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    I've been in your shop a few times, pretty sure I have even spoken to you at least once Alex. You folks do some nice work there.

    Are you looking to have a handshake with the other side of the shop to kick production over to there if need be? Are those the "outsiders" you speak of?

    It did seem like two worlds under one roof when I was there. IIRC, you liked Fusion 360 and production typically used GibbsCAM.

    Syncing up sounds like a great idea and hopefully, you get a greenlight to replace those aging matsuuras with something relatable to whatever you end up with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bakrch2 View Post
    I've been in your shop a few times, pretty sure I have even spoken to you at least once Alex. You folks do some nice work there.

    Are you looking to have a handshake with the other side of the shop to kick production over to there if need be? Are those the "outsiders" you speak of?

    It did seem like two worlds under one roof when I was there. IIRC, you liked Fusion 360 and production typically used GibbsCAM.

    Syncing up sounds like a great idea and hopefully, you get a greenlight to replace those aging matsuuras with something relatable to whatever you end up with.
    I certainly wouldnt call them outsiders. If anything, I am the outsider. But yes we will be looking to prototype workflows and processes and implement them throughout production.

    What's your name, how do you know us?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ritzblitz View Post
    I certainly wouldnt call them outsiders. If anything, I am the outsider. But yes we will be looking to prototype workflows and processes and implement them throughout production.

    What's your name, how do you know us?
    Ah, I must have misunderstood an earlier post then.

    I have been there for quite a few interviews, with the first being for a position in your cell. I had made it pretty clear to your GM (Mike C.) beforehand that I was there more for what your company seems to call an "engineering" position, but he was clearly latched onto the Fusion 360 bit of my resume and aggressively pointed me toward that (it was kinda awkward). That was Dec 2017.

    Beth R. kept in touch through indeed every 6 mos or so, the most recent time was for an engineering position utilizing Partmaker on the Swiss turns. They offered me a position this time around but again, didn't get a great feeling from your GM as he comes off as pretty wishy-washy.

    I did really like your operations manager though, had a good time geeking out with him quite a bit.

    My name is Rick and will surely drop by for a chat if ever under your roof again!

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  7. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    I think one of the draw backs of the Matsuura Palleted Carousel systems is that usually you are required to go all in up front. The P-C systems are not generally offered as some thing you can add on later or at least it's seemingly less expensive to go all in up front.

    Robodrill that naturally allows you to add some kind of automation from the Fanuc universe.

    Hermle, you can add on ,

    and Now with Okuma M-460V they have a 3rd party drawer system also now that can be added on later. Empwoer told me about that. (finding it's name... "Load and Go" ~ D'uh ).
    we got a quote to add a 90 pallet system to our LX-160, 200k... so yeah stupid expensive to add down the road.

    load and go is a 3rd party system that can be integrated with just about anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ritzblitz View Post
    Great stuff so far. One consideration that is important to the overall growth of our company is transfer of technologies, strategies, and ideas from prototype/low volume to production/high volume.

    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.

    I dont want to mislead though, we will still be focusing on larger stainless steel instruments, not implant. We just want the techbology to be transferrable. It might be confusing to outsiders.
    our LX-160 comes in tomorrow morning! for small parts its supposed to be an absolute beast!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    If he is doing really small parts, sure.
    Robodrill ain't got the swing he needs at all. Their 5 axis solutions are Nikken tables, or that German (Haberle) thing where they bolt two Fanuc DDR tables together. While Fanuc makes robot arms, all of the Robodrill pallet solutions are bolt-on.

    DMG Mori has their new DMP70, the mea culpa replacement for the failed MillTap 700. Available in 5 axis configuration from the get-go (trunnions replace the table), with Siemens control, glass scales on all axes, and water cooled ball screws. Various automation (part or pallet) are offered from DMG directly. Of course, the problem is that modern DMG Mori is like the Range Rovers of the industry - very beautiful, very high tech, very capable on paper... but quality, reliability, and support issues will leave you on the side of the road.

    Either of those is going to suck on tools though. For this kinda work, you will want whatever the big tooling option is (something near 100).

