i guess we should have listened, Flow really dropped the ball.
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  1. #1
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    Default i guess we should have listened, Flow really dropped the ball.

    hi everyone, i am a long time lurker on here and cnc zone. It is unfortunate that my first post be a complaint. my company purchased a flow waterjet about 5 months ago. it took us a couple weeks to get an electrician out to set up the transformer and the soft start panel. so we call flow,it was another 3 weeks or so until they could send a technician to set up the machine. even though we told them when it would be ready to go. what ever,they come out here hook it up, and then we have near constant overload problems. so after being down again for 2 more weeks we have another electrician come and take a look. seems that the flow technician didn't tighten the wires down to the pump in the soft start panel. after that is fixed, we run like a dream until about 3.5 weeks ago. 3.5 weeks ago we ordered a palate of garnet from flow, we were getting low, but wanted to stay ahead of the game you know? it was due to arrive within the week, with free shipping! awesome! i said... well i still dont have any garnet. we have called every couple of days since then to see where it is. its on its way... it will be there soon... should be there on friday, and we will send you some consumables as an apology(those came btw, but i cant really use them without garnet). well Friday i waited all day, and it never came. then we call, "sorry, it will be there Tuesday". waited all day yesterday... nothing. so i call first thing this morning and i have to call a few times to find someone who cares, instead of transferring me to a voicemail. luckily i got a hold of a very sweet lady who seems to genuinely be trying to help me. the problem is, she doesn't even know what to tell me. she has no clue where our stuff is. she was very apologetic, and i could hear the dread in her voice when she called me back. i cant bring myself to be rude, so i thank her for trying, and for being up front. but there isn't anything for me to do. if i cant run this machine, i dont make money. i had to borrow money to pay mortgage. i wish i would have called omax...
    eta. my boss canceled our order for garnet with flow, and kindly told them to... um... well... do some things and stuff to themselves...

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    We buy our garnet from Barton Abrasives. They are awesome and have never let me down... Sorry to hear of your poor experience with flow. They have always been good about our needs service wise (on the east coast) but given that they are based in kent, I'd have thought they'd be pretty good on the west coast.

    Quote Originally Posted by captain_kirk View Post
    hi everyone, i am a long time lurker on here and cnc zone. It is unfortunate that my first post be a complaint. my company purchased a flow waterjet about 5 months ago. it took us a couple weeks to get an electrician out to set up the transformer and the soft start panel. so we call flow,it was another 3 weeks or so until they could send a technician to set up the machine. even though we told them when it would be ready to go. what ever,they come out here hook it up, and then we have near constant overload problems. so after being down again for 2 more weeks we have another electrician come and take a look. seems that the flow technician didn't tighten the wires down to the pump in the soft start panel. after that is fixed, we run like a dream until about 3.5 weeks ago. 3.5 weeks ago we ordered a palate of garnet from flow, we were getting low, but wanted to stay ahead of the game you know? it was due to arrive within the week, with free shipping! awesome! i said... well i still dont have any garnet. we have called every couple of days since then to see where it is. its on its way... it will be there soon... should be there on friday, and we will send you some consumables as an apology(those came btw, but i cant really use them without garnet). well Friday i waited all day, and it never came. then we call, "sorry, it will be there Tuesday". waited all day yesterday... nothing. so i call first thing this morning and i have to call a few times to find someone who cares, instead of transferring me to a voicemail. luckily i got a hold of a very sweet lady who seems to genuinely be trying to help me. the problem is, she doesn't even know what to tell me. she has no clue where our stuff is. she was very apologetic, and i could hear the dread in her voice when she called me back. i cant bring myself to be rude, so i thank her for trying, and for being up front. but there isn't anything for me to do. if i cant run this machine, i dont make money. i had to borrow money to pay mortgage. i wish i would have called omax...
    eta. my boss canceled our order for garnet with flow, and kindly told them to... um... well... do some things and stuff to themselves...

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    Leveraging everything on a single CNC....man I remember those days.

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    i had really high expectations for flow. i saw them as the haas of waterjet machines. but after a month of no garnet, and after the overload issues (started while the tech was here, and he said it had to be dirty power) they havent really even come close to those expectations. i just want the damn thing running.that shouldnt be so much to ask, being this machine literally broke our bank. and hasnt delivered anything. remember how i said 4 or 5 months? i have exactly 52.5 hours of running time on this machine. its a baby.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedie View Post
    Leveraging everything on a single CNC....man I remember those days.
    hey, if you are offering to give me another one, i will take it.

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    This is not a Flow problem per se. There is a market tightening on 80 mesh garnet. Some sort of ban on mining and exports by the Indian govt. As I understand it, India supplies half of the worlds garnet destined for use in waterjet cutting, Austrailia I assume being the other half. I had to face serious supply struggles with at least one major garnet supplier as well, running through a 2200lb pallet a week. I have to offer praise for Barton for taking care of their current customer base during this period and even offering some alternative solutions to keep machines cutting. Flow should probably be mentioning that to customers, but I suppose want to protect sales of systems.

    What really bothers me in general is the lack of information from the garnet producers on this whole supply issue. For example, order 5 pallets receive one 4 weeks later. Having to call because I'm out of abrasive only to receive one or two pallets at a time piece meal at premium freight cost. I'm still owed 2 pallets from a 5 pallet order placed with the big guy back on the first of May. It really has kind of soured me a bit. No reason to keep it a big effing secret from your customers.

