Is W & S WSC-8 II CNC Lathe Reliable?
I am looking at purchasing a 1989 Warner & Swasey WSC-8 II CNC Lathe for my garage. What i am wondering is how support is if anything breaks down and what something like this is worth? I seen it posted on ebay for $19,900, but then have gotten a quote from the same seller (resell cnc) for $9,900. maybe they mistyped but am wanting to know what peoples experience is with these. Are they certain things to lookout for with these?
Have you got three phase in your garage?
Double detached with no box, there are lines from the house to run the overhead door, sockets, lights and 220 for a welder. 3 phase is in the back yard. verbal price of 7-800 to get a line to the garage. I started another thread asking what would be a good setup to have for electricity brought in. any suggestions for either the lathe or electricity would be great to hear.
For about 12 years I programmed WSC 8 lathes at 2 different jobs. The last time was about 12 years ago. At the time they were great machines. Ran 24/7 with minimal problems. Cutting 4340 rc 32-34 forgings. Most of the problems were with the hydraulics, especialy when we shut down for the Christmas holidays. I remember we had the motor rebuilt in one of them. One of them we replace the pulleys for slower speeds to do large diameter rough cutting. Most of the cutting on this lathe was at 100%+ on the load meter with no problems. In house maintanence people did all the repairs. We had about 10 of them. I was told we had some with Japanese hydraulics and some with American hydraulics. A former W&S repair man told me the Japanese hydraulics were better. We also had a number of WSU12 lathes. Again we were doing rough cutting, on aluminum, 120% on the load meter, 3000 rpm, removing about 100 cu inches of material per minute. They ran 24/7. The WSU12 gave us a little more problems, but not much, and again, most of the problems were with hydraulics.
The reason I asked about the three phase was not to be negative but to warn you could have spindle drive problems running off an RPC.
I have WSC6`s,a WSC8 and a WSC12.
We like W&S`s,as Mr Herzog says good machines and will cut metal all day long.Ours were made in Japan and assembled in England from kits.
The 8 and the 12 had ABB spindle drives which are long obsolete and very complicated to set up and that is where a good three phase supply is required.If your machines are US built you may have a different drive.The spindle motors on these two are also ABB and need a drive capable of current taper relief in addition to field weakening.
They were available with a two speed mechanical change but ours are direct drive.
Z turning length is a bit limited on them but they are designed as a chucker so ok.Control on the WSC8 is either a Fanuc 10 or 11.
I rate these WSC`s as amongst the best cnc`s I`ve ever run.
I don`t know about the price as it`s totally different in Europe but I paid $750 for the WSC8 as the guy had seven days to get it out the building and mine was the best offer in town.
I`ve got manuals for parts and programming if you have any other questions.
The WSC8s that I worked with had Fanuc 7T controls.
Originally Posted by B.Herzog
I never knew there was a 7T,please tell more.
I screwed up. I should have said 6T.
The WSC12 has a 6T as has one of the W&S Universals but it`s badged Siemens 6T.
Still a pretty reliable control.
Would anyone care to put up a photo of one of these machines ? A customer of mine has a " Giddings & Lewis " Powerline CNC chucker of about 1990 vintage with the Fanuc 6T control and I've got a sneaking suspicion that these were either made by or copied from a Warner Swasey design. According to my information G&L took over Warner Swasey. The machine in question was allegedly assembled at G&L's site in Arbroath and was sold to a North Sea oil industry engineering company in Aberdeen.
I've only praise for the machine, the build quality is fabulous and it runs like a Swiss watch. They also made a centre lathe version which my customer nearly bought at the same time. The only problem my customer has had with it is with the drives but that's been sorted now. Regards Tyrone.
Giddings & Lewis owned W&S for a while until sold to the MAG Group who bundled it in with Cincinnati.I know the Powerlines you are talking about,there`s a few in Scotland,mostly with a G&L control.
The W&S WSC lathes on this side of the world were built in Japan by Murata in a JV called Murata Warner Swasey..What W&S`s input was I don`t know.
Here`s a link to a very poor picture of a WSC12.
Last edited by Mark McGrath; 07-08-2012 at 01:26 PM.
