20 year old HAAS machines need advice
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    athens ohio
    Posts
    469
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    227
    Likes (Received)
    97

    Default 20 year old HAAS machines need advice

    Howdy and Happy Friday to you all,
    There are 2 machines here at work that I need some advice on how to deal with them. I feel like the situation is unique so I guess I will need to explain that too. This isn't necessarily a normal machine shop/manufacturing environment. I work for a mid to large size university in the engineering school. I have been offered 2 Haas machines that have been sitting for 15 years, one is a VF2 and the other is an SL20 they are from '99 and '01. These machines have been on campus in another place....sitting idle for 15 years.

    The controls are old, they have the old disk slots on them. I don't see any place to plug in a USB or anything. In order for these machines to be valuable to us here they need to be user friendly with modern programming. I could use them and program with G-code but that doesn't do a whole lot for showing students how to use modern CAM software.

    Can I get new modern control upgrades to these machines? What is the cost if so? Is it worth it to even mess around with these machines? I don't necessarily NEED these machines but they would greatly modernize our shop and increase our capabilities. I already have a CNC lathe and mill in my shop. The university here is under a serious budget crunch and money is tight. Does Haas have a trade in policy? Asking for 20k for control upgrades is a lot easier than asking for 50k for a new machine. I have 2 calls in to Haas over the last 2 days and no response, which also worries me. That's why I'm posting this here. I feel like I will get a better and quicker response.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, New Hampshire
    Posts
    12,703
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2899
    Likes (Received)
    8798

    Default

    Yes, you can get the controls upgraded, and may even be eligible for a discount if these are in a university setting. But I'd confirm that the basic hardware is in good shape before spending any money, including rigging them.

    Regarding no call backs from your HFO, sometimes you have to call and ask for "Sales", and after you get a person explain nicely that you need to speak to a human (not voicemail) in Service.

  3. Likes BT Fabrication liked this post
  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Long Island, New York
    Posts
    742
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    350
    Likes (Received)
    125

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vonblowseph View Post
    Howdy and Happy Friday to you all,
    There are 2 machines here at work that I need some advice on how to deal with them. I feel like the situation is unique so I guess I will need to explain that too. This isn't necessarily a normal machine shop/manufacturing environment. I work for a mid to large size university in the engineering school. I have been offered 2 Haas machines that have been sitting for 15 years, one is a VF2 and the other is an SL20 they are from '99 and '01. These machines have been on campus in another place....sitting idle for 15 years.

    The controls are old, they have the old disk slots on them. I don't see any place to plug in a USB or anything. In order for these machines to be valuable to us here they need to be user friendly with modern programming. I could use them and program with G-code but that doesn't do a whole lot for showing students how to use modern CAM software.

    Can I get new modern control upgrades to these machines? What is the cost if so? Is it worth it to even mess around with these machines? I don't necessarily NEED these machines but they would greatly modernize our shop and increase our capabilities. I already have a CNC lathe and mill in my shop. The university here is under a serious budget crunch and money is tight. Does Haas have a trade in policy? Asking for 20k for control upgrades is a lot easier than asking for 50k for a new machine. I have 2 calls in to Haas over the last 2 days and no response, which also worries me. That's why I'm posting this here. I feel like I will get a better and quicker response.
    We have a '97 VF-1 here, and about 4-5 years ago we had the local HFO come and put the latest control on it (at the time) and it was around $10k.
    I can get a closer number if you need it from the boss, but it wasn't anywhere near $20k

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, New Hampshire
    Posts
    12,703
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2899
    Likes (Received)
    8798

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Volitan View Post
    We have a '97 VF-1 here, and about 4-5 years ago we had the local HFO come and out the latest control on it (at the time) and it was around $10k.
    I can get a closer number if you need it from the boss, but it wasn't anywhere near $20k
    Not too long after you had your machine upgraded, Haas bumped the price up to about double what it had been. At least one thread about it at the time, and it pissed some folks off.

  6. Likes mhajicek liked this post
  7. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Idaho
    Posts
    850
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    192
    Likes (Received)
    972

    Default

    I see absolutely no reason to upgrade the control. I have machines of that vintage, up to 2020 machines. I see very little improvement in functionality or ease of use... if anything I prefer the older controls.

    There are some USB conversions that I’ve read about. Personally I just transfer programs to my older Haas machines using RS232 from a dedicated computer. Not hard to do, and allows me to run ridiculously long programs.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, New Hampshire
    Posts
    12,703
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2899
    Likes (Received)
    8798

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by G00 Proto View Post
    I see absolutely no reason to upgrade the control. I have machines of that vintage, up to 2020 machines. I see very little improvement in functionality or ease of use... if anything I prefer the older controls.

    There are some USB conversions that I’ve read about. Personally I just transfer programs to my older Haas machines using RS232 from a dedicated computer. Not hard to do, and allows me to run ridiculously long programs.
    I did the USB replacement for both my ~2000 Haas mills, it was worth it. I don't usually run really long programs, but have used drip feed those few times.

    FWIW, I agree about preferring the old controls, but that's not really appropriate when you're trying to instruct students. You should have current tech available for them, as that's (most likely) what they're use when they leave Uni.

