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Is there such a thing as a UPS for CNC machines?

Joe Miranda

Titanium
Joined
Oct 19, 2004
Location
Elyria Ohio
As the title states, is there such a thing as a UPS that will keep a CNC running during a power surge/outage? This has certainly been considered before but I am not finding any info. I suppose it is possible to keep the control working but how would one integrate such a thing with the 220/440v 3ph?
 
I have used a separate power supply with battery backup to run the controls.
The control or PC is pulling power from the 3ph just because, but not required in most cases.
Last year I had a problem with 24v controls/E-Stop transformer with an odd input voltage.
OEM was $500ish and 3 months out
Ordered a power supply from Ebay and found a spot to tie into 220v and I was up and running the next day for $50
This power supply was a little small and failed a few month later.
Purchased a larger KW power supply and its been fine ever since
 
All the control systems for machines and wastewater plants have had UPS power for only the sensors and controls so everything can be monitored while power is out. Actually easy to do on a CNC machine. All the controls are single phase and the size of the control transformer will tell you how big a unit is needed.
 
They make three phase power conditioners and UPSs. They are often used in large computer datacenters, and some of them are comfortably large enough to support 30HP machines. Also pretty expensive! If all you need is to hold voltage up during a brownout or to bridge over a short glitch outage from the power company, it would cost much less.

[Sniped by crossthread82]
 
Watched a datacenter being built near the shop I retired from. They had a backup system consisting of some large flywheels that constantly spun. Those stored energy to use for power generation until the backup diesel gensets fired up and came online. The flywheel system was also used to full- time “condition” the power used in the center.
 
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That's a very complex question, but the biggest factor is duration. Bridging the 2s gap from a re-closer or trip-saver doing their thing is a wildly different ordeal than keeping a machine up for 30min.
 
Watched a datacenter being built near the shop I retired from. They had a backup system consisting of some large flywheels that constantly spun. Those stored energy to use for power generation until the backup diesel gensets fired up and came online. The flywheel system was also used to full- time “condition” the power used in the center.
If you have to ask price, you can't afford it
www.activepower.com/en-GB
 
Like a few others said, hooking a ups to the control side is not too complicated. I did this on a Fidia years ago to keep the windows based control on during a power outtage.

What's your reason? Looking for run time or just preventing possible cutter gouges when the power drops?
 
i'm grabbing a few of our 100kw battery packs at work that arent good to sell, eventually will serve as backup for the whole house and shop, but it'll take a lot of work to do it. not sure if anything like this exists commercially.
 
This is fun to think about.

For a full integration I'd want a UPS that allowed the control to-
Detect phase loss
Slide Hold the machine and drop all unnecessary loads (lights, lube pumps, chip control)
Ramp down then brake the spindle (maybe get some regen watts?)
Continue to run coolant pump(s) for some duration
Power axis amps to jog to a safe position


I think that'd get you through a long, temporary power loss, the kind where it flashes back and forth 3 or 4 times, while probably saving the tools and workpiece.
 
Watched a datacenter being built near the shop I retired from. They had a backup system consisting of some large flywheels that constantly spun. Those stored energy to use for power generation until the backup diesel gensets fired up and came online. The flywheel system was also used to full- time “condition” the power used in the center.
I mean, hey, it worked at Chernobyl units 1, 2, and 3!
 
i'm grabbing a few of our 100kw battery packs at work that arent good to sell, eventually will serve as backup for the whole house and shop, but it'll take a lot of work to do it. not sure if anything like this exists commercially.
Yes it does, but if you have to ask you can't afford it...
 
Thanks to everybody so far. My desire would be to keep the machine(s) running long enough during a power glitch to safely shut things down without ruining a part. Some of you guys are doing serious surfacing and know what I am talking about. If you are many hours into a part and the power glitches or goes out it is a nightmare to try to salvage the part at worst - or get back to where you left off at best.

Cole2534, my son is active military. He is back at Ft. Sill for a couple of weeks of training. He loves OK! He drives from Sill to Oklahoma City to go to a church he likes there. I think OK is the best place to live in the country right now.
 
Cole2534, my son is active military. He is back at Ft. Sill for a couple of weeks of training. He loves OK! He drives from Sill to Oklahoma City to go to a church he likes there. I think OK is the best place to live in the country right now.
Glad to hear someone else likes it as much as I do. This state rarely gets any good attention....and I like it that way.
 
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In order for it to reliably not wreck a part the UPS would have to be capable of running the entire machine. That would be a big UPS, even for a small machine.
One of my small[old] machines has a rather long startup routine, so I just leave it powered up and emoed when I am using it. I had pondered wiring in a UPS to the 120 volt control feed, for those 2 second power glitches. But to make it run the whole that is a 30 amp 3 phase breaker
I think the best you could reasonably implement would be a UPS in line with the control and a relay that hits the feed hold circuit. Still many ways it would not work with a machine in program run, most of them would cause a fatal error that would require a restart anyway

A small machine is 10kva so those are available, dunno what kind of oversizing is required for machine tool use rather than computer equipment use

AS far as stopping the machine and doing something, one imagines there are ways to do that with macros and relays, but what if it is in the middle of a rigid tap or a back spot face?
 
Where I used to work we needed to keep all of the flight simulation computers on line during power outages.
Our power utility ran a second power feed to the building from a different substation. Each power feed entered a quarter cycle switch with the output feeding our computer loads. All of the other simulator "dirty" loads were allowed to fail. We used a large backup generator up building emergency loads.
 
You didn't share what make / model of machine. Haas sells a power failure detection module which has been discussed on here in the past. I don't have it but, I understand the function is to lock the Z-axis and keep the tool from dropping in that instant when the power goes out.

Side story: Haas Automation actually has an on-site power generating station of their own. During their peak production they were completing about eight machines an hour (my calculation based on their monthly rate, 21 days a month and 8 hours a day). A three hour summer power outage times eight machines is twenty-four machines. Multiply whatever price you want to assign to them. VF-2? $75K average price? $1,800,000 in downtime. There was a time during monsoon season where that would happen a few times a week. Ouch.
 








 
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