• Improve productivity with the Techserv CNC control system software

  • Reduce scrap

  • Decrease operator errors

  • Automate repetitive tasks with Techserv CNC control software

Typically these bespoke systems will be used to manufacture a wide range of products from fork trucks to bridges, buildings and ships, through to signs and small fabricated parts.

The powerful Techserv CNC control software system has been designed from the offset to control cutting machines and includes features not found on most hobby systems.

Techcserv CNC Control System Design

When Techserv started programming the bespoke control system some years ago, we were very conscious that control systems tended to be designed by computer engineers sitting in a computer engineer’s office whereas what we wanted was a system that would be designed ideally by the end user. In the first six months we spent quite a lot of time at a customer who took an early version of the system, we’d make a few modifications and get feedback direct from the customer if he thought it was a good idea or a bad idea and what thoughts they had. Over that 6 month period we built a system that between us we thought was absolutely ideal.

CNC Systems Working For People

A a lot of the basic control stuff is really invisible to the operator so they don’t have involvement there, but it’s more than the front end; how you move from screen to screen, what functions you need to carry out, at which time.

Simplified CNC Systems

Although it sounds fairly basic – you load a shape, you cut it – there’s quite a bit of involvement in there dynamically moving shapes around, manipulating shapes, choosing shapes out of nests, automatically set up of gas pressures and plasma controls. It all becomes quite complex.

For Techserv it’s a case of how you remove that complexity and how you make it easy to operate so the key thing is ease of operation and, on the face of it, a simple control system. On the downside, people tend to think it looks overly simple. In reality the complexity is in there but it is only there when you need it.

With the Techserv CNC system if you’re using the gas cutting it controls the gas pressures automatically so there’s no regulator on the machine and so it leads to an uncluttered machine with very simple gas controls because they’re all electronic – it means you can adjust them ‘on the fly’, you can add set ups for different material thicknesses which are all integrated in. The consequence of this is the machinery itself looks much simpler because we lose all the clutter on the machine so again it;s a simple design, it lends itself to be an uncluttered, uncomplicated machine.

 When running with Plasma the system automatically sets the initial height, the arc voltage, the speed and other parameters, it can also communicate with the plasma and set that as well.

CNC System Features

Close-up of System Features
Control
Simply select the material thickness, type and the cutting current you want to use and the system sets up all other parameters automatically, including cutting speed, initial height, cutting height, pierce delay, arc voltage etc. Also when flame cutting, the gas pressures are automatically set using a proportional pressure valve.

Cutting speed can be varied on the fly, along with all height sense parameters, oxygen pressure etc.

Data Logging

The CNC system produces a daily log file, detailing most functions including, cut on, gas on, job running, job name, screen name etc. Data is logged per second and an off line viewing programme gives an easy to read visual indication of any days activities along with a job list with timings.

Diagnostic

The CNC system has comprehensive diagnostics and test screens allowing all functions to be confirmed including re-configurable inputs and outputs.

Dynamic re-position
Using the pop up jog panel, parts can be moved around the plate in test mode and moved to the correct position. This feature is used if the material to be cut is an irregular shape or the parts are a tight fit on the plate.
Easy Shape Selection
The system can import programmes from a wide range of systems, including ESSI, Word Address, GCode, Strucad and DXF etc. Parts can be previewed prior to selection and the rotated, mirrored and scaled if necessary.
Forward and reverse along cut path.
Steel warms up when cut and can flex when the manufacturing stresses are removed, this can cause the plasma or gas cutting stream to be extinguished. Pressing the backup button causes the machine to reverse along the cutting path so the cut can be re-established, reducing scrap.
Height Sense
The CNC system includes an automatic plasma height sense system capable of driving :- analogue, digital and stepper drives. Initial height sense can be set via :- following error, ohmic clip, touch switch. Arc voltage control can be set via the inbuilt look up tables or self measured and set. Typical following accuracy is +/- 0.1 volt and typical loop response is 2 ms. Full height sense freeze and corner slow functions are included.
Inbuilt Generic Shapes
The system has a number of inbuilt shapes ranging from rectangles and rings through to lugs and floor plates. Selecting a template from the generic shape screen and following the simple dimension prompts creates a part that can be cut with no further programming.
Jump to Part
On the run screen touching a part will cause the machine to move to that point and commence cutting.
Lost Cut Recovery
Jobs can be halted during the cut and restarted at a later date. This is a useful feature allowing urgent parts to be cut when the machine is tied up during a large nest, or if the cutting has to be stopped for another reason.
Machine Configuration
Password protected configuration screen give access to the machines setup parameters. A backup is automatically created whenever this information is modified. The email data button sends the machines setup file to our offices for storage or diagnostics.
Manual Control
Each process features a manual cut screen with cut on / off control, multi direction jog and height sense controls. Traverse speed and cut speed is controlled automatically.
Nesting
Automatic nesting fills plates with minimum wastage, allowing multiple parts to be cut from a sheet. Also row and column array nesting with adjustable scrap allowance make the most use of the plate.
Optical Scanner
It can be difficult to programme some artistic and hand drawn shapes using conventional cad systems. This clip on scanner follows line drawn profiles and converts them into CNC and DXF files so they can be cut out or imported into a CAD package for editing. The scanner is unique to the Techserv CNC system and is easy to operate, accurate, will scan parts up to the size of the machine bed and requires no additional software. Very handy for converting cardboard templates to steel in one go.
Part Selection
Complex nests can be imported to the controller and individual parts selected by tapping the relevant part on the screen, useful when a part has be damaged or lost.
PC System
The software is designed to run on a modern windows PC, running Windows 7, 8  or 10 and requires at least one USB port, no parallel ports are needed.
Run Screen
The uncluttered run screen has a logical layout with a large interactive graphical display area showing the profiles to be cut with current cut position, part cut indicator and overall size. The graphical display includes comprehensive zoom functions, full nest view, ten level zoom, auto zoom and finger zoom. Around the display are zones dedicated to motion, height sense and cut control.
Super Hole
To achieve the best quality plasma holes they should be cut with an arc lead in, reduced speed with fixed height sense, the plasma should be turned off at about 350 degrees and the cut continued with some overburn until the hole is complete. The Techserv CNC system carries out all these tasks automatically with no need to pre-define parts or holes.
Touch Screen Interface
Designed from the outset to operate with a touch screen, the CNC system features large easy to press buttons, with large text and specially designed screens to replace standard windows explorer etc.
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