Cable Know-How Using the Four Rs

CNC Matters specialises in retrofitting existing machine tools with new technologies. The Californians rely on HELUKABEL products to do this.

A man working at a production machine

CNC machine tool retrofitter from the USA provides more precision with cables from HELUKABEL. (© William Atkinson)

Cutting, shaping and milling: almost every product in the world comes into contact with machine tools during its evolution. Today, most of these tools are fitted with Computerised Numerical Control (CNC) technology – in other words, with a computer solution tailored to the application. Will Atkinson of CNC Matters (CNCM) and his team of four are tackling the growing requirements for CNC machine tools in the face of increasingly complex industrial manufacturing processes. “We also call what we do the four Rs: repair, retrofit, rebuild and replacement,” explains Atkinson. The team repairs existing CNC systems and retrofits them with new technology. We also rebuild components already in use or replace them with state-of-the-art ones to meet current technical requirements. “Our focus concentrates on PC-based numerical controls for multi-axis applications,” says Atkinson, whose company is based in Anaheim, southern California.


The large customer base from diverse industries including aerospace, defence, automotive and medical, appreciate its four Rs expertise and tailor-made, cost-effective solutions. Atkinson gives an example: “To meet a production deadline, one of our customers needed modern lathes, but his budget didn’t allow for new ones. We were able to help out by integrating new technologies into an existing lathe.”
Atkinson relies on HELUKABEL for the cabling of CNC machine tools. Recently, CNC Matters was tasked with retrofitting a 28-year-old horizontal boring mill with CNC technology. It had been out of action for some time and all the accompanying cabling needed replacing. The machine is now fully functional again – thanks to HELUKABEL. “The retrofit involved installing various types of cable and an assortment of FIVENORM single cores,” says Atkinson. Thanks to their flexibility, CNCM uses different sizes and colours of FIVENORM to wire control panels.

The CNC expert explains why his company almost exclusively uses HELUKABEL cables such as the TRAYCONTROL series, which are required for all external installations outside the switching cabinet to supply power to equipment: “In order to comply with US standards, it’s crucial for us to have a supplier that can deliver a wide range of flexible cables with the latest UL approvals from stock. HELUKABEL is the right company for that.” Furthermore, because CNC machinery is a piece of high precision equipment, data signal transmission must be noise-free. “That’s why we use the flexible and screened UL LiYCY-TP control cable as it guarantees electromagnetic compatibility,” says Atkinson.


The company also uses the HELUKAT 100S ECO drag chain cable. This product withstands the stresses caused by moving machine parts, and has an oil- and grease-resistant polyurethane (PUR) outer sheath. “The robust construction of the cable allows us to quickly and individually dimension all our network cables at the customer’s facility,” says Atkinson.
Originality, flexibility and professionalism – that’s what CNC Matters stands for, according to Atkinson. “And that’s what HELUKABEL stands for as well, along with a vast product portfolio,” says Ralf Jung, regional sales director at HELUKABEL USA for the western United States. What belongs together, stays together: a strong team.


WHO: CNC Matters, Anaheim, California, USA, 5 employees, founded in 2000.
WHAT: CNC Matters specialises in retrofitting CNC machinery.
FOR WHOM: Its customers are also specialists in their field; they include GKN Aerospace (produces parts for Airbus and Boeing), General Atomics (defence and energy company), Applied Medical (medical devices and support equipment for the robot-assisted DaVinci surgical system) and the Hyundai America Design Center (design of next generation cars)