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Thread: B&A Precision

  1. #4741
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Harrington View Post
    A couple points I noted in the recent replies:

    Your Mission Statement is this:

    "The foundation of B&A is job-shopping aluminum widgets. In 30-300ish piece batches."

    You stepped outside of that Mission Statement and got bit in the arse and are feeling the pain right now.

    Owning the Brother doesn't help you achieve that mission statement or grow any faster, you said it is not quick to setup and change over.

    It sounds like what you *NEED* is either a DT-1/DT-2 or a DM-1/DM-2, not a Brother.

    I understand why you bought the Brother, but it seems like that was against your Mission Statement.

    Focus on your Mission Statement and go aggressively hunt down just that, using that as your sales pitch. In the mean time, I suggest pondering (and praying) about what to do with the Brother.

    My $0.02 says you'd be happier with a DM-2 for quick setup/teardown/feeds.
    I would buy a non-pallet Brother before A HAAS DT/DM. But, I get what you are saying for sure!
    Thing is, the Brother has been shut off since beginning of Nov. I don't need another spindle.
    The two VF2ss's and the big fat VF3ss/APC can pump some parts out the door without the Brother.

  2. #4742
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    I thought that you hated the pallet changer machine?


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

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox
    I hate dealing with the chips, and it is messy (with the pallets in open air). That's what I hate.
    The machine itself is solid. Best machine I own actually. With terrible chip management.
    Well, it has also had its fair share of breakdowns. And, still chapped about it eating a few way-covers for seemingly no reason.
    But, chips/mess are the real reasons I say I hate it.

    I have been thinking of adding a chip wash-down. It has a 90gal sump, with plenty of real-estate on top to add another pump:

    20180809_141412.jpg

  3. #4743
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    You must be refering to quarterly payments?
    Not actual end of year totals.


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

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox
    Its gone now. But I was referring to end of year totals. Honest-to-God refund of prior years already paid taxes. If you didn't know about it, you have already paid for a better accountant.

  4. #4744
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    This is why the entire tax code should fit on a single sheet of paper...

    I guess seeing how bad selling the Brother would affects deductions/tax savings is worth a close look in case there's a big tax hit.
    Tax savings was half the reason for my new machine. It'll half pay for itself just sitting there.

  5. #4745
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbent View Post
    Its gone now. But I was referring to end of year totals. Honest-to-God refund of prior years already paid taxes. If you didn't know about it, you have already paid for a better accountant.
    Well, I don't deal with the accountant generally, and I don't tend to run in the red often either, so ....


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

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Quote Originally Posted by SND View Post
    I guess seeing how bad selling the Brother would affects deductions/tax savings is worth a close look in case there's a big tax hit.
    I have already checked. Its gonna hurt. Not as much as that payment hurts right now. But, its gonna hurt.

  8. #4747
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    Thanks man! Allison is the best support system ever. And, she happens to be 95% of my motivation as well.

    -----prune----

    As for letting Joe go? Not on the radar. Most of the work-flow goes like this:
    I set the job up, get it dialed, he runs the parts. While I do the next set up. Or, put one of my other hats on.
    Even as slow as I am right now, there is no way I could keep going without his help. Unless, I completely quit looking for work.
    He is absolutely the perfect employee for me. Not only am I morally and ethically obligated to him. I don't want to loose him!

    We have gotten to the point where he is doing simple first-OP set-ups in the HAAS's. As his skills progress, I will pile more responsibility on him.
    I teach him something every day. Currently we are working on his measuring techniques. We started to put the cart in front of the horse a little bit.
    Time to back up a few pages and make sure he understands some more basic stuff before I steer him in to some more in depth stuff.
    Where he could easily get lost if he didn't have a good grip on the fundamentals.
    It is easy to show somebody how. It is a whole nother story to sucessfully teach how and why.
    Remembering your statements from a while back about, Tommy and the chip and other assorted employer thoughts, if you can work with the lad by all means keep him. You are very particular about your work and few other people can satisfy your personal standards. Half or more of the issues running a shop are the people working for you.

    Tom

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    Thanks for all the input gentlemen. It helps a guy keep his head clear sometimes.

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    Never quit, even if someone offers you a good wage.

    Make it work some how. You will be a "marked man" that can be easily compromised.

    It's time to fight, not just only for your business, but your soul.

