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Brother : 2 machines or 1 pallet changer

laurent12100

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 7, 2023
Hello,


I'm wondering between 2 possibilities for the future, today I have an old TC22 :

I work in small series (50-100pcs), I'm alone in my workshop.


When can a pallet changer be more interesting than 2 machines?


The advantages of 2 machines :

- you can change settings on 1 machine, while the other continues to work with the original parts
- if 1 machine breaks down, the workshop doesn't.
- can be interesting if I take on an employee
- make more parts with the pallet system


Pro for the pallet changer :

- fewer tools
- lower maintenance costs (only 1 machine)
- less electricity
- more autonomous
- less space required



can you see the other side?

thanks
 
Really depends on your day to day needs. In my case I have 2 cnc mills. Both Fanuc control, cat40.
I couldn't imagine not having 2 machines.
 
I have an R650 doing tooling and 200-5000 part runs. With around half of my parts the machine is as fast as I am, so all I do is swap parts with no time for anything else. Yes it's boring but man I can make a lot of parts a day this way. When I am faster than the machine I only have time to organize parts and stock, move chips, wash parts, etc. So 2 machines would not be any faster and often slower since I would have to move between them. Bonus with the pallet changer is I can load op1, pallet swaps, then load op 2 and I have any free time with both ops free now as one segment. I REALLY like the pallet changer and would NEVER get a production mill without it, unless I went with a robot. I say pallet changer, the extra $$$$$ spent is well worth it in the long run IMO. You also only have one coolant system to maintain/clean out too.
 
The big variable here: what kind of cycle times are your individual 50-100 piece parts?

Huge difference between a run of 50x small aluminum parts with a 2 minute cycle time, and 50x 17-4 PH H900 parts with intricate features that have 20 minute runtimes.
 
The big variable here: what kind of cycle times are your individual 50-100 piece parts?

Huge difference between a run of 50x small aluminum parts with a 2 minute cycle time, and 50x 17-4 PH H900 parts with intricate features that have 20 minute runtimes.
long cycle time maybe more interesting on 2 machines, and short cycle time better on pallet changer machine ?

I have both 2min parts and 10min parts (small size less than 60x40x30)

Dual pallet with ZPS. Dual machines are good, but are more expensive
what ZPS ?
 
long cycle time maybe more interesting on 2 machines, and short cycle time better on pallet changer machine ?

I have both 2min parts and 10min parts (small size less than 60x40x30)


what ZPS ?
But on a new R series machine your cycle times are only going to go down... The new machine will let you take bigger cuts and will move faster!

Remember that you don't have to have both tables setup the same. So you can run it as 2 single mills (serially) if that's useful

The Brother machines just get faster and stronger with each generation
 
Hello,


I'm wondering between 2 possibilities for the future, today I have an old TC22 :

I work in small series (50-100pcs), I'm alone in my workshop.


When can a pallet changer be more interesting than 2 machines?


The advantages of 2 machines :

- you can change settings on 1 machine, while the other continues to work with the original parts
- if 1 machine breaks down, the workshop doesn't.
- can be interesting if I take on an employee
- make more parts with the pallet system


Pro for the pallet changer :

- fewer tools
- lower maintenance costs (only 1 machine)
- less electricity
- more autonomous
- less space required



can you see the other side?

thanks
Great question, with more than one right answer, that leads to more questions…

Do your jobs repeat? If yes, pallet changer.
How many tools do you need generally?
What materials do you work with?
Will your part size expand into the larger realm? If yes, not a pallet changer.
Overall, my experience with setting up on a non-pallet changer machine is easier than a pallet changer, but the productivity of a pallet changer is hands down worth whatever X+ vs.X- , Y+ vs. Y- learning curve you may need to overcome.
We have (2) R2A’s, along with a compliment of verticals. My brother has a Speedio S1000, and an R2A, so we live this debate every day. If your parts are working on a TC-22 and will index on a pallet changer table, my advice is to get the pallet changer. And consider, if you end up getting a second machine, and it’s another pallet changer, you now have four tables in the space of two non-pallet changer machines…..
 
