Fadal 6030 - considering getting one, facts and opinions please
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    Default Fadal 6030 - considering getting one, facts and opinions please

    Hello all,
    So ive been reading about vmcs, looking to add bigger capability.
    Where we are: we have a small part time machine shop. For the past 3 years we have just been running a hurco KBM1. No tool changer, minimal cooling flow, 13kb memory. Picked that machine up for $150.

    I have a matsuura mc760-vx that i need to figure out the rs232 input but it seems close to running.

    I want something that i can do big plates and flanges on (we well as simply bigger parts)

    I am looking to spend $17k-$30k depending on the options, quality and upgrade ability. I was looking for a 10k rpm spindle, but could be talked out of that.
    I am looking to purchase something in the next 2-6 months.
    I have unofficially setteled on the Fadal 6030.
    There are several around of different configurations.

    I found speedys fadal list and that was very useful.
    I have a couple questions that im sure many people can weight in on

    1. Does AC vs DC Motors really matter?
    2. How much, approximately, would it cost to add 4th axis and table to a machine that is capable of having it added? $2k for the amp and $5k for the table?
    3. I like the renishaw probe, how much is that feature worth? (How hard is it to add if the machine doesnt have it?)
    4. Im sure everyone has an opinion...but what controller would you recommend? It seems like the 88hs is the common one.

    I see a lot of talk of Japanese machines, i dont think my situation justifies the price increase (and i dont have the money)
    The fadal seems to have a large userbase, parts easily available and its in my price range.

    Thanks for any comments and opinions

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    1. Does AC vs DC Motors really matter?
    I've found that the DC amps are a little more robust than the AC amps, and they are cheaper.. AC machines
    generally have a little faster rapids, and AC machines will be newer 96 and up I think, and will have
    the -6 control version (I believe it is), runs on a 386 instead of a 286 processor, and can hold more memory.

    DC motors, obviously have brushes and that can sometimes take a bit of maintenance, AC motors don't
    have that problem..

    6 of 1, and half dozen of the other.. Also watch machines advertised as 2000's and 2004's, there are more
    than a few that are actually early 90's machines that were rebuilt at the factory, but still have the DC
    motors.. You can tell by looking at the serial #. I wouldn't dismiss a refurb machine, just giving
    you a heads up.

    2. How much, approximately, would it cost to add 4th axis and table to a machine that is capable of having it added? $2k for the amp and $5k for the table?
    Buy it with the 4th if you are going to need a 4th.. You'll be out close to $5k before you buy the rotary head..
    "Prewired".. That just means it was cheaper to build one wiring harness for the control cabinet, there is still
    a ton of crap you have to do.. ITS sells the kits, go look at them..

    Sometimes you can find machines that are already loaded with the goodies to run a 4th, and the owners don't
    even know it, and don't advertise it as such.. So you have to pay attention.

    Besides a machine with a 4th doesn't command much of a premium over a machine without..

    3. I like the renishaw probe, how much is that feature worth? (How hard is it to add if the machine doesnt have it?)
    No idea.

    4. Im sure everyone has an opinion...but what controller would you recommend? It seems like the 88hs is the common one.
    Not the 104D, though I think that all the machines that had that control have been retrofitted. 88HS came around in
    '93, and has the black face on the pendant. The straight 88 was before that.. BUT.. Apparently when they switched
    to the HS, they still had old pendents, so in the 93 range, you would need to actually look at the cards..

    Also, a lot of the early 90's machines have been upgraded to HS guts. The 32MP is nothing more than an 88HS with
    a PC attached to it.. I've never used one, and they aren't all that common, but wouldn't scare me.. The keyboards
    for them are more expensive..

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    A 6030 Fadal can be a big game changer for a shop that does not have that kind of machining room. Like any machine you need to use your head and get it inspected BEFORE YOU BUY.

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    88HS is a good controller. I bought one new in 1998 and we still run it (3016HT) 2 shifts. just did ball screw on the X axis, some work on the Z axis. It's been a good machine for us. Just bought a 4020 (1997)and did all new ball screws. No complaints.

