Monday, October 29, 2012

Excellent Bosch CNC Course in Detroit

I attended the Bosch Rexroth CNC Course in Detroit on October 15th.  It was an excellent course that went through a variety of topics.  I was very fortunate to receive this course thanks to the great folks at Bosch Rexroth.  My investment was my time and my company (Virtual Photons Electrons) paid for all the expenses.  There is no substitute for sitting down and getting hands-on training.   As my grandfather Melvin Thompson told my father when he told him he was going to college at St. Olaf, "you don't learn how to milk a cow by reading a book."   I am convinced you can not truly learn anything without getting your hands dirty and doing it, however you need both - theory and practice.

Below is the setup that each attendee had for the hands-on course.  This was the first day of class so you can see a very simple ladder logic program that I was just starting to create.  From right to left on the photo below you see:
  •  The PC running the IndraWorks Engineering IDE (as well as other software, such as IndraWorks Operations, and other software including simulators), 
  • To the left of the screen is the CNC/PLC which in this case is an IndraControl L65 (which has an Intel Celeron M/1 GHz, 512MB RAM, 8MB SRAM, 1 GB Compact Flash, with SERCOS II, PROFIBUS, Ethernet, real-time ethernet - I/O including 8 digital input and 8 digital output with the power supply to drive it)
    • Think of this as the brain of the overall system
  • To the far left is the IndraDrive Cs which is the system that is also known as the motion controller.  These controls will drive/control manufacturing equipment (at a very low level) such as those motors or devices that one might find in a machine tool or a conveyor line (to name just two examples).

I was very impressed with the tools that Bosch Rexroth has created for it IndraWorks platform.   I was told by a number of Bosch Rexroth and non-Bosch Rexroth individuals that Bosch Rexroth have far and away the best tools compared to other vendors.  I was very impressed that Bosch Rexroth uses Wind River as their CNC OS as well as how they use WinStudio for the IDE.
The course covered a wide variety of topics:
·      CNC Overview - including Hardware and Software
·      Overview of Industrial PCs
·      Embedded HMIs
·      IndraWorks Operation MTX screens (libraries, F-keys, Op-keys, M-keys, user screens, logbook, communication, screen modification)
·      Parameters
·      IndraWorks Software including IndraWorks Engineering
·      MTX HMI  Screen containers and layout   - Virtual Control Panel ie VAM40
·      Machine status
·      NC-programming  (note that my long time friend (Neil P. Groundwater aka npg) will be thrilled to know that NC files are appended with the .npg  for Nc ProGram  - this is true :-)
·      Tool Management and System screens
·      Maintenance / troubleshooting screens  
·      Operation modes (demo explanation)
·      IndraWorks Operation (screens, modes PLC - IndraLogic multi-tasking (languages, tools and editors, libraries, etc.)
·      CNC<->PLC interface (global, channel, axis, spindle, local I/O, aux functions, perm. variables, def. perm. variables, System Data)
·      Profibus Fieldbus diagnostics and status
·      NC-program edit/run, etc.)
·      MTX memory map and file system
·      ProVi user diagnostics

·      NC-program (G-code, high-level CPL, multi- channel, offsets, variables, subroutines, etc. MTX <-> IndraDrive )
·      System boot and start
·      System Utilities
·      MTXcontrol –tool and function
·      Backup & Restore

·      MTX simulator software

Below are a number of photos I took showing the different types of implementations in the Bosch Rexroth demo area.

Weekend in Fells Point - Timbuktu and Shuckers Restaurants

On October 26th and the 27th Julie and I spent a weekend in Fells Point.   On the way there we had a crab cake dinner at the world famous Timbuktu Restaurant located in Hanover, MD which is about 1/2 hour south of Baltimore.  Below is my two crab cake meal.  Timbuktu wins every year (it seems like) for having the best crab cakes in MD.

Below we are outside a great seafood restaurant - Shuckers Restaurant and Bar in Fells Point.  It was the perfect day, 72 degrees and sunny.