Disclaimer: CNC Concepts, Inc. accepts no responsibility for the use
or misuse of techniques shown in this web page. We simply publish information
we feel will be of interest to CNC users. In all cases, the reader is totally
responsible for considering the implications, good and bad, of implementing one
or more of the techniques we show.
Do you know where your parameters are?
According to one of the most popular control manufacturers in the industry,
one of the biggest causes of machine down-time is related to parameters. It is
not uncommon for a control to be re-initialized during a repair. During this
process all volatile data in the control will be lost, including programs,
offsets, and parameters. This control manufacturer says it is not
unusual for the service engineer to repair the control problem within minutes
of arriving at the machine tool. However, if the CNC user has not kept a backup
copy of the parameters, a great deal of time will be wasted (possibly days)
while the service engineer uses trial-and-error techniques in an attempt to get
the machine running again.
As the CNC user, you are responsible to keep a good backup of your
parameters. You probably know that these parameters marry the control to the
machine tool, and contain thousands of pieces of information about the machine
tool. Without them, the machine cannot function.
Given the importance of parameters, it is amazing how many companies pay
little or now attention to their parameters. Maybe they have been lucky (so
far) and not had any problems with the machine that caused the control to need
re-initialing. However, all CNC users should keep an updated copy of
their parameters for all machines they own.
Most DNC systems allow parameters to be saved and retrieved using the same
methods as CNC programs. If you have a DNC system, transfer each machine's
parameters today! If you do not have a DNC system, take the time and write
down the value of each parameter in a notebook. While this may sound like a
lot of work, the hour or two you spend doing so could save days of downtime in
case of machine failure.