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    Gear Hobber CNC Retrofit


    A few years back a large manufacturer of aerospace parts contacted us after having control problems on their 782 Gleason Gear Hobber. As with many older machines, the Allen Bradley 8600 OSAI CNC control and external Electronic Gear Box (EGB) had become outdated and hard to maintain. This particular Gleason gear hobber had been down off and on over the last several months with various control problems.

    We worked with the customer to provide them with a cnc retrofit solution that would fix their problems, while allowing them to reuse their existing Indramat drives, motors, and feedback devices. Our cnc retrofit solution included a new NUM CNC System, Machine Tool Builder’s Panel, and I/O modules. 

    3 Reasons for Choosing a NUM CNC for this Gleason Gear Hobber CNC Retrofit:
    1. The NUM CNC had built-in functionality to replace the old Electronic Gear Box (EGB) which had controlled the synchronized motion required to Hob complex Gear Geometry.
    2. It came outfitted with a NUMGear package which uses a graphical interface to assist the operator with part program generation.
    3. The NUM CNC represents the state-of-the art in modern control systems for gear hobber applications.

    Once the project began we started by talking with the engineering staff and machine operators familiar with the machine and production parts. For us this is the most important part of the project because it gives us the opportunity to become more familiar with the machine and the specific requirements of the customer. It was important to this customer that we not change the footprint of the machine. In order to do this be designed a new sub-panel offsite that would fit into the existing cabinets mounted on the machine. We reused all field devises and fed the I/O of the machine back to the NUM CNC I/O Modules that were mounted on the new sub-panels.

    After the control engineering and sub-panel build was completed we delivered the cnc retrofit package to the customer’s site and began the installation. After the system components were installed we began powering up the machine and checking its functionality. We worked with the customer’s personnel during this phase of the project so they would become familiar with the new control and get comfortable operating the machine from the new panel. After we finished the machine functionality test we wrapped up the project by running off a series of parts. As parts were being ran off we sent them to the customer’s Quality Check Lab to have them inspected.

    Having a vendor like NUM that is willing to partner with us on complex cnc retrofit applications makes us comfortable taking on these types of projects. At MasterControls we develop solutions with the future in mind. We take a systematic approach to developing our machine logic and machine functions, which allows our code to be reused on new applications. This approach not only allows us to finish our projects on time, but gives our customers assurance that our code has been tested for reliability time and time again.