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  1. #1
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    Default Apogee

    Over the past few years I have enjoyed reading about your stories, adventures and nightmares here and thought that I might replicate with my own. A large number of you have been very helpful with a couple of my rebuilds when problem solving or needing missing information and I would of been completely stuck with out your knowledge. I seem to have a number of threads detailing various Mazak machines and thought I would combine all in to one such as the one below. I also need somewhere to keep all the relevant pictures and details that I have floating around various cameras and computers.

    New Mazak SQT250 MS

    The business will turn 12 this year and I can't believe how the time has flown by and how different it looks now. I have always wanted to build stuff and this was the best way I could come up with achieving that.

    Preceding leaving school and starting the business myself and friends had built various items including a trebuchet and a robot for Robot Wars.

    I'll start at the beginning and work forwards. The first machine I acquired was a Textron Bridgeport mill followed by a Colchester Student round head which my grandparents let me put in one of their garages when I was 17 and allowed me to tinker with a few projects, at the time I was building a home built off road buggy powered by a CBR1000 and it was time consuming and expensive having to get machine shops to make some of the parts.

    Tomorrow I'll dig out the first few images and go down memory lane.

    img_20150317_192757.jpg
    img_20150317_192222.jpg

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    I know I started this shop thread quite a while ago and I haven't updated it, work has just been manic and it is difficult to find time for the day to day requirements.

    How many of you have had that "What on earth has happened" moment when you come back to a machine to change over the parts? Our HMC had been running a job for the last three days. Came back to the machine and found this.

    20181208_134855.jpg

    No there was no collision or breakage. After investigating it was found that there was a build up of swarf on the pallet hook and when it came to lift the pallet it didn't engage correctly and the pallet rolled off the hook. I was so lucky that it rolled to the side and rested against the sheet metal work rather than coming forward and falling to the bottom of the machine!

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    A lot of the the work we do is for the deep sea oil and gas and motor sport sectors and we are regularly working to 0.01/.02mm. While most of our inspection is done via manually means, micrometers, height gauges etc it gets harder and harder to justify to various customers that their parts are indeed to tolerance especially when we are dealing with complex geometric tolerances. Over the last few years we have upgraded and invested in various bits of equipment to improve our accuracy and efficiency with items like tool pre-setters and heat shrink but our inspection has always been lacking to a certain degree. I have searched for a decent CMM for a number of years but being a small shop have always found it difficult to justify the prices that were being asked for on machines that were at the end of their life or needed hardware and software upgrades.

    Last May I was looking through one of the auction sites I use and spied this monster.
    auction.jpg

    5m x 2m x 1.1m,I was only looking for a 1m machine but this had just been retrofitted 3 years ago with all new Hexagon hardware and I could fit a whole car chassis on it and do all these other projects that go through your mind when you see something like this. The day came up, the machine hadn't risen in price but I was still expecting it to go way outside of my budget by the end. I bid on it, day dreaming about how I was going to move it. To my surprise the item ended with no other bids. Now what was I to do! I had to remove it and find room for it but still I was super happy.

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    A colleague and I loaded up the van and headed off to the site about an hour and a half from us. Directed to the location in the factory and left to it. The machine was in a conditioned partitioned room 60 meters from the nearest loading door. One of the site mangers appears and informs us that they will make a hole in the room wall so that we can get it out as it is all going in the skip, great one thing off the list, hang on its all going in the skip? What if we take the room down? Apparently if we take the room down we can have it all. So we now have a room to put the CMM back into at our shop. After we have a bit of an explore and investigate how to dismantle the room we find the climate control system. Find the manager, what are you going to do with the climate control system? The person who bought it hasn't paid. Can we have it if we remove it all? Yes. Even better we now have every thing needed to get it up and running.

    We spent two weeks stripping out all the walls and systems and transporting them back. The day arrives to move the machine, two arctic lorries, one carrying a 40/60 versa lift as the machine has 18 tonnes of granite, the other a curtain sided. Pick the machine up drive to the center walkway, skate the machine 60 meters up the factory and straight into the lorry, that only took 1.5 hours.

    Back to our shop. We have a unit that we use for the storage of raw materials and a couple of parts machines, it was decided to install the CMM into this building as their is open space. The downside is that their was no power or lighting in there.

    1.jpg
    Just about managed to get the lorry in as the CCM would not fit through the door sideways.

