SDI Gary: for a quick look at the Milltronics conversational programming look here
► 9:50► 9:50 Milltronics CNC Control Basic Demo.wmv - YouTube
As for a Milltronics, Hurco or Haas It mostly comes down to are you a Ford, Dodge or Chevy guy? None of which are all bad but, the debate goes on. My choice is Milltronics, Hurco and then Haas. Mostly because I have more repair experience with Milltronics and Haas. All machines today are better built then they were 10 years ago. I have been in shops that have both the Milltronics and Haas side by side and the operators seem to prefer the Milltronics, (Sorry Scott from Hurco, I just dont have the day to day experience to really chime in on Hurco, but I have talked to people that seem to like them, I need to find a Hurco I can "play with") and I would try a Hurco over the Haas. I have seen the Haas in action and the "specs" do not match the performance. (I would definetly stay away from The Haas "Mini Mill" if you plan on cutting any steel.
The Haas dealers from my experience, is that they are full service organizations (my local Haas dealer is Productivity Inc, they are a 1st class operation) and sell not just the Haas but Matsura and Makino and some other high dollar equipment as well "turn key" operations.
IMHO, With any machine purchase, SERVICE is #1. How will / are they going to respond to YOU and your companys needs. It should not matter if you are buing a 50K or a 500K machine you want somebody that will take care of you. From initial machine start up and training to neededing a part 2 years down the road. This is the dealer job, make sure they will do it.
Watch for pricining make shure you compare apples to apples, (Haas used to sell a "5HP axis option" for about 5K that turned out to be what other machines were using as standard equipment (1.3Ww in Z and .9Kw in X and Y for the smaller machines. Does the machine have matched servo drives and motors? ie: yaskawa motor and drives or ? Haas does not, They have yaskawa motors but use a older drive system and they overspeed the motors to get the rapid rates up. Machined ways or ground ways? Haas is California pretty, Milltronics and Hurco are more Midwest plain, look under the covers to see what they are made of.
As for controls, non of them will outperform the Okuma or Mitsubishi controls for "true high speed" machineing.
but they won't cost you 300K for a machine either. I find that the Milltronics conversational programming is easy to learn and is very powerfull with more features they people realalize. (Sorry again Scott, I really need to find a Hurco to play with) The Parametric / macro programmimg is way cool and it is 99.5% compatable with Fanuc M & G code for those that write "text" based programs, plus you can write or own M or G code cycle if you want to.
Sit down in front of the control and see if it makes sense to who ever is going to program and run it.
Here is some links to some software to try on your PC and other info and "how to's".
Milltronics: CNC Control
Hurco: Hurco CNC Machine Tools - Support - FAQ, Training, Application Notes
Haas: could not locate a link to thier software, Haas CNC Control | Haas Automation, Inc. | CNC Machine Tools
For Bud Jackson, The 12" riser might explain some additional machining harmonics but should still be ridgid, I would have someone look at the machine level and tram, The Base and coloum in the VM-25 is much more "beefy" then the Haas.
As for "lock ups" you should check the machine grounding and the control power supply. lock ups are not normal they are caused by something.
Well there you have my 5cents worth. Back to the Ford, Dodge, Chevy / Milltronics, Hurco, Haas debates
( where is a firepit and case of beer when you need it