagor Automation, Heidenhain, DynaPath, Siemens, Allen Bradley and other control systems. The company also provides service and support for a retrofitted machine even if the machine’s manufacturer is no longer in business.
“There are a number of companies that can retrofit a machine, but they don’t necessarily have the expertise to address mechanical or calibration issues,” said Thompson. “People think new controls automatically make a machine more accurate, but if the geometry is not correct, there will still be some issues that need to be addressed. Konecranes Machine Tool Service specializes in turnkey service, combining the diagnostic functions with the expertise to take immediate corrective action, whether it be electrical, geometric or mechanical.”