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Author Topic: Silvatech Setworks  (Read 1874 times)

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Offline NewEnglandLumber

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Silvatech Setworks
« on: April 25, 2018, 12:54:39 PM »
We have a 1980's HMC circle mill with silvatech controls. We are having issues with the final set after calling out your finished dimension. The last set before the finished cant the headblocks set in reverse rather than forward. The operator can continue to auto set and the headblocks continue to move in reverse. It is happening only on the final set of your 2nd and 4th face. It seems to be an intermittent problem.

thank you

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Silvatech Setworks
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2018, 03:07:03 PM »
Welcome to the Forum! I can't help you with the setworks. My grandfather worked for HMC, but he's gone now. 
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Silvatech Setworks
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2018, 06:16:22 PM »
Its been a long time since I worked with a Silvatech.  But, it sounds like you may have a short or a bare wire someplace.  These are the things that can drive you crazy.

If it is only on the last cut, you could simply erase your stack and put it for the target size, then set.  That should pull you up to your desired size and leave you with a lot less heartburn.
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Offline dgdrls

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Re: Silvatech Setworks
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2018, 07:08:59 PM »
Its been a long time since I worked with a Silvatech.  But, it sounds like you may have a short or a bare wire someplace.  These are the things that can drive you crazy.

If it is only on the last cut, you could simply erase your stack and put it for the target size, then set.  That should pull you up to your desired size and leave you with a lot less heartburn.
Looks to be about a decade Ron  ;)
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Welcome the FF NewEnglandLumber
I'm certain if the folks here can't help directly they'll find a contact who can,

Best
D

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Silvatech Setworks
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2018, 05:18:53 AM »
It's been nearly 6 years.   :)
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Offline NewEnglandLumber

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Re: Silvatech Setworks
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2018, 02:42:25 PM »
Thanks for the responses guys. We have been clearing the stack and and then making the last set. But in a production setting it is a pain in the butt. We did a quick check for wiring issues but found none. Electrical problems are always fun!

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Silvatech Setworks
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2018, 05:31:57 PM »
I thought of another area that could be a problem.  The donut sensor which is under one of the headblocks may be touching.  I know that we had problems when that got too close to the metal rod.  Just a thought.
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Offline Ray Girman, Sr.

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Re: Silvatech Setworks
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2018, 10:56:24 AM »
Good Morning from Southwestern Pa., I'm new to this site and know absolutely nothing about Sawmills and Lumbering, however, my expertise is in electronics and electro-mechanical operations.  I'm a full time electrical assembler for a local corporation and one of my co-workers had asked for assistance on the two Silvatech units that his father and he have at their mill.  I've been gathering information on both of the units, but like so many others has found out Silvatech is no longer in business.  I started troubleshooting both the mother board and a plug-in board that resides in the top right hand corner of the control unit.  Several anomalies I found were a low "coin" battery which was changed and since this unit sat unused for a long time and went through several winters, I found about a dozen cold solder joints.  These are being re-soldered in my shop at home.  Both units have no surge or suppressor protection on the incoming 120 VAC.  One good lightning crack several miles away will easily wipe out some of the sensitive and archaic IC chips.  I'm in the process of repairing and/or replacing the required components, doing the best I can without schematics or experience, so if anyone can offer any advise, suggestions, etc., I would be most grateful.  After I had found the Forestry Forum, I started reading some of the posts, one post, and I forget the name of person, has had trouble with grounding, he was spot on.  I cleaned and insured all grounds were intact and operable.  As I go along with this challenge, I'm mapping the PCB's as I go over them.  Silvatech seems to be a good brute force controller, no bells and whistles, and just performs the job, that's why I want to learn as much as I can about them and help my friends out.  

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Silvatech Setworks
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2018, 02:33:49 PM »
Do you have any of the schematics for the Silvatech?  You might be able to find some of those laying around.  
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Offline Ray Girman, Sr.

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Re: Silvatech Setworks
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2018, 07:18:35 AM »
Searching for any Silvatech schematics has become a mission.  Unfortunately I can't find any information at all.  The mapping is very time consuming and what seems to be the biggest problem is that the plug-in card was indigenous to the mill and its sole operation.

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Silvatech Setworks
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2018, 10:11:46 AM »
Just some vague heresay: The former Sawmill tool and service shop owner, Bruce Dexter, had a son that was a Silvatech expert. I don't know the mans first name. Perhaps someone up in
New England could chime in, maybe Frank C.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Silvatech Setworks
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2018, 06:30:08 PM »
I have a contact that worked on our Silvatech and may be able to help you.  He's an industrial engineer that has since retired, but he had gotten a bunch of details on the Silvatech.  He probably has a lot of that stuff.  I don't think I kept any of that material after iI retired.  Send me a PM and I'll give you the info.
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Offline Ray Girman, Sr.

