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Thread: VMC Purchase Advise
01-11-2017, 08:45 AM #21
I had a TM-1P that was made in 2007 and loved it! made whatever I want. I think you can find a TM-1P or TM-1 for your budget and they also sell pretty well later on if you want to move to something else or shut down.
I have a friend that also bought a new Haas TM-1P that was I think a 2008 or 2009. He is a member here and he's made some improvements on his machine and loves it also. Here is a video link of one of those (he's in Brandon FL):Programable Coolant Air Solenoid Introduction - YouTube
01-11-2017, 08:47 AM #22
I have attached a part that I have actually been quoted (the other parts are from a current job unquoted) and one vendor quoted me $345 and the other $225 and thats without anodizing. My opinion is that I can make this part in my machine one day and make a decent amount of profit margin to make my payments, blah blah
Looking back on the comparison of the quotes the difference was in the weldments that I had them quote. Now another aspect that people don't understand is that I have a certified welder, a miller 250 (mig and tig) on my contracting staff who if I bought a nice setup table and some tooling could weld for me parts that I would otherwise in my opinion pay out the ying yang for.
Example - Quoted $450 and $275 - I would love some advice on this aspect too...
01-11-2017, 08:57 AM #23
Weird thing is - they want me to take over production on these VERY low volume products because they know with my capabilities I can produce them faster and with better quality then there production facility. I'm brought in and told to quote these production builds.
I understand your point regarding no downward pressure on prices. I guess when I analysis quoted numbers from shops and have a welder sitting at home who could make the weldments and if I owned the right cnc I could make that profit I am giving to the next guy. Wouldn't you?
"Do not underestimate your relationship - You are in a position of trust, but you push it and they may question your independence, and therefore value" - Sir, I do not underestimate my relationship with my customer, I treat them like royalty and to tell you the truth I feel like that is the reason they enjoy working with me. I don't treat them just like any old customer (how I feel these machine shops are treating me)
In regards to the rest of your post, I greatly appreciate the advise and you are right in the end I will go with my gut and so far in life and in business it hasn't proven me wrong.
Thanks again for all the advise. Very wise statements in your post.
01-11-2017, 09:00 AM #24
Glad to hear you paid off the tormach and bought more machinery! Very encouraging.
01-11-2017, 09:01 AM #25
01-11-2017, 09:01 AM #26
for small quantities of parts I would try and get a machine with a probe on it. The cost is quite a bit but you really save a lot of time and the motivation to get it done with a probe is much easier. I really saw a HUGE difference in how fun it was to make a part on my friend John's TM-1P since he had a Renishaw probe than it was to make the same part on my machine that I had to use manual tools to set x, y z zeros and various offsets as I worked on a more complex part.
01-11-2017, 09:07 AM #27
01-11-2017, 09:30 AM #28
Now, I know you mentioned you already have shops that run these parts so your reliance on your own equipment may not be critical but from my own experience your clients quickly get used to stuff turning around quickly after you start making the parts.
The only part of your situation that gives me any kind of strange feeling is the lack of machining experience. That being said you can certainly learn and as others have said, you are posting in the best place to do so. My hesitation would be from the expectation of good parts, efficiently, soon after buying a machine. There is a steep learning curve but if you are psyched to start then by all means dude, jump in!
Buy the best machine and tooling you can afford. Used machines come up here all the time by people that are respected in this community. That is what I would do first. Camp out in the machinery for sale forum and send out feelers ("WTB VMC..."). Good luck with the search and let us know how you are doin or if you need any help!
01-11-2017, 09:41 AM #29
If you only have a reduced number of parts, and are relatively simple, I will go with a Haimer, and use the cost of the Renishaw probe for tool holders, work holding, etc...
01-11-2017, 09:43 AM #30
Yes there will be cost that I don't foresee and it will probably add up to more than I want it to. But part of the challenge of being a good businessman is to find ways to be more efficient and to keep cost down and business coming in. Another truth to the situation is that I need expenses in my business to avoid Uncle Sam laying the hammer on me every year, the contracting side of things is pretty lucrative and doesn't involve any expenses.
I will keep an eye out on here! That's something I haven't really looked at yet.
Thanks again for the advice!
01-11-2017, 10:16 AM #31
So...I'd say find a deal on a small Haas and go nuts. Rub some HSM express on it and make chips. High speed machining tool paths benefit lighter machines more. Your parts aren't complex and you seem bright and open eyed to the task before you.
