Five-axis machines are capable of making complex surfaces for high-end parts in automobiles, aerospace and precision machinery. However, since advanced multi-axis control technology in Taiwan is not yet maturely developed and imported multi-axis controllers are all closed systems, it is difficult for machine tool manufacturers to develop their own customized value-added applications. ITRI has developed a high-end five-axis controller that supports EtherCAT protocol with open Windows-based platform. The controller features simultaneous five-axis control functions, including tool center point control and a guidance function for tilted-plane machining. With the integration of spindles and servo drives via EtherCAT fieldbus, total solutions for digital control systems are included. The controller can demonstrate rapid machining results and prevent machines from colliding via a built-in three-dimensional cutting simulation and anti-collision module.
Applications & Benefits
IoT devices can be connected by IO-Link together with EtherCAT fieldbuses to the controller. Since value-added software applications can be developed on an open Windows platform, it is easy to build super intelligent machines and automated production lines. ITRI has helped several machine tool manufacturers succeed in developing high-end intelligent five-axis machining and increasing the unit price of their CNC machines to NT$5 million. ITRI has also assisted manufacturers to build I4.0 (Industry 4.0) smart production lines via an open controller platform.