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    Quote Originally Posted by CNC Hacker View Post

    Minimum pallets on an i-300 AWC (at the moment at least) is 32 with an option for 40. I'd love to see a 6 or 10 pallet version in the future. Minimum tool capacity is 145, which as far as I know is not expandable in the field. The 205 - 505 tool magazines are expandable in the field.

    .....

    <snip>
    I totally agree so Matsuura has a bit of an edge there, OP mentioned that super high tolerances were not an issue.

    I have a very vague recollection that MAZAK had a lower number pallet carousel... Or maybe mis-imagined ; might scratch about see what exists.

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________

    @ritzblitz just for clarity.


    Hermle : true overhead gantry style machine with synthetic granite foundation. [Great surface finishes and greater predictability of process in general.].


    MAZAK: like i-500 layout , is a gantry overhead type machine with fixed trunnion.


    MAKINO: Like DA 300 , layout, is a true bridge style machine with the trunnion going through the bridge (excellent design for simultaneous 5 axis ) as inertia is minimized on the cradle with the trunnion in a Y orientation.


    Matsuura MX-330: That's a C-frame where the trunnion is moved in the XY plane. The low spindle runout (near sub micron) seems to make up for some of that... very nice. So the MX -330 "Moves" are not in-line with how the MAM 72's of this world "Doooo" things. But not sure if that makes a difference ? MX-330 is great fit for a lot applications I would think + plus the pallet/carousel thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    I was specifically (of which I was not clear in my initial post ) talking about the lights out aspect. i could not find the thread, but there were some pretty good responses to running lights out in it. Alluding to the fact it is waaayyy more than loading a part at end of the shift. And the OP mentions prototype and low volume which, IMO, overly complicates matters. Not saying a pallet system won't work, but I don't think (or at least it will be months/years in development) it will be like "hey going to load these3 blanks here on pallet 1 and 2 blanks here on pallet and have 5 good parts in the morning"....
    There is a good thread as you say... Can't find it this minute , I remember one of the Brits making a joke about "Do you have to turn the lights out ?" Like it feels weird to turn the lights out on these working machines.


    I think there was an Edster and Dennis / Dstryr thread too … (as you mention) I think I kinda cynically chimed in as the 6th side is always a problem, and reality sometimes parts have to be fixtured / two 45 degree rotations (non-orthogonal ) orientation to the principal axes of the machine. So it's really two sets of three sides that have to be blended but more importantly re-fixtured and run through the mill again.

    Not such an issue with Five axis Fidia guy's mold cavities and dies perhaps ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CNC Hacker View Post
    <snip>

    Dstryr/Dennis has a nice Yasda with a multi-pallet system, as well as a multi-pallet system on his Grob machines. I'm not sure if the Grob system is OEM or aftermarket. There was also a recent thread where somebody was putting an Erowa robot pallet system on an Okuma. Lot of options out there to cover what the OP wants. Budget is the biggest thing IMO, you can get anything you want for your workflow, but you might have to pay a lot for it.
    Aye...

    I obviously don't speak for such venerable luminaries of the five axis world, but I certain keep my eye out for 'Peeps" that can handle production (once we actually know what we are doing).

    Edster has some really excellent threads on his automation implementation experience.

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __


    For in house product development folks that have to wear different hats a lot of the time, simplicity is key.


    Word on the street at the moment is that the i-300 AWC "Rig" works almost straight out of the box as a turn key system (easy to use) COMES integrated. Good interface.

    Time to first parts (run) is key... If it takes the better part of year to 18 months to get first (run of) parts of a machine that can put a pretty substantial "Dent" in the bottom line.

    EDSTER and Dstryr have really ultra accurate machines. Good for DOD / defense "Space".

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    Quote Originally Posted by ritzblitz View Post
    We are currently searching for a solution to make spinal implants to replace our aging 3x matsuuras with tsudakoma indexers. LX160 is a consideration, as well as bar fed machines such as willemin 508MT2. One focal point is being able to prototype processes in a prototype/r&d environment and transfer them to production. I see similar machines as being able to do that ie mx330 and lx160.
    If your parts will bar feed the Willemin 508 is the way to go. Dropping a complete part untouched by an operator with full 5-axis available on all 6 sides is astonishingly productive.

