Hardinge/Bridgeport GX series.....toolchangers.
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    Default Hardinge/Bridgeport GX series.....toolchangers.

    Pokin' a stick at some used machines.................I've heard/read a few places that some of the Bridgeport GX series mills had troubles with tool changers. Not mechanical, but just in the interface between the control? And it was a nightmare resetting the tool changer in the event of a crash or power outage(mid tool change)? What years was this an issue? Was it an issue with the OSP control units or was it before that and the OSP optioned machines had the problem resolved? ARB and Edster have some experience with these machines. Chime in guys if ya could...........TIA.

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    The toolchanger worked fine on my GX, but it wasn't servo driven with okuma's absolute encoders. The okuma toolchangers are very easy to recover. The GX toolchanger was a pita to recover, but as long as you don't hit reset or estop during toolchanger operation you should be fine. It's hard to tell when the toolchanger actually stops on this machine so occasionally guys would think it was stopped when it was actually still staging the next tool.

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    I have a GX480APC with the 20 tool sidemount changer. It has acted up a couple of times, once from a blown airline and once or twice from getting stopped up with aluminum chips (all it cuts is aluminum and a LOT of it). It did lose its place once, so we just unloaded all of the tools and then just loaded them back in where it thought they were. In my opinion it is not Okuma reliable but now awful either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edster View Post
    The toolchanger worked fine on my GX, but it wasn't servo driven with okuma's absolute encoders. The okuma toolchangers are very easy to recover. The GX toolchanger was a pita to recover, but as long as you don't hit reset or estop during toolchanger operation you should be fine. It's hard to tell when the toolchanger actually stops on this machine so occasionally guys would think it was stopped when it was actually still staging the next tool.
    Ed,
    What control did your GX have? Once they started with Okuma, did they also change over the tool changer at the same time? Or was there a year or two in there with Okuma controls but hokey tool changers? Other than that, folks have said they are a pretty solid machine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by david n View Post
    Ed,
    What control did your GX have? Once they started with Okuma, did they also change over the tool changer at the same time? Or was there a year or two in there with Okuma controls but hokey tool changers? Other than that, folks have said they are a pretty solid machine.
    I had the OSP control. The machines all had the same toolchanger regardless of the control. I don't think the GX1000 OSP exists now. They tried it for a few years and dropped the machine when the Conquest came out.

    It was a good machine but the service techs weren't really familiar with it. Techs that work on Harding machines weren't familiar with the control. And techs that work on Okumas weren't familiar with the iron. So I would avoid the machine for those reasons. Especially since for a little more you can get an M560V which is probably the best bang for the buck machining center in the 40 x 20 range.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edster View Post
    The toolchanger worked fine on my GX, but it wasn't servo driven with okuma's absolute encoders. The okuma toolchangers are very easy to recover. The GX toolchanger was a pita to recover, but as long as you don't hit reset or estop during toolchanger operation you should be fine. It's hard to tell when the toolchanger actually stops on this machine so occasionally guys would think it was stopped when it was actually still staging the next tool.
    I have got into the habit of just pressing SINGLE BLOCK while a mill is in toolchange mode. My Siemens equipped Hardinge mills recover the T/C process with a single button, so it's not an issue, just saves a few seconds. But this is carousel too. I wonder if that makes a big difference?


    ---------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    I got a toolchanger out of sequence with the air compressor failed. On Fanuc machine, on Okuma Howa mill, I read the instructions 10 times and couldnt make it work right. Until I was told that when they say press button A then button B they actually mean to press and hold button A and B at the same time. That one issue caused me several hours of hair pulling. It does have a servo toolchanger, and I will bet the system is similar to the one Hardinge uses. Please let us know what you decide David.

    Charles

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    Our Hardinge isn't a GX (2006 VMC1000p3), but if you hit the E-stop mid tool change, you have to manually slide the carousel back to it's start position, which takes a bit more effort than it should (involves crowbars and standing on the table...). I think it's a logic-chain to software issue. It won't move the carousel unless the first sensor/switch is engaged.

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    I have a GX710 with a side mount TC. It's lost TC position (gets confused on pocket number) a few times when the TC has stopped mid cycle. Recovery mode is a bit irritating as it involves pressing the coolant on/off button- about half the time this actually does turn on the coolant, usually when you don't want coolant all over everything.

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    I have a GX480. 2012 with Fanuc control, and the painfully slow carosell type toolchanger.
    Was warned by the tech at install time to never hit e-stop or open door in middle of a tool change. Though i did once have a power cut mid tool change operation which was totally random. Got away with manually 'massaging' the tool carosell back into the home position, thus avoiding having to go through the whole 10-page booklet on recovery process saga. I have a copy if you need it. May have had another glitch at one point due to low air pressure, but can't remember that far back. Has been a good machine otherwise, but does consume alot more air than i was initially expecting, just for constant spindle purge/cooling whenever it is turned on, even when not machining.


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