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Inside fadal plant

RC Mech

Stainless
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Location
Ontario, Canada
Another Fadal video from 1993:

Tour of Fadal Factory 1993 (Part 1) - YouTube

I’ve got 2 Fadals and I completely agree they’re built pretty hokey but man are they simple and easy to work on. I do mold making on the 4020 VHT. Aluminum parts for our products on the 15XT.

I’d like to see some comment on the layout of the factory and the work flow/production advise here. Not talking about 5S/BS but real insight that can help a small manufacturer grow with a solid system in place.
 

Speedie

Stainless
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Location
Midwestern MN/Wi USA
I just dont understand the story very well. Profits were not taxed 50% in the 90s. Hell there wasnt even inventory tax. So what gives there? Also I love it when people have a story or two about an issue and trash the brand. How many thousands of fadals are making lil peter peppers money after being defunct for 15 years now. Hell even at work we got a 4020 that has only seen a spindle (as far as I know) and works 5 to 7 hours a day cutting chips...1-3 hours are taking those chips out...lol. They didnt do a shit job of glueing the turcit they didnt put enough grooves in the SOB until 1993
Also you can blame the Decaussins for Fadals demise. That horse was sold to gl, thyssen krup, mag, fives and IP was purchased to bring the brand back with more power and capability but yeah taiwanese...like everything else. Fadal did basically make a USA copy of Kitamura. They were great machines back in the day. Mold makers hogging dream. Powerful boxed way high torque 40 taper USA made from quality components. Where would they be today...One can only Vaselate...hahaha..40krpm big plus, 5000ipm rapids, 400ftpbs of torque, 5000ftlbs of axial thrust and 25000lb VMC3525....HOO HOOO HOOOOOOOOOOO RRAAAH. now thata vaselatin boys
 

Speedie

Stainless
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Location
Midwestern MN/Wi USA
Lots od the 2nd gen lives on, calmotion, ITS...NEXGEN...ect. Solid folks in the industry. Now you can pecker size it up with rapids, Haas this, Haas that but a VF12 50 taper cuts like a vmc15xt. They shake to the same harmonics tune.....brbrbtbrbtbtbrbtbbtbtbrbtbt...reewwwww...ok oops just took a 1/4 bite out of aluminum. I think haas likes 50 taper because the pull stud has 5000lbs of force not because they cut better..ha. We have some newer gen Haas machines at work and they are superior in every way to even older gen haas but they still rattle. Haas feels it is important to rum only 4 bearings in every axis...sheesh. Are they ball style? Fadal required big oil pressure and constant maintenance on the lubrication valves. If those valves werent clean and exactly metering you get what you get....cruddy results. But when a machine was made on a friday after soup it would go against most machines of that yeat and tromp it in its class. They were great and the legacy left is that of running machines im shops, oems and small garages
There is no greater value than a half assed fadal right now for a start up or to get another spindle at least making a chip
 

Vancbiker

Diamond
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Location
Vancouver, WA. USA
....... Fadal did basically make a USA copy of Kitamura. They were great machines back in the day. Mold makers hogging dream. Powerful boxed way high torque 40 taper USA made from quality components.........

Huh???? I'm gonna give you benefit of doubt, you gotta be drunk.

When I worked for a Fadal distributor in the late 80s to early 90s, the folks buying them either could not afford a good machine or the fell for the salesman's line of BS about how good they were. The folks happy with them had little to no experience with quality machines or knew they couldn't afford better so had to be happy with what they had. A big part of me leaving that company was related to having to try to mollify the folks that fell for the salesman's line of BS when they realized that they had a new machine that was crap compared to the other machines they had.
 

DavidScott

Titanium
Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Location
Washington
I ran a brand new 15XT purchased in late 97 for 7 years, I now own and run a 30 taper Kitamura built in 2001. I can say with zero reservation that my Kitamura is 10 times the machine that Fadal was, even though it has way more hours on it. The idea that a Fadal is even close to a Kitamura is ludicrous.
 

Speedie

Stainless
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Location
Midwestern MN/Wi USA
Kitamura in the late 80s and 90s ...same boxed way configuration, same head casting style, same goofy rear front and side way covers. Same pendant size and placement. Comparing fadals entry level vmc15xt to a kitamura misses the point
 

Speedie

Stainless
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Location
Midwestern MN/Wi USA
Huh???? I'm gonna give you benefit of doubt, you gotta be drunk.

