Fanuc Robodrill Mate for Garage
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    Default Fanuc Robodrill Mate for Garage

    I'm looking into a Fanuc Robodrill Mate (2006 or 2007) setup for my garage. I've searched high and low for a brochure or setup manual with no luck and am hoping someone here can help me out with a few setup questions.
    -What is the footprint requirement? Can this be pushed/reduced in any certain direction? Which direction does the coolant tank roll out and how much room is needed for that?
    -I've seen the height marked at 88 inches. Can 7-8 inches of height be reduced by removing the energy chain or other basic bolt on parts? Hoping to get this under an 82in garage door using a pallet jack.
    -A lot of these "Mate" Robodrill machines show the 0i-MC control without mention of the word mate on the control. The word mate is in the machine model name and marked on the enclosure itself. I've read mixed information on whether a 4th axis is possible to add. It sound like the 0i-Mate control does not allow it. If the machine shows the 0i-MC control (no "mate" word) is this something different from the Mate-style control and can the 4th be added? Or since the 0i-MC control is on a Mate machine does that mean its got a dumbed down Mate version of the 0i-MC control?
    -Does anyone have a manual for the machine that can be shared?

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleetis View Post
    I'm looking into a Fanuc Robodrill Mate (2006 or 2007) setup for my garage. I've searched high and low for a brochure or setup manual with no luck and am hoping someone here can help me out with a few setup questions.
    -What is the footprint requirement? Can this be pushed/reduced in any certain direction? Which direction does the coolant tank roll out and how much room is needed for that?

    61 1/2" wide by 80 1/4" deep; can't be reduced unless you start to pull it apart. The coolant tank needs to come back a few inches to clear the casting, from there you can go straight back or left/right.

    -I've seen the height marked at 88 inches. Can 7-8 inches of height be reduced by removing the energy chain or other basic bolt on parts? Hoping to get this under an 82in garage door using a pallet jack.

    82" shouldn't be a problem with the head down and Z servo removed. Manual puts it at 77" from the bottom of the casting to the cable raceway on the right to the control.

    -A lot of these "Mate" Robodrill machines show the 0i-MC control without mention of the word mate on the control. The word mate is in the machine model name and marked on the enclosure itself. I've read mixed information on whether a 4th axis is possible to add. It sound like the 0i-Mate control does not allow it. If the machine shows the 0i-MC control (no "mate" word) is this something different from the Mate-style control and can the 4th be added? Or since the 0i-MC control is on a Mate machine does that mean its got a dumbed down Mate version of the 0i-MC control?

    Robodrill Mate's use a 0i-MC control. I don't think I've heard of anyone putting a full 4th on a Mate, but the control should be capable of it.

    -Does anyone have a manual for the machine that can be shared?

    I've got the operation manual I can email you. Send me a PM with your email.

    Thanks!
    See red for replies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by footpetaljones View Post
    See red for replies.
    Thanks! Very helpful info. PM sent.

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    You can not put a fourth on it. The control is capable. But Methods has said since 2006 that you can not. Maybe something in the ladder?

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    I just put a 2001 a-T14iBL in my garage. I have a 3 bay garage so just slide it in the far left bay with the back right up against the door. If I need to get the coolant tank out I can just open the door and service it real easy. My door height is 90" so it fit easily with a tele-handler and no disassembly. I left as much room as I could on the side against the wall, ended up being enough that I can walk around there and was able to mount the Phase Perfect converter right there too.
    I have another thread going documenting my woes adding a 4th axis. Seems like the vast number of Fanuc components leads to an almost incomprehensible number of combinations of controllers/amps/motors/encoders. I thought I had done sufficient research and still don't have a working solution. The guys here on this forum should have the knowledge and experience to help out. Basically, if there isn't a known working combination it probably isn't going to to happen.
    These are amazingly fast machines! Have fun!
    20200924_130846_resized.jpg

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    As for 4th axis capability, it is my understanding that the control is capable of up to 4 axis total, with X, Y, Z, and the turret using all four up. This is why it is not capable of a rotary 4th axis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidScott View Post
    As for 4th axis capability, it is my understanding that the control is capable of up to 4 axis total, with X, Y, Z, and the turret using all four up. This is why it is not capable of a rotary 4th axis.
    Does the Mate use a servo to drive the turret? The last Robodrills I worked on were mid 90s but those used the spindle motor to drive the turret and AFAIK, the newer ones did too.

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    Mates use the spindle to drive the turret.

    One thing to be cautious of on the Mates is that they did not have a central lube system. The ballscrew and rails need to be greased manually, and it's a pain in the ass to get to every grease zerk. If someone is telling you that they greased every rail and screw according to the maintenance schedule, check for your phone and wallet. I'm not saying you should run away from the machine, but pull the covers and check well before signing the check.

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    I sure thought that is what I was told, which ended my interest in them. It was back when they were offered so my memory could be wrong. Fanuc sure did strip them down!

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    The Internet Wayback Machine dug up the original sales material for the Mate.

    The story goes that the president of either Fanuc or Methods was sick of seeing Haas kinda killing it, so they built the Mate as sort of a special, stripped down version for the US at a sales price of $39,000, and with the unique black paint job.