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    You'd be hard pressed to find something better in the price range of the MX-330 PC10, but keep in mind depending on your local reseller (Elliot Matsuura?) they might not be able to put one on the floor until this time next year.

    We find that the biggest benefit to the pallets (we have an MX-520 PC4) is keeping things setup or breaking into longer runs for onesy-twosey stuff with minimal impact to the delivery date of the larger run. We use the Lang zero point stuff and it is FANTASTIC. The machine has been great with 17-4PH, 4140, 4140PH, low carbon stuff, etc. We also use the much larger non-pallet work envelope a lot. I'm not sure if the 330 has as large of a difference in work envelope due to the design of the pallet magazine.

    We also use the Lang stuff on other machines so we can rough in a 3-axis and move over to the 5-axis for finishing without even taking the piece out of the vise. Or, you can only cut one set of soft jaws for two machines, etc.

    The vast majority of stuff we've done has been 3+2 or 4+1, but we are buying Powermill due to some new work coming in where Fusion 360 won't do the job.

    CAMplete has been fantastic to work with, as well. We've run many programs where we check our first Z-dive and once it starts cutting, walk away (as long as you have good feeds and speeds!).

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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    Aye...

    I obviously don't speak for such venerable luminaries of the five axis world, but I certain keep my eye out for 'Peeps" that can handle production (once we actually know what we are doing).

    Edster has some really excellent threads on his automation implementation experience.

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __


    For in house product development folks that have to wear different hats a lot of the time, simplicity is key.


    Word on the street at the moment is that the i-300 AWC "Rig" works almost straight out of the box as a turn key system (easy to use) COMES integrated. Good interface.

    Time to first parts (run) is key... If it takes the better part of year to 18 months to get first (run of) parts of a machine that can put a pretty substantial "Dent" in the bottom line.

    EDSTER and Dstryr have really ultra accurate machines. Good for DOD / defense "Space".
    I would agree with that assessment. I spent most of May running one and it was a little beast. I absolutely love it, favorite machine I've ran this year. Mill spindle is the same as used on the i-600/700 Variaxis and it weighs over 33,000 pounds, so it's way over built for the type of work most people would do on it.

    The pallet scheduling software is based on Palletech PMC software, just simplified a bit to only run 1 machine. So after a little reading and testing I had a true schedule running in very little time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CNC Hacker View Post
    I would agree with that assessment. I spent most of May running one and it was a little beast. I absolutely love it, favorite machine I've ran this year. Mill spindle is the same as used on the i-600/700 Variaxis and it weighs over 33,000 pounds, so it's way over built for the type of work most people would do on it.

    The pallet scheduling software is based on Palletech PMC software, just simplified a bit to only run 1 machine. So after a little reading and testing I had a true schedule running in very little time.

    Thanks for the clarification there RE: Spindle, 'cuz I was kinda wondering whether an i-500 spindle would clap itself out in the context of a much bigger palate system running 3 shifts 24/7.

    i-600/ 700 spindle good distinction there on the i-300 AWC rather than i-500 (variaxis "stand alone" unit. Other than work volume / trunnion. ).

    The trunnion is twin drive on the i-models right ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    Thanks for the clarification there RE: Spindle, 'cuz I was kinda wondering whether an i-500 spindle would clap itself out in the context of a much bigger palate system running 3 shifts 24/7.

    i-600/ 700 spindle good distinction there on the i-300 AWC rather than i-500 (variaxis "stand alone" unit. Other than work volume / trunnion. ).

    The trunnion is twin drive on the i-models right ?
    The trunnion is based on the i-500, just with the HSK drawbar interface as opposed to a standard table.

    Only the big i-1050 uses tandem A-axis motors. They all use a roller gear cam design tho.

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    The other thing … IS... could be...

    That on machine like a variaxis i-500 / i-600 or even a J-500 5ax and J-600 5ax...

    The tables/ trunions are quite large, the Y axis travel is long (by virtue of the overhead gantry style idea.) without being as awkward as a larger knuckle style universal.

