100amp + 25 HP RPC + air compressor + 1 (or 2) Haas VF machine?
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  1. #1
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    Default 100amp + 25 HP RPC + air compressor + 1 (or 2) Haas VF machine?

    Have a '98 VF-0E that I've been working on all fall/winter. After re-assembling there are still a few exceptions to be buttoned up but for the most part, all is in good working order.

    The machines maiden voyage was a small and simple 90pc aluminum run that has an 'OP 1' of 5 tool changes and ran 1 part on each of the 3 vises. Cycle time for OP #1 was 7 minutes.
    (Only bringing this detail up because It's typical of the work that I'll be doing)
    This is my first Haas and was quite impressed with the machine and its ease of use.

    However, running that job opened my eyes to a new and un-welcomed learning opportunity.
    The amount of time the compressor was running is not sustainable. There is just no way.
    Guessing most air used was blowing down thru the spindle while the slow umbrella changer was rotating for the next tool.

    The compressor in question is something like: 6hp, 30 Gallon, 110V & 125psi Campbell Hausfield
    It is in like new condition, but certainly not for long as it only seemed to get a breather every other cycle for a minute or less otherwise constantly running.

    What concerns me is that although my house is said to have 200amps, my shop itself has a 100amp panel. From the shop panel I'm running the lights of course, the compressor, a 25HP phase converter on a 70amp breaker. The RPC then has a subpanel which is powering the 45amp breaker to my Haas and a 40amp for a CNC router. Already have another Haas, a '99 VF-0E that is staged to be delivered in the coming weeks to get repaired and replace the CNC router. An upgrade needs to happen somewhere for more volume of air. Even before the other Haas gets commissioned.

    Was hoping to find someone on here that has already been down this road and found a workable solution with either a softer starting, higher volume compressor or ...? Not sure if my answer is a bigger 110v, a 230 1ph, a 230 3ph, or a scroll, a screw ??? Would love to solve the noise problem also, but the power and volume are first and foremost right now.

    What is the minimum solution in cost & power draw that you guys are getting away with for a situation similar to mine?


    13c3b139e2554ff59cbb925c335d8215.jpg img_20200201_000313287.jpg

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    find a used Kaiser sx6. you will love it and it will hardly work. it starts unloaded, it's a screw machine and way quieter than a piston unit. also add a few expansion tanks. I have 1 running a vf2ss, vf3,vf1. and still have air left over. I bought mine new ( not cheap) but have 27000 hrs on it. I have seen used 1s on ebay for around 2500.00. some of the best money I have spent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoss710 View Post
    find a used Kaiser sx6. you will love it and it will hardly work. it starts unloaded, it's a screw machine and way quieter than a piston unit. also add a few expansion tanks. I have 1 running a vf2ss, vf3,vf1. and still have air left over. I bought mine new ( not cheap) but have 27000 hrs on it. I have seen used 1s on ebay for around 2500.00. some of the best money I have spent.


    What is your opinion on my electrical? Do you think I have enough for it on top of what I am already doing?

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    as long as neither mill is a Super Speed you should be ok. the screw compressor draws less current than the piston style pump.

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    I 2nd the Kaeser recommendation.
    You will have zero issues running a small Kaeser and two or three haas's off 100amps.
    I run my whole shop of 5 CNC's and two guys running around changing parts like mad-men off a Kaeser SX5.
    It keeps up handily! It is always on (not always pumping), but the pressure never goes under 100psi.
    I have the Kaeser on a 120gal tank. And, there is another 80gal tank in the system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoss710 View Post
    as long as neither mill is a Super Speed you should be ok. the screw compressor draws less current than the piston style pump.
    The super speed is coming, but not before we build a metal building somewhere else to run some legit 3phase into.
    For the time being just wanting to run 2 VF-0E machines and a compressor for a year or so to pay for it all.





    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    ....You will have zero issues running a small Kaeser and two or three haas's off 100amps.
    I run my whole shop of 5 CNC's and two guys running around changing parts like mad-men off a Kaeser SX5.
    Did you see that I don't have 100 amps of 3phase? I have 100 amps total and its running a rotary phase converter for the 3phase.
    In searching for the SX6 that Hoss recommended I did see the SX5. To me it looks like it is perhaps a bigger and more expensive setup than the SX6. Not sure of the pecking order of those model numbers. But you guys are on to something here.