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Re: Silvatech Setworks
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2018, 08:37:21 AM »
In the past few days I repaired some really bad cold solder joints on the plug in card that plugs into the motherboard in the upper right hand corner of the motherboard in the Silvatech enclosure.  There was one thing that had me bothered and I'm kind of following the path on this anomaly.  All the EPROM's, whether they are on the motherboard or the small plug in card were not covered with the usual adhesive "dot" to protect them from being erased.  I was curious if these units have a built in program, or if they are programmed as the operator goes through the setup.

I did find that the setup on the mill itself seriously effects the video input in the cab, something about rods and cams.  (Bear in mind that I know nothing about the nomenclature on the setworks yet") and each individual connector from what looks like to be a transducer is part of a grounding loop.  If this loop is shorted in any way or means, it will definitely create a video problem.

Scoping the incoming power was also a plus.  If the mill is run on a genset, then power conditioning becomes a major player in the operation and if the utility coming in is not up to the proper required input or is "dirty", again, conditioning is a plus.  Everything is based on a 60 hertz input, clocking, driving, etc., very important that this is right on the money.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Silvatech Setworks
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2018, 02:31:18 PM »
I could set any type of set I wanted on the setworks.  It was user programmable.  I think it was 4 targets and 6 or 8 sets.  I know I could change them as it was needed for different cutting patterns.  You would build your stack from a target, when you needed it.  

As for clean electric, we ran with a gen set.  I'm believe we had a bunch of controls that were on the clean electric, but not sure.  There may have been an automatic switch that turned some of the 120 from street electric to gen set electric and back.  We had a timer for the heater in the gen set, and that would be off about 5-10 minutes each week.  I told the one maintenance guy that it had to do with the 60 hz problem, but he didn't believe me.  I think the gen set measured 62-63 hz.  I know we didn't have any problems with the Silvatech from that standpoint.
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Offline ETSawyer

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Re: Silvatech Setworks
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2018, 10:49:10 PM »
On our silvatech, which is has been down, any hiccup in power results in what I would call "factory default" settings. Trying to answer your question I'd say each button wether target or stack has a preset value that you can change. That number if you change it will stay that way until system is reset or power lost. Then it goes back to "default settings".   No matter how long our set works have been unplugged it always starts with same value.

Most of our problems are either probe/magnet or broken wire. Willing to help in anyway I can. We have some silvatech paperwork. Basic operator and trouble shooting manual I think 

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Silvatech Setworks
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2018, 06:26:36 AM »
We turned ours off daily and it always came back up with the same inputs.  I wonder if it had to do with machine age.  Ours was one of the later ones before they closed shop.
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Offline Ray Girman, Sr.

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Re: Silvatech Setworks
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2018, 09:47:36 AM »
Still have the video problem, but working towards finding the culprit.  I didn't realize at the time about everything being on one ground loop, this has been a real game changer.  I'm still mapping the plug in board and slowly putting together a test bed in my shop so that I'll be able to remove either the motherboard or the plug-in and do some actual circuit testing.  I've found that all of the voltages have to be either right on or slightly above the rated operating voltage, the boards respond faster to this.

Sorry to repeat, but while i'm in the middle of getting all of this together, if anyone has anything to add, please do.  It may help in re-doing some mapping work that I have about 30% completed.

Offline Ray Girman, Sr.

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Re: Silvatech Setworks
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2018, 07:28:47 AM »
July 18, 2018, Success with the video problem on the Silvatech Setworks, I removed the small attachment board from the motherboard and brought it back to the shop where I could use a microscope attachment to a video high resolution camera and checked each solder joint on the board.  Although there were a lot of cold solder joints, one thing I did find was that it seemed the majority of bad joints were those that were "feed-throughs" to the other side of the board.  I remember way back when I worked on multi-layer printed circuit boards that there were several layers, some times the broken joint was within the layers of the card itself.  GE had a real tough time years ago with a device called a griplet, although it was soldered in place and connected the different layers of a PCB, it was still the contact of dis-similar metals and they always opened up when heated up or during use.  The feed-throughs on the small board that connects to the motherboard supply the DC power to both sides of the PCB and carries any required signal.  Because of the lack or minimizing of the supply voltage to the chips, the card did not function as required.  I was informed by one of the mill owners last night that it is now functioning and we have a very small problem on the proper adjustments for the cab monitor.

Basic repair: A good solder pen, very small tip, good solder, re-heat and apply solder to any pad that looks suspicious, check all feed-through solder pads (in a lot of cases, its a good idea to re-heat and add solder), insure the "RESET" button and wiring is operating correctly, check all supply voltages to both the motherboard and the attachment board and lastly make sure that all your grounds from the main power supply to the Silvatech enclosure are clean, tightened and functional.


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