THE MID-AUTO MANUAL FUNCTION: USING MANUAL FUNCTIONS IN AUTOMATIC MODE

How many Okuma machine operators are there, that see this button every day, that do not know what this is for? This is one of the most useful features of an OSP control and has been on OSP controls for a very long time.

Mid-Auto Manual button featured on the Okuma OSP control.

This is the “MID-AUTO MANUAL” button which allows operators to interrupt a machining operation, perform some manual function, and go back to machining exactly where the operation stopped without bouncing back and forth between the AUTO mode and the MANUAL mode.

Sequence Restart button featured on the Okuma OSP control.

It works like this: At any time while the machine is running, the operator can stop the movement of the axes by either selecting SINGLE BLOCK or by pushing SLIDE HOLD. When the machine stops, the MID-AUTO MANUAL button is pressed. That puts the machine into a pseudo MANUAL mode without leaving the AUTOMATIC mode (normally causing the machine to stop and reset the program). Now our operator can turn off the coolant, stop the spindle, and manually move the tool either by use of the pulse wheel or an axis control.

Our operator can inspect or change an insert, check a part, remove chips, etc. Once these interruptions are completed the spindle is manually started, the coolant is turned on, and then the SEQUENCE RESTART button is pressed. That causes the control to move the tool back to where it was when the MID-AUTO MANUAL button was pressed. The tool will move in all axes simultaneously so our operator should position the tool so there will be no interference before pressing SEQUENCE RESTART. The machining operation continues from that point.

One of the biggest benefits to this feature is it provides us with the ability to interrupt a machining operation at any time, without having to start the program over, and saving time and reducing the chance for errors during the program restart process. It is faster and more dependable.

Written By: Mike Wolf – Application Manager at Hartwig, Inc.