    Nice thing about that Matsuura is you get a full seat of CAMPlete with it, so you've got a dialed-in post that is CAM system agnostic, and you get really excellent g-code simulation (a necessity as well).
    couldnt agree more on the dmg part. nothing but horrible experience with them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by empwoer View Post
    we got a quote to add a 90 pallet system to our LX-160, 200k... so yeah stupid expensive to add down the road.

    load and go is a 3rd party system that can be integrated with just about anything.
    I don't know... 90 pallets @ $200K seems pretty reasonable to me / surprisingly reasonable (I don't know what size they are ?). Not sure I could ever keep up with 90 pallets even if the cycle time was 3 mins ;-).

    I think the concepts shaking out in this thread are quite good.

    Robot arm thingy and drawer system good for true repetitive dedicated automation.

    Pallet systems good for various flavors of high mix low volume. Usually pushed as a method to create on-demand assemblies.

    The Matsuura "Target" group with MX 's + pallet system is folks that want an extra shift or hope to see their children over the weekend. I.e. if you want to see your children they don't have to be brought to the shop.

    I was thinking more small 10 palate system via MX-330 for OP/ ritzblitz.

    __________________________________________________ ________________________________________

    The new MB 650 U (Methods machine) looks very good/ $/ performance / accuracy + everything thrown in; wonder how that would "Jive" with a "Load and Go" (Fanuc control ) ? (not necessarily the best use of a universal but would be interesting if that could be brought on or off line easily. ).


    @empwoer any idea on the ball park $ on the Load 'n Go ?


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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    I don't know... 90 pallets @ $200K seems pretty reasonable to me / surprisingly reasonable (I don't know what size they are ?). Not sure I could ever keep up with 90 pallets even if the cycle time was 3 mins ;-).

    I think the concepts shaking out in this thread are quite good.

    Robot arm thingy and drawer system good for true repetitive dedicated automation.

    Pallet systems good for various flavors of high mix low volume. Usually pushed as a method to create on-demand assemblies.

    The Matsuura "Target" group with MX 's + pallet system is folks that want an extra shift or hope to see their children over the weekend. I.e. if you want to see your children they don't have to be brought to the shop.

    I was thinking more small 10 palate system via MX-330 for OP/ ritzblitz.

    __________________________________________________ ________________________________________

    The new MB 650 U (Methods machine) looks very good/ $/ performance / accuracy + everything thrown in; wonder how that would "Jive" with a "Load and Go" (Fanuc control ) ? (not necessarily the best use of a universal but would be interesting if that could be brought on or off line easily. ).


    @empwoer any idea on the ball park $ on the Load 'n Go ?

    considering that the 90 pallet option is around 100k when you buy the machine new, 200k to retrofit post fact is kinda ridiculous. we bought our machine used for a SMOKING deal (way less than 200k) so spending that much on a pallet system seemed a bit wrong...
    might try to throw together a robot loading system for it myself.

    the load and go system is roughly 100k i believe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by empwoer View Post
    our LX-160 comes in tomorrow morning! for small parts its supposed to be an absolute beast!
    Good luck today ! [Hope it turns up nice / lovely.].


    A lot of people have that machine on their "Wish list" …

    Not dogging on you, "The machine is a beast" (no doubt) , but was wondering in the case of Aluminum parts with super high spindle speeds and low doc / engagement in aluminum do you end up with a weird gray paste ? Microscopic Aluminum chips ? And in terms of chip removal/ filtration how is that handled in the LX ? (genuine question.).

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____


    I had an acquaintance that wanted that type of machine for it's surface finishes and I'm like "Dude" try a robot arm with a polishing / buffing wheel instead... [Horses for courses.].

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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    Good luck today ! [Hope it turns up nice / lovely.].


    A lot of people have that machine on their "Wish list" …

    Not dogging on you, "The machine is a beast" (no doubt) , but was wondering in the case of Aluminum parts with super high spindle speeds and low doc / engagement in aluminum do you end up with a weird gray paste ? Microscopic Aluminum chips ? And in terms of chip removal/ filtration how is that handled in the LX ? (genuine question.).

