Fives Giddings & Lewis
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  1. #1
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    Default Fives Giddings & Lewis

    These guys are right down the road from me,, amazing they have been around 160 years.

    Fives Giddings & Lewis celebrates 160 years in Fond du Lac

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    I had no idea they were still going this strong. I ran Giddings and Lewis machines back in the 70's. Sandvik has a really old vertical mill in there Fairlawn, NJ facility

    Paul

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    similar to fadal G&L was the flavor of the day for awhile with buyouts they are just a shell of what used to go on there mfg wise I hear most of what goes on is assembly, parts, repair.....a lot of people have left over the years don't know all the details but drive by the place quite often.

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    They have very little manufacturing capacity. Most everything is contracted out and then assembled at the plant.

    I think that their CNC VTL is probably one of the higher volume quasi-standard machines tat they produce.

    Still make some neat stuff, just not in the same volumes as times past.

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    I spent two weeks at that place, one week at a time, learning about their new machines.
    That was in the 80s, a lot of bars in that town. my lessons were aboot
    their B.Mils, 8000A,&8000B, we were using them for very large Diecast dies(transmission housings)an Plastic injection molds, facias, wheel well liners, dash boards.
    Very nice machines at the time. got the plant tour on the last day of class,yup.
    Gw

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    They made top quality machine tools back in the day.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    They made top quality machine tools back in the day.
    They are top quality machine tools today. When a state-owned factory in China has a bunch of money to piss away, they go to Liebherr, Hofler and Giddings & Lewis.

    Or they did right before this stupid tariff thing. That's probably changed now

    Their lathes are trick. They look like slant-beds but they are actually flatbeds, with the X on a slanted carriage. Best of both worlds

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    They are top quality machine tools today. When a state-owned factory in China has a bunch of money to piss away, they go to Liebherr, Hofler and Giddings & Lewis.

    Or they did right before this stupid tariff thing. That's probably changed now

    Their lathes are trick. They look like slant-beds but they are actually flatbeds, with the X on a slanted carriage. Best of both worlds
    Yeah I worked on one of those lathes, " Masterline "seems to ring a bell. Lovely machine both in terms of design and build quality. One of the best I ever worked on.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    We have a large giddings and Lewis ultra horizontal mill where I work that we run daily. Its pushing 30 years old. Still a solid machine. At that age though it's not with out problems. Sourcing parts is getting difficult and older repair techs who a tilually know it are retired. None the less... we rely on it for all our large parts.

    Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

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    I worked there, and still do service work for them occasionally. I wouldnt put one of the ones made in the last 15 years in my shop, if they paid me too. They outsource 80% of the machine work or did for awhile after they forced all their old timers in to retirement and ripped 3/4 of their heavy machines out to sell them.

    Great company that got pissed down the drain by venture capitalists bleeding it dry for short term profits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Myrmidon View Post
    I worked there, and still do service work for them occasionally. I wouldnt put one of the ones made in the last 15 years in my shop, if they paid me too. They outsource 80% of the machine work or did for awhile after they forced all their old timers in to retirement and ripped 3/4 of their heavy machines out to sell them.

    Great company that got pissed down the drain by venture capitalists bleeding it dry for short term profits.
    I'm really sorry to hear that. The same sort of thing happened to most of the British Machine Tool industry 30 to 40 years ago.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    Fives is not corporate raiders tho. A friend with a $$$ Landis is very happy with Fives. Great service, decent prices. Let's hope the worst of it is behind them.

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    Hmmm..

    “The machines produced by the plant are by no means small. The most minute is the size of a large shed. Costs can run from $500,000 into the $4 million to $6 million range, said Beyer. The shortest lead time is 12 weeks, with the average being 30-plus weeks,”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post
    Hmmm..

    “The machines produced by the plant are by no means small. The most minute is the size of a large shed. Costs can run from $500,000 into the $4 million to $6 million range, said Beyer. The shortest lead time is 12 weeks, with the average being 30-plus weeks,”
    Small is relative, I came up in shops with 300 and 400T cranes, 50 foot swing VTLs 12' swing engine lathes and HBMs with 10 or 15 feet more Y travel then the tallest GL. Working there the GL machines felt tiny in comparison.

    The lead time is how they win contracts, Mitsubishi and Toshiba (their direct competitors in that weight class of machines) are usually 18 months lead time unless you happen to one of the more common sizes that some distributors keep on hand.

    Certain customers want legacy machines too, example Caterpillar and Boeing will order machines built to the specifications of older machines, they want exact replacements in many cases and not the latest and greatest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    Fives is not corporate raiders tho. A friend with a $$$ Landis is very happy with Fives. Great service, decent prices. Let's hope the worst of it is behind them.
    They are still using the poorly thought out, corner cutting designs from the Corporate Raider era though, Which is the crux of the problem.

    I am not trying to argue, but have you ever compared the capabilities of one of these machines side by side with any of the others in a similar envelope/size from other makers and compared long term maintenance costs of those brands. Maybe I have a jilted perspective.

    Let alone all the pattern failures that go un revised (mind you I service these still, so I have to deal with this crap often)

    Now I also do work on numerous other machine makers in this size range, other than the el cheapos from Korea (Hyundai Wia, HNK, Johnford) I can say with a degree of certainty GL is not something I'd suggest if you are buying a 3m to 5m VTL or table or floor type.borer. unless you want to pay guys like me through the nose more often than you should have to. If that is a cost you can absorb, we are more than happy to take the work. There is a reason you don't see many of the heavy engineering job shops buy these as opposed to the other offerings, those guys have the ROI figured and run tight ships, and in those places it's all Japanese or Eastern European, because they dont die and have minimal issues in the long term, and can be run like they want to make money day in and out.

    Landis I cant speak on they may be fine build/design wise.

    Now I will with all that negativity follow it with some positives: Fives has made alot of steps in the right direction, they have from what I hear have found a way to integrate the best aspects of the GL8000 control to the more common Fanuc (Z/W tracking is a godsend) and there have been some minor improvements to rigidity and higher quality castings, and addressing some of the pattern failures on certain models that were problematic. So their ownership is a net positive, they just have alot more work to do IMO on that front, to properly right the ship.

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    I agree aboot the W/Z tracking, I ran B.mils with thee 8000A and thee 8000B, both had the W/Z tracking,I usta play with it just to see it work.
    We had a older model, think it was a 800? that was not programer friendly the 8000s were a perfect dream to gram on .
    the 8000s were new in the 80s, I watched them both get set up by the G&L factory guys, the deep hole filled with rerod and ceement under them was quite a site to behold.
    we had a service tech from G&L that lived close by(Deetroit area), the plant manager at one location seen fit to give this techs son a job, so we was set for service.
    Great Machines those G& Ls,so sad when I heard of the gutting.
    Detroit had G&Ls from east side to the west,same wit
    DeVliegs.
    Gw

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    Devliegs are great I have one in Storage I will be moving into my garage shop eventually, got er for pennies.


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