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  1. #1
    Michael Fahey is offline Plastic
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    I am about to pull the trigger on a new vmc. The two machines I have it down to at this point are the Mazak 510C-II and the HAAS VM3. Pricing is very close between these units. I will be doing mostly aluminum, but there will be some SS and mild steel. I will be working on small lot stuff and prototypes and will also look to fill some of the time with overflow work from other area shops.

    If the price were equal and you had to choose, which one would it be and why.

    Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    Joe788 is offline Titanium
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    Well, the Mazak will be faster, more accurate, more powerful, more powerful control, built better, have less coolant leaks, a better coolant delivery system, and a better chip disposal system. The only downfall may be service, (I wouldn't know because mine has never needed a service call.) If you crash the spindle real bad, it will be expensive.

    The Haas will be slightly less expensive, much cheaper to fix, and need to be fixed more often.

    Pick your poison.

    Personally, I'd take a 3 year old 510 over a brand new VF, VF-SS, or VM3.

  3. #3
    appliedproto is offline Stainless
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    I've been researching this a lot recently, and for a sub-$100K "beefy" 40X20 machine I don't think you can beat the Mazak 510. It's a stark comparison in the physical footprint of a VF3 next to a 510. The 510 looks like 25% more machine than a VF3. But that VM3 does have an extra 6" on the Y, and I like that slotted table.

    I don't actually know how our service for Mazak in MA is, but there's a lot around here...I can't imagine it's "that" bad (but could be wrong though).

  4. #4
    psychomill is offline Titanium
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    510 for me.... But Proto mentions something you many need to consider... service in your area... and that goes with the Haas as well.

    I think you have a choice of slotted or holes in the table Proto... unless you're talking about the slotted in XY option of the Haas,... which is interesting. But, with the 510, you can opt for a pallet changer. I think you can on the VM3 as well. The only problem though is the table is smaller on a Haas with a pallet changer. Go figure....

    I think I'd consider a 510C-HS though too. More ponies, faster speeds and 48 tools option (for all 510s).... Other reasons... tool presetter, Mazatrol for quick programming (if you want to), full netwoking, table isn't hollow like a Haas (maybe the VM series is different?), better rigidity, higher resale,

    New Haas has some nice options as well. Many of which is standard on the Mazak. So, machine to machine..... 510 for me.

  5. #5
    SND
    SND is offline Diamond
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    It would seem that your chances of getting a lemon are about equal with either one given that Mazak is now getting some similar stories as Haas got for quite a while. Many guys recommend to find an independent service tech, so check in your area for one incase either manufacturer fails on servicing.

    If you get a good working machine with no troubles then the Mazak will probably eat the Haas any day.

    I know a place that just got a 510 and its working good for them this far. It's a big machine, and heavy. But then I also know a place with a Haas WM series and a Nexus 410 and apparently they prefer the Haas so far. Maybe because it was easier for them to program it, and start making chips. I don't know for sure.

    Have you looked at the Mazak VTC200 models? Looks about the same size as the 510 but may have some design features that you would like. I don't know there starting price but it's probably not too far from a 510. Anyone know? There was a nice one on ebay about 2 months ago that was just a few years old and had lots of options, was around 100K if I remember correctly. I'd certainly look into it if you haven't already. I saw a Mazak rep last year and all he could talk about was the Nexus series, never 1 mention of any of their other better machines. It annoyed me.

  6. #6
    appliedproto is offline Stainless
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    Well it's also the silly little things that's standard on the Mazak is optioned on the Haas (and of course you pay for those standard things, but...).

    Right now on ebay I'm selling a 4" facemill with a extended length shell mill holder ( ebay link - for those of you who might be interested)...well this arrangement weights 14lbs. The Haas max tool weight is 12lbs, and the Mazak's 17lbs. Now if you were facing up some plate that's clamped directly to the table, and your spindle nose wouldn't reach with the standard length shellmill holder...well you're crap out of luck on the Haas (because that 1.5" shellmill holder itself weighs 12lbs). I know that's probably considered "bigger" tooling for CAT40. So it's stuff like that you wouldn't think of that might make a headache for you.

    Sorry for my rambling...and my shameless plug

  7. #7
    psychomill is offline Titanium
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    It's not shameless Proto... It's valid and a consideration worth thinking about... I run alot of 4" facemills on my 40tapers.... except for my Haas machines.... Also angleheads too. But many of them are too heavy for the Haas...