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____


    I had an acquaintance that wanted that type of machine for it's surface finishes and I'm like "Dude" try a robot arm with a polishing / buffing wheel instead... [Horses for courses.].
    just unloaded it off the truck, was definitely a nerve-wrecking experience!

    i'll let you know once its up and running!
    from the videos we've seen, chip evac isnt an issue but we'll know for sure soon. for our parts there isnt a whole ton of material to remove either way so i THINK we're good...
    knock on wood!

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    Quote Originally Posted by empwoer View Post
    ......load and go is a 3rd party system that can be integrated with just about anything.
    One thing to look at carefully in a 3rd party workpiece loader is how well integrated the loader management control/software is to the machine controller. I have not shopped any of those type systems for a few years now, but when I did look at them, the interface was pretty feeble compared to what you get when the work loading system and the machine are from the same builder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ritzblitz View Post
    ......
    Currently we have prototrak lathes, knee mills with acurite millpwr g2 controls, WEDM, SEDM, and a 4 axia robodrill.
    I would like to step into 5 axis, and be able to run unattended over nights and weekends.
    .....
    5 axis lights out machining over the weekend in average batch sizes of 5.
    What could possibly go wrong?
    This is a very big step from where you are.
    Although it may look easy from the outside and machine builders will sell you the dream it is very difficult to actually make work.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    5 axis lights out machining over the weekend in average batch sizes of 5.
    What could possibly go wrong?
    This is a very big step from where you are.
    Although it may look easy from the outside and machine builders will sell you the dream it is very difficult to actually make work.
    Bob
    Granted, but perhaps not beyond the "Wit of man" either.


    Dynamic fixture offsets / G54.2 / (G 54.4 p1) Work (Piece) Error (setting) compensation, basic probing cycles, etc. etc.

    Camplete / decent simulation like on the MX-330 type machine,

    Laser Tool setter / tool breakage detection,

    Something like a Lang zero point system,

    etc. , etc. ,




    ^^^ The way they used the Thame work/ fixture holding system and can shuttle work piece in fixture to inspection and back again and stay within 5 micron centering (not sure about rotational orientation , but probably pretty good.). That seems that would remove a lot of potential screw ups and slow downs and increase the chances of refining a work flow with reasonable confidence after three to five runs ? (Admittedly that's not "Instant" by any means.). Not sure about "high mix" with very different part sizes and clamping methods but eventually I guess one get's more fluent with various repeats over time and generally raise one's game over a period of a few years so it becomes more second nature (maybe). Not sure what it takes to become a pallet system Ninja ?

    Beyond that I'm not sure what kind of 'Automation" "Boo Boos" one can have ?


    .. … A thrown tool holder that smashes the window, can a robot arm punch a hole through a machine window etc. ?

    Even Heidenhain are working on or have cameras that check 'Parity" of what is "Seen" on a table at each stage and set of operations, (going good) versus what can happen by mistake, and electronically "Hit" E-stop.

    I'm sure there are a 100 things that can go wrong but I suspect these days that could be quite rare.


    Situations where one can program tool wear and comp seem interesting for dedicated long runs etc. and switching to new tool etc. Automatically.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    ______________________________________


    Sometimes we forget that 5 axis IS a significant form of automation in of itself...
    (Even without an army of blinged out robots and pallet carousels.) .

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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post

    Beyond that I'm not sure what kind of 'Automation" "Boo Boos" one can have ?

    .
    Let me start with are your probing cycles, simulation, lasers and cameras six-sigma.
    Ass-u-ming that they are once you stack on top of each other the can't be. Each error builds.
    The largest manufacturing operation on the planet with almost unlimited funds chased this dream and failed.
    Many of these would become known as monuments to automation.

    It's not that is does not help or be a good idea, just a warning that it's not as easy as it appears.
    Keep your expectations low. It's so easy to get excited but the end may not be all you thought.

