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AVHC Retract Failure

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hectorchavez
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:48 pm

AVHC Retract Failure

Postby hectorchavez » Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:13 pm

I thought I would put this on here and maybe save myself a call to customer support. I'm running a TD 82 with Torchmate 4 software. The AVHC controller is Version 1.15. I have been cutting various gauge steel in manual mode with no problems. I have never been able to cut in Auto without an error. This morning I checked the cut height on the table with a feeler gauge. I did need to make a slight adjustment on the controller to get to a 1/8" cut height. I reran the voltage test and it averaged out at 123. I was trying to cut .075" material at 60 Amps. My pierce height is .2, cut height is .125, Pierce delay is .1, and Cut speed is 70. "Ok to Move" is enabled, "Pierce Complete" is enabled.

When I switch to Auto mode on the AVHC and try to run the voltage test the torch drops, and cuts the first line perfect.I can watch the voltage and it regulates to 123. Lifts and moves to the second line, torch drops, touches and lifts to cut height but never fires. It pauses there and then lifts back up. The blue screen flashes "Torch OFF Timeout" then it displays "Retract Failure". This happens every time. I have been looking online for a solution and tried a couple of the things that may be causing me the issue. I used a grinder and cleaned off a spot for the ground clamp because the material is rusty. I have also tore about the wiring and made sure that the AVHC wire was not against the torch line because I read there could be an interference. I read in the torchmate trouble shooting pdf to adjust the M-Code Definitions. It recommended changing the 'Plasma on' from .01 to 3.0 and the 'Plasma off' to 1.5. When I did that the torch immediately dove into the plate, started moving and broke away from the holder. I changed the M-Code back and the same old result of not firing on the second line.

I appreciate any feedback or suggestions as I am new to all this.

Thanks,
Mike

hectorchavez
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:48 pm

Re: AVHC Retract Failure

Postby hectorchavez » Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:02 pm

If anyone else has the same problem, Torchmate support had me download to the motors from the controller. That fixed the problem.

galennelson7
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:59 pm

Re: AVHC Retract Failure

Postby galennelson7 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:32 am

i know this is only 4 years later but can you elaborate on what torchmate had you do? we just got the same setup as you have second hand and torchmate is not being very responsive to tech support. We had the exact same issue as you described above. thanks in advance

islander261
Posts: 147
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:30 pm

Re: AVHC Retract Failure

Postby islander261 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:32 pm

Hello

Do you have the AVHC documents? If so make sure all your setup parameters are correct. When you first power on the AVHC (switch on back) does it raise the torch until it stalls at the top and then lowers it .1"from the top? When you first power on the AVHC wait two minutes and check for a message where to auot/manual indication usually is that says "motor not found". If so you have a communication problem with the motor (bad cable) or the program has been corrupted. Try and touch off with your torch with the cutting disabled on the AVHC from the AUX control menu on your computer. Without retracting the torch (AUX 1 still on) measure the height of the torch. Is it correct? If not check your setup and try again. Can you manually (not in auto) cut ok? If manual is ok did the approximately correct arc voltage display on the AVHC? If not check the connections to your plasma power supply.

When you are sure that there isn't another problem follow the instructions in the manual to enter the factory setup mode on power up. Scroll through all the setup parameters in the factory setup part of the menu and write them all down in case things go really bad. One of the factory setup menu items will offer to download the firmware to the motor. Only do this as a last try to fix the thing. The motors are pretty picky about downloading and you don't want to brick the thing on accident.

The motors are Smartmotors from Animatics, now part of Moog, ( they are very expensive even on ebay) the exact model number is on the motor label. All the documentation and software for programming the motor is available on line. Your motor most likely has firmware version 4.40C on it.

John

galennelson7
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:59 pm

Re: AVHC Retract Failure

Postby galennelson7 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:56 pm

John- thanks for the reply.

We did the factory reset and it solved the "Retract Failure" issue. we moved on to line speed and voltage tests.

We did the feeler gauge test and found that .15 on the AVHC = .06 on the material (14ga mild steel)

Conducted the Line speed test in manual and worked perfectly, tried the voltage test on manual and also good. We did the voltage test on Auto and it started the cut dove right into the material and then the height control looked like it was trying to react but never held a constant standoff. I increased the sensing delay to .5 ( i think) and it worked good in auto at that point.

The next day i tried some similar gauge aluminum and set the line speed and voltage, and it still dove on one of the cuts.

I think our issue now may stem from not being connected to the internet and not have done any updates in a while (years?) we got this setup from an auction and it hasn't been run in a while. let me know if you think an update could help, with all things computer im concerned it may be too much for the system.

thanks for your time, these forums are a life saver!
Galen

islander261
Posts: 147
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:30 pm

Re: AVHC Retract Failure

Postby islander261 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:52 pm

Galen

Wow this brings back memories. I had a sales rep by the name of Galen, he retired. That guy could sell more garden art than I could make and finish.

Ok, A software update will not not solve this problem. Your AVHC is totally independent of the computer running Torchmate 4 except for the command to cut signal. First on the AVHC set your sensing delay to 1.5 to 2 seconds. It takes the TD torch a long time to settle down when starting a cut. Carefully check the touch off to initial cut distance. The AVHC touches off by ramming the torch into the material until is stalls, this forces the lifter (Z axis) carriage to one side of the acme screw backlash (and deflects thin (14ga) material down). Then the torch retracts to the pierce height but counts the backlash and spring back as part of the move because there isn't any feedback. These things have bad backlash, .050 with a newish acme screw and over .1 as it wears. I have replaced the acme screw and nut 4 times on mine. I have used 4140 alloy acme screw from McMaster, it lasts the best. Now really check the manual height. With the AVHC in the auto mode with cut enable disabled (led off) and the torch plasma power supply turned off, use the AUX 1 command to turn on the torch (nothing bad will happen with the torch off) it should touch off and raise to the pierce height wait for the pierce delay then lower to initial cut height. Use a feeler gauge set or other precision tool ( I like to roll number drill bits) under the torch tip to check the actual height. Be very careful with thin sheet (14ga) as you can easily push it down when measuring. Add or subtract any measured error (backlash + spring back) from both the pierce height and initial cut height on your AVHC. Because it is so easy to deflect thin sheet you should check any sheet under about 1/4" for deflection regularly and adjust your pierce and initial cut height accordingly. I also have set the average count ( in the factory menu) on my AVHC from 40 to 50. This slows the response down but also saves torch tips. I have posted the McMaster part numbers for both the acme screw and nut on other threads here.

Please remember you are dealing with equipment that was consumer grade at best and not cutting edge technology when it was brand new, don't expect great performance without user intervention. I have cut over 20,000lbs of 14ga hr steel with my old ( and much modified) TM2 (version 3 SW) so I know with work it can be done. It took me three years (and plenty of modification) to get consistent good quality cuts. I knew nothing when I started with a used system!

John

galennelson7
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:59 pm

Re: AVHC Retract Failure

Postby galennelson7 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:00 pm

Islander, We'll get these parameters loaded at our next shop day. Thanks again for the input. Ill keep you posted on the progress.

Galen

galennelson7
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:59 pm

Re: AVHC Retract Failure

Postby galennelson7 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:24 pm

Forgot to let you know the tweaks have seemed to work! thanks again and ill keep an eye on the consumables and backlash screw. Thanks again for the help, we appreciate it!

IHscouts
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:54 pm
Location: St. Clair MO

Re: AVHC Retract Failure

Postby IHscouts » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:31 pm

I am having somewhat of the same problem. Except mine will do all the movements correctly until it gets to the end of a cut. Sometimes it will retract sometimes it will not. When it doesn't retract and moves to the next cut, it will raise to cut height before the pierce and then make the cut. There have been several times that I will get a retract failure message on the AVHC screen. I power it down and back up. Once it is powered back up it will retract to the move height.

Do I enter the setup mode and program the motor again??? Any suggestions are much appreciated.

All most forgot, this is a used table that I purchased and have had a nightmare with it. I'm kicking around the idea to do a flashcut retro on it. That or drag it out back and and flip it off the hill. LOL

islander261
Posts: 147
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:30 pm

Re: AVHC Retract Failure

Postby islander261 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:16 am

IHscouts

This is a tough one. All the Z axis movement is controlled by the AVHC and it should return to rapid height at the end of the cut. The most likely problem is that the drive is stalling when trying to lift the torch. How worn is your acme screw and or nut? I know when mine was close to failing this would happen. Check your backlash on the Z axis, is it getting worse? This will cause the Z axis to jam and stall the motor. A short term fix is to increase the probing force slightly in the setup menu and order new parts (acme screw and nut). The stock firmware probes and runs the torch up and down at the same torque limit (probing force). Check lifter for loose screws and possible racking (had that happen too). BTW clean and oil the guide rods and acme screw everyday when you use the table, it helps. A complete set of new bearings, acme screw stock and nut should be about $80 at McMaster Carr. The acme screw is easy to machine if you have a lathe, take the old one and the stock to a machine shop and they will charge you their minimum billing to make three out of the piece you get from MC it's that simple.

John

IHscouts
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:54 pm
Location: St. Clair MO

Re: AVHC Retract Failure

Postby IHscouts » Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:56 am

John
I have some backlash in the acme nuts and am planning on replacing them. I am looking for the paperwork that was given with the purchase that has Mcmasters PN for replacement parts. If memory serves me right, the previous owner has said that this would start to happen when parts were getting worn.

I don't know if its a fluke or not. But doing dry runs the torch never missed a beat. Would always raise after the cut and move to the next. Yesterday I ran it on manual for the interior holes and would change it to auto to cut the exterior. But a guy has to babysit the table way to much doing it this way. Hopefully the new parts will cure it.

Thanks


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