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    Buy one with the 4th if you need it. Fadal had some funky policies regarding "upgrading" machines over 5 years old. A 10k spindle should be very common. Service can also be interesting as techs won't touch the Fanuc side, and vice versa. They are also a PITA to move/rig. All that being said, I've had a few and they're decent enough machines for the price vs capacity.

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    I'm curious about your "PITA to move and rig" comment.

    They have 2 casting holes for forks in the base, you just put some strong steel through those and pick the machine up with long forks.

    I built a cradle that goes through those holes and puts the machine on casters, to move it around my garage. I used a tele-handler to unload from the trailer.

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    IIRC, we had a 25k forklift at the time with long forks. Picking off the truck from the backside isn't bad if you can do it inside, or have a plan to get it through your door. The PITA part was placing it from the front (back to the wall). All that weight on the ends of the forks made it sketchy at best. We used dollies for navigating it through the shop, but even reaching the far corners to remove the back dollies wasn't easy. The enclosure is just that large. A Jack probably would have been helpful at the time. a 6030 is typically the entry-level "large" machine for most shops, and most simply aren't prepared for it's footprint. It's not like moving around a 4020. Other than our Laser, it's the only machine we have that requires special consideration to move, and we've shoehorned a lot of impossible fit stuff over the years.

    On a side note, you have a "garage" you wheel around a 6030 in? I'd like that garage!

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    Mitsubishi VMC - Free to Good Home

    Here you go. Much better machine than a Fadal. Mitsubishi has amazing and FREE tech support and the Mits control is just like a Fanuc, but parts are a small fraction of the cost.

    Do you need the 10k spindle?

    The jap machines have about twice the iron in them and twice the horseponies. They generally don't need any work whereas all the Fadal threads seem to have similar themes of paying a lot of coin for a very old machine and then sinking an absurd amount of time and money into replacing things to make it functional.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    Mitsubishi VMC - Free to Good Home

    Here you go. Much better machine than a Fadal. Mitsubishi has amazing and FREE tech support and the Mits control is just like a Fanuc, but parts are a small fraction of the cost.

    Do you need the 10k spindle?

    The jap machines have about twice the iron in them and twice the horseponies. They generally don't need any work whereas all the Fadal threads seem to have similar themes of paying a lot of coin for a very old machine and then sinking an absurd amount of time and money into replacing things to make it functional.
    Absurd amounts of money? Most threads I see they need $100 per axis for the thrust bearings and $50?? for drawbar Bellevue washers. I don’t own one yet, but have read lots of threads here and other places . The manuals can be downloaded for free and lots of people run them and can answer questions.
    I’m sure some people have had to replace spindles and cards , but that happens on all brands machines for lots more money


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Janecky View Post

    On a side note, you have a "garage" you wheel around a 6030 in? I'd like that garage!
    VMC40, not a 6030, but I would imagine the castings are similarly designed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripperj View Post
    Absurd amounts of money? Most threads I see they need $100 per axis for the thrust bearings and $50?? for drawbar Bellevue washers. I don’t own one yet, but have read lots of threads here and other places . The manuals can be downloaded for free and lots of people run them and can answer questions.
    I’m sure some people have had to replace spindles and cards , but that happens on all brands machines for lots more money


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    And free telephone tech support.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripperj View Post
    Absurd amounts of money? Most threads I see they need $100 per axis for the thrust bearings and $50?? for drawbar Bellevue washers. ......
    The absurd amount of money will come when you discover that the Turcite on the Fadal is shot and the ways right along with it in most cases. It will be a rare find to get a 6030 with good ways and good Turcite unless it has been completely rebuilt in the past 10 years or so. They were not very well done from the factory and 25 years of use did not make them better.

