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Sapphire Controls Halifax
Sapphire Controls Halifax
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Pennine Automation Spares
Brookwoods Industrial Estate
Holywell Green Halifax
West Yorkshire
HX4 9BH England UK

Com Reg No 6913788
VAT No GB 973599456
Tel:+44 (0) 1422 370109
email:click here
Sapphire Controls Halifax CNC control systems

sapphire controls ltd sapphire 4 logo

Sapphire Controls LTD was 1988 to 1999 ( Part of our group ) in 1999 we shut Sapphire Controls LTD due to the fact technology in ICs was moving that fast by the time we had developed a new CNC control the ICs were becoming out of date.

Pennine Machine Tools Retrofit sapphire controls using fanuc, siemens, heidenhain and osai controls

Between this time there was various successful versions of the Sapphire Control.

The First been the Automate,
The Automate control was the earliest of all Sapphire Control's. Back then it had no need for Parameters or PLC; Programming was initially done in Assembler, then partially in Pascal.
The Automate was a multi-card system based around a STE bus, Each card cage came with master card and slave cards, Each slave card drove a single axis.
The screen display was run via RS232 to a mono screen, which had a 9" and a 12" variety.

Sapphire 1 (MC100)
Two names for what was one control, Again a STE bus based control, Axis card's with this version either ran 2 or 3 axis per card's. A handheld terminal was used to control most Sapphire 1's but on the odd occasion a Automate front end had also been used.

Sapphire 2/3.
The Sapphire 2/3 was Sapphire's most popular control and a turning point where Sapphire became a good reliable product, The control was based round a VME bus system, With a 68000 microprocessor at the heart of the control. All the software for the control was written in Assembler. The Sapphire 2/3 came complete with battery backup for Parameters, Programs and Options, 2 serial ports, The graphics card drove a CGA monitor later adapted to also run SVGA monitors. Each I/O card in the system was capable of running 32 Inputs and 32 Outputs and up to 3 I/O cards could be used. The true heart of this Sapphire control was the servo card consisting of 6 encoder inputs (incremental encoders) and 6 analogue outputs.

Sapphire 4.
Sapphire's Swan song, This saw a brave move away from the bus systems of the past to a single PCB, The PCB was multi-layered, The processor looking after the functions of the Sapphire 4 was a 68040. The control had 32 outputs with 64 inputs, The control was capable of driving 8 axis simultaneously. The PCB was mounted into a aluminium box which also housed the power supply. Expandable memory was included by the addition of two PCMCIA slots built into the control.

Sapphire 4 control was used on many machines including one for National Physical Laboratory

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