When I worked for a Fadal distributor in the late 80s to early 90s, the folks buying them either could not afford a good machine or the fell for the salesman's line of BS about how good they were. The folks happy with them had little to no experience with quality machines or knew they couldn't afford better so had to be happy with what they had. A big part of me leaving that company was related to having to try to mollify the folks that fell for the salesman's line of BS when they realized that they had a new machine that was crap compared to the other machines they had.

Nobody can diminish your experience. Fadal could have been great. They were 90% there. But they stopped evolving. So many things were a carbon copy of kitamura..even the counterweight. But non stretched ballscrews, aluminum mounts. They were close to being superb. Good enough that they are still in use in shops all over America. Every factory could make lemons. But which fadal are we talking about? They changed every few years
 

Bobw

Diamond
Joined
Feb 8, 2005
Location
Hatch, NM Chile capital of the WORLD
Kitamura in the late 80s and 90s ...same boxed way configuration, same head casting style, same goofy rear front and side way covers. Same pendant size and placement. Comparing fadals entry level vmc15xt to a kitamura misses the point

Yeah, the VMC15 is more a drill tappy thing. Linear ways (and not done the Japanese way),
its light, its a weldment, not castings, and its got a wimpy spindle on it. I use the hell
out of mine, she's been a good one.
 

ifixcnc

Hot Rolled
Joined
Feb 6, 2015
Location
Cleveland Ohio
Not to knock VC Bikers view, there was room in the market for a cheap VMC (the VW Bug) of the CNC world.
Lots of shops bought them and did OK, still to this day a high percentage of those built are running.
Not saying that they are not bottom of the barrel machines, just that they filled a need.

The family lost 2 of the original 4 members early on. The two remaining sought to maximize profit and move on, soo they created the paper tiger. With close to 400 units a month being sold they CONvinced G&L to pay nearly 140 Million for the company that had only 40 Million in assets. Walked away with a cool 100 Mil, with only 12 years of machine building, not so dumb in my book.

I was an insider at the time, so this is not hearsay.
 

RC Mech

Stainless
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Location
Ontario, Canada
The family lost 2 of the original 4 members early on. The two remaining sought to maximize profit and move on, soo they created the paper tiger. With close to 400 units a month being sold they CONvinced G&L to pay nearly 140 Million for the company that had only 40 Million in assets. Walked away with a cool 100 Mil, with only 12 years of machine building, not so dumb in my book.

I was an insider at the time, so this is not hearsay.

The two I have are on opposite ends of the spectrum: VMC 15XT and a 4020 VHT. I have to chase both. Both are sufficient and will allow my business to purchase more profitable iron.

As far as the valuation of the business to G&L, say it’s $50k/machine and the sales are 350/month. That’s $210M of annual revenue. G&L paid 8 months of revenue- that’s low and I know very little about their internal business but I suspect they knew what they were looking at.
 

Speedie

Stainless
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Location
Midwestern MN/Wi USA
No, nothing in common, not the head casting, the spindle motor placement, the column, base, saddle, the counterweight, oil meters, the rear way cover and motor positions. Nothing at all.
 

Cole2534

Diamond
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Location
Oklahoma City, OK
Huh???? I'm gonna give you benefit of doubt, you gotta be drunk.

When I worked for a Fadal distributor in the late 80s to early 90s, the folks buying them either could not afford a good machine or the fell for the salesman's line of BS about how good they were. The folks happy with them had little to no experience with quality machines or knew they couldn't afford better so had to be happy with what they had. A big part of me leaving that company was related to having to try to mollify the folks that fell for the salesman's line of BS when they realized that they had a new machine that was crap compared to the other machines they had.

That seems more of an issue with salesmen than the machine, over-promising and such.
 

Vancbiker

Diamond
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Location
Vancouver, WA. USA
No, nothing in common, not the head casting, the spindle motor placement, the column, base, saddle, the counterweight, oil meters, the rear way cover and motor positions. Nothing at all.

They dont share anything but the design

Along with the vast majority of VMCs of the period. Execution of any design is crucial to make a quality machine tool.

More than anything, they were a sad statement as to the condition of the machine tool industry in what was once the premier machine tool building country in the world.
 

Speedie

Stainless
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Location
Midwestern MN/Wi USA
Vancbiker I am going to dangle a fadal from a string off a stick and tease you with it. haahahhaaaa. They must have done something right to be around for 27-28 years. Maybe not everything right.
 








 
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