Thanks for that Mark, That machine doesn't look anything like the G&L Powerline. I've seen an American CNC chucker on the General Site that looked like the Powerline in a previous thread but now I've seen that photo it's obviously not a Warner Swasey. Any other candidates you or anyone else can think of, it was quite a well known American turret/capstan lathe maker from not too long ago. Regards Tyrone.
It all comes back to me now Mark. A few years ago JRIowa posted a thread entitled " Christmas in June " about Bardons & Oliver re-engineered a Warner Swasey SC-32 lathe for his company. The photo of the SC-32 has loads of similarities with the G&L Powerline, especially the headstock design. That's the lathe I was thinking of. I'm convinced there was some sort of tie up with the Powerline. Anybody know anything about the SC-32's ? Regards Tyrone.
I've been doing a bit of research. If you want to see the centre lathe version of my pals chucking lathe go to - www.goldlynx.com/giddings-lewis-lathe-p-33.html. Regards Tyrone.
Tyrone,your link does not work,and your PM box is full.
I don`t think the W&S SC series have anything to do with G&L but I could be wrong.One of my reasons for saying that is that the SC`s go way back to the early cnc controls,usually GE but sometimes AB also.
There are loads of SC`s in the UK and the guy who would know the history for sure is John Leighton.He was chief electrical service guy for W&S at Halifax and when they closed took over the servicing and repair of W&S`s in the UK.
In fact when W&S closed, G&L merged W&S in to Cross Heuller who were their British agents based in Liverpool.When you called them for service they gave you Johns phone number.
I`ll give John a ring tomorrow and ask him just for you.
Tyrone,I was wrong and your hunch is right.Here`s the story from the horses mouth.
It was all brought about by Jaguar cars who needed a new engine line for the XK.
G&L who owned W&S and KTM won the order for the new line which had a value of (from the horses memory) of £400 million.
G&L did not have the capital to finance it so put W&S and KTM up for sale to raise funds.Along came Cross Heuller who bought KTM,W&S and G&L too in order to get the order.
Farther down the line CH put W&S and G&L to work to produce the SC32 and the SC45.
I have not seen an SC45 although there is at least one not far away from me.Must be a giant of a machine.
So when I first contacted G&L in The States for their W&S agent in UK they told me Cross Heuller but they did not tell me CH owned them so I`ve always thought it was the other way about.
The US machine tool business is a long drawn out saga of who bought who. W&S was bought by G&L in the early 90s. G&L still had cash and also bough Cross & Trecker (that was after it was Kearney-Trecker) and others. Most of these brands were bought for the parts business. G&L didn't keep any of the designs. G&L was bought by ThyssenKrupp who then bought Fadal. ThyssenKrupp sold to MAG. Clear as mud!
The WSC series was designed by W&S in the US, but built in Japan. Kind of a last ditch effort to stay competitive. Parts & service... maybe MAG. Great design, but you're dealing with 20+ year old electrical. We've had old machines that we've moved only to never run again.
The G&L PowerLine is nothing like an W&S SC. The PowerLine had a goofy dual bed set-up. There is acutally different flat bed that is at a higher level than the flat bed for the tail stock. Really weird! The W&S SC series is a 45 deg slant bed. There were 4 basic machines; 15/17, 21/25, 32/36, 45. The 15, 21, 32" machines were all 4 axis and had a second set of ways for the vertical slide. The 17, 25, 36, and 45 are 2 axis machines. Standard controls were Allen-Bradley 86XX or GE 1050s. Every stock machine that I've ever seen had a DC spindle motor with a GE drive. We have Bardons & Oliver rebuild our SCs not cheap, but we think that it's cost effective. About 10 years ago, we pulled an SC-36 out of service and replace with a Mazak slant turn. For the operation that we've running, spindle bearings and ball screws last about 2 years in the Mazak. The SC still had it's original spindle bearings and only the second set of screws.
Mark, You know me by now, that "link" isn't really a link, it's an address I copied out from the site. I've still to find out how to really post a proper link ! I can't believe my in box is full-you're my only contact ! Anyway I'll check.
JRIowa, Re the Powerline, I bow to your superior knowledge but I've got to say the headstock on the machine Bardons and Oliver re-engineered for you and the Powerline headstock are nearly identical. I agree about the rest of the machine. Regards Tyrone
Last edited by Tyrone Shoelaces; 07-09-2012 at 02:19 PM.