  8. #8
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    cnctoolcat is offline Titanium
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    Mazak for sure, if the money is close. The Mazak will certainly have a higher resale value down the road.
    Something most of us shop owners don't pay enough attention to: the cost of buying a machine, versus it's resale value down the road, say 5 to 10 years.
    I know, a machine tool is purchased to make money, and if one can make money faster than another, then it should be the machine you buy.
    But always remember, the basic, true cost of the machine is the purchase price less what you sell it for in the end.
    Mazaks have the highest resale in the industry, and are wildly sought after in the used market.
    Greg

  9. #9
    Michael Fahey is offline Plastic
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    Thanks for the input.

    I do realy like the table on vm3 with the slots going in the x and y direction with dowel pin and threaded holes. Also the minimum nose height is 4 inches on the VM3 vs 6 inches on the 510C which may be a factor for flat plate work, otherwise I like what I see with the 510C.

    I am just getting started in machining and was hoping to get some overflow work from other area shops. This is one area that concerns me with the Mazak is that there are likely many more HAAS shops around than Mazak shops and I imagine that I would have more luck getting work from shops with the same type of machine that I have.

  10. #10
    Bobw's Avatar
    Bobw is online now Diamond
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    I imagine that I would have more luck getting work from shops with the same type of machine that I have.
    What????? that makes no sense. Its not highschool, the kids with the Adidas and the Nikes aren't fighting. Can you make good parts, and can you make them fast? I don't care if you are making them with a chisel and a file. Are the parts good and are they on time.

    Now back to the Haas vs Mazak thing. At the same price, I'd take the Mazak hands down. I'm a Mazak guy, so I may be a bit biased. I've been asked from Haas people, "how is the service?", honestly, I don't know, my response is "it doesn't break".

    Presently at work, we are running a '98 QT20 lathe, total price of repairs in 3 years, $416(holds .0003 all day long, predictably). A '95 FJV20, $12000, a new spindle last week(its 12 years old, and it is run hard) and 2 sensors.

    I am just getting started in machining
    Now, I'm going to ask, why are you going out and buying a new machine, when you are new at this? Do you have a bunch of contacts that are going to throw you money? Do you know the people that are going to get you jobs? Do you know what you are doing so that you can actutally make money? Machining is a tough learning curve, there are a ton of people that just don't get it. There are some that learn quick. A machine that can haul ass is great, if you know how to use it.

    Being you're first post, I'm curious in your background. I have a softspot for people from Mass, since that is where I grew up. Went to Worcester Polytech, and ended up in New Mexico making parts and having a good old time. Heading out on my own, 10 months left in my 1 year notice, jobs, contacts,and contracts all ready to go.

  11. #11
    Michael Fahey is offline Plastic
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    I donít have much of a machining background, I bought a small desktop mill , SolidWorks, and VisualMill Cam software last year and have been making some small parts for my racing interests and some odd items for friends. I have 20+ years experience in the computer industry and for the last 6 years have owned a few small IT consulting and reseller businesses. I enjoy designing and making things much more than the IT side of things, and trying to produce quality parts on a desktop mill is rather frustrating so I am jumping in with both feet. I will continue with my IT business but will devote some of my time to machining my own products for racing. If I can also gather some overflow work from other shops, all the better. I donít know if this will ever turn into a full time gig for me or not, but at least I am prepared for not making any income at all with this machine. My wife will not be so happy if I canít at least make enough to pay for the machine, but some guys blow it on a Porsche.

    It is good to hear that there may be a possibility to get work from shops with different brand machines. I didnít know if they would be partial to the same types of machines do to compatibility in programs etc.

  12. #12
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    vmcman is offline Cast Iron
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    More than likely anyone that you got work from with different machines would be programing differently anyway.

    Scott
    MMT

  13. #13
    PBMW is offline Titanium
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    Were it me, I would take the Mazak over the Haas any day of the week. It's faster, more accurate, stronger and will hold it's valus better. On the other hand, the Haas control is very easy. I'm not a Mazak guy at all, but they are one heck of a machine. Much more rigid that a Haas. More real power too.

  14. #14
    VSMI is offline Hot Rolled
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    Well, I actually called Mazak last week and received info for the Nexus series VMCs - specifically the 510C-II. I was a little disgusted to find that the 25HP spindle rating is only for 5 minutes. The continuous rating is 10 HP, and what used to be considered MTDR (machine tool duty rating - 30 minutes) is 15 HP. Maximum torque is listed as 70.4 ft lbs - not real impressive. Granted, this post is talking about the high-speed version that has a larger integral spindle motor, but I don't think it's safe to assume things about Mazak (or any other machine tool builder).

