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In 2003, an aeronautical entrepreneur, Walt Tyler, was manufacturing Gyrocopters in kit form. Walt had a need for a CNC plasma cutting table. His choices were a hobby grade machine for under $9K or a large industrial machine for well over 6 figures. Was there nothing in between? As an entrepreneur, Walt saw an opportunity to fill in that missing segment of the market. Walt reached out to Mike Clem, a CNC software controls engineer and Leon Drake, a mechanical engineer with an extensive CNC Plasma background. In early 2004, the three founded Dynatorch and set out to revolutionize the CNC Plasma industry.

Three critical design criteria were required for this revolutionary plasma table:

1) Budget $12,000 (in 2004).

In a CNC plasma machine, your cutting tool is a flame. The force between the tool and the workpiece is an electric arc and does not demand a 1000 pound gantry. Cost could be reduced with a smaller machine frame and motors.

2) Integrated Torch Height control

If you wanted to control the torch height during a cut in 2004, a separate (sometimes third party) device was needed. No other plasma company offered control of the torch height from within the CNC software. According to Leon Drake "We need to implement this feature into the CNC control software. This feature will set us apart from the rest of the field".

3) Brushless Servo motors

Servo vs. Stepper? What separated an industrial CNC from a hobby machine were servo drives and motors. No high quality industrial machine used stepper motors, yet all hobby machines used them. If Dynatorch was to enter the industrial arena, they needed true servo drives with real-time encoder feedback to the CNC.

During that initial design, several servo controllers were considered.

The initial supplier chosen, let’s call them Company A, failed to deliver the quality that was needed in an industrial environment. "Controlled Lightning", as plasma is sometimes described, can wreak havoc on servo drives and controller due to the noise. Company A's motors were failing in the field and it began to impact the reputation of Dynatorch. In 2011 a change was made and Company L became the new servo supplier. After re-writing the control software, Company L became the default control system for the foreseeable future. However, in less than four years it was learned that Company L was tied to a particular brushless motor that was being discontinued with no replacement available.

In 2015, after disappointments from poor quality and obsolescence, Dynatorch looked to see where was the future of servo controls headed? They found EtherCAT (Ethernet for Control Automation Technology). It had the ability to mix and match servo drives on the same network and was designed for the industrial environment. EtherCAT was not being used by any other CNC Plasma company yet.

A major servo motor manufacturer, Company Y, had this EtherCAT technology. Unfortunately they only could supply drives and motors. The controller they had would work great for point-to-point moves, but if you wanted coordinated motion, you were left to your own to design it.

That is where Company G (as in Galil) came into the picture. Galil had an EtherCAT controller (DMC50050), that could control Company Y's motors. Galil had a user friendly C++ library (gclib) and an intuitive programming language. According to Dynatorch’s software engineer Mike Clem: "We were able to convert our existing CNC code over to the Galil in 2-3 weeks. Support from Galil has been outstanding and the speed of this Galil unit gave an 8 times performance boost. We are extremely happy with our decision". Galil's ability to run multiple threads allowed them to separate the XY motion from the Z axis. This was perfect for the internal Torch height control. The built in electronic gearing allowed gantry mode with two lines of code.

Galil’s DMC-52080 EtherCAT controller is now the standard for all of Dynatorch's high end CNC plasma tables.

More recently Dynatorch has replaced the controls on their economy systems with another Galil model, the DMC-4143-BOX4-D3040. This is Galil's 4 axis Econo Series controller with embedded 500W brushless motor drives. The ability to re-use existing code between Galil product families made this addition easy. Finally, Dynatorch implemented this same model on their laser systems. Dynatorch controls the laser with a PWM signal from the DMC-4143.

As Galil’s products have an average lifespan of well over 20 years, Dynatorch and Galil look forward to many years of mutual success!