Applied Numeric Control Pty. Ltd. was formed in 2006. Before then, the engineering services business was known as Greenfield Engineering. The proprietor, Simon Mee, has been involved with electronic software and hardware for the last 25 years.
For 12 of those years, Simon was the production engineer at Hercus and managed the production and product development of their range of CNC machines. Nowadays, callers to Hercus, with enquiries about the Hercus range of CNC machines are generally directed to Applied Numeric Control. Due to Hercus no longer producing or servicing these machines.
The Digi9 Controller
Over the years, Applied Numeric Control has supplied solutions, repairs and general advice to many people who have these machines. Unfortunately however, hardware has become harder to acquire. The machines dependence on a PC is also a drawback as upgrades in operating systems and pc hardware often happen much faster than the expected life of the machine tool. At these stages configuration files get lost, internal hardware gets accidentally thrown away with old pcs and without considerable knowledge of the product the machines life comes to an end.
In response to these concerns Applied Numeric Control has developed their own system/ controller. This controller is a fully functional embedded controller that graduates from the PC based controllers of yesteryear to a new and exciting technology and hardware that was not available a few years ago. All of the electronics, software and firmware is designed and produced by Applied Numeric Control.
Our design goals were:
- To offer automated machining, using industry standard G codes.
- To offer powerful canned cycles such as stock removal (to name only 1)
- The controller was to operate the machine without the need of a PC.
- The ability to operate the machine manually making it 2 machines in 1.
- To integrate as much simplicity into the operation as possible.
- To have code wizards to assist in program development.
- To be able to simulate before getting your hands dirty.
- To configure the controller to be able to be fitted to any machine.
- To have a minimum number of dependencies. IE The firmware is integral to the machine. The App is just 1 file. USB comms are just 2 files. That’s it.
Digi9 Controller Fitted PC200
The manual feature required 2 manual pulse generators (3 for the mill). Once these were added, the scope of the controller’s functionality matured into a powerful versatile product. The MPG’s and the digital display facilitate manual operations but in cycle modes their dual functionality provide spindle and federate overrides. The controller is also light on its feet so to speak. As its firmware is dedicated to controlling the machine only, the system can be up and running in seconds after turning on or after emergency stops. The controller oversees all that is going on and conversational feedback always lets the operator know what is happening.
The controller does use PC software for G code development, simulation and downloading facilities but the PC does not control the machine.