  9. Likes primeholy liked this post
  10. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Long Island, New York
    Posts
    742
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    350
    Likes (Received)
    125

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    Not too long after you had your machine upgraded, Haas bumped the price up to about double what it had been. At least one thread about it at the time, and it pissed some folks off.
    oofah... If the price was double not sure we would have done it.

  11. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Long Island, New York
    Posts
    742
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    350
    Likes (Received)
    125

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by G00 Proto View Post
    I see absolutely no reason to upgrade the control. I have machines of that vintage, up to 2020 machines. I see very little improvement in functionality or ease of use... if anything I prefer the older controls.

    There are some USB conversions that I’ve read about. Personally I just transfer programs to my older Haas machines using RS232 from a dedicated computer. Not hard to do, and allows me to run ridiculously long programs.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    If it were a production environment I would agree. I know of at least 2 different shops still using floppies on older Hass's and making money.
    This is a university environment though. I would want to be taught on the latest, not 20 year old stuff.

  12. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, New Hampshire
    Posts
    12,703
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2899
    Likes (Received)
    8798

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Volitan View Post
    oofah... If the price was double not sure we would have done it.
    Post #283 from this page (whole thread is a lot longer and spans ~two years):

    Obsolete processor board?

  13. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Long Island, New York
    Posts
    742
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    350
    Likes (Received)
    125

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    Post #283 from this page (whole thread is a lot longer and spans ~two years):

    Obsolete processor board?
    Wow! Thanks for pointing that out. Big difference

  14. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Alabama
    Posts
    355
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    147
    Likes (Received)
    99

    Default

    If you are just teaching, leave the control alone. It is pretty easy to go from one Haas to another. Plus you don't want to spend a lot of money on something that kids are likely to destroy.

  15. Likes BT Fabrication liked this post
  16. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    Saskatchewan
    Posts
    10,321
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1412
    Likes (Received)
    3767

    Default

    The floppy drive can be replaced with a USB converter drive that emulates a floppy drive. I got one off Ebay a few years back. However, you do have to jump through a few hoops to use it, since it replaces the single floppy drive with maybe 99 virtual ones.

    I couldn't rely on my conventional floppy drive to read a disk without spoiling it, so at least I have access if I need it. However, I have the 16 meg memory option, and WiFi connection via a Moxa Nport, so I've never had to drip feed a program yet. Takes quite a while to download a large program via wifi as a 1996 machine doesn't have a very high transfer rate by (emulated) RS 232.

    I'd hate to actually have to use a floppy. Typically, I have to change a program two or three times right off the bat, so I'd hate to have try to do this with floppies or even a USB drive. I much prefer the Moxa Nport and WiFi.

  17. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Texas
    Posts
    118
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Why not teach the use of older and newer controls. 'I'm sure in the real world
    there are more older machines than newer.I have 3 machines from early 80's
    two from late 90's and 2 from 2018.

  18. Likes BT Fabrication liked this post
  19. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    441
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    408

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Volitan View Post
    If it were a production environment I would agree. I know of at least 2 different shops still using floppies on older Hass's and making money.
    This is a university environment though. I would want to be taught on the latest, not 20 year old stuff.
    We use a Titan DNC to send programs from USB to the machine through the RS232 no biggie. FYI the latest Haas stuff is 20+ years old. They haven't really done anything besides put fancier monitors on them since inception.

  20. Likes BT Fabrication liked this post
  21. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    Ontario
    Posts
    540
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    829
    Likes (Received)
    127

    Default

    id agree with above, newer controllers come with a few more visual aids, but nothing per the controller side that stands out to justify the cost.
    work with what you have, they will learn more the hard way then the easy way.

  22. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Washington
    Posts
    1,502
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    918
    Likes (Received)
    834

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vonblowseph View Post
    snip

    The controls are old, they have the old disk slots on them. I don't see any place to plug in a USB or anything. In order for these machines to be valuable to us here they need to be user friendly with modern programming. I could use them and program with G-code but that doesn't do a whole lot for showing students how to use modern CAM software.

    snip
    Unless you're referring to conversational programming on the control, modern CAM software involves post processers that create G-code programs that get transferred to the machine tools. The control on the machine won't really impact that process beyond knowing what codes the machine can or can't handle.

  23. Likes countryguy, rcoope liked this post
  24. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Mich, USA
    Posts
    387
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    191
    Likes (Received)
    68

    Default

    Welcome to the forum! A lot to unpack here IMO. I'm an Adjunct and been an instructor for 30+ besides the day job. Definitely many ways to put some lipstick and rouge on this thing. IT means being creative, and I am sure you know that lesson. ;-)
    My 3 cents is there are options but it really depends on scope, time, and budget. I'm a bit rushed today but had to post up something ;-)
    a) Run them as-is- We have a 98 VF w/ original controls. We use Solidworks and F360. for CAM we've used both HSM and the solidworks flavor. Modern CAM. Modern designs. We even run in 5 axis. The magic is in the post-processor. $24 for a USB conversion on the floppy.

    b) You w/ Russ? Could you get a local Co. to sponsor the upgrades? You must have some bigger relationships w/ local industry. A stream of local engineers and Haas Ops ready folks could be of interest? Find those business that could use a write-off, want to help, and are part of the area and community. A thought?

    c)And there are educational discounts. But you should try to contact Corporate in CA (Where I would start). Local HFO's are number$ driven.

