centroid controls list

Mr. Mark Leonard of CNC Services Northwest:
Wrote the majority of this data, it has been modified and added to by Remedy for our website.

The following Centroid control models are listed in roughly a chronological order.

centroids first control 1986M4 Centroid’s First Control 1986

The first Centroid control was this Stepper motor control known as CNC M2 and M4 controls.
These controlshad monochrome CRT monitors that sat on top of the control box. Manual switches for most auxiliary operations with red lamps to show that functions were on or off.
These were positively accepted, easily recognized by having their stepper motor ramp up and ramp down sounds. Centroid did offer a buy back and upgrade program many years ago, taking many of thesecontrols out of the market. Many customers in the Screw machine/cam market still like and usethese controlsas they are supported by a powerful easy to use conversational programming package.

RemedyRepairs all CNC M2 & M4
controls withboard level service.

When you have a Sick machine, We have Remedy for you!

M15 and CNC-DRO Controls

Centroid then offered the M15 control. This was a simple 3 axis control with the 9 inch color LCD built into the control drive box. This control was well received, but the need for a 4th and more controlled axes moved centroid to the first version of the M20 & M40 units. Additionally 9” LCD’s were not available forcing users to externally mount replacement LCD screens.

Remedy can repair many 10.4” LCD problems and also has a replacement hardware package.

M15 and CNCDRO

m15In 1995 Centroid developed a compact 2-axis control called the CNCDRO.  It was intended to capture some of the entry-level market away from Prototrak.
In an effort to save cost and space, everything was built into the console: PC, servo drive, power supplies, etc.. Programming was conversational-only, though an option was available to translate G code programs into its conversational format. The PC keyboard was considered optional: all tasks were done using the built-in jog keypad plus a strip of soft keys below the screen.
Reliability suffered because of the dense packing and the lack of a step-down transformer (servo power was rectified directly from the 120VAC service).
Tech support and maintenance were hampered by the lack of a keyboard. Software maintenance became difficult because the CNCDRO had its own specialized software: it was the only control model built that did not share the CNC7 (now CNC10) software with the rest of the centroid family of controls.

The CNCDRO was discontinued after two years.

Yes, Remedy can service your Centroid CNCDRO & M15 Controls !

Remedy can bring new life to your older control – We fix them not replace them!

Centroid chose to build an entry level 3-axis control that would use the CNCDRO console design, and moved the servo power supply and other transformers and contactors outside the console; now with a standard keyboard and running the same CNC7 software as the other controls. The result was the M15 shown above.

The M15 servo drive initially was a SERVO 1 with a limited current output (9.5A/axis instead of 12A/axis) to limit heat buildup in the console. This drive is mounted inside the top cover of the console.  So 15 and only some 29 In/lb. motors are used in almost all cases.  Later M15 models used a new drive design, M15DRV1, which combined the SERVO1 drive with a modest amount of PLC I/O (6 inputs and 6 solid-state outputs).  The first M15 controls used an AT-style motherboard and ISA-slot control board. Later models used the PC104 motherboard and a control board that was adopted for the M400.  A few T15 lathe controls were built, notably for use on the Ameritech Slant-30 and Victor NC-1118 lathes.

All Centroid controls built from 1994 to present are PC-based with conversational programming software, part and tool setups, a CNC G code interpreter; a control board either in the PC or on the panel running the core control tasks (position-holding loop and processing of PLC input/output logic); a servo amplifier to regulate motor power; and a PLC hardware unit to provide connection to machine switches and relays.  New controls and the old M15 units all use Centroids conversational programming that makes Fanuc style G-code. Centroid has always been the Very easy to use control.

M20 and M40 Controls

centroid m20 m40The differences among the various models offered over the years mostly relate to Centroid control hardware evolution. Centroid designed and made new and more capable generations of the Centroid controller board, then built servo drives to support more axes, and more capable PLC units to support the ever increasing need to support accessories.

Then the PC hardware evolution happened! 

(CRT’s disappeared in favor of LCD panels)

Centroid generally tried to maintain both a full-featured “flagship” control and a less capable “entry-level” control. This policy is presently seen in the Centroid Acorn Controls and the M400 and now the  Remedy R21i industrial.

In general, all Centroid models run Centroid software that looks very similar.  Newer controls have more features that have been added to Centroid’s familiar control screens and programming system. This means little or no learning curve from an older to a Brand New R21i control.   It is often stated that Centroid designed one of the most user friendly and intuitive control systems, that it is very capable and Very Easy to use!

Centroid’s easy user interface and the ability to run very large CNC programs; simultaneous 3-4 and 5 axis interpolation — are available in many control models. Often just a upgraded PC and a controller board upgrade are all that is needed to allow a 20 year old M40 control to run today’s latest software with all its new features. 

