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    Default Machine Longevity

    Where I currently work we've got a small shop in house to support prototyping within our company. We're growing and recently picked up a Haas VM3. For what we do it's been a great machine, but I'd like to try to optimize my programming to keep the machine in as good condition as possible for as long as possible. I've got a PM schedule I adhere to and inspect the machine pretty thoroughly monthly to catch issues before they become significant, but outside of that I'm looking for input on programming methods that will be easier on the machine.

    We've got the 12K spindle in it and from what I can gather the 30hp 8.1k, 12k and 15k spindles are the same with the software options being the difference. Is this correct, or do they have different bearings in them? That said, I've been using the spindle at higher RPMs with light radial engagement and high feeds. I know the common sentiment is that running at lower speeds preserves the bearings, but how much of a difference would you see in beating life from lighter cutting loads at high RPM vs heavier loads at lower RPM? We're running aluminum for about 90% of our parts. I've been practicing HEM techniques, so I'll typically rough out parts using an adaptive toolpath with a 1/2" rougher at .025 radial, 1" DOC @ 12K RPM and 350-400IPM feeds. I rarely see spindle loads over 30%, but I'm also running on the higher end of the RPM range for the majority of the parts I run.

    We're not a production shop, so outright speed isn't a huge concern as much as reliability is. Having a machine with linear rails my thought process is that it's a little better to move it quick with light loads than it is to take deeper cuts... would the higher pitch screws on the VM3 wear any differently moving quickly than something like the VF SS models? Or does the pitch not really play a part outside of resolution (and max feed)?

    I've read a ton of differing options here and I think it'd be really helpful to get some input. Thanks!

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    If you only turn it on, run the Spindle up and move all Axes once a day, it'll last basically forever.

    R

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    RE: high rpm- I've run Haas for a long time and never had any problems running them at or near max rpm for 8-12 hours a day so no worries there IMO. Also, I know some people only run their rapids at 50% so they "don't wear them out" <hogwash! After a program is proven you will have no problem turning the rapids to 100%.

    It is a good idea to either run a warmup in the morning to move the axis around at a moderately slow speed and ramp the spindle up slowly for say 10 minutes or whatever, or what we do currently is start a program at 50% rapid and spindle and set something like 3.0" in the z G52 and let it run for a bit then turn rapids and spindle to 100%.

    I would not start a machine cold in the AM and get it running at 10-12k rpm first thing YMMV.

    edit: Haas is going to like taking HSM paths much more than outright hogging IMO, although it can do that to an extent.

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    You're over thinking this. If you worry about that little stuff then yeah, the machine may be around till is antiquated and no longer supported like the first gen Haas stuff that if you have the slightest problem they want you to do a $35K over haul on. For me, I want to push the machine and make as much as possible in the shortest time. Sure, maybe throw a spindle out but that's about it. A Haas cartridge is less than 5 grand and half days work replacing. Drive that thing with all shes got and make some money. Haas may not be the most robust machine on the market but they hold up well and are cheap to fix.

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    I heard just recently some evidence that limiting spindles at say 90% of full speed added to their life significantly. But if the 12k and 15k are the same mechanically you are already doing that, and these are not super high RPM spindles anyway. Following the above warm up and being as conscious about it as you are I agree you're probably fine running wide open.

    As a side note a 1" x 0.025" in aluminum is a very light cut, I wouldn't hesitate to up that to 0.050" or 0.100" and try it out.

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    G-coder05 took the words right out of my head....you are over thinking it..
    I assume the machine was purchased intending to cut steel, aluminum, etc....
    Not exactly a dainty thing. Run it, dont abuse it. When it breaks fix it.
    It will never be a museum piece. it makes $ when it is making parts.
    If you want to optimize your programming in a way that helps the machine last longer.....dont crash it.

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    If you want to optimize your programming in a way that helps the machine last longer.....dont crash it.
    Best advise I've seen all day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    RE: high rpm- I've run Haas for a long time and never had any problems running them at or near max rpm for 8-12 hours a day so no worries there IMO. Also, I know some people only run their rapids at 50% so they "don't wear them out" <hogwash! After a program is proven you will have no problem turning the rapids to 100%.

    It is a good idea to either run a warmup in the morning to move the axis around at a moderately slow speed and ramp the spindle up slowly for say 10 minutes or whatever, or what we do currently is start a program at 50% rapid and spindle and set something like 3.0" in the z G52 and let it run for a bit then turn rapids and spindle to 100%.

