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    Last Day at my old job

    Yesterday was may last day at my last job. I went out on top. I installed a new control system on one extrusion line that is now making the best product they have ever done. Last Monday after maintenance spent two days troubleshooting a machine then I correctly identified the problem in ten...
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    I landed a new job

    Two years at my previous employer was enough. I started looking when they let me buy a Fadal 3016 on Ebay and after we paid for it and were arranging shipping they ordered me to cancel the order and get our money back! So it was back to making, modifying parts with basic handtools. Two years of...
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    Servo Control, step & direction control hazards

    I am building this automated drilling machine that has Yaskawa servo drives and using Step & Direction control from a PLC. Suddenly the X axis stopped responding to the reverse signal and runs just one direction. Imagine that happening when it is running in auto! Checked all wiring right to...
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    FIRST Robotics, I need a Conpound Bow Limb

    Its a new season and our team is battling Covid in the schools and we are still trying to build a robot in just 8 weeks. We need the fiberglass limb from an older style compound bow. These limbs are like 18” long with a bolt hole at one end and a fork at the other. The forked end has a cross...
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    Yaskawa Servo programming

    I’ve got 3 Yaskawa sigma 7 1.5kw drives and motors to program for the drilling machine. One has a 8:1 reducer driving a rack gear for the X axis. The other two drive ball screws with 5mm pitch for the two Z axis. There is no Y axis. Each Z axis has 7 - 2.2kw spindles and a single 7.5k spindle...
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    Source for Damaitian lube fittings for chinese machines

    I need a couple of 4mm tube fittings for the distributor block and can’t find a source in the US or a chinese site I can read.
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    Energy Chain Lubrication

    Building a machine where the energy chain is quite full and the machine will make millions of cycles. Anyone have experience lubricating the cables in the chain so they slide easily against each other? I am thinking a wax based pulling compound that dries to a slippery film.
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    Time to find a new job

    I’ve been at this job for 1-1/2 years and I don’t think I can take much more. A few months back I got permission to bid on a Fadal 3015 and won the bid. We paid for it and the vendor packed it up for shipping and while waiting for it I gave him a list of tooling needed to make it efficient for...
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    Maybe we need a different approach to automation

    It occurs to me that we are trying to automate machining by using robots to do things the way a human would. VMCs have a moving table which works well with a human loading. However if you want simple low cost automation we really need machines with a stationary table. If the table doesn’t move...
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    Fadal tool programming

    We just bought a VMC15 with a 21 tool changer. I want to use a standard tool load of common tools with some pockets left for specials. I’d like to be able use the remaining pockets for various tools by using the tool# with different tool length offsets. I intend to have our cam program select...
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    Trouble with hand power tools, chucks in particular

    When I bought my first 18v drill about 20 years ago I spent several hours comparing different brands in Home Depot. From years of experience with corded drills I knew that a good chuck was just about the most important component. Based on that I wound up with a Dewalt with a keyless chuck that...
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    OT, Covid acronym to keep you safe.

    There is a new 4 letter acronym to help you remember how to stay safe during the Pandemic. It stands for Test Isolate Trace be Safe. I think I am going to get that on a T-shirt.
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    Repairing and Allen Bradley servo actuator

    We had an AB servo actuator fail last week on a plastic welding machine. AB doesn't offer repair of these units and a new one will take over 30 days to get. So half of our operation is shut down. With no drawings or manuals I took it apart to see if we could fix it. I wound up taking a lot...
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    Automating a CNC drilling machine

    I have posted about my grandson working with me at my job and we are getting ready to start on a new project. The company purchased a 2 axis drilling machine with 5 spindles to drill 104 holes in polypropylene header pipe. It was here when I arrived and they asked me to get it up and running...
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    My new assistant and chauffeur

    My 16 year old grandson was just hired by my employer as my paid ($15 an hour) assistant for the summer, and possibly into the school year. He is working his ass off to get ahead with college. He has finished all his high school senior requirements except gym an is taking college chemistry and...
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    Fun with Chinese Automation

    So I started a new job where my predecessor convinced the boss to buy some chinese automation because it was so cheap. He is gone and I get to make it work. First machine is a 2 axis CNC drill with 5 spindles configured as 3 tools on pneumatically operated slides on a Servo Z axis. This...
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    Question about Matsurra machines

    A while back I bought a Matsurra Offline tool presetter and it was an incredibly massive piece of kit, built like a tank. Recently I was looking at a used MC-500v CNC and I saw its listed as being 8500 lbs for a 20" x 14" travel machine. Were these massively built and very accurate machines...
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    Why is PM the slowest forum?

    PM is deadly slow and has been for months. All the other forums I follow are very fast most of the time. I have Verizon wireless and FIOS.
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    Need G-code parameter list for Weihong CNC controller

    Started my new job and my first project is getting a chinese drilling machine from a company called Bogda that uses a Weihong Lambda 3L CNC controller. Two axis only X and Z. They say it uses 'standard G-code per RS-274' and sample programs were written by a previous employee using only G0 and...
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    I got fired, the slacker got me

    I’ve posted before about arguing with one person, the shop manager that I hired and have wanted to fire for almost two years. A management reorganization put him out of my reach. Last week he caught me off guard. I was out at a jobsite where we often work from 7 am to 10 pm or so and I got a...