  15. #15
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    cnctoolcat is offline Titanium
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    For the typical job shop, the Mazatrol control can not be beat. You can create a program and be cutting parts in no time! Editing is much faster, and safer, then a g-code machine.
    Go for the Mazak. You won't be sorry.

  16. #16
    appliedproto is offline Stainless
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    so I am jumping in with both feet.
    Esshh, Mike...No offense, but it sounds like a small recipe for disaster you're cooking up From a desktop mill to a full center like a Mazak is more than a jump with two feet. Even being computer savvy and machine savvy, factor on a long 6 month learning curve just to get comfortable with the machine...and that's not factoring being comfortable actually machining.

    A Mazak 510 with "typical" options and 10% down gonna cost you $1850-2000/month, and don't forget about ~$150 in monthly electrical, and what it's going to cost to pull in the electrical (if you're shops not already 480V with a minimum 150A service). I'd have to pull another leg from the pole and my electrician says it about $4-5K in work just for that.

    If you do finance, round in your tooling, and I'd seriously sit down with someone knowledgeable and get a good list of holders, vises, etc. you're going to need. Mind you, it will be probably be in the $6-9K range just for tooling it up. Nothing's worse that paying out of pocket for tooling that you'll have for the life of the machine that you should have rolled in with the original financing. That's what I'm factoring on, and I remember that I spent about an extra $6K the first year I got my TRAKs on additional tooling, because I was ignorant, being cheap, and I wanted to rush through the financing.

    And I agree with the others, I don't think other shops "give out" their programs (nor would I trust them) so having one control over the other isn't going to benefit you. And I've found doing other sub work for other shops completely sucks and I avoid it. They might be your buddies, but that doesn't mean you won't get nickeled and dimed. A lot more money with direct contacts to the customers...but if you're "green" and your cheap, I'll send some stuff you're way

    Ohh, and on the VM-style table. If you're mostly doing contract machine work, I don't think you're find much use for that XY slotted table (Unless your personal stuff requires it). It would be nice to have the few times out of the year I might use it, otherwise you can easily make do without it.

  17. #17
    Michael Fahey is offline Plastic
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    Appliedproto

    No offense taken. I know that I am unlike the typical experienced machinists and shop owners of this board. I am sure I will have a steep and daunting challenge ahead, but that is also some of the allure. It is ok with me if this never gets past the hobby stage, but if I can offset some of the expenses with revenues Iíll take it. At least this is one hobby that has the POTENTIAL to offset some of the expense unlike racing which is ALWAYS just a one way draw.

    I do have about $6k of tooling included in the quotes and know I will need to spend additionally throughout the year. If you are offering, and because you do sound to be MUCH more experienced than I, I would love to hear from you regarding your opinions on tooling, work holding, and other such things.

    I may take you up on the offer for some work, although I will not be out to lowball the market. I believe that lowball pricing is bad for all parties involved. The lowball bidder eventual goes out of business, the client may receive sub standard services and often needs to repeat the task that was originally contracted, and the remaining vendorsí margins are further eroded due to a new perception of market rates. I unfortunately am often one of those remaining vendors trying to re-justify the appropriate market rates.

    Iíll let you know when the machine is up and running so that you can send some stuff my way

  18. #18
    appliedproto is offline Stainless
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    Mike, I myself am not a card-carrying member of the VMC world...I'm just doing the research now into what VMC might suite my needs the best. Other's in this forum would be of much more help with running one than me, but I can try to help answer some of your general machining questions [img]smile.gif[/img] But the only reason I jumped in on this thread was because I've been eyeing the 510. I'd be more than happy to have you quote jobs for me in the future.

    Regretably, I might have to defer my purchase on a full VMC till next year now (till I own my other equipment out right). I'm getting not such good feedback from my main customer (Raytheon) on their prospects of additional work for the remainder of the year. How's everyone else doing out there? '07 started off screaming (and has been for a year or so now), but now I'm sort of anticipating a slow down for the 2nd quarter...any one else getting this same notion?

  19. #19
    bryan_machine is online now Titanium
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    For what it's worth....

    My DMG 5-axis machine was delivered last Wed. Previous machine an atrump 3-axis. I'll have lots to absorb over the next few months...

    But compared to running a LeMans car....

    AppliedProto (edit: Meant to direct this at Michael Fahey) -> you will likely find that some things that make other people crazy (programming, etc) are easy for you, and some things that others have lots of experience with will be a chore for you to sort out (how tight should the vise be? what kind of coolant to use? how many flutes should the end-mill have?)

  20. #20
    appliedproto is offline Stainless
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    My DMG 5-axis machine was delivered last Wed.
    Nice! What model did you get?

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