    Hoss710 & WheelieKing71
    If the SX5 & SX6 are more than I will ever want or need is there like an SX2 or something that you would recommend that would be plenty of air for what I need but with less impact to my weak power situation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tryhard View Post
    Did you see that I don't have 100 amps of 3phase? I have 100 amps total and its running a rotary phase converter for the 3phase.
    My money still says you will be fine. Don't go by the data-plate on a haas for its power requirements.
    I run 70amp VF2ss's on 30amp fuses that have never blown.

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    Campbell-Housfeld is a good BRAND of compressor, but that is a small one there. You need a larger tanked model and higher kick-in and kick-out pressures. A nice big compressor from Home Depot or even Harbor Freight would be fine. Get one that kicks out at 145 psi or higher. Check the compressors PSI output at 90 CFM, or however they say it, that is what you should look at.

    If you want it to be quieter, I'll give you a suggestion that may sound crazy, but works great. Wherever the compressor is, build a small plywood box to fit around with about 6" minimum clearance all around inside. Get some regular home insulation and insulate the whole thing inside, paper against the wood. Leave about two inches at the bottom open for air to come in and flow up and put a fan (like a Haas spindle fan) in the top of it. Hook the fan to one side of the regulator on the compressor, so that the fan comes on when the compressor does. Fan taking the air out through the top, not pushing it in. It will be about 75% or more quiet when it runs. I did that for years, but mine is going outside at my new building.

    If your compressor is against a wall then you only need three sides and you just slide it in and out for maintenance. If it four sides make a door on one side to get in. You will be amazed how much quieter it will be.

    As for power, don't think of the power plate on the machine. For 4 years I ran two Haas VF-2's and a Hardinge CHNC 1 CNC lathe off of a single 20 HP phase converter which was on a 40 amp breaker. Never kicked the breaker once. The machines simply don't draw anywhere near the current that they are advertised to draw. Remember that that maximum amperage is when every motor, every circuit and all are drawing their max loads,,,, that never occurs.

    One more thing to check is the pressure regulator on the Haas for the spindle air. (It's a separate regulator on the back of the machine on most) One machine I got was set way to high and put way to much air out around the spindle. I think it is about 7 psi if it correct. Hugh difference in consumption if just off a few PSI.


    Remember that you don't add the amps together when using the phase convertor. It's not 70 for the convertor and then 40 for each machine etc. Convertor on, machines on etc and just sitting there is probably 10 amps total.

    I run two phase convertors now, a 30 hp and a 20 hp, but that is for 2 Haas's, the Hardinge, a wire EDM 2 saws, Bridgeport type mill and all. I'm just finishing up a new building in TN, and will be so glad when I move. Nice new building and 400 amps of 3 phase service. WOOO WOOO

    Good luck---Mike

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    You would have to visit Kaiser website to see if they make a smaller unit. but I see no issues running 2 phase converters and the sx6. if you want to be double sure. I would do this. ( i did this in my shop for powering a cnc lathe with a 40 hp spindle, a vf3 10000 rpm 20 hp. and I can run a manual lathe, shear, and press brake. and big saw all at the same time with a sx6. on a 2nd panel I run a vf2 SS and a vf1. but let's get back on the subject shall we. I took 2 phase converters and when I'm running 1 machine I only use 1. but if you want to run a 2nd machine, I turn on a 2nd converter and run them parallel thru a Frankenstein switch. it gives me plenty of power and splits the load between 2 machines. for me I can run more equipment using less power as if 1 machine goes under a boarder line load the other converter can give it what it's not using! it's worked flawlessly for 20 years for me. the only real trick is on Initially setting it all up is making darn sure that the phases are the same when setting up the switch to run in parallel. if you are planning to run both converters from the start. turn on your 1st converter. wait 30 seconds, turn on your 2nd then throw the Frankenstein switch. wait another 30 seconds to turn on your air compressor. works like a charm and if need be you with both converters can run a 3rd small 3 phase motor powered something on the parallel converter set up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by machineit2 View Post
    .....I'm just finishing up a new building in TN, and will be so glad when I move. Nice new building and 400 amps of 3 phase service. WOOO WOOO

    Good luck---Mike

    Totally jelly. Working towards that myself, thinking 30x60, probably 8mo-1yr out at least. Currently in a mid '60s neighborhood with a 24x24 garage in the back yard. Not straightforward. Rigging is expensive everytime I bring a machine in or out.
    What are you building? type and size. Insulated? Where at? Thinking it'll be 50k for building minus land for me. But that isn't based on much research.

