What is a CNC system?

What is a CNC system?

The digital control system is called the CNC system for short. In the early days, it developed and evolved in parallel with computers and used to control software for automated processing equipment. A dedicated controller with computing capabilities formed by hardware such as electronic tubes and relays is called hardware numerical control (Hard NC). After the 1970s, separate hardware and electronic components were gradually replaced by more integrated computer processors, called computer numerical control systems.
Computer Numerical Control (CNC) system is a system that uses computers to control processing functions and realize numerical control. The CNC system executes part or all of the numerical control functions according to the control program stored in the computer memory and is equipped with an interface circuit and a servo drive device. CNC system is a computer system specially used to control automated processing equipment.
The CNC system consists of a numerical control program storage device (from the early paper tape to the magnetic ring, to the magnetic tape, the disk to the general hard disk of the computer), the computer control host (evolving from a special computer to a computer with a PC architecture), a programmable logic controller ( PLC), spindle drive device and feed (servo) drive device (including detection device).
Due to the gradual use of general-purpose computers, numerical control systems have become more software-based. The traditional machine tool electrical logic control device is replaced by PLC, which makes the system smaller, with better flexibility, versatility, and reliability, and it is easy to realize complex numerical control functions. The CNC system is very convenient to use and maintain and has the function of connecting to the network and conducting remote communication.

What are the most commonly used CNC systems?

At present, the most widely used CNC cutting systems in the international market mainly include the EDGE CNC system of Hypertherm, Beijing Sidafeng CNC system, and the Fangling CNC system of Shanghai Jiaotong University. We will explain in detail the functions and features of these three cutting systems.

Shanghai Fangling CNC Cutting System

Shanghai Fangling CNC Cutting System

Shanghai Fangling CNC cutting system can manually select the starting position or select the piercing point. The CNC system supports the backup and restoration of cutting parameters and supports 4 modes of oxygen gas, plasma, powder spraying, and demonstration. Fangling CNC cutting system can realize separate control of oxy-fuel cutting and plasma cutting. The system upgrade adopts the U disk upgrade method, which is convenient, simple, and practical. The system has power failure and breakpoint protection memory function supports edge cutting function and reduces preheating time for thicker steel plates.

Beijing Starfire CNC Cutting System

Beijing Starfire CNC Cutting System

Starfire CNC cutting system is suitable for all kinds of flame/plasma, high-pressure water jet, laser cutting machines, and is widely used in metal processing, advertising, stone, and other industries. This system adopts a highly reliable design and can resist plasma interference, lightning strikes, and surges. The system has a slit compensation function and detects whether the compensation in the program is reasonable, and makes a corresponding report. The system is fully compatible with StarCAM nesting software and compatible with mainstream nesting software such as IBE (Germany) and FASTCAM. The system supports multi-language operation interface conversion and dynamic graphic display. It can use a U disk to read programs and software upgrades.

American Hypertherm EDGE CNC Cutting System

American Hypertherm EDGE CNC Cutting System

EDGE CNC cutting system supports customization. It can be designed for multiple applications, such as plasma cutting (including cutting, marking, bevel cutting, round tube/square tube cutting), flame-cutting (including bevel cutting), and water jet cutting applications. EDGE provides two hardware configurations, which can perfectly meet the needs of cutting machine manufacturers. EDGE can choose a plasma cutting torch height adjustment controller system. EDGE CNC system is easy and quick to install. Only one EtherCAT® cable is needed to support all motion and all I/O signal transmissions of CNC controllers, which significantly simplifies system wiring and greatly reduces installation time. The EDGE system is connected via EtherCAT, and Hypertherm’s HyPerformance® high-performance plasma cutting system can directly communicate with the cutting system.

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