    If you run lights out you will have to reduce your cutting speeds. Then all that probing takes time.
    At this point you are already slower than manned production but quite a bit.
    Then is the system smart enough to shut down and not scrap $50,000 over the weekend?
    When it does shut down who does it call?

    I think the number of "Boo Boos" is infinite.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    Let me start with are your probing cycles, simulation, lasers and cameras six-sigma.
    Ass-u-ming that they are once you stack on top of each other the can't be. Each error builds.
    The largest manufacturing operation on the planet with almost unlimited funds chased this dream and failed.
    Many of these would become known as monuments to automation.

    It's not that is does not help or be a good idea, just a warning that it's not as easy as it appears.
    Keep your expectations low. It's so easy to get excited but the end may not be all you thought.

    If you run lights out you will have to reduce your cutting speeds. Then all that probing takes time.
    At this point you are already slower than manned production but quite a bit.
    Then is the system smart enough to shut down and not scrap $50,000 over the weekend?
    When it does shut down who does it call?

    I think the number of "Boo Boos" is infinite.
    Bob
    I think these are really excellent concerns , If I remember rightly you once made a good post about Six Sigma not really being six sigma or remotely such as attempted in various industrial contexts.

    I'm a bit out of the loop (these days) on what "Kaizen" peeps get up too at their Kaizen meetings.


    My lame joke earlier was if your cycle time is 3 minutes but takes ten minutes total to prep a piece of stock for the stocker then where's the advantage ? Having a bloke load and unload stock directly into the 5 axis machine seems more efficient , except there is no overnight shift ? etc. Seems that folks that have automation running over the weekend still need someone to switch things round Saturday and Sunday. These days when things break theses machines can email or send a friendly text... One day they may have their own social media pages ;-)

    Just wondering what the 'Optimum" ratio is for longer cycle times versus stock and fixture preparation vs. number of pallets + the extra shift idea given that a chunk of the day has to be given over to set this all up (in the first place, even if you actually happen to know what you are doing and the kinks have been worked out.). [At least for smaller outfits ?].


    I have a mortal fear of fire with stuff running overnight when I'm not there, something I have to get over one day I guess...

    The fully integrated systems a bit like the Mazak I-300 AWC seem more promising in the attempt to fulfil the 'Promise" of automation.

    The Yamazaki Mazak I-100 (integrex ) Bartac seems impressive, that 4" diameter bar fed / 5 axis (mill turn + counter spindle) combo seems quite powerful and practical. The B-axis milling spindle can even select a gripper from the tool changer and grip and swap a 2nd ops part turn it through 90 degrees for transfers in different orientations ... [Not sure how many people actually do that, and how many months it took to get that all working, but a cute idea to turn the B axis spindle movements and travels into a robot arm in its own right.].




    interesting point about lowering cutting speeds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    .....

    Just wondering what the 'Optimum" ratio is for longer cycle times versus stock and fixture preparation vs. number of pallets + the extra shift idea given that a chunk of the day has to be given over to set this all up (in the first place, even if you actually happen to know what you are doing and the kinks have been worked out.). [At least for smaller outfits ?].
    .
    That is sort of the key.
    You have to machine safer and spend the time probing, error checking and such.
    Slow and steady can most certainly win this race
    The software side is so still complicated to do this and that end may eat more time than is gained at this point in what is a complicated system..
    All those neat demos at IMTS or machine builders tend to show easy working things not 24/7/365 real world oh-poops.
    Rarely do you see those promoting such products or machines talk about the darker side of how often it goes bad.
    It's not that often, but when you eat the 50K once a year or two due to one small thing missed by my smart machine where any human would have hit the red button......

    Certainly we are doing better with lessons learned.
    Heck my Milwaukee Matic II had a 20 pallet chain and with updated controls could swap part numbers as they hit with stock probing for zeros.
    Not real trustworthy on a lights out sort of thing.
    We are so far past those days now but it still does not work.

    I have not seen a system built that I can not break. Much smoke and mirrors still in this world and that will not change.
    I used to build these demos. You want to show off what you can do at IMTS or EMO, you do not show the warts.
    The warts are what real world users live with but you already have their money.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    <editorial snip for clarity my end >





    Not real trustworthy on a lights out sort of thing.

