Mazatrol Fusion 640 is the name for a new machine control recently introduced by Mazak Corp. (Florence, Kentucky). The control is available on the company's full line of machine tools, including horizontal and vertical machining centers, turning centers and multi-tasking machines.
According to the company, this is not a PC-based CNC, although it utilizes PC technology. Rather than simply mounting a PC front-end to a CNC, Mazak has fused the two (hence the name). This fusion allows bi-directional communication between the two computers.
The CNC side of this dual-processor design uses a 64-bit central processing unit (CPU) to execute programmed functions for metal cutting operations. In addition, it is designed to extract information from the machine tool, such as servo-motor loads, and to use that data to suggest improved machining parameters. These suggestions are accessible to the operator using the 32-bit PC CPU.
With this two-way information flow, the control automatically optimizes the process. Instead of making trial cuts to tweak a program, a shop can get the information necessary to maximize cutting speeds and feeds before the first chip is cut.
A control feature called Navigator segments the cutting cycle into time periods. Starting with the longest time period, the operator or off-line programmer can "ask" the CNC for suggestions on how to reduce that part of the cycle. Drawing from its database, the control makes a recommendation. What-if scenarios can be carried on for every other segment in the program to find the best approach. The CNC looks at programmed feeds and speeds and determines what percentage of the machine tool's maximum capacity, then calculates how much capacity is left and makes its recommendation based on that difference.
The control will be offered in three distinct versions, one each for the company's turning centers, machining centers and multi-tasking machines.