The best of both worlds: An R650 and an S300. I cant think of a better combo for a one man, smallish part, short run shop.
One caveat to the 650: make sure you budget for a GOOD sump/conveyor. They can make mountains of chips very fast (and waste alot of coolant).
I started with the medium sump Mayfran on my 650. It sucked. I ended up with the huge sump LNS. It is very good (Albeit well over $20k).
 
I have a standard vertical and a pallet machine and think it's the greatest thing. The only drawback to a pallet only shop would be if you do a lot of different materials, including plastics. You wouldn't want to run plastics on one pallet and metal on another. Though seeing as you have a 2nd machine you'd have that base covered.

The comment about changing settings on one machine while leaving the other alone is over thinking it. You can set up your pallet machine to act like two separate machines. It's all in the programming and setup. And of course there's always "background" editing for the small stuff.

Two machines is going to get costly, and here's why.
1) You absolutely want chip conveyors. My machine is wired for them but I don't have them, and its a big slowdown to the whole pallet machine idea. I have some parts that will fill both chip pans in 2-3 runs. (Out of say 50)
2) High pressure thru spindle coolant is another must have. The productivity gains are simply too much to look past.
3) Get the largest tool carousel you can imagine needing. Especially if you plan on leaving tools setup indefinitely
4) Extra work offsets is super handy. Macro capable and probing too.

So take everything there and buy two of them. That is going to get costly compared to fully outfitting one machine. Throw in not doing coolant maintenance and all that stuff twice as much. Anyway... that's my vote. P-P-P-Pallets! PS... I work alone too.
 
This has a lot of variables you haven't answered.
You said I have both 2min. parts and 10 min. parts, are you running your own production parts only? or do you also do outside job shop work?
What parts do you do, size and cycle times? in general.

If your a small job shop starting out, regardless of the scenario its safer and more efficient to get 2 machines than an automated machine 'in general'.

If your running only your own products everything is out the window and you have to be specific, your building a production cell not really the same thing as a
job shop machine shop at all.

By pallet changer, what do you mean, a robot loading pallets, how many? a horizontal loading pallets, how many?,
are you talking about one of the Speedios with only 2 pallets/dual table?
Again, what exactly do you mean by pallet loading machine?

I personally think the 2 pallet/dual table Speedios are a huge waste of money, from the numbers I have crunched. IMHO
I thought they were sweet, push cycle start once and it will run 2 tables before I need to come back to swap if needed.

But the truth is 2 machines, can run parallel instead of in series, faster.
2 machines can run 2 different parts at the same time/parallel. faster.
2 different people can run and setup for 2 different customers on 2 different machines separately if needed.
If one breaks there is a back up.
What I found is there was no instance where the dual table Speedio would outperform 2 machines except in cost.:popcorn:

edit: also I found at the time an Okuma M560 was similar price to a R650, fit about the same # of vises, but can also do larger work, and hog steel and exotics faster.
 
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For this thread pallet changer = R450 R650 or older TC32b...

I work for my own since 2 years, I have a
- Brother TC22 (1999)
- Mazak Ajv18 with 4 axes (1991)
- old Cazeneuve with live tools (1989)

My shop is full now, so the question will keep old machine and move shop for add new machine or replace it.

I like the idea of keeping a machine that works, even if I don't use it very often.but it's not necessarily the best choice

- own products 30%
- a customer with series of 50-100 parts 50%
- miscellaneous parts 20%

parts size : less than 60x40x30 (aluminum and steel no exotic material)

I don't have need right now but ma setup is old and I'm little scare about failure ( also some options missing tape mode, small memories..)
 
OK, So it's not actually a pallet loading machine, it's a dual table machine,
and I would say get 2 machines over a R650.

