Advantages of using the EC Controller compared to other solutions
About using the parallel port
EC Controller is designed for controlling CNCs working on a standard parallel port.
Traditional CNCs just like: printers, scanners, faxes, etc. were connected to the parallel port of a PC running a specialized CNC controller software. Due to the limitations of the parallel port generated by today's PC operating systems, there are no more printers or other new devices running on the parallel port anymore. Many of the new PCs are not equipped with a parallel port
Which means the new devices: printers, scanners, faxes, etc. which are not much more than CNCs are equipped with their own controllers that communicate with the PC via USB or Ethernet.
This trend also includes the construction of CNCs and the EC product range comes to meet it.
Disadvantages of using a CNC software controller running on a PC and using the parallel port
-A first drawback is that CNC controller software works under a particular operating system like: Windows, Linux, etc. It uses the resources of the PC to solve its own problems and limits the CNC controller's software access to resources and interruptions.
Resulting in an uneven speed with sudden jerks leading to the rapid wear of the CNC mechanisms and the breaking of the tools. Also due to the vibrations and accuracy of CNC processing, it suffers. This happens even if it can not always be seen with the naked eye and of course it is even more dangerous in this case due to the higher speed it is going through. The above mentioned problems are not solved by using a parallel port to USB converter, but they are amplified
-Another disadvantage is generated by the impossibility of mounting a broken tool sensor with all the problems that arise from this situation. Think about what happens when your CNC drills a few hours on board and in the last 15 minutes with the broken drill
-A problem is caused by accidental interrupts of program run that can be caused by dropping power supply or breaking a tool, etc. In all of these cases, you do not have precise information about the last line of the program, in other words, you will not know where to resume the program. Otherwise, you will never know exactly which program line is running at a time because simply displaying can not keep up with the execution of the program itself.
Of course, some software like Mach3 allows you to write functions that partially eliminate this problem, but they involve external files and make it harder to run the program.
-Another shortcoming may be the need to install the PC at a small distance from the CNC due to the length of the parallel and / or USB cable length, the CNC produces dust, using coolants, so your PC cooler will not feel good in its proximity
-A disadvantage is generated by the need to immobilize a PC just to control a CNC for the entire time it takes to run a program. It's not a great idea to work on a PC running a CNC controller software. What happens if the software you are running is blocking?
Advantages of replacing CNC software controller running on a PC with EC X17 controller
The ECX 17 controller has been designed to remove all the problems and shortcomings above as we will continue to detail
-Due to the fact that it is equipped with a 32bit / 200Mhz performance microcontroller and does not work under an operating system it can focus on fine-tuning the signals for the CNC control, resulting in a fine and precise motion without jamming and vibration
-It is specifically designed to work with the Broken Tool Sensor. The EC Watch software provides you with everything you need to monitor it, replace the broken tool, and resume the program
-Memorizes the last program line even in the event of power failures, informs the PC on the running program line. This way you will always know what the program line it is running and in case of accidental shutdown from where to resume the program
-Can be installed close to the CNC and away from the PC running EC Watch software thanks to the fast Ethernet connection. Ensures that you can install a local keyboard to allow quick access to commands
-EC X17 works independently of the PC because it contains the program in it. Therefore, the PC is only needed to prepare and write the program, after which, it can be disconnected and used for other purposes. If the EC X17 controller stops running the program for various reasons, it will signal this optically but also acoustically. When resuming the connection, he will send a text message informing you of the cause that stopped the running of the program and the measures required to resume the program. However, even if it is not disconnected, PC can be used for other purposes without affecting in any way the running of the program on the EC X17 controller. The commands on the PC can be replaced (duplicate) by a keyboard connected directly to the controller. In this way a program once loaded into the EC X17 controller can be controlled and run without a PC
-Another great advantage of using EC X17 is its ability to run programs written in Excellon code for drilling. Together with the EC Watch software that can work in Gerber it facilitates cutting drilling needed to make PCBs
-Ability to work with: Parameters, Expressions, Functions, Subroutines and Macros ensures the ability to automate certain processes such as automatic tool change which makes it viable for interfering with production chains. Of course this skill is specific to the Professional Controllers. The use of these features is easy and intuitive and is not reserved to professionals (programmers) as is the case with professional controllers.