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Blanchard 22A CNC Grinder, system upgrade to Centroid M400 CNC

Replacement CNC control for Blanchard CNC Grinders and machine tools. Replacement CNC Parts and Service for Blanchard

After getting a quote from Blanchard for a CNC control upgrade of $100K for this model 22A 42, Hoerbiger Corporation called Terry Ruppe of Arrow Controls in Houston, TX. Terry installed a new Centroid M400 CNC control for less than a third of the price quoted by Blanchard.

Hoerbiger owns two of these grinders which sit beside each other, both are now equipped with Centroid M400 CNC controls.

This green 22A on the left is the newer of the two machines. Terry had previously performed a Centroid retrofit upgrade about 5 years ago for Hoerbiger on an older Blanchard 22A, happy with the results of the Centroid upgrade, Hoerbiger once again called on Terry to get this 22A 42 running better than new.

The old Allen Bradley CNC control that the 22A 42 came with a hard to read monochrome screen that was failing frequently and was expensive to repair. Every time this machine was going down, it was costing Hoerbiger about $4,000 to get it fixed. Eventually the parts for the screen are not available anymore which pushed Hoerbiger to call in Terry to solve the problem once and for all by installing a new Centroid M400 CNC control.

This 80's Blanchard Grinder originally came equipped with Blanchard's own control. It got to the point where is was broken all the time and Hoerbiger had to spend big bucks to get it back up and running, Finally one of the main boards went bad and they just couldn't get it repaired at any cost so, Arrow Controls was hired to come in and install a new Centroid M400 CNC control in 2010.

The new control it is much easier for the operator to run than the old control. Terry says "because the new control relays useful information such as position and any error messages" that it "results in more parts per hour with better quality since operator always knows what's going on". Terry also says it was real simple to teach the operator how to use the new Centroid system.

The Centroid equipped Blanchard making rings perfectly flat and square. Terry made a custom front end just for the ring application so the operator only has to answer four questions to program the machine:

1.) What RPM?
2.) What Feedrate?
3.) What finish dimension?
4.) How much of a spark out time at the bottom?

Hit "accept" and you are ready to run.

(Terry hired Marc Leonard of CNC Services Northwest for the Custom Grinder conversational front end programming)

Rough pass feedrates are .001" per minute.
Finish pass feedrate are .0002" per minute!

The M400 has a larger screen than the original and easily fits in the stock operators console with plenty of room left over for a row of custom machine function buttons. These machine functions are tied into the M400 CNC control and have both manual and automatic control through program control G and M codes.

Terry programmed handy machine functions into the Centroid PLC and added dedicated buttons for operator convenience such as: Table IN/OUT, Table Stop, Wheel Start, Wheel Stop, Coolant ON, Coolant OFF, Retract, Manual Lube, Magnet ON, Spark OUT indication, and Set Zero.

On the right side of the original operators cabinet, notice the MPG (manual electronic handwheel) and USB connections that were included with the Centroid CNC retrofit upgrade.

The "christmas" tree lights (stack lights) and a load meter have also been retained. These lights let the operator know what stage of the program the machine is in from across the room.

Original Fuse blocks, disconnects, terminal strips and electrical cabinet were retained while the modern Centroid CNC control components replaced the aging Allen Bradley parts. CNC PC can be seen at the bottom left, above that is the Centroid MPU11/GPIO4D CNC control board stack.

At the top left is the 4.4Kw Yaskawa servo drive which connects to the Centroid MPU11 via fiber optic cable.

In the middle is the spindle inverter and the rest of the cabinet contains various power supplies and circuit breakers. The retrofitted electrical cabinet layout and installation of components is intuitive and clean, making the grinder easy to work on and understand.

For the older 80's 22A, the new CNC control electronics were installed in the original Blanchard electrical cabinet as well. All the original contractors and fuses were retained. A custom plate was created to mount the new electronics in the same spot where the old servo drive was located. All the new parts fit in the old electrical cabinet with room to spare. The Centroid MPU11/GPIO4D boards can be seen on the left (green stack of PC boards). These are the "brains" of the Centroid CNC control system.

Operator using MPG on Blanchard Grinder

The Blanchard CNC operator is using the Centroid MPG to adjust head height for job setup.