    2.jpg
    It is still in one piece as they could not strap it down.

    3.jpg
    Those versa lifts are rather good.

    4.jpg
    Better make sure it is in the correct position as it won't be moving again.

    This was all back in May 2018.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_9579.jpg  

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    OH WOW!


    Did you have room in this building to re-assemble the "room"?


    -------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Well the original intention was to get every thing built back up over the following couple of months, that was wishful thinking! Due to the sky high costs of getting in a contractor we decided to do it ourselves over evenings and weekends. Fast forward to December 2018 and we had eventually got all the walls back up. As a six person company we are stretched on time as it is but three of us spent the period between Christmas and New Year installing the ceiling, fitting all the wall cover strips, lighting, air and climate control as well as getting the machine all cleaned down.

    5.jpg
    Walls all up.

    6.jpg
    Working in the dark is always a little awkward.

    7.jpg
    Working out how to lift the cross beams.

    8.jpg
    Hanging the grid.

    9.jpg
    Ceiling grid about complete.

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    Once we had the grid up we could get some light units in and wired up so for the first time in 8 months we could see properly.

    10.jpg

    11.jpg
    Starting to come together, needed to replace a few light tubes.

    12.jpg
    The last thing on the list was to get the work station all plugged back in and connected to the machine.


    Once all was complete it took just over a week for the temperature to raise to 20 degrees and for the granite to soak and stabilise. The exciting day came last week on the 22nd when an engineer from Torus arrived to commission and calibrate, This machine hasn't been turned on for nearly a year and has been transported over 100 miles so their was a little bit of unknown. We had two issue, one the Z axis would not go all the way home, this was due to the counterbalance shaft not being bolted back in quite square after the move and the Renishaw head locked up when indexing to an angle, it appears that it was just stiff from sitting in a box for a period of time. Having solved these issue they went on to calibrate the machine passing it with a UKAS certificate.

    14.jpg
    This is a typical part we make for the historic motor sport world. A Sturtees TS9 Stub Axle. As it had just come off the machines we decided to use it as a test piece for the CMM.

    We still have a bit to do to the room like paint the floor and replace a few broken glass panels but the important thing is to get the machine producing now.

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    Here is a fun job we are doing at the moment 12" dia 6082. Need a set of custom Frankenstein jaws to hold the billet. This is going to be 4 operations per part with the last finishing operation needing a set of pie jaws to stop the part from warping.

    jaw1.jpg

    jaw2.jpg
    This is in our Mazak QT20N, At 12" with the tool fully back in the pocket the machine only has a spare 10mm of X travel. It is all a little bit tight.

    jaw3.jpg

    jaw4.jpg
    The first roughing operation, I do like these old machines, they just pull all day long with no complaints. We will let them sit and settle for a day or two and then perform a semi finish. There are a lot of internal groves and features to go into them.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20190128_145002.jpg  

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    Would like to see a detail shot of the business end of your "franken-jaws".
    Are they under-cut to bite in to the aluminum?

    I've had to do similar. This was 16" material "in" a 10" chuck:

    552023_456392994394442_96525147_n.jpg

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    Those are running on a 10" as well. I'll get a picture tomorrow of a jaw for you. We basically take a set of 10" soft jaws, laser cut some 10mm steel plate to the basic shape, weld them om. The actually bite point I machine in place. This current set is holding on 2.5mm. I machine a 30 degree tapper, so basically a under cut that forms to a point. I find it digs into the aluminium really nicely and pulls the billet back against the shoulder.

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    Here is a close up of the bite profile on the jaw.
    jar-profile.jpg

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    One of things that got me into engineering was the need for problem solving and planning. How do you get from a piece of paper that a customer has managed to draw in 10 minutes with sometimes no idea of manufacturing process to the finished article while holding the correct quality and tolerances. Running a long production job is good for the shop but quite quickly becomes boring. This job is the type I like where you are working to the limits of the machine, having to plan out each machining step and process as it would be very easy to perform a wrong operation and dig yourself a large hole (I have done that enough times). One of the process I like is the jigging and work holding.
    In order to perform the finale finishing on these parts they are going to need to be run in a set of pie jaws as the wall thickness gets down to 4mm in places. There were some commercially available sets but on 2 weeks lead time and still not quite the right size so we started with a 13" billet and went from there.

    pie1.jpg
    pie2.jpg
    Machine a datum surface and face.

    pie3.jpg
    Mill in the interface so that they can be pinned and bolted to a set of jaws as I need to bring them away from the chuck due to the tool eye.

    pie4.jpg
    Bore out the vast majority of the center, the finale machining will be done once they are split and mounted.

    pie5.jpg
    Split the billet into the three parts, There will be a little more milling as I want to place a radius slot in the edge to take a 10mm rod so that the jaws can be clamped up for the finishing cut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by will_0000 View Post
    Running a long production job is good for the shop but quite quickly becomes boring.

