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A million dollar Haas? The HDC-3-5AX 5-axis Double Column Mill

I assume they are making these for themselves and thought “why not list it for sale?”

Seems like an odd one for them.

They have had several odd machines the last few years.
The st-10 spindle bolted to a milling machine thingy (vr series?)
Huge rotory table.

I dunno. If I where them Id stop inventing and focus on the bread and butter. Spend that money on quality, not fantasy machines.
Sell more of what your good at!
 
thought haas had a run at these big bridge mills many moons ago just like a stint at vtls.....might be time that they are looking to add or replace several bridges in their production area where they have several Okumas lined up milling their large bases maybe it made sense to look at these again. i believe those okuma 5ax bridges were in the 1.5 mill range and that was from about a decade + ago
I spotted a bridge mill during one of the factory tours that I didn't remember. I believe it was this one: the VB-1 (from a 2000 sales brochure). Commercial success or not, I think it's still in use at the factory.

VB1.jpg
 
thought haas had a run at these big bridge mills many moons ago just like a stint at vtls.....might be time that they are looking to add or replace several bridges in their production area where they have several Okumas lined up milling their large bases maybe it made sense to look at these again. i believe those okuma 5ax bridges were in the 1.5 mill range and that was from about a decade + ago

There is no way in hell they are replacing their okumas with that, the two are not even in the same postcode, let alone ballpark.
 
I assume they are making these for themselves and thought “why not list it for sale?”

Seems like an odd one for them.

They have had several odd machines the last few years.
The st-10 spindle bolted to a milling machine thingy (vr series?)
Huge rotory table.

I dunno. If I where them Id stop inventing and focus on the bread and butter. Spend that money on quality, not fantasy machines.
Sell more of what your good at!
i would be flabbergasted if i saw them actually using these themselves.
 
I like where they put the chip chutes and coolant tank. I guess put 'yer bins on top of the tank? :confused:

Great design.

I wonder if the columns are even connected to the bed? Hard to tell from those pics. Doesn't look like there's a model yet.
 
i would be flabbergasted if i saw them actually using these themselves.
Okay, prepare to be flabbered and maybe a little gasted. :D I had to make sure that the forms I signed before my recent tour didn't include an NDA.

Disclosure: I live in So Cal and coincidentally lived the first 12 years of my life about 1.5 miles from where Haas started in Sun Valley. I am a customer, have two personal Haas machines, three more I bought for work, one more I spec'd for a friend's shop.

Like any business relationship, you meet and know people over the years and mine has been about twenty now. A friend and former coworker was in his home town of Fillmore, CA this past June (25 miles from the factory), and we were getting together for lunch. He's interested in a VF-2. I called one of my longest-known contacts who is back at the factory and asked about getting in to see the showroom and maybe the short catwalk tour of building 1. We ended up seeing the whole place.

That included the assembly and testing area for the new mill. Those are VF-1 / VF-2 columns lined up on the bed and being cut. We were going through at a pretty good pace and only had a chance to snap these two pictures. So yes, they are loaded up with larger cast iron parts and being machined on multiple sides. Any issues with ergonomics, chip containment, evacuation or whatever, will be something they will have experienced just the same as any other end user.

HDC-3-5AX.jpg

HDC-3-5AXb.jpg

As was explained to me: yes, they needed some new, larger format mills for their own use. As with any new machine, it was a chance for the engineering team to go through the motions of designing and testing a new model. Worst case: they get a few new machines on the floor. The VB-1 I posted earlier is in fact the model I saw during the tour and it's still running parts 23 years later.
 
Okay, prepare to be flabbered and maybe a little gasted. :D I had to make sure that the forms I signed before my recent tour didn't include an NDA.

That included the assembly and testing area for the new mill. Those are VF-1 / VF-2 columns lined up on the bed and being cut. We were going through at a pretty good pace and only had a chance to snap these two pictures. So yes, they are loaded up with larger cast iron parts and being machined on multiple sides. Any issues with ergonomics, chip containment, evacuation or whatever, will be something they will have experienced just the same as any other end user.

As was explained to me: yes, they needed some new, larger format mills for their own use. As with any new machine, it was a chance for the engineering team to go through the motions of designing and testing a new model. Worst case: they get a few new machines on the floor. The VB-1 I posted earlier is in fact the model I saw during the tour and it's still running parts 23 years later.

Well, all you haas fanboys probably better brace yourself for another sharp decline in quality I guess :D
 
Well, all you haas fanboys probably better brace yourself for another sharp decline in quality I guess :D
I'm sure it will be just fine. I should have asked more questions when I was there but, my guess is that the base castings and X-axis are probably borrowed from the large VF line, VS or EC1600 machines. The bridge was probably all they had to design and build. The head area seems to have four linear guide rails with three trucks each.

On the VF-1/VF-2 casting, the most critical thing will be squareness of the Z-axis (on top of those photos) and the base (left side of those photos). They must have convinced themselves it's working.

Thinking from a shop floor planning aspect: the VF-1 and 2 are their best selling machines. I think they're down to around 900-1000 machines a month and if we said 2/3 of that is small VF or Mini Mill machines, that's 600 castings a month or 30 a day. If they're one hour of load/unload and run time per casting, you'd need three machines full-time to meet demand. They probably have larger, more expensive machines tied up doing them now. I'd design a cell where nothing but VF castings ran on these and free up my bigger machines for other products.
 