    I would not start a machine cold in the AM and get it running at 10-12k rpm first thing YMMV.

    edit: Haas is going to like taking HSM paths much more than outright hogging IMO, although it can do that to an extent.
    Awesome, thanks for the input! I run a warm up program every evening when I get in that incorporates the spindle warmup program from Haas and moves the table to the ends of travel back and forth slowly for about 20min. I'm normally doing something when I get in or some programming so it's really not an issue time wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCByrd24 View Post
    I heard just recently some evidence that limiting spindles at say 90% of full speed added to their life significantly. But if the 12k and 15k are the same mechanically you are already doing that, and these are not super high RPM spindles anyway. Following the above warm up and being as conscious about it as you are I agree you're probably fine running wide open.

    As a side note a 1" x 0.025" in aluminum is a very light cut, I wouldn't hesitate to up that to 0.050" or 0.100" and try it out.
    Yeah, that's what I've always heard. Thinking through it though, I struggle to see how a heavier load on the bearings is much better than spinning them faster... but as you've mentioned I think that's more of an issue on the higher speed spindles.

    It's extremely light. I need to play around with some heavier cuts but we've been going balls out for the last few months so I've been erring on the side of caution for now. Next week I should have some time to myself without anything critical coming up to play around a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by toolsteel View Post
    G-coder05 took the words right out of my head....you are over thinking it..
    I assume the machine was purchased intending to cut steel, aluminum, etc....
    Not exactly a dainty thing. Run it, dont abuse it. When it breaks fix it.
    It will never be a museum piece. it makes $ when it is making parts.
    If you want to optimize your programming in a way that helps the machine last longer.....dont crash it.
    I'm definitely over thinking it, but we've got a small in house shop with the Haas an old converted Fryer knee mill. If the Haas goes down for unscheduled maintenance when we're coming up on a deadline it's going to suck. Like I mentioned we're mainly running aluminum with some delrin, copper, stainless and steel mixed in. It's not exactly the toughest workload, and based on that it shouldn't see much abuse. I know stuff happens, but if I can find a balance of taking it easy on the machine and getting done what I need to I think it'll be a little better for us in the long run. We're also a pretty young company so avoiding multi-thousand dollar repair bills is worth a little ass pain.

    The point isn't for it to be a museum piece, and I understand that it's not, but from a past life as a service tech on EDMs I've seen what some logical preventative maintenance and care in operation can do for both the longevity and accuracy of a machine. If we were a normal shop running production with multiple VMCs it'd be more logical to push it and deal with the maintenance as it comes up, for sure. Our machine really just saves money (same difference, right?) when making parts as we can farm less out, so there's diminishing returns on running it too much harder.

    Yeah, no crashes yet. Working to keep it that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by g-coder05 View Post
    You're over thinking this. If you worry about that little stuff then yeah, the machine may be around till is antiquated and no longer supported like the first gen Haas stuff that if you have the slightest problem they want you to do a $35K over haul on. For me, I want to push the machine and make as much as possible in the shortest time. Sure, maybe throw a spindle out but that's about it. A Haas cartridge is less than 5 grand and half days work replacing. Drive that thing with all shes got and make some money. Haas may not be the most robust machine on the market but they hold up well and are cheap to fix.
    I get that, but as I mentioned above the purpose of our in house shop is to fill in the gaps. There's a lot of times I'll get a few parts at 6pm and need it done for our engineers in the AM to meet deadlines. If the machine isn't reliable, it's going to be head to meet our goals. Moving fast is definitely important, but I've found that I can make up a lot more time with efficient fixturing, programming parts while one the first ops running, probing macros, etc... than I can by just hauling ass. I rarely make more than one of anything. Larger runs get farmed out after we verify the parts are good, so I don't have the opportunity to test out programs. The first time I run it is the only time, so being a little conservative seems to help as blowing off a tap in a part of breaking an endmill might destroy the only piece of stock I've got for that part that needs to be done by the morning. I'm definitely still working to find that line, but we're getting there.

    The maintenance costs on an older machine are insane. The hourly rates Mits charged for old machines when I had to service them was obviously boosted to push them to move to a newer model. That said, I have no problem performing repairs in house, I rebuilt the Fryer when I got here and have a decent background there. Once the warranty is up we're fully planning on doing our repairs in house when possible.

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    I am in a similar business. I try not to run my spindles at max rpm all day long, even decreasing it 10% increase the longevity significantly. I also watch my spindle load and optimize my programs to run as near to 50% as possible. Yes, I know they can take 100% and even 150% for brief periods of time. I also avoid any cutting paths that make excessive noise. If it sounds objectionable, then it is transmitting those vibrations into the entire drive train and spindle assembly (and it hurts my poor abused ears). I believe that until all of my spindles are running at maximum utilization rates, beating the hell out of my machines to save a couple of seconds is false economy. Choices made in programing make a huge impact on how long your machine lasts, including crashes. Especially crashes that jar the bearings, overload a servo, or stall the spindle.

