4th Axis physical layout questions
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  1. #1
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    Default 4th Axis physical layout questions

    I am in the market for a 4th for my Doosan DNM5700 Fanuc 0i-MF. I don't do production jobs, pretty much all my work has been prototype, R & D, and small run 100 count and under stuff. By that I mean I don't have a job that can write me a check to just outright purchase it without thought to cost because it is repeating work and can be counted on for income.

    But having watched about the third small $2k - $5k job go by because I can't do 4th axis features I decided to make the investment. I have been honestly, and don't laugh, using an old Super Spacer to do just indexing work. Slow as hell but it works for making ten of some basic part.

    So I looked at the prices Ellison gave me when I purchased my VMC. They just showed a company and a model number. Starting at around $20k and going up. Tsudokoma, Samchully, Lehman, ATS, etc. No other information about what is included.

    So I gave Tsudokoma a call directly to see if they had any deals or what they recommended. First the lady at Koma seemed annoyed that I was even asking her about prices and breakdowns of what was involved. She seemed to act like when she quoted a price I would just cut a check and they would install it.

    As to the layout question. From what I can see it consists of 5 different components. This is for a basic 8" size on a VMC.

    1. Servo Amplifier
    2. internal wiring
    3. external wiring
    4. Servo Motor
    5. 4th axis rotary


    Obviously a lot of other things can be added for chucks and closers and tailstocks but I am just talking basics.

    So is it correct to assume that the Servo Amplifier and Servo Motor are both Fanuc branded products and matched to work together and with my Fanuc controller model?

    Do all 4th axis within a class use the same Servo Motor? Meaning regardless of brand of 4th if it is a 8" for a Fanuc 0i-MF chances are it has the same Servo Motor. They don't make a different 4th axis body for each different control brand. They have some industry standard like NEMA Servo Motor mounting flange?

    So saying if I bought a Servo Amp and Servo Motor and got a cheap used 4th I could upgrade the 4th later to a new nicer unit? It would use the same Servo and Amp regardless of brand in that size range and type.

    I just talked to Fanuc on the phone for clarity and they weren't hugely helpful. They just said the Servo is whatever the 4th manufacturer specifies and the Amp will be the one to drive that. I get that but does that mean there are 100 of them for this application or just like 5. They did say you can mix Beta and Alpha Amps as my machine uses Beta but the Yuasa spec sheet says Alpha Amp and Servo.

    I did give him the part number on the Yuasa sheet for the Amp (A06B-6160-H104) and Servo (A06B-0223-B000) and he said the Amp number doesn't exist and suggested a (A06B-6240-H104) but I needed to confirm that with them.

    So right now the prices are looking like:
    Koma RWE-200 $15,250 for the table, $8,000 for install ($4,500 for drive kit) around $25k cheapest

    Yuasa DRFT-220 $7,195 for the table, $2,900 Amp, $2,000 Servo, $1,600 ext wiring, $900 int wiring, plus $3000 or so to install it for one afternoon. Total $17,595.

    Not sure what the Ellison ones include but assume install, waiting for a quote back from my rep.

    So does my understanding of the physical layout seem correct? Is this the best way to get a 4th on my machine? I have no idea how to do the cabinet wiring or set up the controller so seems I am kind of stuck having to pay someone to do that. I haven't found any information on how to set up the controller. I did find one video from Hardinge on how to put a 4th on a VMC as far as cabinet components.

    This opened up a can or worms and seeing all the 4th's on eBay for reasonable prices but not knowing what will work has me kind of frustrated and going in circles.

    Thanks for any help and getting me straightened out on this subject.

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    The $20k Ellison wants will be a bargain by the time that you buy all the components off eBay, realize you bought some of the wrong ones, re-purchase the right components, and then have 55 hours in the cabinet hacking expensive electronics to make it all work. Honestly - is your time best spent doing all this? Probably not.

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    In addition to the hardware you listed, you will need some Fanuc control options. On a machine with an 0iMF those will be purchased from Fanuc, I don't have info on that new a control, but on older Fanuc models they would be called something like Controlled Axes Expansion, Simultaneous Controlled Axes Expansion, and 4th Axis Simultaneous operation. Depending on what your needs are, you may not need all of these (ie, 3+1 machining).

    There are other options that may be desirable depending on what you are looking to do. Cylindrical interpolation, Polar interpolation, and Inverse time feed come to mind.

    Once you have assembled all the hardware, you will have a bunch of Fanuc parameters to figure out and set based on the hardware you have.

    Then you need to see if the builders ladder program has 4th axis support for clamping/unclamping M codes. Usually there will be a couple timer values that need to be set to allow clamp/unclamp functions to be completed before looking at verification inputs to generate the MFIN signal.

    Typically an option price on the quote for the original purchase means a factory install. After-purchase field installations are always more expensive. Sometimes way more expensive.

