The ProtoTRAK control system available on mills and lathes from XYZ Machine Tools has led the way in terms ease-of-use and functionality when it comes to machine tool control. The latest generation of ProtoTRAK, the RX, has retained all the features that made the control system popular with 1000s of customers but with a host of new features and benefits. Central to the new ProtoTRAK control is its 15.6” touchscreen that puts all of ProtoTRAK’s advantages at the users’ fingertips.
Beyond the touchscreen, the functionality of the new ProtoTRAK remains familiar, making the switch for new and existing users straightforward. However, new features, such as Enhanced ProtoTRAK Assistance (EPA), which provides instant access to in-depth help for users at any point in the programming/operating procedure, are aimed at improving the ease of use of XYZ ProtoTRAK controlled machines. The EPA system addresses the change in skill sets that businesses are facing, where traditional mechanical skills with limited technology knowledge are being reversed, with the next generation having possibly lower levels of engineering/metalcutting experience, but higher acceptance of computer technology.
The ProtoTRAK RMX controls also include an Auto Geometry Engine (AGE) and, in-built machining strategies that deliver advanced performance benefits, again with a simple touch of the screen. The AGE function is effectively a CAD capability within the control allowing users to overcome issues when data is lacking from drawings by automatically calculating missing dimensions during programming. Touchscreen capability takes AGE to a new level, with the new Tap to Guess feature. With the part shown on-screen, simply tapping the screen where the intersection or tangent point is unknown, the AGE software calculates the dimension data. AGE can be used in both profiles and pockets and the RMX (the milling variant) is capable of machining pockets with an unlimited number of islands located inside their boundaries. Aligned with pocket machining a range of machining strategies can be called on with the new RMX ProtoTRAK control.
XYZ Machine Tools’ new RX ProtoTRAK controls delivers significant programming efficiencies thanks to, among other features, its touchscreen and ability to store defaults for regularly used machining operations.
Other new features are Adaptive Toolpath, which can drastically reduce cycle times on complex milling cycles, a feature more commonly found on high-end CAD/CAM systems. The ‘look’ feature now runs alongside the program inputs for program verification along with live updating of program events, it will also show a conventional toolpath and give the user estimated cycle times to ensure the most efficient method has been selected. For the ultimate program check a solid 3D rendered image can be shown using the verify feature.
ProtoTRAK RX controls (both mill and lathe) retain the option for a DXF Converter and here the touchscreen technology delivers substantial advantages as importing a DXF file is completely streamlined, eliminating the need for supplementary software and the requirement for a mouse to be connected. A further development is the ability to mix DXF and manual programming during program generation, giving the user total flexibility, all of which is facilitated by the touchscreen.
“The original ProtoTRAK control took the market by storm when it was first introduced and has continued to evolve. The latest generation ProtoTRAK RX controls continue that evolution with new and innovative ways of reducing programming and cycle times. Yet maintaining the original concept of ProtoTRAK to make things as simple and easy to use as possible, a concept that has seen ProtoTRAK controlled machines continue to make up a high proportion of our sales,” says Nigel Atherton, Managing Director, XYZ Machine Tools. “At the start of the development process we spoke to customers and asked what they wanted to see from ProtoTRAK, 95 per cent of what was listed has come to fruition in the RX ProtoTRAK controls.”
To see just how the new ProtoTRAK control can assist your productivity ask for a demonstration at either one of XYZ Machine Tools’ showroom or, if more convenient, have a desktop demo in the comfort of your office. A member of the XYZ team will bring an actual control to you to highlight its ease of use.