06 Nov How to End Challenges With Older KOMO Controls
How to End Challenges With Older KOMO Controls
Find out how Down East Fabrication replaced an outdated CNC control on an older KOMO with MachMotion to run their existing machine better than ever.
Problems with an old KOMO Router
Down East Fabrication was faced with an unpleasant challenge familiar to many manufacturers, an older KOMO router with an obsolete FANUC controller dimming their production plans. Their problem began when the control screen on their 2000 KOMO VR 512 CNC router began fading. The machine was a workhorse for their corian cutting department and an integral part of their operations. With time, the controller screen continued to darken to the point that their operator had to resort to using a flashlight for visibility to keep production going. While the machine was cutting, they had to monitor operations to make sure the machine functioned correctly. They couldn’t let this machine run on it’s own without human supervision. Not only did the machine need to be supervised, but only one operator was able to use it. For Down East, this was less than ideal for their business and the sole operator who ran this machine.
Although the core of the KOMO VR 512 CNC router was built to last a lifetime, the current control was aged beyond repair. Due to its obsolescence, parts could not be obtained and it was a make-or-break moment for the Down East team. The decision boiled down to either investing in an entirely new CNC router or seeking an alternative solution by implementing a controls upgrade. When evaluating the two options, the President of Down East Fabrication, Dennis Seibert, found that it didn’t make sense for the company to invest way more than it needed to on a new machine. He mentioned that the new machines had all new controls, but the frames hadn’t changed at all over 20 years. He also dealt with pushback from the machine operator, who was accustomed to the familiarity of the old system. The operator was hesitant about the change and didn’t want to upgrade to a new system. He pushed to fix the one they had. Since there was no access to parts or technical support, this was not an option. In the end, Dennis had to make a critical decision and choose the most reliable option to keep production going long-term.
Brightening Horizons With Modern Innovation
There was no doubt in Dennis’ mind about his decision. Rather than replacing the older KOMO machine they already own and have all the tooling for, he opted for innovation. Seeing an opportunity to give their KOMO VR 512 CNC router a second life, he began the process of a retrofit for the machine. Down East Granite connected with MachMotion to complete a needs analysis. This would evaluate their machine’s current state and reveal if they needed any mechanical work done. With a sound report on the machine’s mechanical side, the next step was to plan the installation.
During the installation of their CNC router retrofit, Down East decided to add a second monitor to view their ERP software to see their schedule for the day and access all their files. This innovation made daily operations easier and enhanced accessibility for the operator. After bringing up their thoughts with the MachMotion install team, they were able to turn their vision into a reality! By upgrading their existing CNC router they were able to gain an enhanced production process through innovative customizations.
A New Life: Optimizing CNC Processes
With their new CNC control, new components, and the second monitor installed, their KOMO VR 512 CNC router was ready to run. All that was left was to train the once-hesitant machine operator to use the new system. Initially, he had anticipated receiving a user manual along with days of training to learn the control, similar to their old system. To his surprise, he was taught in as little as 1-hour how to run the new MachMotion controller. Now, multiple employees at the facility are able to operate and run the machine. After seeing how easy it was to access every function, their operator turned from a skeptic to a believer.
Down East Fabrication was able to achieve its desired results without the hefty price tag of a new machine. They harnessed the untapped potential of their KOMO CNC router, unveiling a path of increased efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and a brighter future. In a world where manufacturing success hinges on adaptability and intelligent choices, Down East Fabrication’s story demonstrates how a forward-thinking approach, backed by the right innovative partner like MachMotion, can turn an impending setback into a significant stride toward success.