Need to upgrade capacities, which type of machines would you buy?
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  1. #1
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    Default Need to upgrade capacities, which type of machines would you buy?

    I want to start by saying we only do custom parts with small build quantities; generally 2 to 10 parts. I am more interested in capability that I am speed. We out source many components that are beyond our capacities and it has reached the point that it will be cost effective to bring them in house. I am familiar with manual lathes, mills, and grinders. I am not familiar with VMC, vertical lathes, ect. So I thought I would reach out to the experts to get your opinion on which machine(s) you would buy. I have budgeted 300k max but I am hoping I can get what I need for 150k with used machines. Thanks in advance, I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with.

    Onto the parts:

    Shaft - 8.5" OD x 70" long.

    Rotor - 16" OD x 30" Long, need to bore ID to 8"

    Frame - I have attached a rough outline of the part. The OD will be cast and we need to put some flats on it and some holes in it.

    frame.jpg

    Ends - I have also attached a rough outline of this part. The only thing somewhat challenging is the hole at the angles.

    end.jpg

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    If you were going to keep doing them manually, a decent HBM with a tilting rotab, tooling, and DRO's might be as little as 1/10 your budget. If you are planning to use the job to enter the modern age with cnc, I have no clue.

    smt

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    The plan is to go CNC if I can afford it. The drawings are very rough. There is a lot more holes and details that are not shown. A smaller version of the End on our manual mill take 16 to 20 hours.

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    Long shaft is hard.
    Cheapest new - likely haas ST45L. 155k€.
    Its a new model, so you wont find one used.

    I suspect anything cnc that long will be more, even used.
    1750 mm - there are few machines, and all are $$, afaik.

    Also, they dont make it any more, but would fit very well for short runs.
    Haas TL4, used.

    Interested in suggestions..

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    What about tooling?
    What about fixturing?
    What about programming software?
    You want a machine to do everything with minimal set-ups?
    Is the 70" length your longest part?
    Is the 26" diameter you largest part?

    Largist size parts. Not having an entire set of drawings, it's hard to make a call. Gut tells me that 300K might get you into a used CNC lathe with tooling and fixturing. That's a big MIGHT!.

    About 3 years ago, I set-up a Doosan 400L turning center. That was a new machine. Everything came to just over 800K. The 20" chuck was 35K. The steady rest for long shafts was another 30K.
    JR

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanermo View Post
    Long shaft is hard.
    Cheapest new - likely haas ST45L. 155k€.
    Its a new model, so you wont find one used.

    I suspect anything cnc that long will be more, even used.
    1750 mm - there are few machines, and all are $$, afaik.

    Also, they dont make it any more, but would fit very well for short runs.
    Haas TL4, used.

    Interested in suggestions..
    A tl4 would work great for us but the swing is an inch short, we need 36".

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    What about tooling?
    I have planed for this separately. Mostly just common tool holder, end mills drill and taps. Nothing to fancy.

    What about fixturing?
    I have also planed for this separately.

    What about programming software?
    Planing on starting with a conversational controller and upgrading to CAM system.

    You want a machine to do everything with minimal set-ups?
    That would be nice but with the small runs I don't think it is a requirement.

    Is the 70" length your longest part?
    Yes

    Is the 26" diameter you largest part?
    I need to turn the frame that equates to a 36" swing.

    Largist size parts. Not having an entire set of drawings, it's hard to make a call. Gut tells me that 300K might get you into a used CNC lathe with tooling and fixturing. That's a big MIGHT!.

    About 3 years ago, I set-up a Doosan 400L turning center. That was a new machine. Everything came to just over 800K. The 20" chuck was 35K. The steady rest for long shafts was another 30K.
    JR

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    Mazak powermaster

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    For low volume work in the size range you listed I would look at a DeVlieg JigMill that has been retrofitted with a cnc controller. Or you could probably find a HBM with a CNC controller that wuold work fine for what you're doing.

    For 2-10 pieces I think it's overkill to look at a HMC with a tool changer and erverything to accomodate that size. Like JR said, in for that size envelope you're probably looking around 300K.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin_Terry View Post
    Mazak powermaster
    From what I found on there website the swing is only 34". Other then that it would be perfect.

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    Turning that 'Frame' on a lathe would be problematic: it would be very heavy to hold, too long, and a lot off balance. I think you'd be better with a HBM, it would allow you to do a lot more than just bore the hole.

    Getting a lathe that will turn the shaft you described wouldn't be so bad, you probably won't want to turn dinky 8" shafts on a 40" swing lathe: not enough rpm available.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuFlungDung View Post
    Turning that 'Frame' on a lathe would be problematic: it would be very heavy to hold, too long, and a lot off balance. I think you'd be better with a HBM, it would allow you to do a lot more than just bore the hole.

    Getting a lathe that will turn the shaft you described wouldn't be so bad, you probably won't want to turn dinky 8" shafts on a 40" swing lathe: not enough rpm available.
    We have designed tooling in the past to counter balance and allow a steady rest just off the end of the part. Some of the lathes I have come across have a high gear that goes 1500RPM. I know it isn't ideal but it would work for our low volume. I would love to get a HBM but I don't think I have the luxury of buying a machine for one operation.

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    Couldn't you do a lot of the hole drilling with the HBM as well? Or am I thinking of the wrong machine?

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    For a lathe, check out the Leadwell LTC 60 series.
    I have no clue on the price, but it's worth asking about.
    LEADWELL CNC MACHINES MFG.,CORP. - CNC TURNING CENTER?VERTICAL MACHINING CENTER.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    For a lathe, check out the Leadwell LTC 60 series. I have no clue on the price, but it's worth asking about.
    Well over $400K for a machine that long.
    JR

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    Quote Originally Posted by JRIowa View Post
    The steady rest for long shafts was another 30K.
    JR
    $30k for a steady rest? That thing had better be answering the phones and have a cup of coffee ready for you when you get to the shop in the morning. Holy moly....but seriously, this has to be a roller steady with auto-positioning/clamping, right?

    I just tend to think of a steady as being used in an old manual, and half the ones I've seen were homemade (because you can never find originals for sale that fit the machine.)

    $30k is another machine to me

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    Quote Originally Posted by StoopidEngineer View Post
    $30k for a steady rest?
    That's for one like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPOwNZ_lRAA

    The hydraulic, self-centering, SMW was over $50K. That's on a B&O SC-32. We've also got a $50K boring bar on that machine.
    JR

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    Quote Originally Posted by JRIowa View Post
    Well over $400K for a machine that long.
    JR
    Could be nowadays, but back in the mid late 90's we bought a ltc 50 series 10 foot between centers for $150k new.
    /shrug

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    Quote Originally Posted by JRIowa View Post
    That's for one like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPOwNZ_lRAA

    The hydraulic, self-centering, SMW was over $50K. That's on a B&O SC-32. We've also got a $50K boring bar on that machine.
    JR
    That is the fanciest steady rest I have ever seen!

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    I found a FPT LEM 935 from 1998 with a Heidenhain TNC 430. I have heard of Heidenhain but never FPT. Anyone have any experience with them?


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