While we no longer do retrofits, they are an important part of our history. Retrofitting provided a wealth of experience on what parts of the various machine designs worked well, and in some cases, what parts needed to be improved.
We began doing CNC control retrofits on machine tools in 1997. A typical retrofit candidate was a large, expensive to replace machine, in good mechanical condition but with an obsolete CNC control. Retrofitting was a cost effective alternative to purchasing a new machine. Some of the components we commonly replaced included servo motors and drives, angular and linear feedback systems, hydraulic proportional valves, solenoids, transformers, power supplies, and of course digital and analog inputs and outputs.
Once the hardware upgrades were made, the next task was to get everything working again. We developed PLC programs to enable automatic part program execution, automatic tool changes, spindle gear changes, tool orientation, part shuttles and pallet changers, and lube systems. We did start-up and servo tuning, provided new electrical schematics and documentation, and trained operators. Over a period of about 7 years we completed dozens of successful retrofits, many of them on large, complex machines.