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CNC Machine Control Panel And Function Selection

The CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine control panel is an essential interface that allows operators to interact with the CNC machine and control its operation. It consists of various buttons, switches, displays, and input devices that enable the operator to input commands, select functions, and monitor the machine’s status. The control panel’s design and layout may vary depending on the specific CNC machine and its manufacturer. Here are some common components found on a CNC machine control panel and their function selections:

CNC Machine Control Panel

The CNC machine control panel consists of a display screen and a keyboard. The CNC machine keyboard contains the following control keys (buttons, knobs).

1.Main Function Keys

The main function keys are also called mode keys and status keys. After power on, first select the main function key, enter the main function state, and then select the lower sub-function to perform specific operations. Common main functions are manual (MAN, MANUAL OPERATION, JOG), automatic (AUTO, AUTO-MATIC OPERATION), zero return (REFERENCE POINT, ZERO, HOME), editing (EDIT, PROCRAM EDIT), graphic simulation (GPS, CRAPH, CRAPH.ICS), parameter setting (PARAM, PARAMETER, MENUOFFSET), storage communication (EXT, EXTEINAL, IN/OUTPUT, LOAD/SAVE), self-check (CHECK, DGNOS, DIAGNOSTICS), etc.

2.Soft Key

The functions of the soft keys vary with the status of the main function, and their meanings are displayed at the bottom or right of the current screen at the corresponding soft key position. There may be several sub-functions under a main function.

3.Address Number Keys

Address key. Also known as letter keys, used to input English letters.

  • G, M-preparation function, auxiliary function command:
  • F-feed (mm/r, mm/min):
  • s-spindle speed (r/min) or linear speed (m/min):
  • x(u), Y(V), z(w) – absolute (incremental) coordinates:
  • A, B, c – rotation coordinates;
  • I, J, K – the center coordinates of the arc;
  • R – arc radius;
  • T-tool number or tool change command;
  • N-block sequence number.

Numeric keys. It consists of numbers and symbols, such as 1, 2, 3, +, / etc.

4.Edit Key

Edit keys are used to input and modify programs.

  • Block end key, also known as block input key, confirmation key, and enter key(EOB, LF, ENTER).
  • Insert key (INS, INSERT).
  • Data and block delete key (DELETE).
  • Modify key (ALTER).

5.Manual Key

Manual keys are used for manual operation of CNC machine tools.

  • Spindle function setting keys: SPINDLECW (FWD), CCw (REV), OFF, SPINDLELEFT, STOP, RICHT.
  • Feed amount setting key: Incremental feed JOG INCREMENTAL. Continuous feed JOG CONTINUOUS.
  • Feed direction control: ±X, ±Z.
  • Tool change key: TOOL.
  • Manual data input: MDI, MANUAL DATA INPUT, MDA.
  • Manual pulse generator (can realize micro-feed): JOCHANDWHEEL.
  • Override switch. In automatic or manual processing, the spindle speed, feed rate, and idle travel speed can be adjusted, such as SPINDLE SPEED SWITCH, FEEDRATE OVERRIDE SWITCH.

6.Automatic Machining Key

The automatic machining key is used for the mode selection during machining.

  • Single segment execution key: STEP, SBK, SINGLE BLOCK, BLK.
  • Jump execution keys: BLOCK DELETE, SKIPB LOCK.
  • Start execution in the middle: MID PROC START.
  • Select stop: (optional switch) OPTIONALSTOP, OPTSTOP.
  • Machine tool lock: MLK, MACHINE LOCK, AXIS INHIBT.

7.Other Auxiliary Function Keys

  • Reset key: RESET..
  • Exit key: EXIT.
  • Screen page turning key: PACEUP/DOWN.
  • Cycle start key: CYCLE START.
  • Emergency stop switch: EMERCENCY STOP.
  • Coolant switch: COOLANT ON/OFF.
  • Spindle, feed drive switch: DRIVE.
  • CNC power switch.

Function Selection Of CNC Machine Tools

  • Emergency Stop Button: The emergency stop button is a prominent red button that immediately halts all machine operations in case of an emergency or unsafe conditions.
  • Power On/Off Button: This button is used to turn the CNC machine on or off, allowing operators to start or shut down the machine safely.
  • Start/Stop Button: The start/stop button initiates or stops the machining process. Once the machining program is loaded and all safety checks are completed, pressing the start button commences the operation, and the stop button halts it.
  • Mode Selection Switch: The mode selection switch allows operators to choose between different operating modes, such as “Manual Mode” for manual tool positioning and “Auto Mode” for automatic machining using programmed instructions.
  • Feed Rate Override: The feed rate override controls the speed at which the tool moves along the workpiece during machining. Operators can adjust this setting to slow down or speed up the machining process while it is running.
  • Spindle Speed Control: The spindle speed control allows operators to adjust the rotational speed of the spindle, which houses the cutting tool. The speed is typically expressed in revolutions per minute (RPM) and is crucial for controlling the cutting speed and surface finish of the workpiece.
  • Jog Control: Jog control buttons enable the operator to manually move the tool or workpiece in small increments for precise positioning or setup adjustments.
  • Tool Offset and Compensation: Buttons or switches for tool offset and compensation enable operators to adjust tool offsets, tool lengths, and tool radius compensation to ensure accurate machining.
  • Program Selection and Execution: The control panel provides options for loading and selecting machining programs from a storage device or network connection. Once the program is selected, operators can execute it to start the machining process.
  • Axis Selection and Zero Point Setting: Axis selection buttons allow operators to choose specific axes (X, Y, Z, etc.) for manual positioning or jogging. The control panel may also have functions for zero point setting to define the reference position for the machining process.
  • Alarm Indicators and Diagnostics: The control panel displays alarm messages and diagnostics information to alert operators of any issues, errors, or malfunctions that need attention.
  • Display and User Interface: The control panel typically includes an LCD or touchscreen display that provides an intuitive user interface for navigating menus, entering data, and monitoring the machining process.

In summary, the CNC machine control panel serves as the operator’s gateway to interact with the CNC machine, allowing them to input commands, select functions, monitor status, and ensure safe and efficient machining operations. Each button and function selection on the control panel plays a crucial role in controlling the CNC machine and achieving accurate and precise machining results.

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