The user community of Fadal’s legacy VMC machines is grappling with challenges of creeping end of life technology, cost of ownership and competition from shops with state of the art equipment. Although the iron itself remains viable, the 1980’s era card-based control system lacks the processing speed and flexibility to support current generation software. The high cost of maintenance, replacement cards (when available), downtime and reduced efficiency is pressuring many companies to sunset their Fadal equipment and ante up for new hardware. CNC replacement solutions, offering various degrees of modernization, are an alternative to complete machine replacement and have been available for some time. The complete cost of a retrofit involves purchasing a retrofit control, hardwire installation, operator training, possible rewriting of Fadal programs, and transition downtime. When total cost is weighted against the extended lifespan, retrofitting often doesn’t calculate to an attractive ROI. A new Fadal turn-key CNC replacement solution (PA FDL) based on emulation technology recently introduced by Power Automation (PA) brings another option to the table for the 30,000+ Fadal VMC community.
Emulation Software Approach
The PA FDL is an open architecture, software-based CNC. Using emulation technology, Power Automation’s PA FDL actually behaves like the legacy Fadal CNC. The panel layout and labeling has been created in same familiar style using an industrial quality 17-inch high resolution touch-screen with attached articulated keyboard. Operators can step up to a newly installed PA controller and confidently run the equipment exactly as they are accustomed. The PA FDL is capable of running existing Fadal programs (Format 1 and Format 2) without rewriting. Over and above the legacy functions, the PA FDL includes new advanced functions that bring the system current with industry standards, including MTConnect® interface and future Industry 4.0 requirements. The system integrates smoothly with modern manufacturing offices, contributing to shop floor efficiency.
Back Online In A Day
Installation of retrofit CNC’s sometimes require complicated re-wiring due to connector incompatibility resulting in engineering cost and lengthy production downtime. The plug-compatible design of the PA FDL eliminates these hurdles and fast-tracks installation. Installation requires no specialized skills or tools and typically takes 2-3 hours from start to finish. Less than a day of downtime is standard to complete the entire replacement.
More Efficiency, Better Part Finish
The most exciting feature of the PA Fadal turn-key CNC replacement solution is its ability to improve the machine’s efficiency and performance. The advanced software empowers the machine to move faster and with greater precision, producing smoother finishes with less wear and tear on the equipment. Fadal machines retrofitted with the PA FDL report high productivity gains.