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Inside fadal plant

Houndogforever

Hot Rolled
Joined
Oct 20, 2015
Location
Boring
Selling the company was not an easy decision, originally the brothers had planned on passing it down to the next generation of de Caussins, but there were some problems. Fadal's cash was tied up in property, equipment, inventory, and accounts receivable, and the company was going to have to dip into profits to pay the 55% gift tax. That was an issue because profits were also being taxed 50%. Financial advisors told the brothers that $1 earned was going to be about $.25 cents in pocket once the transfer was complete. So, fearing the company's demise in a forced "fire sale" if the succession was unsuccessful, Larry and Dave decided it was best to sell the business outright. Fadal sold to G&L in April of 1995.

The death tax has contributed to the demise of the family owned business in the U.S. It will be interesting to see how Gene Hass makes his exit.

I have zero problem with Fadal and what or how they ran and sold their company. They did what was best for themselves at that time.
That being said, the estate tax currently is not anywhere close to as harsh as it used to be. I believe the lower limit is now over $12million before it takes effect.

Your comment about having to dip into profits to pay the tax tho. That is exactly how it is supposed to work. When you make profit, you pay tax. The money to pay the tax has to come from one of two places, profits or owners equity.
 

triumph406

Titanium
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Location
ca
Was just getting started doing customer training on a newly installed 4020. Began to demonstrate the CS procedure. Started to handwheel the Y to align the marks and the MF'er took off in the positive direction. Snapped the silly little stop rod and finally came to a stop with the table and ruined way covers pushing the doors and sheetmetal out about 4 inches. Somewhat shaken, I told the customer that class was over for the day.

Crappy resolver. 1960s servo control technology still being used in the late 80s. New motor, thrust bearings, ballscrew and coupler, Y way covers, Y stop rod and springs, doors, and front shitmetal panels. But yeah, the parts were cheap.

And into the 90's

The only real problems I have had with the 4020 have been the tachometers getting carbon in the comutators, then the axis jumps backwards and forwards, happened on the X and Z. Easy enough fix. The Z axis issue nearly had me changing my shorts.....

The other issue is Resolver bearings. Before I got new resolvers I was buying bearings and put them into housings I turned to replace the resolver bearings, they lasted about a year.

Turcite is a problem, mainly as people don't keep an eye on the lube system. I change metering units every couple of years.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
The other issue is Resolver bearings. Before I got new resolvers I was buying bearings and put them into housings I turned to replace the resolver bearings, they lasted about a year.
What kind of resolvers do these things use ? I had Harowe's in a lot of stuff, never had a single resolver problem. Everything else broke, even some stuff that was supposedly unbreakable, but never a resolver.

Can't replace them with a better one ? Or is it the way they are mounted ?
 

triumph406

Titanium
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Location
ca
What kind of resolvers do these things use ? I had Harowe's in a lot of stuff, never had a single resolver problem. Everything else broke, even some stuff that was supposedly unbreakable, but never a resolver.

Can't replace them with a better one ? Or is it the way they are mounted ?

I think I replaced the originals which may have been Harowe's with Harowes. I'll have to look in the cabinet of the machine to confirm

The issue is the original bearing is part of the housing that supports each end of the resolver. So it's not a case of pressing out the old bearing and installing a new one. So I had to turn up a disk, and then installed a McMaster 3759T46 bearing into the disk.

If I did it again I'd hone the id of the disk to get a tight slip fit, then loctite the bearing. I might have had a slightly heavy press fit, that's why it only lasted a year. (2000+ hours so not bad)

With a Fadal you can tell when the resolver bearings are going bad when the finish starts getting rough.

The way their mounted is ok, their driven with an instrument coupling, so no (if any) appreciable end force on the shaft. Their inside the motor cap, so are dry. Not sure why they went bad. Was probably the mileage.

If there's a better resolver out there I'm not looking for it, the ones in there now will out last me.