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    Hi Jaxian,

    I'm kind of thinking like the persons before me. I did as you've contemplated. Put together a 4th axis setup on my VMC from scratch using auctions, eBay and the likes. Let me say it was a sh*t ton of work. It also took a very long time with my head buried deep into multiple Fanuc manuals. How good are you at soldering say 14 wires or more within the area smaller then your thumbnail? Granted you can buy pre-made wiring, and I guess if I had one suggestion for anyone contemplating going the home grown route, it is buy the cabling. It will save more then you can imagine in time and learning. Just collecting the proper soldering equipment and being able to use it is a project in itself. Let alone finding the proper cable and connectors. Installing an amp in your magnetics cabinet along side the others is not that tough. There's usually blank space for another amp anyway. If you have all the cabling pre-purchsed you could be in and out of the cabinet in a day, easy. Just take a look at what cables go between your existing amps and from the control to the amps. You will need at least one of each just like them, including the buss bars hiding under the flip up lids at the tops. If your control is not already 4th capable, meaning there are no empty plugins on the card edges waiting for 4th axis cabling connections, then I'd say definitely get someone else to do the whole thing.

    If there is a red cap servo amp in a used table, know that you can change it out for a correct one if by chance the one in it doesn't work with your control. Though you have to pay keen attention to all the part numbers. On motors they describe everything, right down to the shape and design of the output shaft which will need to match what's there now. All this can be found in the books, but there again, you're off digging around in books and not getting anything else done.

    Even after getting the whole thing installed and running... sort of, I still ended up calling in a service guy to finish and fine tune the multitude of parameter changes needed. Though now that it's in, I only change 1 bit on 1 parameter to activate and deactivate the 4th axis and the A position display sections of the control. Not bad. (Fanuc OMC)

    Just know that I'd been messing with machines and controls for a long time before attempting this. Even then it was still a big job and a steep learning curve.

    Good luck no matter which route you choose.

    Dave

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    Well I was hoping to find a easier route than just write a big check but that has always been the end option. I just didn't want to be dumb about it and find out I was taken for a ride by machinery salespeople. I can't count the number of times I have found the exact part they were trying to sell me at half the cost just by finding a CNC supply place.

    Vancbiker: I must admit I was a little angry at Ellison when I first started looking into getting a 4th for my Doosan. I had repeatedly stressed when I bought it that it must be 4th axis ready. In my mind that meant putting the physical unit in and connecting the wiring to one of those big bulk connectors like the all my other accessories. The AMP and the stuff in the electrical enclosure would already be there and enabled.

    To Ellison that meant that controller was 4th axis capable and nothing else. The controller is ready for the 4th and has all the buttons and menus there, just it is all inactive or grayed out. Apparently they install all the hardware then just turn it all on in the controller.

    They did however say very clearly that this controller was NOT 5 axis capable. To do that I needed to upgrade to a 31i for I believe it was $12,000 and buy the scales at $5,500 each. I could not justify spending that kind of money.

    I read some specs they had that said something to the effect of "simultaneous axes - 3" and kept hammering them that it was 4th axis capable and they kept assuring me it was. Now if I find after 2+ years that that they meant 3+1 and I can't do any 4th simultaneous I am going to be beyond angry. I even sprang for the 4 additional M-Codes for $500 in case it needed them. I still have no idea how to tell if they are there or not. Geez, a Tormach can do simultaneous 4th axis moves.

    After my call to Fanuc today I have no confidence that they could tell me whether my 0i-MF was capable of simultaneous 4th either. I assume there is someone out there who can tell me where to check to confirm this before I spend $20k on a 4th. If I just wanted to Index I can buy a crappy Haas with a control box on it for a couple grand. Hell I could just keep using my Super Spacer with automatic stops in the G code between operations and me moving it myself. I might need to call Paul at Doosan, he has always been very helpful and knowledgeable.

    I just have that feeling that I have a lack of all the facts required that could cost me a lot of time and money.

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    Quick note, just talked to Paul from Doosan and the Fanuc 0i-MF control from them are all capable of simultaneous 4th and 4+1 movement. So at least that is a relief to know.

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    There is a difference between being 4th capable and being 4th ready. I would not expect that a machine without being ordered as a 4 axis would have the 4th axis control options already active.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    There is a difference between being 4th capable and being 4th ready. I would not expect that a machine without being ordered as a 4 axis would have the 4th axis control options already active.

    Jaxian,
    All of our mills come ready for a 4th axis. The prices quoted in our quotes are as installed and include everything needed. Drives, wiring and hardware. The quote prices are valid even after the machine is installed. It's for the complete package. The control does have the options for a 4th pre-installed at the factory since it's a LOT less expensive to do it then rather than later. The only thing is that those prices are through Ellison only, obviously, since they are our factory reps. But those prices are way less than market prices. They would not apply if you went direct to Koma or Samchully. Now, as for cost of installation? Doosan has no control over that. It is up to your Ellison office, rightfully so. We have had Koma and Samchully in our showroom to do test and demo installations and it has never taken longer than a few hours. Most 4th axis companies have hardware packages already made and ready to go for all of our mills.

    But, as others have said, time is money. Do you really want to do this yourself when you can have it done and ready to go in a few hours with a full guarantee of services performed. I have spoken with you on the phone and you seem totally capable. But your business is to make parts. Why do it the hard way?

