Advantech Controller Enhances CNC High-Speed Drilling Machines

In the manufacturing of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, the demand for high-speed drilling machines is surging. These machines are integral for creating various components such as ventilation holes and microphone inputs. Moreover, the competitiveness of equipment manufacturers in this sector hinges on the quality and speed of their drilling machines. In this blog article, we take a look at how the APAX Advantech controller enhances CNC high-speed drilling machines.

At its core, a drilling machine enables the horizontal and vertical movement of a cutting tool. Yet, standard drills are often inadequate for complex operations, due primarily to hardware limitations and sub-optimal control systems. This is due in part to a reliance on assembler language for programming. Not only is it cumbersome but also lacks compatibility with the widely used G-code format in NC (Numerical Control) programs.

Demands of CNC Machining

These limitations also pose challenges in meeting the demands of the CNC machine tool market. For drilling machine manufacturers to stay competitive, adopting advanced and flexible control platforms and programming is imperative.

Advantech’s APAX controller and CODESYS integrated software solution addresses these challenges effectively. Together, they provide the performance, stability, and superior processing needed for complex motion control applications.

Requirements for High-Speed Drilling Machines

In one example, a manufacturer specialising in high-speed machining centres was gearing up to penetrate the mobile device production market. The initial focus was on upgrading a machine for drilling hardened steel and hard alloys. The existing machinery faced limitations like vibration-induced burring during complex interpolation movements, capping the maximum machining speed at 0.8 m/min.

Addressing this meant replacing the old micro-controller with one incorporating an automatic data storage mechanism for power failures. They also needed IEC 61131-3 compliance to support multiple programming languages and be adaptable for integration across different machines.

Advantech’s System Configuration

To meet these requirements, Advantech offered their APAX-5580 embedded fanless control platform with a 32-GB MSATA SSD, and the CODESYS automation control software. This solution boosted the single-axis speed to 2.0 m/min, but also significantly enhanced production capacity.

The APAX-5580-4C3AE includes an Intel processor and Windows Embedded Standard operating system, ensuring high stability and ultra-high-performance with loop cycle times of 50 µs. The upgraded storage provided improved data storage and equipment stability. Finally, the platform supports various I/O interfaces and the EtherCAT protocol, enhancing connectivity and data protection.

CODESYS adheres to the IEC-61131-3 standard, supports six programming languages, and facilitates the implementation of complex motion controls. Its CNC function library and support for G code and CAD to G code conversions make it an effective tool for CNC machining applications.

Market Impact

Advantech’s integrated software/hardware solution addresses the pressing need for improved hardware performance and functional capabilities in high-speed drilling machines. This enhancement not only boosts machining efficiency and quality but also offers a flexible and easily integrated architecture.

The successful implementation of this solution in a project that was completed ahead of schedule demonstrates its effectiveness and potential for replication in other machines, thus significantly contributing to the competitiveness of equipment manufacturers.

Want to discuss your your your particular challenges with our Applications Team? Just click on our contact button to get in touch and they’ll be more than happy to get back to.


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