IMG_2333.jpg

(I looked at the finish of the one I turned, doesn't look great but it worked)
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
The issue is the original bearing is part of the housing that supports each end of the resolver. So it's not a case of pressing out the old bearing and installing a new one.
Eek. These are the ones I am used to :
harowe-11brw300c58-resolver-new-no-box.jpg

Less to go wrong, maybe ...
 

RC Mech

Stainless
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Location
Ontario, Canada
They were bought by MAG, and absolutely every thing that MAG touched went to
shit..

What year did G&L buy them?

The one thing that Fadal did right, I think, they kept it simple. We make VMC's.. period.
We don't need no lathes, we don't need no stinkin' Horizontals.. We make one flavor of
VMC.. Period.

MAG tried to expand it to lathes and different machines.. The "New" Fadal is trying to
do the same.

Not sure but my 1998 VMC 15XT is co-branded Gidding and Lewis.

You’re exactly right. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. I find Haas VMC’s to be acceptable, but man do they make shitty lathes.

Nice look into their manufacturing process. No frills, just assembly, people mostly getting things done. Everyone looks proud of what they’re doing.
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
I was 6 when that video was made, so way before my time. The thing I don't get though is that the things Fadal did poorly in the construction of their machines were 100% avoidable.

I'm a firm believer in the continuous improvement idea and Fadal did the opposite of that. They had to know they were building some real shit, but they did nothing to change/improve. It was like "Fuck it, it's good enough to sell". So that's what they did.

I don't quite follow the whole inheritance tax thing. The Fadal company was a partnership right? Multiple owners? And they wanted to pass it on to their kids right?

I don't really buy the taxes were too high to pass it on excuse. I think they knew they were 15 years behind the power curve and it would take a miracle to catch up so they got out before technology really made their machines look abysmal.
 

triumph406

Titanium
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Location
ca
This is a Fadal resolver (not mine a picture of ebay)

s-l1600.jpg

servo mount so it allows you to turn the resolver to get the table (and head) to be in the correct position when doing a cold start.
 

triumph406

Titanium
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Location
ca
I was 6 when that video was made, so way before my time. The thing I don't get though is that the things Fadal did poorly in the construction of their machines were 100% avoidable.

I'm a firm believer in the continuous improvement idea and Fadal did the opposite of that. They had to know they were building some real shit, but they did nothing to change/improve. It was like "Fuck it, it's good enough to sell". So that's what they did.

I don't quite follow the whole inheritance tax thing. The Fadal company was a partnership right? Multiple owners? And they wanted to pass it on to their kids right?

I don't really buy the taxes were too high to pass it on excuse. I think they knew they were 15 years behind the power curve and it would take a miracle to catch up so they got out before technology really made their machines look abysmal.

Fadal made budget machines, if they weren't any good they wouldn't have been selling the same basic machines year in year out.

If they weren't any good there wouldn't be multiple vendors SELLING EVERY F'ING PART req'd to keep a Fadal going. There isn't another machine tool you can keep going like you can with a Fadal. I can get every concievable part for my Fadal 1 1/2 hours drive away.(ITSCNC)

Your old Mori/Okuma/Takasawa/Kitamura spidle/spindle drive/lead screws etc etc goes bad? watcha going to do? most people are going to scrap it out. Fadal? drive 1 1/2 each way for any part, or next air frieght, either way your Fadal will keep running for ever.

The only real weak point I see on my Fadal is the Turcite. When that goes I'll replace it and carry on.

It always seems the real Fadal 'experts' aren't the ones running and making money on Fadals.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
This is a Fadal resolver (not mine a picture of ebay)

View attachment 339000
Very strange that they are a problem in Fadals, I've had ones that look very similar in Cincinnati and K&T and American Tool and Sundstrand without ever a single problem. The older Cincy even had three of them geared together for each axis to get the resolution. Never failed. Not personally but know of them in Monarch and Sheldon and Excello without troubles, too.

