What's new
What's new

Business growth, machines purchase to grow.

Yep, R series have fixed tables as well.
Ummm, No, they have a rotating table, So your suggesting paying the extra money for a rotating table machine, not using it, and adding a bar feeder without a parts catcher?:nutter::D
 
Ummm, No, they have a rotating table, So your suggesting paying the extra money for a rotating table machine, not using it, and adding a bar feeder without a parts catcher?:nutter::D
Yep, it's like the poor man's Willemin. There's was post with one a while back, pretty cool setup.

And one similar on a Haas MiniMill on YouTube, that one with a 4th but he had to limit bar size since the table did move.
 
To me, barfeed makes absolutely zero sense in this application.

Imagine all the hours it will take to integrate and get the process reliability down. In the end, it would still be an inferior solution because the barfeeder would need to feed out every single part individually (takes time) and you would need to do a cutoff operation (also takes time). Plus the number of tool changes would be much higher because you cannot machine the entire pallet before going to the next tool (further increasing cycle time).

Spindle Gripper also suffers from most of the same problems. How long would it realistically take to make this system 100% reliable? And in the end you have the same problem where you can only machine 1 (or perhaps 2) parts at a time, thus greatly increasing cycle time.

Pallets are definitely a proven, winning formula. If you want to automate then the logical step is a cobot to switch pallets. It's about as "off the shelf" as you can get when it comes to mill automation. Pneumatic zero point systems aren't new. If you have a spindle probe in the machine, you can verify that the pallet is correctly seated. Also, you can have 1 cobot tend multiple machines potentially.

Also a cobot switching pallets has another massive benefit: versatility. What if the market for your current product drys up? Can a spindle gripper or a bar fed mill switch to a different product easily? Not without more engineering. A cobot doesn't care what's on the pallet. You can switch to making titanium fidget spinners overnight.
 
Last edited:
@alek "Bar Fed" doesn't need to be nearly that complicated. Might not even need a spindle gripper, just an auto vise and use a pin in the spindle to slide the bar over. Add a chute to get parts out of the way off to the side and a couple rollers for the incoming bar. And as soon as there isn't a bar in the machine it can be used as a regular pallet mill for short run work.

And with a Speedio tool changes aren't that big a factor. Ask @wheelieking71

Check this guy out:



All that said, I'm still on board with a row of S500's full of pallets.
 
@alek "Bar Fed" doesn't need to be nearly that complicated. Might not even need a spindle gripper, just an auto vise and use a pin in the spindle to slide the bar over. Add a chute to get parts out of the way off to the side and a couple rollers for the incoming bar. And as soon as there isn't a bar in the machine it can be used as a regular pallet mill for short run work.

And with a Speedio tool changes aren't that big a factor. Ask @wheelieking71

Check this guy out:



All that said, I'm still on board with a row of S500's full of pallets.
What benefit would barfeeding have over a cobot switching pallets? I can't figure out a single benefit.

Benefits of a cobot:
- faster cycle time
- higher process reliability
- can make 200+ parts unattended because you can easily stage 2 dozen pallets
- can make various different parts without having to change any jaws.
- one cobot can tend multiple machines if desired
- easy to program new parts, just make a new pallet
- easy to scale up. Any pallet can go in any machine, even if future machines aren't set up for automation
- already proven, winning formula. He's already using pallets. All he needs now is to get a cobot to change the pallets for him
- etc etc etc

Benefits of bar feed
- maybe lower upfront cost?
 
What benefit would barfeeding have over a cobot switching pallets? I can't figure out a single benefit.

Cost and simplicity. It's literally one auto vise, and the programming is- Z down, Open Vise, X over, Close Vise, Z Home. Labor is load a bar in the vise, not unload and load two dozen pallets.

I don't know what a cobot and two dozen pallets cost, but I'd guess as much as another S500?
 
Ummm, No, they have a rotating table, So your suggesting paying the extra money for a rotating table machine, not using it, and adding a bar feeder without a parts catcher?:nutter::D
The extra $20k ish is well worth it. If you have never run one for a couple of months you don't know what you are missing. And if floor space or power are at all important in your shop they excel at both. Op needs to swap pallets exactly when his machine needs him to. A rotating table would give him a 10-14 hour window to do it, minus the time it takes to swap the parts. If he catches the machine at a table swap he can load 2 ops worth of parts at the same time, or every 20-24 hours. As I said, the extra $20k is well worth it, if you do any production. If you do shorter runs having an extra table to put vises or fixtures on ready to use makes it that much more versatile.
 
@alek

And with a Speedio tool changes aren't that big a factor. Ask @wheelieking71

There are caveats to that!
When you get in the production world where the quantities are in the neighborhood of the amount of dollars spent on the machine?
Hell yea! Tool changes matter!
When you are a one man shop with multiple machines working on orders with quantities in the hundreds? NOPE!
You cant run that fast, why spend $$$$ on machines so the spindles can sit there waiting for your slow ass to tend them, LOL.
There are unlimited variables controlling process decisions. You just have to be smart enough to factor them all before you make decisions.
 
What benefit would barfeeding have over a cobot switching pallets? I can't figure out a single benefit.

Benefits of a cobot:
- faster cycle time
- higher process reliability
- can make 200+ parts unattended because you can easily stage 2 dozen pallets
- can make various different parts without having to change any jaws.
- one cobot can tend multiple machines if desired
- easy to program new parts, just make a new pallet
- easy to scale up. Any pallet can go in any machine, even if future machines aren't set up for automation
- already proven, winning formula. He's already using pallets. All he needs now is to get a cobot to change the pallets for him
- etc etc etc

Benefits of bar feed
- maybe lower upfront cost?

"higher process reliability" HA, bullshit
 
The extra $20k ish is well worth it. If you have never run one for a couple of months you don't know what you are missing. And if floor space or power are at all important in your shop they excel at both. Op needs to swap pallets exactly when his machine needs him to. A rotating table would give him a 10-14 hour window to do it, minus the time it takes to swap the parts. If he catches the machine at a table swap he can load 2 ops worth of parts at the same time, or every 20-24 hours. As I said, the extra $20k is well worth it, if you do any production. If you do shorter runs having an extra table to put vises or fixtures on ready to use makes it that much more versatile.

That is exactly how I have been making use of the VF3 pallet-change machine I have hanging in the balance after a huge production job was shut down.
I have a 4th and two vises on one pallet. And the other left bare for whatever. being able to swap in literally 3 minutes is huge.
How many machines can go from a full-size 4th, and two 6" vises, to a bare 40"x20" table in 3 minutes? Ohh, you have an emergency plate job? No problem!
You don't even lose your offsets.
 
Exactly.

It's not wishful thinking if you do it.

$200/material = $20 laser'ed blank?
Would be interesting to see the BOM's on that scenario - but it sounds like this may be a thing?


----------------

I am Ox and I approve this post!
 
$200/material = $20 laser'ed blank?
Would be interesting to see the BOM's on that scenario - but it sounds like this may be a thing?


----------------

I am Ox and I approve this post!

A514 is a better and cheaper material for some things than 4340N.

Doesnt matter if you don't have a Blanchard and a big stamping press though.
 
Using the existing pallet fixtures on a pallet changing machine would mean you have the duration of the cycle to swap the pallet fixture without losing spindle time, as opposed to having to be physically present the second the cycle ends to swap the pallet on a single table.

Edit: I missed that this exact scenario was covered in a previous comment.
 
Last edited:








 
Back
Top