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Expert Live Q&A: PF6 Flex

Welcome to the PF6 FlexSystem question and answer session. 

Taking audience questions is Andy Neumann, our Fixtured Tool Product Specialist with over 30 years of industry experience. In this Q&A, we’re diving into Atlas Copco’s PF6 FlexSystem, our efficient, space-saving tool control system for fastening operations. The session begins with a brief overview of the PF6 FlexSystem from Andy, who explains that the product is still in selective sales and is the future of fastening. The first viewer question is about the spindles that PF6 FlexSystem can run. Andy explains that PF6 Flex can only run QST spindles. A question comes in about required cables for QST tools on the PF6 FlexSystem. Andy answers that there are new connectors on the controller end that come in 3, 5, 10, 11, 12- and 15-meter options. 

We then move into the topic of PF6 FlexSystem capabilities. In terms of limitations, the PF6 Flex does not have gauging or pressing capabilities, but Atlas Copco plans to add these capabilities in the future. The PF6 Flex can reach up to 350Nm. Andy says that reaching 600Nm is possible, but duty cycle limitations must be considered. When asked about the benefits of the PF6 FlexSystem over the Power Focus 6000 (PF6000), Andy explains that its smaller size and synchronization capabilities make the difference between the two controllers. A viewer asks whether the fan module needs to be used with larger QST tools on the PF6 Flex, and Andy answers that it depends on the application, but it’s probably better to be safe than sorry. 

We then move into software capabilities for the PF6 FlexSystem. The controller can use ToolsTalk 2 for full programming or a web GUI for very basic programming. These capabilities are the same for the PF6000. Responding to a question about plans to expand the PF6 FlexSystem torque range, Andy is excited to share that this is definitely in the works. The goal is to eventually replace the PowerMACS 4000 with the PF6 FlexSystem completely. We are currently in the planning and testing phase of adding high torque, pressing, and gauging capabilities. The PF6 FlexSystem has four main components: The Flex carrier, Flex controller, Flex drive, and the Flex bank. When asked whether PowerMACS 4000 controller accessories are compatible with the PF6 Flex, Andy explains that all accessories are (excluding the mini display), but the customer needs a Flex converter to make this conversion possible. 

In the final part of the Q&A, Andy receives a question regarding hot swap capabilities. Andy explains that the PF6 FlexSystem offers an advanced hot swap feature that can switch tools and tool controllers instantly using the nesting application. Without the nesting application, hot swaps have a wait time of 5-6 seconds. A viewer asks about the power requirements for the PF6 FlexSystem, and Andy explains that it’s the same requirements as the PowerMACS 4000 controller. Line voltage (V) is 380-480, power rating (W) is 4000, and the frequency (hz) is 50-60. Finally, we end on the subject of disconnects used with PF6 Flex. Andy says that any disconnect can be used, and Atlas Copco has a wide range of options.