    Paul

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    We have 2 Doosan 5700 with Samchully 4th axis. Works great. Yeah, the 4th axis ready spec is misleading, but I also vote for buy it from Ellison as a package.
    Progressive Tool @ MFG. INC. Greensboro, NC

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    Quote Originally Posted by LockNut View Post
    ......The control does have the options for a 4th pre-installed at the factory since it's a LOT less expensive to do it then rather than later.......
    So every 3 axis machine you sell is burdened with >$3k (based on list prices for Fanuc options from about 15 years ago for controlled axes expansion, simultaneous control expansion, cylindrical interpolation, polar coordinate command, and inverse time feed) to have it ready for 4th retrofits? I know that as a builder you will pay less for those. Seems unfair to the buyer of a 3 axis machine that will never retrofit it to 4 axes.

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    Been a week and still no response from Ellison as to a quote on a 4th. Just pinged Koma for a quote and they replied in a few hours. Downside is for a RWE-200R plus a tailstock and 3 jaw total is up to just under $28K.

    There is an $8,000 install charge that does include the Amp but not the ext wiring or Servo. Based on retail for an Amp and wires that is about $4,500 labor charge for a one day install.

    Not sure if that's a joke or not but I am not going to take them seriously with a $500 - $1000/hr labor charge for one day. The install fee is nearly what the price of the rotary table itself is.

    My RFQ is still out for Samchully and I have to see if I can find my Yuasa rep email address for a formal quote, I just have the price sheet from them. And maybe Ellison will give me a quote at some point.

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    When I worked field service it was a good couple days to field install a 4th unless the cables were already installed. On the installs I did there were usually 4 cables and 1 or 2 hydraulic or pneumatic hoses to pull. By the time you run them through the cabinet, the Y axis flex tube, then the X axis flex tube and then solder on the connectors at the table connection box that pretty much sucked up a day by itself.

    The quote you got might also include travel time and costs. Flight, car rental, and hotel costs can add a grand or more easily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    The quote you got might also include travel time and costs. Flight, car rental, and hotel costs can add a grand or more easily.
    That would explain it but there are 8 million people in the greater Bay Area and thousands of CNC's. I would like to think I don't need to fly a guy in and put him up in a hotel for a few days. But if that's the case then it explains the cost.

    Then again it would also kill me buying it from someone who doesn't have any people in Silicon Valley/Bay Area it is a huge market.

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    Ever hear of Index Designs? I stumbled upon them, made in USA, prices seem reasonable.
    I dont own one


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    When I bought a 10" direct drive rotary for the place I last worked for our DuraVertical it was 40k.
    20k seems like a good price.
    You have to look at the ROI, will you make that money up quicker than the pay-off. At the time it did not for us...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    So every 3 axis machine you sell is burdened with >$3k (based on list prices for Fanuc options from about 15 years ago for controlled axes expansion, simultaneous control expansion, cylindrical interpolation, polar coordinate command, and inverse time feed) to have it ready for 4th retrofits?
    It's just software. It's free after it's developed. They probably have a deal with Fanuc to only pay for it on machines that have the 4th, and part of the price for a retro is to pay the Fanuc fee.

    Hence, no extra charge if it isn't used.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    It's just software. It's free after it's developed. They probably have a deal with Fanuc to only pay for it on machines that have the 4th, and part of the price for a retro is to pay the Fanuc fee.

    Hence, no extra charge if it isn't used.
    It could be. That would leave Fanuc out the revenue in the case of a user or service tech capable of sourcing their own components and putting together a 4th axis on their own. Maybe Fanuc figures the number of those folks is small enough to not worry about losing out on a bit of revenue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Maybe Fanuc figures the number of those folks is small enough to not worry about losing out on a bit of revenue.
    They could even save enough by not having to keep track of what each Doosan has - they all got everything ! - to equal out the one guy in North America who is going to jump through those hoops

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    They could even save enough by not having to keep track of what each Doosan has - they all got everything ! - to equal out the one guy in North America who is going to jump through those hoops

    No, Fanucs do not have everything anymore. They changed that a while ago. Now, Fanuc will come in and install new options if any parameters need changing, like with a 4th axis. Others are user installed, Fanuc sends a file with instructions.

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    Fanuc 0i-MF controls all come from the factory with 4 axis simultaneous as a standard function. The 0i-F has a load of standard functions now that used to be optional. This is done to simplify things on their end and in collaboration with MTBs.
    Fanuc may not be worried about the revenue on the options here as most 4th axes added will be Fanuc motors and drives, which they will be collecting the revenue from anyway - likely at a higher cost than if it was purchased with the original order.
    An upgrade still requires setting the drive configuration, servo parameters, limits, and tuning, alongside mechanical installation and wiring. All of this added up is usually a job for a retrofitter or OEM, who has already put in the time buried in the yellow books.
    If you already have the experience and understand all the parameters to be set, and have the skills to order the correct parts and assemble the wiring, then doing it yourself should be a no brainer. If you have never opened the Function, Hardware, Parameter, or Servo Parameter manuals, the task may be not worth it.

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