If you like Brother I would buy 2 S500 or S700 before I bought a R650.
I would even buy 2 Haas DT2 before I bought a R650.

Just sayin, throughput is money, and 2 machines is backup.

I would even buy a used 2 pallet horizontal before I bought a R650.

Sorry, In my eyes from the numbers I did they are a gimmick. IMHO
 
A lot of the value in the dual table machines comes from somewhere unintuitive:

At a small shop if you are designing for a medium sized part run, on a standard machine, you work out a way to maximize walkaway time, by fixturing up two or five or ten pieces per load. That takes some foresight and some planning. A 10-up fixture is a non-trivial time and cost investment that doesn't come back if the customer goes from 1000 pieces a week to 1000 pieces ever.

In a dual table machine, you fixture one up on each side and just sit there. There's no meaningful advantage to running multi-fixture, because the pallet swap time is a couple seconds. This is also of great value for fourth-axis parts, which are tricky to multi-fixture.

Of course, if the load/unload time is 10 seconds and the run time is 20 minutes, then a dual table machine buys you nothing.

You can do manual pallet swaps on a single table machine too, but that isn't a panacea, because manual pallets are heavy and beat up your body day in and day out, plus then you have those costs adding up.

No perfect solutions.
 
Having had this discussion with customers and inside Yamazen, too many times to count, here is my take.

First machine should be stand alone. The TC-22 is a good start. Not the fastest but has more tools than other Brother machines of it's time. If it was me, I would keep that for the next year or so and add a R series. The best attribute of the r is that it paces the operator not the operator pacing the machine. As long as you can exchange the parts before the other pallet is done, the machine will pace you. No NASCAR pit crew antics to be productive. The R has an advantage over HMC's of similar size in it's speed. No need to cluster a group of parts to be competitive. Single flow gives you good cycle times. But, I would outfit the R for fast set up and change over.

I would put a 4th on each side of the table with side support and a trunnion. The trunnion cross member can be set up using a zero point system but I would not do that yet. If the parts will fit in under a six inch vice, I would have two vices at 90 degrees apposed on the trunnion cross member and then proceed to run OP10 and OP20 allowing for all six sides of the part to be machined in one pallet. This gives you single flow, easy set up and repeatability. Each pallet cycle gives you a finished part for most simple parts. To change over, just change the jaws on the vise and you are ready for the new part to run. If the parts are bigger, split them into one operation per pallet side. Vice jaws are relatively cheap and easy to machine in the TC-22 and then switched to the R.
I would add a couple options.

Tool setter
Spindle Probe
Mist collection
Auto Doors. This is the biggest time savings I see with customers. If the door is open, you feed the machine. Let that be the pacer.

If you find that you are doing more complex parts, the TC-22 can be replaced with a U500 as the next machine.

Good luck with whatever you choose to do.


Andy
 
OK, So it's not actually a pallet loading machine, it's a dual table machine,
and I would say get 2 machines over a R650.

If you like Brother I would buy 2 S500 or S700 before I bought a R650.
I would even buy 2 Haas DT2 before I bought a R650.

Just sayin, throughput is money, and 2 machines is backup.

I would even buy a used 2 pallet horizontal before I bought a R650.

Sorry, In my eyes from the numbers I did they are a gimmick. IMHO
You are both right and wrong at the same time. Too many variables in each different shop dynamic for one hard ruled answer.
Trust me. I've gone years beyond just crunching the numbers (like you are doing). I've actually played the game.
The Brother pallet machines are NOT! a gimmick.
 
You are both right and wrong at the same time. Too many variables in each different shop dynamic for one hard ruled answer.
Trust me. I've gone years beyond just crunching the numbers (like you are doing). I've actually played the game.
The Brother pallet machines are NOT! a gimmick.
So your saying its the Schrodinger's machine equation :D

There's an application for everything (y)
 








 
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