    At some point you may change your mind about that.

    I agree - that if I have to stand at a machine all day - I want to be making tooling.

    But if I'm going to be owning a shop - I want to run production.


    It's like that clock on the wall.
    When you are werking for The Man, you don't want it there b/c the day goes slow.
    When you are in your own shop - you want it there, but it is to judge if you are gunna git this done yet today - or running behind.
    That minute hand runs 2wice as fast in your shop, even if you put under voltage batts in it!


    ------------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Why IS that??
    (I could never go back to the slow moving clock)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    It's like that clock on the wall.
    When you are werking for The Man, you don't want it there b/c the day goes slow.
    When you are in your own shop - you want it there, but it is to judge if you are gunna git this done yet today - or running behind.
    That minute hand runs 2wice as fast in your shop, even if you put under voltage batts in it!
    ------------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    I do totally agree that having production is very useful to the bottom line of a shop and there is something satisfying about being able to call up a program and tool file and press go knowing that you have worked all the bugs out of it and will be in production with in an hour. I do like it I just find it difficult to stay focused on the jobs when they are running and as you say the clock seems to slow down. Although half the time I want the clock to slow as it is normally running to fast! About 40% of our work is production such as these witch batches from 100-1000.
    p1.jpg
    p2.jpg


    The other 60% is a mix of reversed engineered components for historic motor sport, these might appear again if the car gets damaged and deep sea oil and gas assemblies, some of these have 10-30 parts and can have upto nine operations in them and are normally made in batches of 1-5. We tend to see each assembly a couple of times a year.

    Well it was a little slow these last two days as it seems the country comes to a stop with a little snow, no material deliveries and people absent.
    p3.jpg

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    Started up the HMC and ran one cycle this morning, came back to unload the parts and found that it had somehow managed to chew up the front of one of the Z axis slideway covers. Why does it have to do this halfway through a weeks production run? On this machine the front leaf is bolted to the machine base plate and it appears that the two CSK's have come loose or sheared. Luckily it is only the front leaf and support rod.

    1.jpg
    2.jpg
    That rod should be straight.

    So much for running the job today. Time to draw it up and cut a new one.

    drawing.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by will_0000 View Post
    Started up the HMC and ran one cycle this morning, came back to unload the parts and found that it had somehow managed to chew up the front of one of the Z axis slideway covers. Why does it have to do this halfway through a weeks production run? On this machine the front leaf is bolted to the machine base plate and it appears that the two CSK's have come loose or sheared. Luckily it is only the front leaf and support rod.

    So much for running the job today. Time to draw it up and cut a new one.
    Man, that sucks! I've been there (we all have). Way to take it in stride. All you can do is keep going forward!

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    Thanks, It always happens when you have deadlines to hit!

    3.jpg
    Got the patterns cut.

    20190310_154802.jpg
    A little bit of folding and welding later.

    20190310_155354.jpg
    Thankfully it all fitted back together as I took the pattern off the other hand.

    20190310_162246.jpg
    Nearly looks like new.

    20190310_163638.jpg
    She's all back up and running.

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  32. #19
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    A quick one for anyone good on Mazaks. Our H415 HMC with M Plus has decided to develop a weird quirk over the last few days. It will run for hours on end and then suddenly shut the controller off as if the off button has been pressed. Press the on button and it all comes back to life, re-home and off she will run again. No alarms or warnings. Has anyone seen something like this before? Am I looking for a dodgy component on the controller board, a signal wire that is being moved at certain points due to vibration or similar, the button playing up?

    Once it finishes it's run tomorrow I am going to go have a dig around in the electrical cabinet and see what I can find as it doesn't need to run until next Wednesday.

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    Check the control power supply voltages and look for any signs of burned parts on the power supply boards/ smell of burnt electronics.


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