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  13. #4750
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDegenhart View Post
    Remembering your statements from a while back about, Tommy and the chip and other assorted employer thoughts, if you can work with the lad by all means keep him. You are very particular about your work and few other people can satisfy your personal standards. Half or more of the issues running a shop are the people working for you.

    Tom
    Joe is no "lad". He is older than I am (53) and one hell of a good dude! His work ethics are definitely on-point.

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    OK, sitting in snowy Seattle metro listening to giant slabs of snow slide off the roof while more snow falls (e.g. really far away from on the floor in Wheelie's shop...) What's more I don't run a commercial shop, so of course those of you who do have enourmous time and money pressures I don't. So this is from a brighter than most tree stumps observer....

    1. If the brother was the wrong machine, well, such it is. BUT

    2. There is so much discussion on this board about setups and setup speed, and in my case where I mostly make 1 of something (really), all manner of somewhat clumsy things (that I always think I will improve) really help with setup. But you have to develop them (make, buy, etc.)

    For example, Wheelie you commented that you didn't realize until quite late that the brother spindle nose won't get closer than a few inches from the table surface. Aside from being yet another example of Bryan's "make a CAD model of the machine and see how your stuff fits in it before you buy it rule" (learned after a simiilar issue), it shouldn't be all that bad, if and only if, you have the *right* set of risers/ramps/bases for vises, fixture plates, weezel feet, whatever to mount on.

    The whole swapping things in and out of vises quickly thing works in part because it's really familar, and in part because on most machine real tools will easily reach the bottom of various standard vises, and so you don't have to do anything else.

    This was discussed at length, I raise it here only to suggest that the brother might well be a very productive machine, even in a short run shop, with more development of work holding. Please note I don't have a bottle of TIme to send you to do that development, nor am I offering to pay for it. See #1.

    (And of course if the work for the machine is gone and it's eating money, changes to make it faster to change over aren't really relevent....)


    3. Uh, hem, cough, there are more than 2 machine tool vendors in the world. Not relevent in Wheelie's current circumstance. But quite likely will be again later. Just an observation...

  15. #4752
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    The tax thing is part of income taxes being generally way more complicated than people realize - so at various times and places there can arise things where a change in information causes your accoutant to file an amended return, which changes what you OWED for some prior year. If you paid more than that, what you paid becomes a credit that goes forward. (e.g. Something in 2010 means you get to change what you owed in 2009, but you paid more, which can be applied to 2010 (say))

    When this can happen, under what rules, is so complicated people make careers out of performing and explaining it, the rules change pretty often, and don't often really work to anyone's particular advantage other than narrow groups important to congress aliens.

    May your business and investment ventures be profitable and straight forward enough that you really don't have to care about this.

  16. #4753
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    Quote Originally Posted by bryan_machine View Post
    1. If the brother was the wrong machine, well, such it is.
    The Brother was the absolute perfect machine. The job went flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by bryan_machine View Post
    2. There is so much discussion on this board about setups and setup speed, and in my case where I mostly make 1 of something (really), all manner of somewhat clumsy things (that I always think I will improve) really help with setup. But you have to develop them (make, buy, etc.)

    For example, Wheelie you commented that you didn't realize until quite late that the brother spindle nose won't get closer than a few inches from the table surface. Aside from being yet another example of Bryan's "make a CAD model of the machine and see how your stuff fits in it before you buy it rule" (learned after a simiilar issue), it shouldn't be all that bad, if and only if, you have the *right* set of risers/ramps/bases for vises, fixture plates, weezel feet, whatever to mount on.

    The whole swapping things in and out of vises quickly thing works in part because it's really familar, and in part because on most machine real tools will easily reach the bottom of various standard vises, and so you don't have to do anything else.

    This was discussed at length, I raise it here only to suggest that the brother might well be a very productive machine, even in a short run shop, with more development of work holding. Please note I don't have a bottle of TIme to send you to do that development, nor am I offering to pay for it. See #1.

    (And of course if the work for the machine is gone and it's eating money, changes to make it faster to change over aren't really relevent....)
    As for the rest of your comment.........It is not really the hardware that makes setting the Brother up, not an expedient process.
    It is the work-flow. Not even necessarily the workflow in the control. More or less, it is the machine orientation. It can be confusing.
    It makes me think too much! LOL

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    If your loading parts into vises that have a short cycle time I would think that Brother would be gold. 3 seconds of spindle down time to swap parts vs 30-40 seconds on the Haas? If your only making 30 parts then the Haas is hard to beat, at 300 you really can't set it up to hold a bunch of parts but 2 at a time gets kinda slow on the Haas, perfect for that Brother.