M20, M40, M50, M60 Controls

centroid m60These controls were built between 1993 and 1997. The console incorporated a 14″ color or monochrome CRT. The computer was a mini-tower AT-style computer, in the magnetics cabinet on the side or back of the machine.  All factory-wired controls used Centroid DC servo drives: either a 3-axis SERVO1, or a 4-axis QUADDRV.  Some field retrofits by the more capable dealers used higher-powered third party AC or DC drives through the OPTIC1 drive interface.  

The M40 was the flagship control, with a PLC I/O unit most with 15 inputs and 15 output relays, and optionally with analog spindle speed control. In the first year or so the PLC unit was a flat board, with the inputs along the top edge and the relay outputs across the bottom. From late 1994 on the M40 controls used the RTK2 PLC unit: a stack of three boards, plus a short board joining the ends. The RTK2 combined the 15 inputs and 15 outputs with a logic power supply and AC fusing and distribution.

The M50 and M60 were identical to the M40. The M50 was a M40 sold through YCI/Supermax, mostly on the YCM-40 knee mills. The M60 was a M40 sold through Millsite Engineering, on their various machines.

The M10 and M20 were entry-level controls. The main difference was more limited PLC capability. They used either the “PLC Lite” board, with 1 input and 2 relay outputs, or the RTK1 board, which incorporated the input and outputs of the PLC Lite plus assorted AC power distribution and fusing, in order to simplify cabinet wiring.
The M10 ran on 110VAC service. The M20 was the same control, but with transformers to support 208/240VAC service.  Remedy supports the hardware on all of these controls also, updating any part to keep your old machinery running.

Centroid Indexer

Centroid also built a CNC 4th Axis indexer control to
compete with the HAAS indexer and to be a stand alone
indexer to Centroid or other machine controls.
The indexer could position by CNC command or by push button. It is still supported by Centroid.


Magnum/Phoenix Routers

magnum phoenix routersAlso between 1994 and 1997, Magnum Technologies in Warren, PA built a little over 100 wood routers using essentially a board level M10/M40 control.

Magnum built their own enclosures:  generally a floor-standing cabinet with space for the computer, monitor, and keyboard. In some cases the magnetics (transformers, contactors, and servo drive) were in the lower part of the console enclosure. In other cases they were in separate cabinets on the base of the machine.

Magnum also built their own handheld operator pendants, by placing the M40-style keypad in a red metal box. The box usually covered up the right side of the keypad, containing the spindle controls, coolant controls, and Aux keys. Only the axis jogging controls and CYCLE START and CYCLE CANCEL buttons were left accessible.

Many Magnum controls — perhaps most — did not include a PLC I/O board. Limit switches were then wired only to the servo drive; Emergency stop cut motor power, but did not explicitly signal the PC. As a result, error messages on a Magnum are not as informative as they would be on a control with a PLC unit.

Revolution Machinery

From 1995 through 1999, Revolution Machine Technologies in Newberg, Oregon built about 150bed mills using Centroid controls. Most of these were “board level” controls. Revolution bought Centroid’s controller boards, servo drives, PLC units, and variously consoles or jog panels, and put everything together themselves.

From 1995 through 1997 Revolution used the M40-style console as seen here.  Then Centroid introduced the M400 and discontinued the M40 console in 1998.

Revolution designed their own enclosure using an off-the-shelf CRT, sealed keyboard, and the M400 jog panel.

Nearly all Revolutions used the SERVO1 or QUADDRV DC servo drives, and the RTK2 PLC I/O unit.

M39, M39S, T39 and T39S

In late 1997, in response to dealer and retrofitter demand for a low-cost entry level control that was more versatile than the M15, Centroid introduced the M39.
As the designation implies, it was considered a step towards the M40, but with the further deletion of the M40 console with its high production cost and hard-to-find CRT.
The M39 was essentially an M40 cabinet: mini-tower PC, SERVO1 drive, and 15/15 PLC unit; combined with the M400 jog panel in a handheld pendant; and with no monitor or keyboard at all. Centroid provided a tray, and the dealer or customer supplied any PC keyboard and monitor they chose.

In 2001, Centroid expanded the M15DRV1 concept to build a combined 3-axis DC servo drive and PLC I/O unit called the SERVO3IO. M39 controls using this new unit were designated M39S.  In 2002, when the M400 console was redesigned as the “Uniconsole-2” M400, the new jog panel was also brought to the M39 and M39S.

In 2004 the DC3IO servo drive and PLC I/O unit replaced the SERVO3IO in the M39S controls, providing more PLC
inputs and outputs.

Throughout production of the M39, Centroid has offered corresponding T39 lathe controls. Many of the T39 and T39S controls have been retrofitted to Hardinge HNC and CHNC lathes.

First Generation of M400 and T400

With the decline of CRT monitors and the rise of LCD panels, Centroid redesigned the first named M400flagship control console to incorporate this new LCD technology.

The computer is a PC104-bus industrial motherboard inside the control console. The 3-axis SERVO1 and 4-axis QUADDRV servo amplifiers remained unchanged, as did theRTK2 PLC unit.  M400 controls of this style were built from 1996 through 2002.