If the x is on a vf base it will rip the rails or crush the screw mounting area unless the acceleration is sloooow.
5 tons at 1000 ipm can mess something up faster bigger stronger than you think....
Main bay cranes are all 5 ton, seen a few bumps with them before.
 
If the x is on a vf base it will rip the rails or crush the screw mounting area unless the acceleration is sloooow.
5 tons at 1000 ipm can mess something up faster bigger stronger than you think....
Main bay cranes are all 5 ton, seen a few bumps with them before.
To clarify: I said the large VF line, like the VF-10, VF-12, VF-14 class. They're the only thing I can think of with beds that large and it's a total guess on my part.
 
To clarify: I said the large VF line, like the VF-10, VF-12, VF-14 class. They're the only thing I can think of with beds that large and it's a total guess on my part.
The vf 10 would throw itself over if screws could handle trying to reverse 5 tons. There is a valid reason big mills keep material stationary.
Our fastest conveyor is on the drill- fast being relative. .1g at 9 tons and up is not enough for normal milling paths.
Would you crash a semi into your machine- even slow?
 
I follow you and agree that's a lot of force to manage. It has their production on it. If it sucks, they'll know in a hurry.
 
Okay, prepare to be flabbered and maybe a little gasted. :D I had to make sure that the forms I signed before my recent tour didn't include an NDA.

Disclosure: I live in So Cal and coincidentally lived the first 12 years of my life about 1.5 miles from where Haas started in Sun Valley. I am a customer, have two personal Haas machines, three more I bought for work, one more I spec'd for a friend's shop.

Like any business relationship, you meet and know people over the years and mine has been about twenty now. A friend and former coworker was in his home town of Fillmore, CA this past June (25 miles from the factory), and we were getting together for lunch. He's interested in a VF-2. I called one of my longest-known contacts who is back at the factory and asked about getting in to see the showroom and maybe the short catwalk tour of building 1. We ended up seeing the whole place.

That included the assembly and testing area for the new mill. Those are VF-1 / VF-2 columns lined up on the bed and being cut. We were going through at a pretty good pace and only had a chance to snap these two pictures. So yes, they are loaded up with larger cast iron parts and being machined on multiple sides. Any issues with ergonomics, chip containment, evacuation or whatever, will be something they will have experienced just the same as any other end user.

View attachment 413235

View attachment 413236

As was explained to me: yes, they needed some new, larger format mills for their own use. As with any new machine, it was a chance for the engineering team to go through the motions of designing and testing a new model. Worst case: they get a few new machines on the floor. The VB-1 I posted earlier is in fact the model I saw during the tour and it's still running parts 23 years later.
well consider me flabbergasted!
 
I'm sure it will be just fine. I should have asked more questions when I was there but, my guess is that the base castings and X-axis are probably borrowed from the large VF line, VS or EC1600 machines. The bridge was probably all they had to design and build. The head area seems to have four linear guide rails with three trucks each.

On the VF-1/VF-2 casting, the most critical thing will be squareness of the Z-axis (on top of those photos) and the base (left side of those photos). They must have convinced themselves it's working.

Thinking from a shop floor planning aspect: the VF-1 and 2 are their best selling machines. I think they're down to around 900-1000 machines a month and if we said 2/3 of that is small VF or Mini Mill machines, that's 600 castings a month or 30 a day. If they're one hour of load/unload and run time per casting, you'd need three machines full-time to meet demand. They probably have larger, more expensive machines tied up doing them now. I'd design a cell where nothing but VF castings ran on these and free up my bigger machines for other products.

Being more serious for a minute, the problem is that the construction of that machine does not look at all adequate for producing things with any kind of geometric accuracy. Squareness and linearity are, without even a shadow of a doubt, all comp'd to all hell in the control to make it kind of sort of work. There is no way that thing isn't flexing all over the place moving that weight around and in the cut.

There is absolutely ZERO chance I would buy a machine knowing that it's castings had been machined on that.

The Y/Z saddle construction is so light it makes me cringe. The rails are small, the castings are in multiple pieces and bolted together, and are themselves thin.

For reference, the Hurco I mentioned earlier could cut a full slot with a 3" porcupine cutter in alloy steel. It worked best on a tall part with the Z axis not extended, but it would do it on any part just the same.

Ignoring the 5x head for a minute, that Y/Z saddle looks like it would break open if you tried the same on that machine.

I get that the Hurco is a bigger heavier machine, but it's cheaper. If haas were selling this thing at 25-30% of the asking price, it might be a competitor to any similar sized Taiwanese machine. As it is, they're dreaming.
 
Guys, you guys are missing the point of this fantastic machine.

It has the same control as the Minimill, so your 18 year old operators can jump right onto the million dollar bridge mill and crash it too.
That's why the weight limit of the table is so light, it only needs to take the impact of the head, then the bridge will separate from the columns....:Ithankyou:
 
I assume they are making these for themselves and thought “why not list it for sale?”

Seems like an odd one for them.

They have had several odd machines the last few years.
The st-10 spindle bolted to a milling machine thingy (vr series?)
Huge rotory table.

I dunno. If I where them Id stop inventing and focus on the bread and butter. Spend that money on quality, not fantasy machines.
Sell more of what your good at!
There's a YouTube video of a shop that got one to do engine work. Needless to say it was a nightmare for them, it would not hold a reasonable tolerance amongst other issues. It was sort of entertaining to watch but just pissed me off how HAAS is predatory to people new to machining and will sell them a pile of shit.
 








 
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