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Looking for a Datron or a Datron alternative machine

Nibleswick

Plastic
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
They toured the horizontal Fanuc control version of that machine around all the US trade shows in the 2000s before sending it back to Japan unsold. It uses axis chaining of both the head and table moving to get bigger travel out of the tiny enclosure size. It's a really clever design but I seriously doubt they have any installed in the US. Nothing good can come from being the early adopter and having an orphan CNC mill...

That sounds really neat, but also really fiddley and prone to breaking down. That's unfortunate I was looking forward to getting my hopes up.
 

CNC Hacker

Cast Iron
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Location
Hartford, CT
They toured the horizontal Fanuc control version of that machine around all the US trade shows in the 2000s before sending it back to Japan unsold. It uses axis chaining of both the head and table moving to get bigger travel out of the tiny enclosure size. It's a really clever design but I seriously doubt they have any installed in the US. Nothing good can come from being the early adopter and having an orphan CNC mill...

You're thinking of the UN series mills. Totally different animal made for high production automotive work. There is a vertical and horizontal version.
UN-600H
UN-600V

A VC300 is a KY Mazak model with regular mazatrol controls on them. I've ran both the 3X and 5X version. About a foot of travel in X and Y. Slower than a brother or robodrill, but it has the same CAT40 spindles as a VCN, which can be an advantage depending on your work.
 

TKassoc

Cast Iron
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Location
Oakland, CA
I'll defer to your knowledge on that one then. I clearly can't keep track of the giant alphabet soup of Mazak models.
 

Laurentian

Stainless
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Location
Canada
About the Datron machines. I've done much research on these as a few of our competitors are using them.
Couple things come to mind compared to the other iron out there at same if not very close price :

1/ Traveling table router type gantry arrangement rather than traditional bedmill ( rigidity and dampening )
2/ Servo motors are not attached to lead screws directly
3/ No counterweight on Z axis
4/ The machine itself rests on a fabricated steel frame rather than a cast to floor base
5/ Spindle /tool interchange is not common nor as robust as proven 20 or 30 taper toolholders
using ER16 or other commonly used tool holding methods
6/ No flood coolant is a serious issue for many applications.
7/ Rotary axes available are small and low powered compared to steel cutting machine tools
8/ Empirical evidence of frequent expensive spindle rebuilds ( found here in PM, one here-say
anecdote heard through a customers and sellers of used Datron machines )
9/ High depreciation, seen a late 2000's sell on eBay for 17K with rebuilt spindle. It
was snapped up pretty quick and seller already had a few people lined up if deal fell through
when I called.

That said we'd be in the market for a good clean used example at reasonable cost for the following reasons :

1/ Training of staff before moving on to true machining centers ( less intimidating and ease of use )
2/ Much vaunted hype could help attract newcomers into the industry ( they enjoy cult-like status )
3/ Fast set-up times for one off's thanks to probing and advanced camera options, auto tool wear management
4/ Probing irregular surfaces for making the tool path fit odd work pieces and for quick turnaround of
decorative control panel, personalized trinket and trophy - awards type work.
5/ Micro-machining and engraving of small non ferrous work pieces and graphite or copper electrodes
( using their sealed ball-screw way cover option for graphite protection )
6/ Can engrave some smaller steel and mold cavity work, brass hot stamps and coining or minting dies
7/ Very fast rapids and feedrates, 60,000+ rpm options
8/ Ease of installation and rigging due to light weight, compact size and voltage requirements
9/ Tidy enclosure for noise and dust control

There you have it, feel free to add to the list as needed.
 








 
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