    So for OP's mix of smaller and larger medical parts he could fixture on the table a "Christmas Tree" arrangement where he could have 5 medical parts (or more) on the trunnion table. That would mitigate the need (perhaps) for a low number pallet system.


    I think rotating parts through unintuitive compound angles on an accurate machine could mean you could get a cluster of parts on table to run over night, at least in OP's case if they need to run more or even design a fixture that has a mix of parts that are longer and shorter. The MAZAK spindle heads are not toooo bad at getting close to the center of the table.

    I don't do impeller work, but there are a lot of parts that don't need to be put at the center of the table to be machined in 5 axes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    So for OP's mix of smaller and larger medical parts he could fixture on the table a "Christmas Tree" arrangement where he could have 5 medical parts (or more) on the trunnion table. That would mitigate the need (perhaps) for a low number pallet system.
    But then you run into the need/desire to prep stock with dovetails. Depending on the parts, you can get away with something like a Lang tombstone with 4 of their smallest vises onboard, but Christmas tree workholding really begs for Raptor/5thAxis/etc dovetails.

    Of course, if you buy a Matsuura from Yamazen, they can probably work out a deal on one of those $49k S500s to serve as an accessory dovetail making machine - little macro action and a few days of fiddling, and you can set up a machine to dovetail any size stock you throw in it relatively quickly.

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    I feel like I am getting something out of this.

    So it was brought up that my idea of a high-mix, low-volume automated workflow might be a wet dream.

    Let me clarify.

    We are starting to see lots of repeat work in our instrument cell, as well as higher quantities of repeat work. A lot of projects also share similarities with eachother. As I said, the parts are generally simple 3+2 parts.

    I am hoping to find a solution that is "easy" to implement. Obviously the wet dream allows me to explore new processes and optimization during the day, and run the proven parts during off hours.

    Another thought is even if it is difficult or impossible to run multiple low volume jobs "lights out," we would still gain machine time on a single job through automation.

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    One of the biggest lessons I have learned in the tiny bit of automation I have worked on is that your processes must be absolutely bullet proof. If you can not achieve that, then your goal of automation is truly just a wet dream.

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    I think a palletized 5-axis for prototyping is a great idea.

    We run lights out almost exclusively. It's a necessity for us to stay competitive. I'll usually make dozens of a given part before handing it off to the production crew, and even then, I'll tweak a program many times before I'm happy.

    That said, most of the tweaking is done on 5-10% of the operations. The great thing about palletized automation, unlike barfed or robot automation, is that parts don't need to be run to completion. Prove out the "safe and easy" operations on the first article and run these operations on the other parts at night. Finish off the "questionable" operations the next day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange Vise View Post
    I think a palletized 5-axis for prototyping is a great idea.

    We run lights out almost exclusively. It's a necessity for us to stay competitive. I'll usually make dozens of a given part before handing it off to the production crew, and even then, I'll tweak a program many times before I'm happy.
    This is why "lights out" sounds good in all the magazines guys read, but it's not a reality in many shops. This method you mention does not work to well when you have a single cavity mold to run overnite. I WISH I could make dozens of parts before I could let it fly overnite with a $$50k spindle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gobo View Post
    One of the biggest lessons I have learned in the tiny bit of automation I have worked on is that your processes must be absolutely bullet proof. If you can not achieve that, then your goal of automation is truly just a wet dream.
    YES! Even something as simple as a drill winding chips can be a problem, especially if you have surface finish requirements...

    Man I wish I could find that thread (any help here?) about "lights out" production and it's many problems/issues that need to be overcome/thought out in advance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    YES! Even something as simple as a drill winding chips can be a problem, especially if you have surface finish requirements...

    Man I wish I could find that thread (any help here?) about "lights out" production and it's many problems/issues that need to be overcome/thought out in advance.
    Lights-out machining

    There's this one (From 2008) literally titled "Lights out machining" ^^^ I'll scrounge around maybe and find some more PM forum related threads... And add to this "Space" .

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    Quote Originally Posted by ritzblitz View Post
    I feel like I am getting something out of this.

    So it was brought up that my idea of a high-mix, low-volume automated workflow might be a wet dream.

    Let me clarify.