    Back to scope, time and budget... Scope: What is the end goal- CAM instruction or Manufacturing in a CNC machining environment? Will they be 80% in the CAM assignments and 20% loading a USB stick to make a Delrin widget? Then use them as is IMO.

    Budget wise- Probably better to have the HFO come in to prep, connect and spin them up. There are also 'other' CNC repair houses that can come and work on these. Fluids dumped, lines blown out, pumps checked, seals and gaskets, Just things the Son and I did and learned along the way.

    Peace and TGIf!










    Quote Originally Posted by vonblowseph View Post
    Howdy and Happy Friday to you all,
    There are 2 machines here at work that I need some advice on how to deal with them. I feel like the situation is unique so I guess I will need to explain that too. This isn't necessarily a normal machine shop/manufacturing environment. I work for a mid to large size university in the engineering school. I have been offered 2 Haas machines that have been sitting for 15 years, one is a VF2 and the other is an SL20 they are from '99 and '01. These machines have been on campus in another place....sitting idle for 15 years.

    The controls are old, they have the old disk slots on them. I don't see any place to plug in a USB or anything. In order for these machines to be valuable to us here they need to be user friendly with modern programming. I could use them and program with G-code but that doesn't do a whole lot for showing students how to use modern CAM software.

    Can I get new modern control upgrades to these machines? What is the cost if so? Is it worth it to even mess around with these machines? I don't necessarily NEED these machines but they would greatly modernize our shop and increase our capabilities. I already have a CNC lathe and mill in my shop. The university here is under a serious budget crunch and money is tight. Does Haas have a trade in policy? Asking for 20k for control upgrades is a lot easier than asking for 50k for a new machine. I have 2 calls in to Haas over the last 2 days and no response, which also worries me. That's why I'm posting this here. I feel like I will get a better and quicker response.

  25. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    athens ohio
    Posts
    469
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    227
    Likes (Received)
    97

    Default

    Wow!
    Thanks a lot...
    Great responses here. Really appreciate it.
    There is gonna be some time to get all this worked out. I will take possession of the machines by springtime.
    They will be housed in storage until we can make room for them.
    Just wasn't sure if they were worth paying the riggers to haul them to the storage space or straight to the scrap yard.
    kidding....

  26. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    athens ohio
    Posts
    469
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    227
    Likes (Received)
    97

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by countryguy View Post
    Welcome to the forum! A lot to unpack here IMO. I'm an Adjunct and been an instructor for 30+ besides the day job. Definitely many ways to put some lipstick and rouge on this thing. IT means being creative, and I am sure you know that lesson. ;-)
    My 3 cents is there are options but it really depends on scope, time, and budget. I'm a bit rushed today but had to post up something ;-)
    a) Run them as-is- We have a 98 VF w/ original controls. We use Solidworks and F360. for CAM we've used both HSM and the solidworks flavor. Modern CAM. Modern designs. We even run in 5 axis. The magic is in the post-processor. $24 for a USB conversion on the floppy.

    b) You w/ Russ? Could you get a local Co. to sponsor the upgrades? You must have some bigger relationships w/ local industry. A stream of local engineers and Haas Ops ready folks could be of interest? Find those business that could use a write-off, want to help, and are part of the area and community. A thought?

    c)And there are educational discounts. But you should try to contact Corporate in CA (Where I would start). Local HFO's are number$ driven.

    Back to scope, time and budget... Scope: What is the end goal- CAM instruction or Manufacturing in a CNC machining environment? Will they be 80% in the CAM assignments and 20% loading a USB stick to make a Delrin widget? Then use them as is IMO.

    Budget wise- Probably better to have the HFO come in to prep, connect and spin them up. There are also 'other' CNC repair houses that can come and work on these. Fluids dumped, lines blown out, pumps checked, seals and gaskets, Just things the Son and I did and learned along the way.

    Peace and TGIf!
    Yo Countryguy,
    you are pretty right on with yer response.
    I can tell that you understand the environment that i'm working in.
    Yes, I'm with the Russ College.
    Definitely a lot of what I would consider politics to this type work environment. I end up wearing a lot of hats here and it takes a lot of patience that I don't always have. My favorite hat to wear is machinist but, it seems like I don't get to wear it as much as I would like.
    Thanks the input

  27. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    poulsbo, wa, usa
    Posts
    1,116
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    88
    Likes (Received)
    477

    Default

    I run a 2000 model SL10 and a 2019 ST15 with the nexgen controls and can say first hand that you do not need to upgrade the controls on the older Haas machines ,,, yes the newer controls have a few things like the USB that is nice to have but the older controls work great and well do just fine for teaching or making custom parts ,,

    students getting out of a school and looking for jobs are going to run into more shops running older machine than shops running brand new machine ,,, why not teach them one older machines?


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •