Not Just for the Coolant Pump: Customizing your Tormach PCNC Mill with Auxiliary DevicesMarch 7, 2013 by: Greg Jackson
We’ve just released several new products Tormach.com that allow you ever greater flexibility in the way you can interface auxiliary devices like coolant pumps, misters, vacuum systems, etc. with your PCNC mill.
The first of these is called the Switchable Convenience Outlet Kit (PN 33043). Tormach PCNC mills can be used with either automatic or manual coolant control. The AC power for the coolant pump is positioned in a well protected area, under the machine cabinet. Unfortunately, being well protected also means it’s a bit inconvenient if you want to do something like switch from standard flood coolant to a Fog Buster coolant system.
The convenience outlet kit brings an outlet near the front of the machine stand and provides a switch that manually switches coolant power to either the internal pump or to the outlet. You can use the G code controls (M8 coolant on, M9 coolant off) to control either system by simply flipping a switch.
With the release of this kit, the Tormach tech support group voiced a few concerns, which lead to some supporting products. Perhaps their main concern was the fact that a common tech support complaint comes up when someone plugs a device into the coolant outlet that requires more power than the circuit is intended for, like a Shop Vac or Vacuum Pump.
This lead to the development of another kit, the External Power Contactor Kit (PN 33044). With the external power contactor kit, the power provided at the outlet is used to power a relay contactor capable of handling considerably more power. If you want to use a 500 watt sump pump for coolant, that’s what you’ll need. The power contactor can handle just about any 120 VAC load you have, so if you want to integrated machine control via G code for your shop vacuum, vacuum pump, or some other device, the power contactor kit will do that for you.
Another issue that arises is the potential for EMI and electrical noise interference when building up new configurations for control. This is always a concern when switching coils, motors, or other large current devices. We’ve developed Service Bulletin 39 to help identify problems that might result from electrical interference and the new Electrical Noise Suppression Kit (PN 33059) to help resolve problems created by electrical noise.
On a final note, please be aware that these kits are much more “user involved” than some other products we sell. They are really no more than a set of parts and instructions for assembly. The External Power Power Contactor kit also requires that you mill out the holes in the plastic enclosure which are required to mount the parts. It’s not difficult work, but it is more than bolting an accessory to the machine.
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