Anyone use a First brand VMC?
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  1. #1
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    Default Anyone use a First brand VMC?

    I think this might be a Canadian question as I'm not sure they are available in the US.

    I am looking to replace an old VMC and this First V700 caught my eye at CMTS.

    CNC Machinery - Vertical Milling Machine - Radial Drill : Products : FIRST HIGH SPEED VERTICAL MACHINING CENTER

    They are made by a Taiwanese company called Long Chang Machinery and are carried by Heinman near me. I have used the First manual mills and the quality of them is good. The dealer Heinman also has a good reputation. It comes with some good standard features like roller guides, 10k direct drive spindle, 24 tool side mount ATC, transformer, and a Fanuc Oi Mate control. I am looking for something that competes with a Haas quality machine and this one looks like it fits the bill.

    Has anyone worked with this machine, or First in general, and can give an opinion?

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steveo View Post
    I am looking for something that competes with a Haas quality machine
    What is your budget? Competing with Haas isn't hard to do really.

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    What is your budget? Competing with Haas isn't hard to do really.
    True, but I have the Canuck Buck to contend with. My budget is 100k max. I would like to stay at 80k if I could. This machine is the same price more or less as a VF-2, but in Canadian dollars. That is a 30% savings.

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    I have heard good things about the brand and owned a manual mill. Boston machinery is the New England distributor and they have quite a few out in the field around town. If you were to call Boston I think Paul Terry would put you in touch with a few guys who are using them.

    Good luck

    Ron

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    FIRST made the iron in the machines sold by Sharp such as my Sharp SV-2412S. Quite nice, very beefy, licensed Meehanite process. No complaints.

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    I have a First MVC-300 that I bought from the same dealer, they're great guys and service was great too with the install and the help to get me going.

    I've never seen the bigger size models so I have no idea how they would perform and compare with other machines in that price range. Surely some who bought them in your area could give some feedback.

    The Oi-mate control really would hold it back. How much look ahead and memory does it have?
    If you need to do a lot of contouring at high feeds and maintain dimensions, do and anything 3axis, you need a faster/better control.

    I would like to think that if a slightly used (2005 or newer) brand name machine like mazak, mori or such could be found in Canada and in the budget, it should be a better investment. Assuming no major issues/previous crashes to fix on a used machine. Tough decision.

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    Also worth keeping in mind that the apparent $ savings of some less known brands is usually all lost in the depreciation value vs other brands like Haas and a mazak.

  11. #8
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    I taught classes inside the First plant in Taiwan back in 2008 to the new apprentices. They are a good company and when I was there the owner and his son both worked on the machines in the assembly area now and then to make sure the machines were good quality and keep the employees on the ball. A few of their employees had taking my classes back in 89 so they knew how to scrape. They also make Sharpe manual machines in another part of their factory. I recall when I tour the factor I was impressed at the design of the head-stock as it had a longer head way compared to some of their competitors as the longer the head-stock ways the longer they last. I would not have any 2nd thoughts about First machines. Rich

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    Quote Originally Posted by SND View Post
    I have a First MVC-300 that I bought from the same dealer, they're great guys and service was great too with the install and the help to get me going.

    I've never seen the bigger size models so I have no idea how they would perform and compare with other machines in that price range. Surely some who bought them in your area could give some feedback.

    The Oi-mate control really would hold it back. How much look ahead and memory does it have?
    If you need to do a lot of contouring at high feeds and maintain dimensions, do and anything 3axis, you need a faster/better control.

    I would like to think that if a slightly used (2005 or newer) brand name machine like mazak, mori or such could be found in Canada and in the budget, it should be a better investment. Assuming no major issues/previous crashes to fix on a used machine. Tough decision.
    I was wondering about the Oi Mate. I'm too familiar with fanuc. This machine would be mainly for 2.5D work and a little surfacing. If it can keep up with my Fadal 88hs it should be fine.

    If anyone has any real world information on this control I would appreciate it.

    I was going to go the used route as it has been successful for me in the past. But at the moment, the prices in Ontario are completely out to lunch. High prices and garbage machines.

    Thanks for the responses.

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    I'm reviving this old thread because I am currently in a similar situation. My boss is itching to pull the trigger on our first CNC machine, and is leaning towards a First V-700 (same dealer as above) due to the price. It is about $25,000 CAD less than a Haas VF-2 right now. The specs suit our needs just fine. I had the opportunity to visit the dealer's showroom today to look at this machine, and I can't come up with any real good reason to buy any other name-brand machine over this.

    Does anyone else have any thoughts or opinions on these machines? What about the control? I'm not at all familiar with the differences in Fanuc controls - what limitations might we have with the Oi-MF, if any?

    Thanks

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    Default Anyone else?

    I was wondering about the Oi Mate. I'm too familiar with fanuc. This machine would be mainly for 2.5D work and a little surfacing. If it can keep up with my Fadal 88hs it should be fine.

    If anyone has any real world information on this control I would appreciate it.

    I was going to go the used route as it has been successful for me in the past. But at the moment, the prices in Ontario are completely out to lunch. High prices and garbage machines.

    Thanks for the responses.

  15. #12
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    I was going to pull the trigger on the First machine, but the limitations of the Oi-mate scared me off. I ended up with another Taiwanese machine, a Hartford LG 500 from CNC Lathes, Milling Machines, Machine Tools | Ferro Technique. It has MD controller with a few bells and whistles on it and I am very happy with it. When I was shopping for a machine, I was very impressed with the Taiwanese machines I saw. Modern machines from Durma | Machine Tools Calgary | Modern Tool Ltd. were nice as well. Compared to the Haas, they are much more rigid and better built. I would also look at Samsung.

  16. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steveo View Post
    I was wondering about the Oi Mate. I'm too familiar with fanuc. This machine would be mainly for 2.5D work and a little surfacing. If it can keep up with my Fadal 88hs it should be fine.

    If anyone has any real world information on this control I would appreciate it.

    I was going to go the used route as it has been successful for me in the past. But at the moment, the prices in Ontario are completely out to lunch. High prices and garbage machines.

    Thanks for the responses.
    Well said!!! Prices are nuts here. My brother does alot work for a company in Guelph and they usally have about 20 cnc that they keep for 7 to 10 years then dump them and buy new again. They have been using First for about 20 years.

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    I have two Sharps built by First, and they are both box way so other than nice machines I cannot give you any thoughts on rollers. I have run the holy dog $hit out of them and I got no complaints. As for control, my have Oimc and Oimd controls. They have the basic AICC Nano lookahead/smoothing, but it is only like 25 or 50 lines. I have done a lot of 3d with both, and you are not going to run 300 IPM with that small amount of lookahead but if your servos are tuned you will get very nice finishes. I just got my first Fadal about 4 months back and it has the 88hs, and I have done some 3d on it and I personally think that if you like the 88Hs you will be fine surfacing with an OI, just make sure you understand what kind of lookahead is on any machine before you buy it. Some have none and cannot be upgraded!

  18. #15
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    I have a 2016 Doosan with the Fanuc 0I ser F control and like it ,,, its as fast or faster than the haas controls with there Hi-speed added .

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    the bullet point that says hi accuracy must mean its pretty good


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