GE Fanuc's adaptive control reduces milling cycle time by 40%

Charlottesville, VA—GE Fanuc Automation North America Inc. introduced April 10 its new i Adapt for Milling adaptive control system, which it reports automatically maximizes a machine's material removal rate during rough cutting.


Charlottesville, VA— GE Fanuc Automation North America Inc. introduced April 10 its new i Adapt for Milling adaptive control system, which it reports automatically maximizes a machine's material removal rate during rough cutting. The company reports that its new adaptive control system can reduce cycle times by as much as 40%; increase tool life; and allow users to leverage their existing installed base of CNC technology. GE Fanuc Automation is an affiliate of GE In-dustrial Systems .

"Traditionally, only larger organizations have been able to adopt adaptive control due to a greater capacity to experiment with new technologies," says Douglas Peterson, GE Fanuc Automation's vp of CNCs and lasers. "However, i Adapt can give small and medium shop owners with existing CNC technology the power to optimize productivity; improve ROI of their CNCs; and boost their bottom lines. This is very important, as the vast majority of machining, approximately 92%, takes place in small and medium shops."

In general practice, machine tools maximize the material removal rate during roughing cycles by applying all of the available spindle power to the cutting process. When machines use carbide tools for roughing, the available spindle power is usually the limiting factor on material removal rate. i Adapt for Milling maximizes material removal rate and minimizes cycle time by optimiz-ing the cutting feed rate based on a programmed spindle load. By optimizing the feed rate in real time, i Adapt compensates for conservative assumptions and process variations to help reduce cy-cle times. Every part, including the first, is optimized automatically, eliminating the need for manual part program optimization.

Likewise, real-time optimization is an important i Adapt feature because there are so many vari-ables to the cutting process, many of which change from machine to machine and blank to blank. Manual part program optimization is possible for some of the variables, but they have to be reap-plied every time a change is made to the part design or to the process. Because of the number of uncontrollable process variables, it is often very difficult, as well as increasingly uneconomical and impractical, for a parts programmer to manually optimize a part program, particularly with manufacturing lot sizes continuing to fall.

In addition, even when manual optimization is at-tempted, the part programmer must use a conservative feed rate to protect the machine from over-load. i Adapt addresses this concern with limits monitoring to protect machines from damage.applying a constant and predictable cutting load.

Also, i Adapt complements GE Fanuc's machine optimization products. High-speed machining technologies such as AICC increase the speed at which detailed finishing cuts can be processed, increasing precision and surface finish. Bell shaped Acc/Dec for Rapid Traverse increases the speed on non-cutting motions such as tool changes and moving to and from the workpiece. i Adapt enhances the suite by optimizing the roughing cycles where maximum material removal rate, rather than precision and surface finish, is most important.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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