Maybe a different model but same company, and there's not much inside to go wrong. Weird. Disagree with Vanc about them being bad, I prefer them to encoders. Encoders were the cheap cheesy option in the past :)

Exactly what breaks on the Fadal versions ?
 

triumph406

Titanium
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Location
ca
Very strange that they are a problem in Fadals, I've had ones that look very similar in Cincinnati and K&T and American Tool and Sundstrand without ever a single problem. The older Cincy even had three of them geared together for each axis to get the resolution. Never failed. Not personally but know of them in Monarch and Sheldon and Excello without troubles, too.

Maybe a different model but same company, and there's not much inside to go wrong. Weird. Disagree with Vanc about them being bad, I prefer them to encoders. Encoders were the cheap cheesy option in the past :)

Exactly what breaks on the Fadal versions ?

Generally it's the bearings, nothing else to go wrong. I don't suspect they go bad often. the one I had to redo the bearings may have had a decade or two so of use. could well have been in there since 1991.

When they go bad there is some end play, and radial play if they get really bad.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
Generally it's the bearings, nothing else to go wrong.
Ah. Does Fadal use those helically-slit couplings ? I have replaced several of those, was surprised that they broke since the load is tiny, but maybe they do a good job of compensating for small amounts of misalignment or vibration ? $15 coupling is way nicer to replace than a $300 resolver !
 

triumph406

Titanium
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Location
ca
Ah. Does Fadal use those helically-slit couplings ? I have replaced several of those, was surprised that they broke since the load is tiny, but maybe they do a good job of compensating for small amounts of misalignment or vibration ? $15 coupling is way nicer to replace than a $300 resolver !

Yes I think they were. The servos are Glentek so choice of tachos/resolvers/couplings etc would have been theirs, unless Fadal specified the servos internal components or construction.
 

Vancbiker

Diamond
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Location
Vancouver, WA. USA
C’mon, you have got to know that the reason there are so many vendors selling repair parts for Fadal is because it’s big business.


In contrast, my 1995 Mori has needed one ballscrew lube line. Period as far as failures. McMaster Carr had the tubing and fittings. Spent more on shipping than the parts. I have spent about $20 every 3 years to replace the memory backup batteries. Nobody’s making big money selling parts for premium machine tools.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
Nothing says precision like doing prep work on the parts whilst sitting on the forks....
 

cnctoolcat

Titanium
Joined
Sep 18, 2006
Location
Abingdon, VA
Exactly what breaks on the Fadal versions ?

Moisture intrusion often dooms Fadal resolvers (servo motors sometimes as well).

Even though the resolver is under the "sealed" motor end cover, damp air eventually makes it's way in. Some is in there upon assembly, eh?

And yes, Fadals used the little helical-machined-spring thingy coupling for the resolver.

Fadal didn't build "shit" machines, they ran and made money for the buyers...and most still do.

To offer a hardened-and-ground box way, commodity-priced machining center made in the USA, Fadal had to cut some corners on other things. Fadal could have done like Gene Haas and based their VMC's on linear guideways from the start, and been able to spend more money on other parts of the machine.

But overall, Fadal built a useable vertical machining center for the 1990's... and beyond.

The new Fadal could be made in Taiwan, but AFAIK the frame, saddle, table, spindle, etc. designs of the new machining centers are the same as the legacy ones. Not sure if they are box ways or not..?

They wouldn't be copying a 40-year design if it didn't work...?

ToolCat
 
Last edited:

gustafson

Diamond
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Location
People's Republic
Selling the company was not an easy decision, originally the brothers had planned on passing it down to the next generation of de Caussins, but there were some problems. Fadal's cash was tied up in property, equipment, inventory, and accounts receivable, and the company was going to have to dip into profits to pay the 55% gift tax. That was an issue because profits were also being taxed 50%. Financial advisors told the brothers that $1 earned was going to be about $.25 cents in pocket once the transfer was complete. So, fearing the company's demise in a forced "fire sale" if the succession was unsuccessful, Larry and Dave decided it was best to sell the business outright. Fadal sold to G&L in April of 1995.

The death tax has contributed to the demise of the family owned business in the U.S. It will be interesting to see how Gene Hass makes his exit.

They needed better accountants.

Their 'financial advisors' were crap
 








 
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