Advice on Purchasing/Repairing a CNC Bridgeport - Is it worth it?
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    Default Advice on Purchasing/Repairing a CNC Bridgeport - Is it worth it?

    I work for a shop that's currently selling a 2008 Sharp TMV-1 with an Anilam 3000M control. The shop purchased this machine new and it worked great up until we relocated. After the move the axes stopped responding to the control and it has sat ever since. We're now looking to get rid of this machine and I have the option to purchase it for ~2k. I'm thinking it might be a nice garage machine.

    Before I pull the trigger I'd like to get a read on what I'd need to fix to be able to use this as a CNC mill again. My big questions are:

    1) If something is fried in the control itself but the servos are still good, what would be involved in retrofitting a different control (possibly PC based)? Is this even possible?

    2) Assuming I can get this machine under power before agreeing to purchase it, what are some basic troubleshooting steps to take to figure out what's wrong? I'd like to at least isolate the problem to the major components (control, servos, etc.)

    3) If I can get this thing for 2k and spend another 2k to repair it, is it worth it for a relatively lightly used 3 axis CNC Bridgeport?


    I'm pretty excited about the prospect of this but want to make sure it actually makes sense before taking action. Any help is appreciated!

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    Most likely a connection or cable came loose. Unplug any cable or board and reseat should take care of it if that is the problem. Does it come up with any thing on the screen? Error codes? Blank screen? Beeps?

    If that does not fix it I would give them twice scrap value and do a retro fit.

    Ed.

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    Thanks Ed. Got it under power this afternoon for the first time in over a year. DROs work, control boots up fine, just can't get the drives to turn on.

    I'm pretty confident I can get it going with some tinkering, but if I can't and have to retrofit what will that mean? Is it possible to use a different control with the existing servos and control box (assuming these are functional), or would I be looking at replacing the entire control system?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grenade View Post
    Thanks Ed. Got it under power this afternoon for the first time in over a year. DROs work, control boots up fine, just can't get the drives to turn on.

    I'm pretty confident I can get it going with some tinkering, but if I can't and have to retrofit what will that mean? Is it possible to use a different control with the existing servos and control box (assuming these are functional), or would I be looking at replacing the entire control system?
    Just throwing this out, since I know nothing about that particular system. If it has discrete servo-drive boards for the axes, it would be unusual for all of those to go out at the same time. And if it happened after a move, then I would try reseating all the boards, connectors, and checking all connections and connectors for tightness and damage. Also, does the control provide any error messages? If the main supply to all the drives won't turn on, may be a connection, switch, relay-board issue.
    After that, perhaps look at the power supply(s). For example, older Interacts (heidenhain) controls have a small 24vdc (230v input) unregulated power-supply that runs the relay boards and also supplies the initial power to the regulated CPU power supply. When that starts going flaky it affects the whole system (replaced that with an identical Omron for a few bucks).

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    $2000 is a lot of money to risk on that. I see those things advertised high, but I've seen more than a few sell in good working order with respected controls on them for $2000-$4000 private and auction.

    If it's not working don't pay what it's worth working.

    A non-working CNC BP is worth LESS than a decent manual one. Nobody wants it.

    I wouldn't go over a grand.

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    I would definitely counter offer... wether or not its worth buying depends totally on if you are savvy enough to fix it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    $2000 is a lot of money to risk on that. I see those things advertised high, but I've seen more than a few sell in good working order with respected controls on them for $2000-$4000 private and auction.

    If it's not working don't pay what it's worth working.

    A non-working CNC BP is worth LESS than a decent manual one. Nobody wants it.

    I wouldn't go over a grand.
    This seems low to me, but maybe I'm way off. I've always had in my head 3-5k for a good condition manual Bridgeport, 5-10k for cnc.

    I have a personal tooling account I've accrued over several years with the company which I can use towards the purchase, so this will bring the price to $1000 out of pocket. I figure worst case I end up with a nice manual machine if everything related to CNC operation is kaput.

    So far I'm getting the feeling this is not as great of a deal as I had initially thought. Does anyone have other experiences to back this up?

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    Check with Centroid, they do a lot of retrofits. If nothing else it will give you a worse case nuclear option price tag, my wild guess is it would cost a couple times what you're paying for the mill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LOTT View Post
    Check with Centroid, they do a lot of retrofits. If nothing else it will give you a worse case nuclear option price tag, my wild guess is it would cost a couple times what you're paying for the mill.
    Good suggestion. Submitted a RFQ to them and Mach. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grenade View Post
    .......I've always had in my head 3-5k for a good condition manual Bridgeport, 5-10k for cnc.........
    $3-$5k for an genuine manual Bridgeport in good condition, maybe. For a Taiwan/Chinese clone no way IME. I've seen places give those away.

    $5-$10k can buy much much more machine than a Taiwan/Chinese Bridgeport clone with a retrofit class control.

    If you decide to go with this you might get lucky and figure out something simple with the control that lets you get it running with little extra expense. From your description of what made it stop working, and the fact that most of the control powers up, odds are good it is something pretty simple.

    Heidenhain is not well known IME for long term support of their products. I would expect that to even be more true of a product line that was part of an acquisition. I have no direct experience with them regarding Anilam, but an acquaintance with an Acurite was only offered a replacement of the entire control panel for over $4k as a fix for a dead LCD.

    Then there is the question of what you want to do with it. The lack of a toolchanger makes even small quantity production a joke. The lack of an enclosure is almost as bad. CNC knee mills are extremely messy. IMHO they make a terrible garage machine due to the mess.

