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B-Tilting Head + A-Rotary Setup

An-102f, Copyright © by Gil Hagiz
Last updated Apr-19-2007
For version 6.11 and later


This application note describes the setup of a 5-axis machine employing B tilting head and A rotary table.
The TCP capability is provided by a separate BIN file. Without this file the machine can work as a regular 5-axis non TCP machine.



H5 should be used for all programs that requires TCP. In this mode the XYZ coordinate system is that of the part, not the machine. Drilling canned cycles move in the tool direction.
In Manual, H5 moves the machine XYZ, same as drilling, and H3 is used to move in the part coordinates.


This set up can be performed by a superuser only.
To avoid unintentional set up, the superuser has to change the security level in plc@50 to 0.
In MDI type: @50=0
Line numbers for setup data relate to the machine.cnx file, in the machine data area after line n30000.
Before you start:

Setup general

To set the machine zero for an axis proceed as follows (B is used as an example):


Setup B-zero

Setup A-axis

Tool Length

Tool length is measured from B-pivot. However, tools can be measured from a more convenient place, like the spindle face, while the distance of this place from B-pivot is entered under Z in line n13.
If the distance to the spindle face is not known it can be measured on the machine but the accuracy depends on the accuracy of B.
To measure the distance on the machine:

Setup Z

The machine zero for Z is where B-center coincides with A-center.

Setup Y


X offset can compensate for misalignment between the spindle axis and the B-axis.
To measure the offset B should be turned to +90 and -90 deg. Since many machines don't have that travel, +30 and -30 can be used instead.

Final test