These older controls are reliable, powerful, and Remedy can repair or upgrade anything on these controls for you.

We can change the floppy disk to a USB drive reader, we also replace the old soldered in Motherboard batteries and make them easy to replace.

These controls haven’t been built since 2002, when scarcity of the 10.4″ LCD panels forced another console redesign.

The T400 lathe control, is using the same console and cabinet design, it was also introduced in 1996.

Uniconsole-2M400, M400S, T400 and T400S

The next generation M400 console uses a 15″ color LCD panel, adapted from consumer-market monitors.  The jog panel was modified to a tall-and-narrow layout to better fit next to the larger LCD. A sloping keyboard tray was added.
A conventional PC keyboard is standard.  A sealed membrane keyboard like the one on the original M400 is optional.

For the first year or so, the control PC was back in the magnetics cabinet, a la M40.  The PC104 industrial motherboard was abandoned in favor of consumer micro-ATX motherboards: initially with an ISA-slot CPU7 or CPU9 board; later with a PCI-slot CPU10 board.

In mid-2003 Centroid expanded the new console to make room for the PC motherboard assembly behind the LCD panel. Initially these consoles used the ISA-slot CPU7 board, plugged into a right-angle adapter in the motherboard’s ISA expansion slot.

In mid-2004 Centroid changed over to the PCI-slot CPU10 board and added enough depth to the sheet metal to allow the CPU10 to plug directly into the PCI slot, eliminating the right-angle adapter.

The entry-level M400S and T400S controls used the same combined DC servo drive and PLC units as the M39S and T39S: initially the SERVO3IO, then later the DC3IO with more inputs and outputs.

The M400 and T400 flagship controls used a new generation of brushless AC servo drives: first the SERVO4, then later the SD3 and SD1. For PLC I/O they used a new expanded unit called PLCIO2, with 35 inputs, 22 relay outputs, and 17 solid state outputs.
In 2004 the RTK3 PLC was introduced for use in AC-servo controls on mills with typical automatic tool changers. The RTK3 provides essentially the same inputs and outputs as the PLCIO2, plus logic supplies, AC power distribution, and a layout which simplifies wiring of typical ATC machines.

MPU11-based controls

Beginning in 2010, Centroid introduced a new generation of control hardware and software, centered on the MPU11 motion control board.

The MPU11 took the control functions that had previously been handled by the CPU7 and CPU10 expansion cards in the PC, and put it on a panel-mounted board which communicates with the PC over an Ethernet link for increased speed and to modernize communications.

Externally, these controls look just like the Uniconsole-2 M400, T400, M39 and T39 controls. The jog keypad is the same, and the console design for the M400 and T400 controls is the same

(except, of course, there is no expansion card inside the computer).

Internally, the control cabinet layout and wiring are significantly different from previous M400 controls.

Remedy has prompt service on these controls. We stock monitors and repair motherboards at component level. Many times we are fixing your existing parts.  Remedy does not just replace parts when new or used parts are not warranted.
This is how Remedy repairs save you money and we always have fast turn around on repairs.

M400/T400 Slimline Console
In 2016, Centroid modified the M400 and T400 console and made the new M400 “Slimline” design.

The face dimensions, 15″ LCD monitor and jog panel are essentially the same as the previous M400 generation, but the enclosure is shallower.

A 200mm VESA mounting pattern is provided on the back of the console, for attachment to the Centroid floor stand and/or other consumer-market support arms.

There is no longer service access through the back of the console enclosure. Instead, the LCD panel and/or jog panel must be removed for access to components and connections.  The control computer is usually an Intel NUC PC, inside the console. A version of the Slimline console is also offered with no PC inside, for use with a separate PC in the control cabinet.

The larger and more complex retrofits are nearly always done “board level”. The dealer will typically use a Centroid console, and will wire the control cabinet using whatever components are appropriate for the job.

You will also find many of the Centroid controls on a wide variety of dealer- retrofitted machines.

Many dealers offering this version of the M400 control only mounted the LCD, Jog panel and keyboard in the control box with the PC in the Magnetics cabinet.

In the 1990’s and early 2000’s, this was usually either a Centroid PLC or the OPTIC232 interface to a Koyo Direct Logic PLC; and either a Centroid servo drive or the OPTIC1 (or NOPTIC1) interface to third-party torque mode servo drives.

Beginning around 2010 with the MPU11-family controls, the drive interface might be a GPIO4D; Optic Direct boards; or Oak control unit. Third-party servo drives might be from Yaskawa, Delta, AMC, Control Techniques, or others. All cabinet
wiring on these controls is done by the dealer/retrofitter. There can be considerable variation in design and layout, but from the CNC programmer and operator’s viewpoint it works just like any other Centroid control.

See the larger machines on the Centroid or CNC Services Northwest retrofit page.

Here is one example of a board level retrofit installation.