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    Default Anyone have the Eastwood Elite QST-30/60 Scroll Air Compressor ???

    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    My money still says you will be fine. Don't go by the data-plate on a haas for its power requirements.
    I run 70amp VF2ss's on 30amp fuses that have never blown.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoss710 View Post
    You would have to visit Kaiser website to see if they make a smaller unit.
    Quote Originally Posted by machineit2 View Post
    Campbell-Housfeld is a good BRAND of compressor, but that is a small one there. You need a larger tanked model and higher kick-in and kick-out pressures. A nice big compressor from Home Depot or even Harbor Freight would be fine. Get one that kicks out at 145 psi or higher. Check the compressors PSI output at 90 CFM, or however they say it, that is what you should look at.

    If you want it to be quieter.....

    I'm hearing really good things about the Eastwood Elite QST-30/60 Scroll Air Compressor. Really quiet, high output and only $1800 + shipping. May end up going with it and perhaps add a reserve tank. But not for another week or so. Will update the thread if any changes.

    Thanks guys!!!!!



    capture.jpg

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    I might be inclined to use a single phase unit taking its power from the house panel and pipe the air to the shop

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    Quote Originally Posted by kustomizer View Post
    I might be inclined to use a single phase unit taking its power from the house panel and pipe the air to the shop
    That is my thinking as well. If nothing else I may try it in the shop at first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tryhard View Post

    Totally jelly. Working towards that myself, thinking 30x60, probably 8mo-1yr out at least. Currently in a mid '60s neighborhood with a 24x24 garage in the back yard. Not straightforward. Rigging is expensive everytime I bring a machine in or out.
    What are you building? type and size. Insulated? Where at? Thinking it'll be 50k for building minus land for me. But that isn't based on much research.
    40 X 60, 18 foot walls, insulated was about $36,000, plus about $16,000 for erection and about $20,000 for foundation. I put a second floor on half, so 3600 Sq Ft total floor space. Near Knoxville, TN.

    But, that is just the basic building, then you add electric to building, wiring etc, etc, etc,

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    Just a quick note on compressor sizing:

    You said in your first post that the little compressor you're running is 'something like 6hp' but it runs off 110V. The maximum HP you can get from a standard 15A 110V circuit is about ~2.4HP, so that compressor is likely less than that... I see in the photo it says '6.5HP' on the unit, but this is a 'peak horsepower' number which for all intents and purposes is bullshit. Like those shop-vacs that say '7HP' on them but run off 110V and pull only 10A (1.4HP)

    What you really need to find is the specs for air production for the current compressor.

    I looked up a few Campbell Hausfeld compressors online that look similar to your one and they only deliver about 4-5CFM at 90PSI. This is not very much, but I'm kinda surprised it's not enough to keep up with your mill. That much compressor will easily run a Fadal so I'm curious why the HAAS is using more air.

    With that said: once you start looking into screw compressors you will likely find that they aren't cheap, and single phase ones are harder to find. Given that you are not using air for anything other than the mills I think something like the Eastwood scroll would be a good fit if you're after something quiet. Otherwise go with a decent quality 5HP piston and you'll be set.

    If you do decide to go with the Eastwood scroll be aware it's not going to keep up if you decide to use air for other things like sandblasting, but for a couple of mills it should be fine as it produces about 12CFM at 90PSI.

