Hickory vs. Oak

All things ecat Hickory CNC controller

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CharlesMc75
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Hickory vs. Oak

Post by CharlesMc75 »

I am new to the cnc world and I am in the process of building a mill. I am planing on ordering and installing a centroid controller. My question is, what functionality does hickory bring to the table that Oak does not, besides the ethercat communication protocol. I already have delta servos and drives on the way but would switching those out for ethercat drives and servos be more benificial for me down the road?


centroid467
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Re: Hickory vs. Oak

Post by centroid467 »

What kind of mill are you building? It is likely that Oak will be all you need but Hickory does have some advantages for more complicated machines.

The main benefit I see from switching to EtherCAT is easier expansion down the road and simplified wiring. Hickory has a newer generation and faster motion processing system. It also has 32/32 general purpose inputs/outputs vs the 16/9 inputs/outputs of Oak. Four of the five analog i/o pairs on the Oak are dedicated to the servo drives while Hickory has two analog inputs and two outputs. Hickory will run up to 8 drives out of the box while Oak will require OpticDirect expansion boards to address more than 4 drives. Oak can use existing Centroid drives like DC1 and AC/DC as well as an available encoder expansion. Hickory only works with 3rd party drives and has no encoder expansion board but gives you three encoder ports. Also, Hickory requires the drives to report absolute position which typically requires absolute encoders on the motors.


cnckeith
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Re: Hickory vs. Oak

Post by cnckeith »

I am recommending to use Oak if you are retrofitting an existing machine with Yaskawa Drives. Oak will allow you to retain those existing drives and motors.
otherwise move into the future with Hickory and...
use Hickory for everything else. Hickory has more inputs and outputs and up to 8 axis of servo drives, this saves on expansion boards that you might need to buy with oak (for more i/o and more drive connections) with Hickory most machines will only need just that one board. Hickory simplifies system wiring and eliminates expensive drive communication cables.

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