CNC platform: Machine tool OEMs get high performance, flexibility

Naperville, IL — Num has launched Flexium, a modular CNC platform for machine tool manufacturers that provides scalability that can be applied economically on a machine with few axes, or more than 200. Combined with open programmability, it gives users freedom to customize the human-machine interface (HMI) and add value, the company says. It has a advanced new CNC kernel, four times more powerful than the fastest version of Num's existing Axium controller.
By Control Engineering Staff December 11, 2007

Naperville, IL

Num

has launched Flexium, a modular CNC platform for machine tool manufacturers that provides scalability that can be applied economically on a machine with few axes, or more than 200. Combined with open programmability, it gives users freedom to customize the human-machine interface (HMI) and add value, the company says. It has a

Flexium provides a common platform for system-building activities, from standard machines to special-purpose equipment such as transfer machines and integrated production lines.

Two versions of the kernel, Flexium 6 and Flexium 68, serve different machine sizes. The compact Flexium 6 is suitable for standalone machines with up to five axes of motion. The more powerful Flexium 68 handles up to 32 interpolated axes, divided into as many as eight coordinated groups. If more axes are required, Flexium 68s may be interconnected using a real-time Ethernet link. CANopen interfaces provide system expansion capability, including positioning drives, I/O connections, and handwheels, and operator panels, allowing Flexium 68 to be expanded to control over 200 interpolated axes, as well as further positioning axes and I/O connections.

The CNC kernels are rounded out by a range of system building blocks, including an industrial PC front end with soft-PLC functionality, HMI panels, I/O modules, drives, and a choice of servo and spindle motors, the company says.

The system’s PLC is programmed according to IEC 61131-3 standards, and offers a choice of development software, providing a machine control programming environment to suit individual programmers. The human-machine interface is adaptable, and can be programmed using standard tools such as HTML, Java Script, or one of the PC-based rapid software development environments such Visual Basic, Delphi, Visual C or C++.

“NUM’s CNC technology has been developed and refined over decades to the point where it is a leader in some machine tool segments,”the machine tool industry a platform with almost unlimited applications scope. We expect it to appeal to small and mid-sized OEMs, providing a common platform for any size of machine.”

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