    That being said, when I am running machines for an employer, I run them balls to the F-ing wall. Most employers like to see steam billowing out the top of the machine and chips machine gunning the windows When asked, I'll take their existing programs and reprogram them efficiently with modern high speed tool paths, then drive the poor machine like a rented mule. It's kind of fun, and they feel like they are getting what they paid for. I'll even give them the Surgeon General's warning about how running a machine like this will decrease its life expectancy and cause low birth weight; but most don't care, and I certainly don't dislike doing so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC3KNM View Post
    I've been practicing HEM techniques, so I'll typically rough out parts using an adaptive toolpath with a 1/2" rougher at .025 radial, 1" DOC @ 12K RPM and 350-400IPM feeds.
    Adaptive toolpaths are great for many parts. They do create a ton of extra moves which probably will increase wear on ballscrews, thrust bearings, rails etc. Use common sense. For example dont use a million tiny adaptive moves to make a slot when you can easily plow through in a couple depth cuts, especially in softer materials. Aluminum still cuts great with a high helix 2fl endmills and traditional methods, tools still last forever in aluminum even cutting the old way.

    I agree with others, biggest thing would be not crashing. One more thing I would recommend would be to run the machine through its full travel maybe once a week to make sure you dont have any corrosion problems on the ballscrews or rails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G00 Proto View Post
    I am in a similar business. I try not to run my spindles at max rpm all day long, even decreasing it 10% increase the longevity significantly. I also watch my spindle load and optimize my programs to run as near to 50% as possible. Yes, I know they can take 100% and even 150% for brief periods of time. I also avoid any cutting paths that make excessive noise. If it sounds objectionable, then it is transmitting those vibrations into the entire drive train and spindle assembly (and it hurts my poor abused ears). I believe that until all of my spindles are running at maximum utilization rates, beating the hell out of my machines to save a couple of seconds is false economy. Choices made in programing make a huge impact on how long your machine lasts, including crashes. Especially crashes that jar the bearings, overload a servo, or stall the spindle.

    That being said, when I am running machines for an employer, I run them balls to the F-ing wall. Most employers like to see steam billowing out the top of the machine and chips machine gunning the windows When asked, I'll take their existing programs and reprogram them efficiently with modern high speed tool paths, then drive the poor machine like a rented mule. It's kind of fun, and they feel like they are getting what they paid for. I'll even give them the Surgeon General's warning about how running a machine like this will decrease its life expectancy and cause low birth weight; but most don't care, and I certainly don't dislike doing so.
    Yeah, it's not my personal machine but I'm still trying to keep it nice and tight for as long as we can. We're moving to a larger facility soon, so we'll likely expand with a few more machines which would make me a little more comfortable pushing things. It's rough having a backlog on the back of one (well, 1.5 if you count the Fryer ) machine as if it goes down you're pretty well effed. I'm of the same opinion that saving a few seconds (or really minutes) doesn't benefit me, I've normally got more time buried in programming and setup per part than run time anyway, so to save even 20 minutes at the risk of a crash or jacking up a part just isn't worth it. Though, I'm not looking to run things way too slow to where I'm wasting time or burning up tooling.

    If we keep any production for the actual aircraft in house down the road it'll start to make sense to haul ass for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by mmurray70 View Post
    Adaptive toolpaths are great for many parts. They do create a ton of extra moves which probably will increase wear on ballscrews, thrust bearings, rails etc. Use common sense. For example dont use a million tiny adaptive moves to make a slot when you can easily plow through in a couple depth cuts, especially in softer materials. Aluminum still cuts great with a high helix 2fl endmills and traditional methods, tools still last forever in aluminum even cutting the old way.

    I agree with others, biggest thing would be not crashing. One more thing I would recommend would be to run the machine through its full travel maybe once a week to make sure you dont have any corrosion problems on the ballscrews or rails.
    That's a great point. I try to limit interpolating holes where I can,use 3D pocketing instead of trichodal paths in small slots and tight areas where the machine is going to make those jerky movements and do some of the smaller features before running an adaptive clearing so HSMworks ignores those features. It's normally faster and using a rougher I'm not super concerned about uneven tool wear using a light axial DOC as I'm following it up with a finish pass anyway.

    I have the machine running full travel during a daily warm up program and I typically have three vises on the table that I cycle between to avoid wearing the screws unevenly as well, so I'm hopefully pretty good there.

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    Adaptive toolpaths are great for many parts. They do create a ton of extra moves which probably will increase wear on ballscrews, thrust bearings, rails etc. Use common sense. For example dont use a million tiny adaptive moves to make a slot when you can easily plow through in a couple depth cuts, especially in softer materials. Aluminum still cuts great with a high helix 2fl endmills and traditional methods, tools still last forever in aluminum even cutting the old way.
    Just keep your balls clean and lubed well if screwing around at high speed. They may swell a bit but you should be fine. I've got machines been running Adaptive for over 10 years and can't say I remember any failures.