    Methods Machine Tools Incorporated

    They are fantastic machines. Extremely robust, though the lack of central lube does kinda suck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GENERALDISARRAY View Post
    You can not put a fourth on it. The control is capable. But Methods has said since 2006 that you can not. Maybe something in the ladder?

    Methods originally sold them with an "Indexer" option (Tsudakoma RZ-160), but no... the best they could ever do is 3+1, not full 4 axis.

    I remember finding the sales sheet when I had mine, and noted the Touchdex 4th thing... that looks crazy; you program the spindle to use a tool or the spindle nose to hit a plunger? WTF kind of a hack is that? Fantastic!

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    Cleetis,

    I'd recommend opening up your search to regular robodrills as well. I recently bought and setup a T21iFL in my small shop and am extremely happy with it. I decided the autolube system was worthwhile for improving the chances of me getting a machine in good condition, as well as me keeping it that way. There are also quite a few dual contact early robodrills but not mate's. From watching prices for about 8 months, I wasn't seeing much difference in price or hours between mate and standard robodrills, especially older ones like the B series. My understanding is that even the older 16i controller is quite a bit more capable than the 0i, but I can verify that myself. I'd also recommend looking at pallet changer machines, as they seem to go for less money and the pallet changer is easy to switch off if you don't want to bother with it.

    good luck finding a machine,
    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike RzMachine View Post
    Cleetis,

    I'd recommend opening up your search to regular robodrills as well. I recently bought and setup a T21iFL in my small shop and am extremely happy with it. I decided the autolube system was worthwhile for improving the chances of me getting a machine in good condition, as well as me keeping it that way. There are also quite a few dual contact early robodrills but not mate's. From watching prices for about 8 months, I wasn't seeing much difference in price or hours between mate and standard robodrills, especially older ones like the B series. My understanding is that even the older 16i controller is quite a bit more capable than the 0i, but I can verify that myself. I'd also recommend looking at pallet changer machines, as they seem to go for less money and the pallet changer is easy to switch off if you don't want to bother with it.

    good luck finding a machine,
    Mike
    I started a thread asking about Fanuc controls of this era which basically concluded it's heavily dependent on options. But a well optioned 16i is still a very capable control even by todays standards.

    Fanuc 21iM vs 16 vs 18

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    Methods originally sold them with an "Indexer" option (Tsudakoma RZ-160), but no... the best they could ever do is 3+1, not full 4 axis.

    I remember finding the sales sheet when I had mine, and noted the Touchdex 4th thing... that looks crazy; you program the spindle to use a tool or the spindle nose to hit a plunger? WTF kind of a hack is that? Fantastic!
    Do you have a definitive source on that?

    Your post made me curious enough to dig up the wiring diagram, and it has a page for a 4th servo drive/motor in it. The operation manual also explicitly states "max simultaneous controlled axes: 4".

    To me it looks like back in 06-07 it was a "we won't put a 4th on a Mate" so they didn't eat into sales of regular priced Robodrills. Somewhere along the line, either intentionally or not, that "won't" could have turned into "can't".

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    I put a request in with a local Fanuc rep and he's is checking if a true 4th is possible. He said a simple 4th pulse indexer is but that is likely not new news for anyone here.

    I did get a Mate inspected and I'm wondering if the hours in the attached photo are editable? And if they are, is there another way to see the true run time? Also, does the rail condition in the attached photo look concerning?

    mate-hours.jpgrails-1.jpgrails-2.jpgrails-3.jpgrails-4.jpg

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    Can't say on the hours, I've never checked.

    Take close up pictures of the grooves on the sides of the rails where the trucks make contact. If they and the ballscrew root aren't pitted, they look like they're in decent shape for a 14 year old machine.

    Was this one of the machines on Bidspotter out of Phoenix?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleetis View Post
    .......I did get a Mate inspected and I'm wondering if the hours in the attached photo are editable?
    Yes any user can set the hours value by setting values to parameters 6750-6758. Also if the backup batteries ever fail, the hours are reset back to whatever they were when the system was last backed up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleetis View Post

    Also, does the rail condition in the attached photo look concerning?
    It should be evident if it's been greased on a regular basis which would indicate what level of maintenace it recieved.

    Regardleee of the presence of grease, put an indicator on the table and pull it backwards and forwards at the ends (and sides) with an indicator at each end (and side), this will tell if there's any play in the X/Y linear rails, or how much if any.

    If it was me I'd run the machine, measure parts, check finish, interpolate holes to see how round they are, etc etc before I got too worried about the condition of the rails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by footpetaljones View Post
    Was this one of the machines on Bidspotter out of Phoenix?
    Nope but I did have my mouse over a bid button during that auction! Didn’t jump on it since after auction fees and overpriced rigging they were getting close to market value and I couldn’t inspect beforehand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Yes any user can set the hours value by setting values to parameters 6750-6758. Also if the backup batteries ever fail, the hours are reset back to whatever they were when the system was last backed up.
    Is there really no non-editable or fail safe hour tracker?


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