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    Vancbiker is right about the limitations of these machines. I see the niche for them being in a mechanic or welding fab shop where they want to mill an arc slot in a bracket or something like that once in a while, or drill a bolt hole pattern without doing math. A place where making parts is not the main focus.

    If your standard is a Doosan 3016 or VF2 then a CNC knee mill is a joke, but if you are currently using an XY table on a drill press that same knee mill is a dream machine.

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    I have no idea what you know about the machine, have you used it before?
    1) power up the control- it boots properly and takes you to the control screen?
    -should be prompting you to home the machine?
    2) pull the e-stop out and hit “reset”
    -you should hear the Oiler run
    3)press the home button

    Machine should home both axis, only then will it work in Cnc mode.

    The machine builder can add/remove options and change things around, possibly yours is different.

    To answer your question- if it worked before you moved it, odds are good nothing is fried (unless loose tools etc are in the control cabinet and shorted something) it’s probably a loose card or connector, a switch got bumped/broke.

    People both over estimate and under estimate a Cnc knee mill in nice shape.
    They are excellent for complex bolt patterns, making 2D parts with several complex curves and things like that. When you get up to speed on cad/cam like Fusion 360(simple to learn) you can model something up and generate code for the Anilam very quickly. I have a good post processor I can share

    You don’t want to try and run much production, they make a huge mess, and changing tools frequently is a pain

    My machine is 2 axis, I think 3 axis would be a pain - tool offsets with only 5” of Z is a problem

    I added Z encoders on the knee and the quill and can work pretty efficiently (for what the machine is) with a manual quill and a power knee feed

    Let me know if I can help

    Parts are getting harder to find, but there are a few people around that still repair them


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    I would investigate the EMO string

    I don't know that control, but is it still supported?

    call the manufacturer for documents advice

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    If you moved it and it stopped working, then something is loose. You could be on your limit switches too. Is your system a one box or two box system (look on the sides of the column, is there only one on the right side or a box on both sides)? Typically the board you wanna look at is in the right cabinet, near the top third of the cabinet if I remember correctly. You should see a bunch of red lights on the left hand side of the board, that is your limit switch string. When its powered on, you should be able to depress each switch and watch it go on/off as you press and release the switch. Do you get every light to turn off/on when you do that?

    What is the 5 and 12VDC signal at the hard drive? The 3000 does not have an adjustable PS, but knowing what your PS voltages are will be a big help.

    Anilam is no longer in business, but is supported by a few former Anilam dudes. From a reputable dealer, a 2 axis Anilam can go for $7k-$9k, 3 axis can go for $9k-$12k if it is in working order, obviously.

    Jon
    H&W Machine Repair

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    Is it worth calling Heidenhain about anilam stuff?

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    They dont support Anilam. Call Jerry about it, he is doing Anilam support on his own.

    716-490-1462

    Jon

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    To answer a few of the questions/concerns above:

    -I ran this machine several years ago when it was in working order so I'm familiar with the control.

    -I'll look at the messages again after work today but it's something along the lines of "servos not on". The message persists after resetting the e-stop and servos.

    -I'm aware of the limitations of this machine. I work with Mazak/Makino machine daily. Obviously this isn't even in the same ballpark.

    -I'm not planning any large scale production for this machine. I'm picking it up as a hobby machine. If I can find a way to make a buck or two with it, great. If not, oh well. I'll learn a lot getting it reconditioned and I won't have to go into work on my days off when I have a part to make for one of my other unreasonably expensive hobbies.

    Thanks everyone for the advice and resources. I'm going to go ahead and write a check this afternoon. I'll post again when I inevitably run into more problems.

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    Just something simple here. I do not know this machine and its vintage and this may be obvious but again it may have been missed if the machine wasn't totally installed and just powered up.
    I have an older Hurco KMP3 that has a air pressure switch on it, the servos will not come on without air pressure and there is no message that air pressure is low
    Just a random thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    $3-$5k for an genuine manual Bridgeport in good condition, maybe. For a Taiwan/Chinese clone no way IME. I've seen places give those away.

    $5-$10k can buy much much more machine than a Taiwan/Chinese Bridgeport clone with a retrofit class control.

    If you decide to go with this you might get lucky and figure out something simple with the control that lets you get it running with little extra expense. From your description of what made it stop working, and the fact that most of the control powers up, odds are good it is something pretty simple.

    Heidenhain is not well known IME for long term support of their products. I would expect that to even be more true of a product line that was part of an acquisition. I have no direct experience with them regarding Anilam, but an acquaintance with an Acurite was only offered a replacement of the entire control panel for over $4k as a fix for a dead LCD.

    Then there is the question of what you want to do with it. The lack of a toolchanger makes even small quantity production a joke. The lack of an enclosure is almost as bad. CNC knee mills are extremely messy. IMHO they make a terrible garage machine due to the mess.
    I might be in left field here, but not having a toolchanger is not necessarily the end of the world. It depends on what you are doing, if it has a tool touch off probe, and your creativity, and if it is a quick change system, not a power drawbar! The one I ran had an ericson quick change set up so changing tools was easy, and with the tool probe you can store offsets for different tools.

    An enclosure can be fabbed up pretty quick and dirty if you have the tools. Just a big piece of metal/aluminum bent into a U shape, and a shop vac is handy for this too (the mess).

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    Of course you can work around it. It is a PITA and a total productivity kill. Plus it is boring as heck tending the machine all the time.

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