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    wow, thats good to know. im baffled that this is the first i am hearing of this. barton (i believe) mines their own garnet in new york. which would explain how they are still able to supply it.

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    the owner of my company just got off of the phone with a garnet suplier in northern california. they said "we have 150,000 tons of 80 mesh ready to ship" so im going to call b.s. on that. at least its not a valid excuse for making us wait so damn long with no comunication.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captain_kirk View Post
    the owner of my company just got off of the phone with a garnet suplier in northern california. they said "we have 150,000 tons of 80 mesh ready to ship" so im going to call b.s. on that. at least its not a valid excuse for making us wait so damn long with no comunication.
    simple answer, get in the truck to california, pick some up yourself, pay in cash, set up a new account there and cancel the order flow can't figure out how to deliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captain_kirk View Post
    the owner of my company just got off of the phone with a garnet suplier in northern california. they said "we have 150,000 tons of 80 mesh ready to ship" so im going to call b.s. on that. at least its not a valid excuse for making us wait so damn long with no comunication.
    Something tells me your going to have to empty the sludge out of your tank a good few times before you run out that supply!

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    Quote Originally Posted by WILLEO6709 View Post
    simple answer, get in the truck to california, pick some up yourself, pay in cash, set up a new account there and cancel the order flow can't figure out how to deliver.
    Yep in two days at the most you can be back in operation... I can drive 800 miles in a day easy...

    It's time to stop relying on others in this "time of crises" and do it yourself!

    In fact why haven't you left yet ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by captain_kirk View Post
    wow, thats good to know. im baffled that this is the first i am hearing of this. barton (i believe) mines their own garnet in new york. which would explain how they are still able to supply it.
    Adirondack "hard rock" garnet, which has to be crushed before classifying is twice the price of alluvial "river/beach" garnet. The difference is like 20 cents a pound vs. 40 cents a pound. Glad you found a supplier.

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    lol, left? i ordered it from them yesterday afternoon... and it is already delivered here. hahaha i guess that is how serious companies play ball.

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    Default Flow service & Garnet

    Quote Originally Posted by captain_kirk View Post
    lol, left? i ordered it from them yesterday afternoon... and it is already delivered here. hahaha i guess that is how serious companies play ball.
    Unfortunately Flow has moved most operations to Korea and will be manufacturing their machines there. They closed a manufacturing plant in Indiana and moved the operations to Korea. Getting parts and service is becoming very difficult for most users. There is a garnet shortage and I would recommend ordering several skids of garnet to make sure you do not run out.

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    well, my machine is down again... that didn't take long. we are waiting to see what they say/ do to help us on this one. so here is the details. yesterday i was running a part at 50k psi, then all the sudden the pump starts cutting out and back on. so i slammed the e-stop and popped open my soft start pannel... and black smoke comes pouring out. so i say "yay, i get to leave early"... except not, because now i have to deal with another major issue with my machine... ive got almost 100 hours on it. seems like every 30 to 40 hours i have major issues. flow seems baffled at all of the issues we have been having. they say that this is abnormal. and i do believe them. if flow had issues like this with every machine they sold, they would have gone out of business by now. i cant say i like omax any better though. so heres to hoping that these new loose wires were the source of the problem all along

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    I've been buying garnet from Barton for 10 years. At first we used 80HPX, the hard rock crushed premium garnet, because that's what OMAX recommends, didn't occur to me to do different. I understand now one benefit of HPX is fewer fines, and so HPX is required for closed-loop water systems, and in general results in a cleaner waste stream.

    In the pre-crash boom in 2008, Barton was unable to meet demand for HPX, so we switched to HPA and haven't looked back.

    There are, or at least were, a whole bunch of small outfits around the U.S. who buy container loads of alluvial garnet from far away and sell it by the pallet. The place we pay to take our waste is one of them. We've tried a couple of these but found the product was less consistent - we'd get nozzle clogs from oversize particles and from debris in the packaging. Or it'd be great, but then when I went to re-order the business no longer existed.

    The latest of these new places to approach us is Shape Mined Minerals, which I thought was another fly-by-night - I don't pay attention to the waterjet world beyond OMAX. But they are different:

    Home - Shape Technologies Group

    The parent Shape is a new conglomerate that bought FLOW, KMT, OPTA Minerals and several other manufacturers.

    And so when the OP speaks of ordering abrasive from FLOW, I assume it is Shape, which apparently is having more supply issues than Barton.

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    i ended up ordering GMA garnett and it arrived in less than 24 hours. my boss called flow to order it from their supplier, but it was all flow employees that we were speaking with. it took flow over 3 weeks and they still didnt have it.i think flow gets it from india so their margins are much higher. but there was that issue with india stopping exports of it. GMA is mined in australia so they dont have that issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff7630 View Post
    Unfortunately Flow has moved most operations to Korea and will be manufacturing their machines there. They closed a manufacturing plant in Indiana and moved the operations to Korea. Getting parts and service is becoming very difficult for most users. There is a garnet shortage and I would recommend ordering several skids of garnet to make sure you do not run out.
    where did you hear flow (or shape) is moving to korea? i cant find any info on that

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    well, flow is here and they are replacing our fried panel.. we should be running around noon tomorrow. i am actually pleased with how they are handling this problem. hopefully this fixes our other electrical issues with the machine too. im still a bit pissed about the whole garnet fiasco, but at least they're handling the repair.

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    so my machine is singing now, better than ever actually. that panel must have been the source of our problems. the technician was extremely knowledgeable, and helpful. this experience has helped salvage my opinion of flow.


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