Citizen-Cincom A20 and L20

“Since our inception in 1989, Oregon Swiss Precision has understood that high quality standards and reliability are crucial for our clients to be successful in the ever changing and competitive business environment. From prototype to production, we pride ourselves in providing quality components, excellent lead times and unsurpassed service for our customers.”

Oregon Swiss Precision

Walking into the production area from the offices of Oregon Swiss Precision, you can’t help but notice the organization and cleanliness of their production floor. Heading over to the rows of CNC machines you will also notice a Nanospark: CNC Machine Monitor attached to two machines; a Citizen-Cincom A20 and L20.
The machines
When we first approached Oregon Swiss they weren’t convinced that machine monitoring is for them (truth be told not everyone there is yet convinced). But owner Mike Anderson has an open mind, is willing to explore ways to improve their already effective business model, and a Swiss machine department head to take on the challenge- his son Sean. So we installed our monitor on a trial basis; over the course of the next three months we’ll see how much it benefits them.

You could say this was our first install without a safety net. We couldn’t get our hands on user manuals ahead of the visit nor could we have their normal CNC machine service professional on site that day. But between Oregon Swiss’ well kept user manuals and some timely text message confirmations from a good friend of ours Aaron of Modern Machine Tool Service we made it happen. (I might add too, that these machines didn’t have stack lights on them already- so no just following the wires to the board.)

So, here’s how we did it. Thumbing through the manual we first found the I/O ladder which gave us the label of the output we would need. Then we looked for the corresponding wiring diagram detail which supplied the terminal block and output addresses (for the L20 it also listed the relay addresses). In this case we planned on just using the outputs for the “signal tower” or “patrol” lights.
Citizen Manuals
With outputs identified it was simply a matter of running cable. We wired the two machines to Nanospark like this:

  A20 Outputs Nanospark Inputs L20 Outputs
  0V GND (1)
  Y117 1
  Y115 2
  Y116 3
  – 4
  – 5
GND (2) 0V
A20 wired up
L20 wired up

After putting the machine in cycle and alarm to confirm our wiring, we routed the wires nicely through the ports provided in the machine housings and buttoned everything back up.

How they plan to use the monitoring system
Oregon Swiss’ business model isn’t aimed at squeezing every possible second of production out of every machine. They aim for quality, high tolerance parts, often made from more expensive metals. So in our conversations about how to use the monitor two areas jumped quickly to the fore:

    1. Job (or work order) performance tracking

Monitoring job performance is helpful in identifying where setups could be improved and can drive communication among the manufacturing team to ensure best practices.

    1. Helping operators be more efficient

As an operator makes his rounds, how much production time is lost if the machine goes down right after he walks away? Notifications will help with this scenario by alerting the operator when the machine has an alarm so he can return to the machine quickly and get it running again. They may also use notifications on certain jobs to ensure prompt part inspections and tool changes. The idea is to notify the operator that ‘in 3 minutes you need to be at machine “x” to do an inspection’; giving him a queue as it were.
Next …
As we were putting tools away and chatting about other ways to use the monitor, Sean had a great idea. He said that with their business model, he would love to have the ability to monitor each machine but on an ‘as needed’ basis. His suggestion was, ‘let’s put a pigtail on all machines and one on the Nanospark hardware so it can roam to the most relevant machine/job at any time. And . . . we’ll tell you more about it in an upcoming app note.

If you too would like to explore how Nanospark: CNC Machine Monitor may benefit your company, please contact us at

Similar posts
  • Air Pressure Monitor Previously we recounted how one manufacturer used the Machine Monitor to monitor his shop air so that if there’s a drop in pressure that would threaten production, his team gets text message alerts BEFORE anything goes down. Would you like to be alerted if your shop air pressure started dropping? We took this solution and [...]
  • Smart Lights (or Lights Made Smart) Many who’ve seen the Nanospark Machine Monitor sense it’s value immediately. However, most are reluctant to interrupt production and access the machine’s terminal blocks to install even such a useful tool. Well, we heard you! And in response, we developed Nanospark Machine Monitor: Smart Lights. Nanospark Machine Monitor lets you know of important changes in [...]
  • Monitoring Air Pressure It’s fine to monitor your million-dollar machine tool but it’s better to also monitor your critical auxiliary systems. For instance, what happens if you lose air pressure? A recent customer of ours had this happen and they estimate that they lost about $5000 before realizing they had a problem. So when we visited to tell [...]
  • Robot + Hyundai-Kia SKT-250 and VX400 Plainsman Manufacturing is a manufacturing and distribution company with in-house engineering, operating out of Edmonton, AB. Since 1966 they’ve been known for making quality parts for oilfield production, pipeline maintenance, construction and gas and water distribution. Their 44,000 sq ft facility, extensive inventory and solid distribution base, allow them to effectively look after customer’s needs; [...]
  • Interview with a Shop Manager Senasys is manufacturing company with production facilities in Altoona and Eau Claire, WI. They run several production lines, including snap disc and capillary style temperature switches, Pres-Air brand safety switches and ISO-Tip cordless soldering irons.   Nestled in the back half of Senasys’ Altoona production facility, they have a workshop which was a driving force [...]