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Homing Contact systems / versatec 3S. slow movement.

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Homing Contact systems / versatec 3S. slow movement. | 8 August, 2019

I recently purchased a contact systems 3, and 3s, and 4 of their 3zs. they were all used in various states of working. supposedly one 3s and 3z were working when taken out of service and had sat for a few months. another 3z had a homing issues and the rest were just for parts. I was told the 3s was the most reliable of them and the easiest to get up and running. I was getting fairly close to placing parts when I noticed I was having trouble keeping the smart feeders from loosing steps. I cleaned the rails thoroughly pulled up tons of SMT parts out of the rail. relubed everything and then something wasn't right. the smart feeders moved extra slowly and vibrated horribly. homing fails with either "homing timed out" or "indexer 1 positive limit reached" (that's the left smart feeder) I cant even access most of the settings without being able to home. I checked the step signal on the scope and it was high for 20ms and low for 20ms so a 45hz pulse. seems a bit slow for a 200 step motor. I've tried swapping out the stepper drivers, cleaning and re-cleaning the rail, and reseated all the cards. it seems like the motor just doesnt want to move that slowly. with another stepper driver I was testing in there I have a test button that turns the motor clockwise and then counterclockwise one rotation and that moves as smooth as can be pointing to a signal issue from the computer side of things. I saw in the 3z manual that there is a global speed limit and I imagine there is such a thing on the 3s as well, but that setting is behind a homing check so I can not access it. I've tried looking in all the human readable files on the hard drive and ran linux strings and hex editors on the rest looking for where it saves that information with no luck.

Any help would be great! any digital versions of the docs would be great! any information on what the latest software for these machines is would be great! looking for any help or ideas.

Thanks, Aaron

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Homing Contact systems / versatec 3S. slow movement. | 13 August, 2019


Homing Contact systems / versatec 3S. slow movement. | 4 September, 2019

I know exactly what your problem is as I have seen it many times. Your problem is with indexer 1 (the cylinder which runs up and down and actuates feeders on side 1). At each end of the travel of the indexer is a micro switch hidden down below the bearing rail. These are the limit switches i.e. "positive limit reached" means it triggered the limit switch at the back end of it's travel.

Mounted with the front micro switch is a photo sensor, this is the home sensor for the indexer.

The homing routine for the indexer is that it should move towards the front of the machine until it triggers the photo sensor. Then it should creep back slowly until it _just_ clears the sensor then stop - that is the home position.

While is it creeping it sounds horrible as you describe but this is normal, and it should only creep for a second or two before clearing the sensor.

Your problem is that the photo sensor for that side is blocked all the time, probably with grease if you have been cleaning around the bearing rail area.

When you hit the home button, the machine thinks the indexer is already at the front, blocking the sensor, so it creeps backwards trying to clear the sensor, but then it keeps creeping until it either gets the whole way to the back of the machine and hits the positive limit switch, or the homing routine times out.

You need to find the black plastic photo sensor (similar to the ones you can see above the vision cameras) at the front of the indexer rail and clean any grease or debris from it. If it is too contaminated with grease, it may be necessary to replace the sensor before it will be reliable.

The last software version was 4.6.10

For diagnosys you can view sensor inouts in a utility called "intest". Depending on your software version, you access intest either by exiting to DOS and type "3S -t" or exit to DOS, change to the UTILITY directory, then type "Intest3s"

It's a very straightforward fix, apart from it is awkward to reach in there, especially on side 1 as the vision strobe is in the way...

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