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Macintosh PC attacks turret punch control.

Personal computer-based control marks a new age for turret punch presses and other machine tools, if the addition of a Macintosh[R] computer control to a Strippit Fabri-Center 1000 R turret punch press is any indication.

Purchased by Michigan-based defense contractor, Lanzen Fabricating, the Strippit FC 1000 features a Macintosh computer control option with 40-megabyte hard disk for retention of piece-part programs. Storage capacity is equivalent to more than 50 miles of paper tape and can be expanded, normally via an additional external hard drive.

PC-based controls use the same 32bit microprocessors as state-of-the art CNC controls, are easier to operate, and function with greater speed. As with industry standard CNC controls, paper tape readers and printers can be attached to the PC control.

In selecting the PC-controlled unit over standard CNC, president Terry Lanzen said that it represented "the future" in technology for turret punch press and machine-tool control. Strippit has filed a patent application for the breakthrough development of PC-based control for turret punch presses.

"User-friendliness of a PC control is its key advantage over CNCs," according to Archie Coffman, Lanzen's operations manager.

With minimal training, operators are able to troubleshoot and correct problems and quickly get the machine running again." In addition, the PC controls make tracking maintenance requirements and schedules relatively easy.

Part programming and editing are done at the machine through use of an on-line Graphics Programming option. Though most of the programming is done off-line, there is the flexibility of editing at the machine when minor changes such as sequencing or the relocation of a hit are required.

The PC control can do anything that traditional CNC controllers can do including performing complicated macro commands such as grid controls, line at an angle, and bolt hole circles with ease. When errors in machine operation occur, the PC control provides alarm (or error) messages on the screen. In contrast, CNC controllers provide error codes that must then be translated by consulting the control's manual.

With the hard drive at the workstation, the key part program that is run through the fabricator is kept on-line for immediate access. "We can quickly reload a program rather than go through a lengthy process where the operator runs between the office and the control to send the code over a DNC link. It's just a much faster way of going. We now have instant retrieval of part programs," says Mr Lanzen.

Setup times average 30 to 45 min on the fabricator, including tool changes and program loading-very fast compared with Lanzen's other equipment. Background downloading of parts is also available.

Lanzen's PC can be networked to other computers in the office, allowing access to other files and providing an effective means of managing part programs. An entire database of part programs, for example, can be maintained on the office file server and made accessible to the machine on the shop floor.

The PC control is completely compatible with Strippit's MultiPunch programming system. Lanzen uses MultiPunch II software to optimize programming, reduce production errors, and provide effective tooling management while maximizing machine utilization and flexibility. A low-cost Graphics Programming option can be run on the PC control in the shop. Interactive graphics display provides immediate part verification.

For more information on PC-controlled turret punch presses from Strippit, Akron, NY, circle 286.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:addition of a Macintosh computer control to a Strippit Fabri-Center 1000R turret punch press
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Mar 1, 1992
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