    Much more likely to find good ways, Turcite and ballscrews on an old Japanese built machine. I recently did some control repairs on an 87 Kuraki. The owner showed me some Ti part they run and the endmill bored holes were within .0002" of round when checked with a dial bore gage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripperj View Post
    Absurd amounts of money? Most threads I see they need $100 per axis for the thrust bearings and $50?? for drawbar Bellevue washers. I don’t own one yet, but have read lots of threads here and other places . The manuals can be downloaded for free and lots of people run them and can answer questions.
    I’m sure some people have had to replace spindles and cards , but that happens on all brands machines for lots more money


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    I've seen a ton of Fadals for sale or free with bad Turcite/ways.

    I've seen a couple Jap machines that needed way work, but it has always been a bad lube line or way cover scenario.

    Fadals do not impress me and generally cost more to buy and own than a similar year/equipped Jap machine IMO.

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    Considering Fadal has been gone for 12 years what in Sams kingdom are you talking about? The new fadal not happy upgrading a machine not made for the last 10 years....lol. You move a fadal like a pallet...lol

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Janecky View Post
    Buy one with the 4th if you need it. Fadal had some funky policies regarding "upgrading" machines over 5 years old. A 10k spindle should be very common. Service can also be interesting as techs won't touch the Fanuc side, and vice versa. They are also a PITA to move/rig. All that being said, I've had a few and they're decent enough machines for the price vs capacity.

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    Again....NUTTY REPLY


    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    Mitsubishi VMC - Free to Good Home

    Here you go. Much better machine than a Fadal. Mitsubishi has amazing and FREE tech support and the Mits control is just like a Fanuc, but parts are a small fraction of the cost.

    Do you need the 10k spindle?

    The jap machines have about twice the iron in them and twice the horseponies. They generally don't need any work whereas all the Fadal threads seem to have similar themes of paying a lot of coin for a very old machine and then sinking an absurd amount of time and money into replacing things to make it functional.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Harrington View Post
    I'm curious about your "PITA to move and rig" comment.

    They have 2 casting holes for forks in the base, you just put some strong steel through those and pick the machine up with long forks.

    I built a cradle that goes through those holes and puts the machine on casters, to move it around my garage. I used a tele-handler to unload from the trailer.
    Do you have a picture of this setup? Would like to do this in my new garage and might as well expand on what someone else built.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duc View Post
    Do you have a picture of this setup? Would like to do this in my new garage and might as well expand on what someone else built.
    20160113_183859s.jpg
    20160113_183848s.jpg
    20160113_183944s.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Janecky View Post
    Buy one with the 4th if you need it. Fadal had some funky policies regarding "upgrading" machines over 5 years old. A 10k spindle should be very common. Service can also be interesting as techs won't touch the Fanuc side, and vice versa. They are also a PITA to move/rig. All that being said, I've had a few and they're decent enough machines for the price vs capacity.
    Clarifying for the OP, very few Fadals had Fanuc control hardware. I think it's best to avoid those. Fadals with CNC88 or 88HS control hardware are very easy from the service side, all control circuit boards are quickly available for decent prices and are well documented in Fadal manuals and from owners sharing information online. They basically used the same system with incremental upgrades from the 80s through the early 2000s (don't quote me on that, not sure when the last 88-based controls were produced).

    I generally disagree with the comments in here about Fadals being poor value, but I recognize any type of machine can be a money pit. There are certainly old Fadals out there that have been abused and aren't worth the time/money to recondition.

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    a 6030 isn't any more a pain to rig than any other machine of a
    similar size capacity, and not as heavy as some.

    4th axis definitely just find one wit it if you think you need it.
    it's a slow machine compared to some of the Jap stuff.

    and you only want a 88 controller.

    not nearly as many 6030 were produced so you will have to look a little longer maybe
    to find the right one.

    Ac or DC not that big of a thing not a race horse either way, more like a mule
    it plods along and gets the job done.

    now your big question is do you need the size or do you just want it

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    Search for a member named aarongough (?) He has a Fadal, and did some re-building, he will likely have the answers you need/want...


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