Why Linear Encoders are a NECCESITY on CNC Machine Rebuilds

Sometimes, it can make more sense to get a retrofitted CNC machine than to purchase new. Eagle Machine Tool Corporation has been upgrading Computer Numerical Controls (CNCs) in mechanical machine tools for 30 years. When it comes to retrofitting boring mills, they say that they do not retrofit without mounting linear scales. However, does it matter if the linear encoders are made from a different manufacturer than the CNC Control?

Among other CNC retrofitters in Michigan, Eagle Machine Tool Corporation

is unique with how they are a team of engineers rather than a single one man shop. They have worked on over 90 boring mills, and also work on routers, grinders, lathes, and many other machines.

Ted Flies, owner of Eagle Machine Tool Corporation, says his most asked question is “Should we retrofit or should we purchase new”. There is no doubt that new machines have functionalities that cannot be found in machines built in the 80’s. “However, when you convert those used machines to the high speed technology, fast servo update time, block processing speed; we can be in the top 80/85% functionality of a brand new machine at 25-30% of the cost of new.”

Large boring mills can support more than 22,000 pounds on their table. When the weight on the table changes, it actually changes the accuracy and repeatability. “We do not retrofit without putting scales on the machine” says Flies, “because we know the table will slightly bow, and we need total accuracy.”

Eagle Machine Tool has used every encoder on the market during its history, but has been pretty consistent with it’s usage of Fagor over the last seven years. Flies chose Fagor Encoders not only because they were compatible with their standard Mitsubishi control, but also because of their availability of parts and reliability.

“The Fagor G2 series encoder that is typically used for Boring Machines is available up to three meters long with a single glass scale” says Gary Chojecki, Regional Feedback System Sales Manager at Fagor Automation. “This scale also offers accuracy up to 0.3 μm/m, with the ability to connect to either side of the readerhead giving the integrator more flexibility”.

Check out our Fagor Partner Spotlight episode with Eagle Machine Tools!