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    I worked forvhaas forvover 10 years. the machines that were abused, needed more love. the 1 thing haas doesn't get additional lubrication is the thrust bearings on the X,Y,Z. after years of use some machines developed noise in rapid. most think it's a bad ballscrew. in reality, most times it's the thrust bearings. a big thing to monitor is your lube. on some of the older machines I have seen some of the plastic lines come loose. if that happens you will loose lube to the ballscrews. I have a 93 VF1 I run weekly. and a 96 VF3 I run almost daily. you keep them clean , dont let the chips build up behind the Y axis. and you will have a happy machine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by g-coder05 View Post
    Just keep your balls clean and lubed well if screwing around at high speed. They may swell a bit but you should be fine. I've got machines been running Adaptive for over 10 years and can't say I remember any failures.
    Hows the backlash been? Notice any premature wear?


    Quote Originally Posted by Hoss710 View Post
    I worked forvhaas forvover 10 years. the machines that were abused, needed more love. the 1 thing haas doesn't get additional lubrication is the thrust bearings on the X,Y,Z. after years of use some machines developed noise in rapid. most think it's a bad ballscrew. in reality, most times it's the thrust bearings. a big thing to monitor is your lube. on some of the older machines I have seen some of the plastic lines come loose. if that happens you will loose lube to the ballscrews. I have a 93 VF1 I run weekly. and a 96 VF3 I run almost daily. you keep them clean , dont let the chips build up behind the Y axis. and you will have a happy machine.
    That's good to know, I'll make sure to keep an eye on it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by toolsteel View Post
    G-coder05 took the words right out of my head....you are over thinking it..
    I assume the machine was purchased intending to cut steel, aluminum, etc....
    Not exactly a dainty thing. Run it, dont abuse it. When it breaks fix it.
    It will never be a museum piece. it makes $ when it is making parts.
    If you want to optimize your programming in a way that helps the machine last longer.....dont crash it.
    Quote Originally Posted by g-coder05 View Post
    Best advise I've seen all day.
    Couldn't agree more. A quality industrial machine is made to run all out, day in and day out. Like anything else given enough time everything wears. Proper preventative maintenance can make a huge difference. Warm things up, run balls out. If the need arises repair or replace the machine, by that point it should have paid for itself many many times over. I would be far more concerned with wear on the ways than ballscrews. Scraping is a lot of work, replacing ballscrews isn't. But then again this is just my opinion....

    on edit: I see that is a Haas, I'm not familiar with them, do they have ways or are they all linear bearings?

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    Making Machinery last forever is like running against the wind, when the finish line is the other direction. Like everyone else, MTB's do not design them to last forever, that's poor marketing. If you generate $1000.00 a day running balls to the wall. Or $500.00 a day at more conservative rate, you don't get 200% more life out of the equipment, running slower. You get some, but not double. So my thinking is turn that thing out, and make it, make every penny it can. Ideally you'll have enough to buy a new piece. Machinery is like Hookers. At first their fun, then they get dependable, then they get old but still work, then they are just a burden with a sentimental value.

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    I am very happy with how my Hyundai-Wia lathe is made and engineered. Twin spindle twin turret lathe. This machine has more way oil lines than electrical lines. All slides, ball screw nuts, and ball screw bearings (both ends)!! Runs everyday. No change in accuracy in the past 5 years. Too bad they dont have too much support in Il.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmari --MariTool- View Post
    I am very happy with how my Hyundai-Wia lathe is made and engineered. Twin spindle twin turret lathe. This machine has more way oil lines than electrical lines. All slides, ball screw nuts, and ball screw bearings (both ends)!! Runs everyday. No change in accuracy in the past 5 years. Too bad they dont have too much support in Il.
    Our Wia lathes have been ok. They both leak like crazy and our maintenance guy swears he'll quit if they buy another Hyundai because of how hard he has to work just to get parts for them. That and day 1 problems with our F960B's tool changer. Reading their manuals can be fun for some bad translations and spelling though.

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    First worrying about the machine is nice to see. Now run it. Make parts. Wear it out. It is a tool that is made to be run and replaced. Try not to crash it but understand that the crash will happen some day. You will scratch it, it will have a hiccup. That is okay. Learn and plan for it's replacement.
    Have fun and make parts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAMasochism View Post
    Our Wia lathes have been ok. They both leak like crazy and our maintenance guy swears he'll quit if they buy another Hyundai because of how hard he has to work just to get parts for them. That and day 1 problems with our F960B's tool changer. Reading their manuals can be fun for some bad translations and spelling though.
    Wow, we are polar opposite. But so far I didn't have to really buy any parts for this machine so maybe my opinion will change. I am used to decoding manuals. Ever read a Fanuc manual in the late 80's?

    Miyano's have been very good to me. Mechanically they are very reliable. Nice and solid machines.


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