    We are so far past those days now but it still does not work.

    I have not seen a system built that I can not break.

    Much smoke and mirrors still in this world and that will not change.

    I used to build these demos. You want to show off what you can do at IMTS or EMO, you do not show the warts.
    The warts are what real world users live with but you already have their money.
    Bob
    That's an interesting perspective for sure...



    ^^^ Ultra integrated cell.

    Wayne from his company Maztech alludes to the machine "Knowing" what's going on with every system in the cell. Something about 'intelligence" of sorts (or at least I guess able to detect conflicts of one sort or another ?).

    BUT




    ^^^ Hypermill to the rescue ! ? (I'm still not 100% understanding the need for Camplete on some machines other than Fanuc control's inability for fine 3d model collision detection vs Heidenhain or Smooth X etc. ).

    Wayne mentions standardization and various ways that different operators taking over are prevented from (somehow) messing stuff up.

    @Dr Bob... In your opinion where is the weak link / weakest link in the chain / most likely source of error ? Both machine / automation / software vs. human error ? ( In your opinion / musings / experience / perspective :-) ).



    I sincerely hope Wayne at Maztech does score his lights out / over weekend goals and the cell brings in new work for him and his team. Looks like they have tried very much to make everything as "Hassle free" as is humanly possible despite the potential hazards and complexity of the "Rig"/ overall process.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    That's an interesting perspective for sure...



    ^^^ Ultra integrated cell.

    Wayne from his company Maztech alludes to the machine "Knowing" what's going on with every system in the cell. Something about 'intelligence" of sorts (or at least I guess able to detect conflicts of one sort or another ?).

    BUT




    ^^^ Hypermill to the rescue ! ? (I'm still not 100% understanding the need for Camplete on some machines other than Fanuc control's inability for fine 3d model collision detection vs Heidenhain or Smooth X etc. ).

    Wayne mentions standardization and various ways that different operators taking over are prevented from (somehow) messing stuff up.

    @Dr Bob... In your opinion where is the weak link / weakest link in the chain / most likely source of error ? Both machine / automation / software vs. human error ? ( In your opinion / musings / experience / perspective :-) ).



    I sincerely hope Wayne at Maztech does score his lights out / over weekend goals and the cell brings in new work for him and his team. Looks like they have tried very much to make everything as "Hassle free" as is humanly possible despite the potential hazards and complexity of the "Rig"/ overall process.
    i know at least with Okuma, they have built in collision detection, but from what i was told it only works for 3 axis toolpaths and 3+2, not sim 5 axis.

    we just got our camplete license and i've been playing around with it for a bit, i have to say that it is very impressive and a worthwhile tool to have! i really like the fact that i can import toolpaths from different cam systems and merge them together in camplete. there's deff some things that i could see myself doing in one cam system and others in different one then combine. the other thing that camplete does is analyze the moves the machine makes to see if there's any weird/jerky motions which will of course affect your finish and potentially tool life also.

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    We looked long and hard at CAMplete, the problem I have is that fact that it still does not check YOUR posted G-Code, it creates it's own, so in theory, it does no better than a very good cam system like Open Mind's Hypermill that also checks it's own, with their collision checking. CAMplete is great for an applications guy that goes to a shop to set up and do a test cut on a brand new machine and runs some other dudes test program that was created in just any old cam system with a half-assed post processor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5 axis Fidia guy View Post
    We looked long and hard at CAMplete, the problem I have is that fact that it still does not check YOUR posted G-Code, it creates it's own, so in theory, it does no better than a very good cam system like Open Mind's Hypermill that also checks it's own, with their collision checking. CAMplete is great for an applications guy that goes to a shop to set up and do a test cut on a brand new machine and runs some other dudes test program that was created in just any old cam system with a half-assed post processor.
    maybe i'm not quite grasping what you mean...
    capture.jpg

    the window to the right shows the code that its running/simulating real time. to me that means it creates the code and then simulates it. as right in that window is a button to save that code to run it on your machine, exactly as it looks there.


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