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Deckel Maho MH 600W

gigi_macaz

Plastic
Joined
Dec 9, 2023
Hello all!

Beginner and first post so your patience is much appreciated.

I've decided that a change is needed for me and I would like to set-up a small business. The idea of the business would be to manufacture some copper parts that are to be used for cooling of electronic components. Of course, in order to do this I would need a machine. I have been looking around in my area and came across a Deckel Maho MH 600W with Heidenhain TNC425 controller which I could afford. However, with zero experience in CNC and machining, I have tons of questions. Most of them have an answer online but some have remained unanswered. If you would be kind to help me out with some of these it would be highly appreciated.

1. The 600W can machine aluminium. I have seen videos of it. Can I assume it can also machine copper?
2. If it can machine copper, would it be able to cut 0.5 mm radiator fins? If yes, how deep?
3. What would be the realistic reliability of the 600W? If not for the model, at least in general for a similar machine? Assuming it would be used 4 hours a day, Monday to Friday, how many times should I expect it to break down during a year?
4. I would assume these machines need servicing. How often is it required? What is usually done? Does it require specialized tools or is it something I could perform myself.
5. What about spare parts for a machine like this? How far back do manufacturers offer support for these type of things? Would I be able to still find parts for a machine built in 1997, for example?
6. Since the 600W I'm looking at does not have a tool changer, can these be retrofitted? Are they model specific or universal?

Thanks in advance for any replies!

Cheers
 
Hi! So the hardest step in taking on what you have mentioned is taking action so if you are willing to do this then everything else will fall in place as time goes on, asking questions isn't a bad idea and they say there are no such things as stupid questions but there are such things as questions that you should get some books and read up on first before asking people to take their time to answer yours specifically, especially when time is a limited resource and what you are asking has been answered in so many ways in so many places; To be frank: You clearly haven't been spending much time trying to educate yourself prior to this post.

Anyway, I'll try to help...

First get a book that covers the basics of CNC's just to help your foundation of understanding a bit. I read one a long while back called "CNC programming handbook" by Peter Smid. You also will benefit from CAD skills prior to delving into CAM, this can all be learned. Initially you may be better off to produce models of what you want and farm it out until you have proven that it's worthwhile to bring the production in-house. The amount of time and money you will need to spend to get going on this is more than it may seem. There are many facets to consider and I honestly don't know where you are on this path.

1. The 600W can machine aluminium. I have seen videos of it. Can I assume it can also machine copper?

A CNC can machine any material that any other CNC can machine with it's limitations being set by it's rigidity. If you want to be productive then Spindle RPM and max feedrate also play roles in what is reasonable for the job. There are some exceptions with special CNC mills like the ultrasonic series DMG's that can machine ceramics and such and other's that have grinding capabilities but as far as normal milling goes a Maho CNC will mill Copper, Aluminum, Steel and most any other typical material - Quite well in fact if you invest in quality tooling.

2. If it can machine copper, would it be able to cut 0.5 mm radiator fins? If yes, how deep?

Radiator or heatsink? Typically a radiator has thin sheet material that has been processed to have louvers in them and then they are adhered to flatted hollow tubes to increase the surface area of a air to air or liquid to air heat exchanger, the latter being commonly referred to as a "Radiator". A heat sink is machined from solid, and I think that is more likely what you are looking to do. Can it cut 0.5mm wide fins? Sure, but how wide are the cuts? Your going to need a pretty high RPM spindle with low runout to expect any level of productivity with that application.

3. What would be the realistic reliability of the 600W? If not for the model, at least in general for a similar machine? Assuming it would be used 4 hours a day, Monday to Friday, how many times should I expect it to break down during a year?

This is directly related to your abilities to troubleshoot and maintain it. It will break down every time you turn it on if you don't know how to maintain it properly (No joke) This is why these machines are not the first choice for people that have little interest in diagnosing and working on CNC's. I love Deckel Maho but they absolutely are not number 1 for reliability in a neglected situation. This is where Fanuc machines outshine and especially when coupled with a Mori Seiki. Those machines can take a beating and horrible neglect and still run. They are not the best performers when it comes to coordinated multiaxis motion, especially older machines so it really comes down to you and what you really need vs how much you are really willing to learn.

4. I would assume these machines need servicing. How often is it required? What is usually done? Does it require specialized tools or is it something I could perform myself.

You can do almost anything yourself if you learn how. The tools can be purchased and if they can't you can make them with the machines. This is not a major factor if you have the right attitude. You do though have to be willing to take steps to get the appropriate knowledge and not get overwhelmed by how much you still need to know. I have an idea of the mountain that lies before you and what it is like you climb. You don't and maybe that is a good thing; Just keep learning and especially reading and you will get there.

5. What about spare parts for a machine like this? How far back do manufacturers offer support for these type of things? Would I be able to still find parts for a machine built in 1997, for example?

Do not buy this machine if you are planning to pick up the phone to get help from DMG. Almost nothing in life can prepare you for the shock of how much money that will cost you. They are an amazing company and do provide excellent support but you had better save that for absolutely special circumstances where you have already learned a great deal and the information you seek can ONLY be acquired from them. Same with parts. Get a quote for a replacement spindle or something from DMG and it will take your breath away. Can it be rebuilt? Almost for certain it can. These machines are use friendly to work on, in my opinion.

6. Since the 600W I'm looking at does not have a tool changer, can these be retrofitted? Are they model specific or universal?

Retrofitting a tool changer? At this stage of your journey I recommend against investing in anything that needs such a retrofit right out of the gate. Used CNC's of high performance capability have come down in price over the years so don't invest yet if your application requires capabilities the machine your looking at doesn't have. Yes you would learn a lot from retrofitting an ATC, but is the PLC in that control setup for it already?

If you can tell me the dimensions you plan to machine for your heatsinks I may actually know of a machine that would work perfect for that application depending on what your budget is going into this. Also, what sort of electricity do you have access to now? Where are you located?

Dave @ Nerv
 
Hi, Dave! First of all thank you very much for taking the time to provide my much needed guidance. I have been searching the internet for information. I know that, most probably, all my questions have been answered before but it is a matter of asking the right questions and using the proper terminology to get the answers that I'm seeking.

I got the book you mentioned. It looks indeed like a very good starting point. I will start reading it.

I'd like to clarify some of the things mentioned earlier. I am indeed talking about heatsinks. In Romanian we use the same word for both and differentiate them depending on context. The parts are about 200x400mm with the actual heatsink region of 70x70mm. This will, of course, adapt based on customer needs. The idea is to have 0.5mm fins separated by a 0.5mm gap with a 5 to 10mm depth. What would you define as a high RPM spindle? How many RPM?

I am not planning to phone DMG for servicing because I can imagine they have huge price tags. That is why I was asking about maintain it myself.

In regard to the tool changer, it is not mandatory for what I intend to do. But it would have been a nice addon.

In terms of budget, it's pretty limited. I am looking at about 5000 EUR available for the machine itself. The Deckel Maho MH 600W is for sale at 5500EUR and I'm also looking at an OMV FAS-4 for 4500 EUR. The OMV is older and has lower RPM, that's why I am leaning towards the 600W. Electricity is not an issue as I am looking to rent space in an industrial hall with 380V AC power. I am located in Romania.

What is the machine that you think would be a proper fit for what I am trying to do?

Once again, many thanks for your time. It is much appreciated!
 








 
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