Introduction to Trak SLX Lathe

Your instructor will introduce the procedure for setting up and operating the Trak Lathe with a hands-on presentation of the following information;

  • Trak lathe safety precautions
  • Trak Lathe start-up procedure
  • Description of SLX Control Dashboard
  • Machine setup procedure


Safety Precautions

  1. New Users must be assisted by a properly trained machine shop instructor or designated machine shop Teaching Assistant while learning to operate this machine.
  2. Do not operate this machine without assistance until you have completed the Thayer Machine Shop Trak SLX Basic Training Module I.
  3. Do not run this machine without knowing the function of every control key, button, knob, or handle.
  4. Protect your eyes – Wear approved safety glasses at all times
  5. Don’t get caught in moving parts – remove jewelry, neckties, scarves, and loose fitting clothing. Wear a hat and constrain long hair by covering it under your hat.
  6. Do not wear gloves while operating this machine – gloves can get caught in moving parts.
  7. Remove all loose tools (wrenches, chuck keys, etc.) before you start the machine
  8. Never operate any machine tool after consuming alcohol or medications which produce drowsiness
  9. Never use your hands to clear away chips – use a chip scraper or a brush
  10. Keep your work area clean and dry – remove chips, oil, coolant, and obstacles of any kind from around the machine
  11. Never start the machine if the cutting tool is already in contact with the machine
  12. Guard against stock whipping hazard – a rotating work piece extending into the aisle or unconstrained inside the machine bed is a hazard

Start-up Procedure

  1. Turn on incoming power at rear of machine – 220V power for lathe main spindle motor
  2. Turn on toggle switch on the side of the machine to energize 110V power – for lights and controller
  3. Turn on the toggle switch on the monitor pendant to energized the machine control
  4. The controller will begin a boot up process to load a version Windows – identify the network – initialize the operating program
  5. An array of soft keys is displayed at the bottom of the screen for selection of modes of operation.
  6. The first key you will select is the “Check System Key
  7. The “Check System Key” key will ask you to enter the “max spindle speed”. This is a safety feature to prevent the spindle from excessive speeds when machining large or ungainly work pieces.
  8. On the SLX dashboard, “Inc Set” and “Abs Set” are entry keys. Respond to the “max spindle speed” prompt by entering “2500” on the keypad, and then press either “INC Set” or “Abs Set” above the numerical keypad. The Trak 1630 can produce spindle speeds from 150 – 2500 rpm.
  9. Press DRO and make sure tool # is set to Tool #1
  10. Press X to select x-axis, enter [4] then press Abs Set to set x-axis position.
  11. Press Y to select y-axis, enter [4] and press Abs Set to set z-axis position.
  13. Enter [4] and press Abs Set to set X Home position. Enter [4] and press Abs Set to set Y Home position. Press RETURNto exit reference position setup then press MODEto display control’s main menu.


Description of SLX Control Dashboard

The screen displays the “Main Menu” operating modes - The SLX control is “conversational” - it prompts you to supply information to determine needed processing parameters. Your responses to the prompts are typically entered at the keypad.

Let’s review the input keys for entering values

When you enter information from the keypad – all entries default to positive values - to change the selection to a negative numerical value select the +-key.

Inc Set and Abs Set are input keys. You will usually use the Abs Set entry key, but you will sometimes be prompted to use Inc Set to input one set of units or Abs Set to input an alternative unit of measure

When setting spindle speed in “revolutions per minute (rpm)”, for example, press the Inc Set key, but when you want the input value to represent “Surface feet per minute (sfm)” press the Abs Set key

Accessory– When this button is on the coolant will come on and stay on till pressed again – press and hold for Auto mode and coolant comes on when the spindle is running and will stop when the spindle stops.

FWD (Spindle forward)– For counter clockwise rotation – this is the most common selection

REV (Spindle reverse) –For clockwise rotation

OFF– To stop spindle rotation

F/S– Selects the function for the override operation. F for feed and S for spindle speed. LED indicates selected option. Up button increases feed or spindle speed to 150% while Down button decreases feed or spindle speed to 10%. Spindle speed is modified in 5% increments while feed is modified in 10% increments.

F/C– Selects between fine and coarse resolution for the X and Z hand wheels

INC/ABS– Switches all or one axis from incremental to absolute and vice versa

Restore– Clears an entry

Emergency Mushroom Button– will shut down the spindle and axis motion motors instantly

Mode– Select to change from one mode of operation to another

Help– Displays help information, math help and additional functions

Soft keys displayed at the bottom of the screen permit selection of modes of operation;

DRO– “DigitalReadOut” to operate as a manual machine displaying the tool’s current location digitally in X, and Z axes. In this mode you can machine a work piece without the need for a program

  • Can use Hand wheels – movement in X and Z axes.
  • Electronic Hand wheels – the X axis and Z axis hand wheels are electronic – not mechanically connected to the machine. The hand wheels will not work unless the machine is in DRO mode, or in setup mode- or when TRAKING while in program run mode.
  • Can use Jog stick.

Prog– Programming Mode assists the operator to write a program to direct machine movements to produce the desired part geometry.

Edit– Edit is grayed out when no program is present in working memory – When in Edit mode you can make changes to the program in current memory.

Setup– Setup Mode is used to input tool data, set a home position, and visually check out a program.

The purpose of tool setup is to define each tool type and to record each tool’s geometry so this data can be used by the control to calculate the appropriate tool path.

Run– Run mode is used to initiate program execution. The guard door must be closed to execute a program in run mode. Traking can be selected while in run mode to safely confirm the correct execution of the current program.

Prog in/out– Permits the operator to store and retrieve programs from memory and from other media.