    We are starting to see lots of repeat work in our instrument cell, as well as higher quantities of repeat work. A lot of projects also share similarities with eachother. As I said, the parts are generally simple 3+2 parts.

    I am hoping to find a solution that is "easy" to implement. Obviously the wet dream allows me to explore new processes and optimization during the day, and run the proven parts during off hours.

    Another thought is even if it is difficult or impossible to run multiple low volume jobs "lights out," we would still gain machine time on a single job through automation.
    So you have repeat work where putting time in to devise various automation strategies pay "Dividends".

    So in the theme of tech-transfer do you also have to prototype and prove out an automated workflow for production (done elsewhere ) ?

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____________


    Wondering if a MAZAK (Integrex) I-100 BARTAC would work for your parts ? Not to get super MAZAKy or anything...

    INTEGREX i-100 BARTAC-S


    I've seen parts off those and they are really good.


    So its has a large spindle bore 4.4" and can handle 4" stock, not sure what kind of spinal implants you guys are prototyping in terms of work piece gross dimensions.

    Maximum machining length is 33.6" / 850 mm ish

    Even though it seems like an I-200 that got shrunk in the wash it is different with it's large bore 8" chuck and bar feeding capability.

    Maybe a cheaper alternative to a Willemin ? And maybe you can do your 14 " instruments ? [Not sure how longer work pieces are "Automated " in that context.].

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    Quote Originally Posted by ritzblitz View Post
    I feel like I am getting something out of this.

    So it was brought up that my idea of a high-mix, low-volume automated workflow might be a wet dream.

    Let me clarify.

    We are starting to see lots of repeat work in our instrument cell, as well as higher quantities of repeat work. A lot of projects also share similarities with eachother. As I said, the parts are generally simple 3+2 parts.

    I am hoping to find a solution that is "easy" to implement. Obviously the wet dream allows me to explore new processes and optimization during the day, and run the proven parts during off hours.

    Another thought is even if it is difficult or impossible to run multiple low volume jobs "lights out," we would still gain machine time on a single job through automation.
    This is the Matsuura philosophy. Set up during the day run at night. There is a poster on here who has Grob and Yasda and he would also say, if you are running at night, you don't have to spend as much time making programs perfect for cycle just safe. The Matsuura will come with Camplete and this is the big safety net. Set parameters on drills and such that are in the safe zone and have at it.

    The MX-330 is the best selling 5- axis for Matsuura USA now. It is a great work horse. But, if it was me and my shop, I would choose MX-520 PC-4. But that is just me.

    Good luck

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    The 520 is a beast, and we have found much larger work than we originally intended when we had a part that would fit on a 330. Originally we went with the 520 because we couldn't get a 330 for months and months. Basically, anything with a pallet system on it in the MX line is scarce right now (at least around here).

    The thing to look at here is the size of the parts and parts density you can get in the two machines relative to the money spent on fixturing and the size/weight of the fixturing to achieve the same density for an overnight run. I think the 330 (with six more pallets) generally wins there unless you have longer cycle times or larger parts, honestly.

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    ^^^ This is my favorite 'Show and tell" of the MX-330 and the palette system with a comparatively giant stonking piece of stock in the pallet carousel, along with the smaller 'Blanks" ( although the supposed before and after are fixtured differently ? ).


    http://www.yamazen.com/wp-content/up...1000LowRes.pdf

    ^^^ Page 7. shows some basic test data for the VX 1000 … Sub 2micron circularity for cut 5052 and very impressive straightness on the travels.


    I don't know if the MX-330 is comparable in X, Y and Z (orthogonal moves and cuts ) to the VX 1000 claimed test data on page 7 ?

    The fact that the trunnion is moved in XY plane as compared to other sim 5 axis systems shouldn't be an issue of you are doing positional work like what OP is asking for here (3 + 2).

    I agree with 2outof3 with the MX-520 that there may be fewer limitations for sim 5 axis and there seems to be pretty GOOD Y axis travel with trunnion tipped over that tombstone mounted on the C axis table is practical.


    The MX that gives me a "Boner" is the MX-850 … Smidge out range (budget wise ) for us right now. Such a versatile work volume and specific geometry.

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