Week 1. You're going to wreck shit,break tools, crash the machine and make junk.
somewhere between weeks 2 and 4 you'll figure things out and start to make acceptable parts. That's the easy part, for the rest of the time you own the entire process from design to shipping you'll endeavor to make every aspect better, faster, cheaper and easier. You'll either enjoy it and have a rewarding experience or you'll burn out in the process.
My personal favorite part is being able to perfect a design based upon my experience not only as a designer but as a machinist and tool maker. That's what keeps me interested.
I'd give yourself some time to get productive, don't just assume you will be faster than the people that do it everyday. Also, learning is a full time job, you'll spend countless hours in the process so leave time for your existing duties in the business. I'd plan on a couple months of overlap from the current suppliers before you could start bringing work inside.
Given what people say about your area, finding a more reasonable machine shop might be easier!
01-11-2017, 10:25 AM #32
I think you've hit the nail on the head, most machinist don't see or put there hands on the final product and get the joy of making it all work. I work with some cool robotic tooling, and to see it all function is awesome.
Great advice, I appreciate it.
01-11-2017, 10:42 AM #33
I get bored easily so I've started making complex intake manifolds for $300K show cars! That's whole other level of OCD that keeps the brain busy. haha.
01-11-2017, 01:22 PM #34
I've bought two used machines from 520 and they have both been good experiences. Probes are awesome.
01-11-2017, 01:24 PM #35
And YOU will lose a lot less if You start from Your current POV- taking into account possibility of loss.
The vast majority do not. You are doing much better.
Basic tooling for a VMC is == 10k new, import, cheapest-ok-stuff.
Good stuff is 20-30k, top stuff is easily double.
200 toolholder, 200 tool, 20 insert, 10 of, 200, total 600 each, x 24, = 14.400$.
You can do a lot or most for half.
Still its a bunch of moolah.
You wont yet know where You can and cannot save. Use someone local who does.
You are ahead of 95% of new guys.
Thats why it is likely You will be profitable.
Likewise 4- you already have it, the extra cost is minor.
Yes, as said.
As long as it is taken into account..
7. Waste, power.
Either may be a major cost. Or not.
It cost us about 100.000€ to get power to our demo room == typical shop (80kW).
Waste may be 10k / month. Or near zero.
Try to get insurance for *You* and continuity, if possible.
And against non-paying customers, as financing, if possible.
It is immaterial biz-wise and a great deal for You if you can off-load your invoices to a finance company for 2-5%.Called factoring.
Then YOU wont be calling the customer, and YOU wont have any relationship strain.
This is easily worth 20-30% of total billing.
Yes it is.
My best money ever was made financing, at 100% rate / year, with super-satisfied customers at that.
Your case seems ideal.
You have an industrial/workshop plant with all or most heavy stuff paid for.
Client(s) with money.
Impossible to lose, imo.
If YOU really want to make money...
hire an old machine shop owner as mentor.
1(-3) month full / half time, rest as needed.
Pay him 10k, 5k now and 5k on goals you setup together.
5 k next 12 months, say 10 hours / month.
THAT will earn You about 200k first year.
Yes it will.
As You said, very very well, in Your last sentence, You are not starting out from zero.
Most are, and You did not let us know in advance, afaik.
So, a lot of the 40k in extras you have already paid for.
01-11-2017, 01:27 PM #36
01-11-2017, 01:38 PM #37
don't be shy, talk to companies such as these before they move machines the first time. Give 2 - 3 dealers a call and describe what you are looking for and a price/budget. They will have items coming in that have not moved yet and you might be able to see them before they move and make a deal to move to your place. Sure they will keep calling and calling but you will need to accept that if wanting to go with a dealer. Some companies will only sell to dealers not straight to individuals.
01-11-2017, 08:13 PM #38
You guys needs to hit the breaks
Can you 50k into a machine, tooling, fixtures, machinist tools you don't have?
Can u afford to pay someone minimum wage to run the machine (worst case) or a full on guru 30+ per hour when you get in over your head?
If either of those are no, you aren't ready.
25k in two months doesnt go nearly as far as you think.
01-12-2017, 04:58 AM #39
As before - all the best!
01-12-2017, 08:04 AM #40
Buy used $20k machine. a simple Fadal etc...with cheap parts support. something that you can later pass along without a big loss in a year or two.
Learn to make one or two of your parts on it in your sparte time.
I'm sure you can tool up for those simple parts for under $3k
Those parts could have been made on a Tree mill I sold for $3k
or a centroid cnc bridgeport. Those parts / quantities don't need probes and fancy fast machines.
See if you like it and want to keep going down that road. upgrade if you want, or sell it, or sit on it.