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    For a lot of years we have had as many as 9 Haas CNC machines running. I have been using a Curtis 7.5 hp as my main compressor with an Atlas Copco 15 hp screw as a backup. When I bought the Atlas it was sold to me as more efficiant than the piston pump but as it turns out that is only the case if you can use all the air it makes otherwise when it cycles it comes on, runs a few mins then it makes air for a while followed by running a few more mins then it stops. In the end I found it to cost about double what a piston pump did in electricity. I also found the Curtis cost a lot less to run when I lowered the cut in/out down closer to the 90 psi my machines needed rather than the 175 psi it was set to from the factory using about 400 gallons of storage. Anyhow I am moving to a place with a 200 amp/208v service rather than the 400 amp/240v I had and have deciced to use a bank of four Quincy 3 hp piston machines to cut down on the starting load, I have them staged so if one falls behind another will kick in Right now I have 120 gallons of storage but will double that as I get more moved.
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    img_6982.jpg

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    TryHArd and I are in very similar situations. So we've been chatting. I was about to pull the trigger on the Eastwood (in my cart w/ the coupon code) when I see this post. (TY btw. Nice write up -from an old Tech report writer)

    Now- I planned on connecting the Eastwood into either my 240V 60gal tank or my 240V 100gal upright for capacity (which have functioning piston units on them currently). I simply cannot find anything under $4K new for a new rotary screw... The best deal I could fine w/ a known mfr. was Rands.
    ... and it's the best price I could find.
    5HP 200/3 125PSI 120 Gallon Rotary Screw Air Compressor at National Tool Warehouse


    SO now I'm wondering about just going w/ the 240V 100Gal and maybe checking into those start up bleeders to help manage the hard-start current inrush?. It's this current draw on the same circuit as the Haas which has caused the LV and power alerts from time to time and in summer if I recall.
    - again this is in my garage. My Vehicle sits in Winter now. Man the kid better make something of all this. .

    The 5hp & 3HP screw compressor I checked (2 of them) Rand and I think HDDrv were 16amp and 17amps Curent specs w/ 21CFM & 16ish. But I really do not know if that's a constant current draw or under full load or how these work? ? ?
    The Eastwood Scroll is 17amps on the 12CFM. IS that constantly while running? Or similar to the post below w/ the HP/Amp and the peak loading example. once it's here.. It really cannot go back.

    Dang- I cannot find the link for the computer controller unloader valve I saw on YT the other day(?) to show ya'll. but I think I'm sensing the hard start and current would be assisted by this?

    I guess in the end for this week I need to do some testing in the shop w/ the Ammeter and some tank starts.
    Again... it's not that I'm that cheap -(yeah... I am) but I would rather save for a rotary screw 3hp if we can. Alas' what ta' do.

    If BOAT is bust out another thousand - CNC must be like 'Compile New Currency' ...ugggg horrible huh.

    Peace all.
    GC.


    Quote Originally Posted by aarongough View Post
    Just a quick note on compressor sizing:

    You said in your first post that the little compressor you're running is 'something like 6hp' but it runs off 110V. The maximum HP you can get from a standard 15A 110V circuit is about ~2.4HP, so that compressor is likely less than that... I see in the photo it says '6.5HP' on the unit, but this is a 'peak horsepower' number which for all intents and purposes is bullshit. Like those shop-vacs that say '7HP' on them but run off 110V and pull only 10A (1.4HP)

    What you really need to find is the specs for air production for the current compressor.

    I looked up a few Campbell Hausfeld compressors online that look similar to your one and they only deliver about 4-5CFM at 90PSI. This is not very much, but I'm kinda surprised it's not enough to keep up with your mill. That much compressor will easily run a Fadal so I'm curious why the HAAS is using more air.

    With that said: once you start looking into screw compressors you will likely find that they aren't cheap, and single phase ones are harder to find. Given that you are not using air for anything other than the mills I think something like the Eastwood scroll would be a good fit if you're after something quiet. Otherwise go with a decent quality 5HP piston and you'll be set.

    If you do decide to go with the Eastwood scroll be aware it's not going to keep up if you decide to use air for other things like sandblasting, but for a couple of mills it should be fine as it produces about 12CFM at 90PSI.

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    Ended up going with the Eastwood QST 30-60.

    Overall quality is a bit better than I'd expected and the unit is very quiet. It takes about 3mins to fill from empty and maybe 30 seconds or so to fill from min level back to max.

    I think it is ideal for a small or garage shop.

    Have a harbor freight air dryer on order and looking to get a desiccant filter setup and perhaps connect another 30 gallon or so tank.

    So glad to be rid of the abrupt and jarring noise of the old compressor. Maybe now I'll pipe in some elevator music.


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