    Yeah, having the spindle nose not get closer than 8"-9" to the table is a surprise, and generally a PITA.

  18. #4755
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidScott View Post
    If your loading parts into vises that have a short cycle time I would think that Brother would be gold. 3 seconds of spindle down time to swap parts vs 30-40 seconds on the Haas? If your only making 30 parts then the Haas is hard to beat, at 300 you really can't set it up to hold a bunch of parts but 2 at a time gets kinda slow on the Haas, perfect for that Brother.

    Yeah, having the spindle nose not get closer than 8"-9" to the table is a surprise, and generally a PITA.
    I get what you are saying. But, the fastest machine in the world is of zero benefit if it is sitting there waiting for somebody to change parts.

    This goes back to having to have more than one job running at a time.
    The Brother will inevitably end up sitting idle waiting on the guy across the room busy swapping parts in one of the other machines, to come tend to it.
    If that is the case, it is way too expensive to sit around waiting.

    At that point, I might as well sell everything else. And, process every job through the Brother. (don't think for one second I have not considered this!)
    But, then somebody (a customer) has to stand at the end of the line. And, after a while, they will be unhappy.
    Plus the Brother would again be (basically) sitting idle every time it was time to run a different part# (set-up).
    Where with multiple HAAS's. One is always running.

    Real hard to decide where that "happy medium" is at. Especially when you have no idea whats coming down the pipe.

    There is some stuff on the horizon. Nothing as big as the job that is idle right now. But, its work none the less.
    And, it all fits in that 30-300pc window.

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  20. #4756
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    Yeah - I would think that the dual pallet VMC would be the closest thing to having an HMC as far as able to go between jobs.
    I was setting up 2 diff jobs on the HMC yesterday, and all was good, 'till the machine went down.

    Now there's 2 jobs that aint running....

    Oh well, plenty of other jobs/machines to go play with....


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

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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  22. #4757
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    At that point, I might as well sell everything else. And, process every job through the Brother. (don't think for one second I have not considered this!)
    As far as I can tell from here, I would hate to have to make all the fixtures on the Brother! But then I would hate to have to make fixtures on a mill with a working door interlock. Your run sizes are a little too small to leverge the Brothers strengths, I think.
    A lot of my parts take 20-60 seconds of cut time to complete so that rotating table looks real good to me, but the lack of a 4th is a real deal killer.

  23. #4758
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidScott View Post
    As far as I can tell from here, I would hate to have to make all the fixtures on the Brother! But then I would hate to have to make fixtures on a mill with a working door interlock. Your run sizes are a little too small to leverge the Brothers strengths, I think.
    A lot of my parts take 20-60 seconds of cut time to complete so that rotating table looks real good to me, but the lack of a 4th is a real deal killer.
    It is easy to add a 4th to the Brother.

    I have two quotes sitting in my in-box for 5-axis trunnions. One for the Brother. One for the big-fat HAAS.
    The quote for the Brother is FOUR+ times the $$$ as the quote for the HAAS.

    This particular quote for the HAAS trunnion is almost too good to be true though. And, I can't help but be scared of it. Like, the thing is chowdered.
    Normally a HAAS TR-160 would run a little less than half the Brother quote.

    Although, even if this HAAS trunnion is chowdered and needs to go to Oxnard for refurb? (HAAS says $8k for a complete TR-160 rebuild)
    It would still be $2k cheaper than the next cheapest used one on the market right now.

    That big-fat HAAS, with 4-5 vises on one pallet, a 5-x trunnion on the other, and 40 tools ready and able, would be one versatile sumbeech.
    For very little $$$$$$ all things considered. Esp. if I buy that trunnion and it shows up without issue.

  24. #4759
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    For very little $$$$$$ all things considered. Esp. if I sell the Brother and it shows up without issue.
    There, fixed that for you!

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    keep picking away at keeping those sales shoes on....its not easy but persistence will pay off. some of the eggs we've been chasing for 1-2 yrs and they are just starting to turn into something. utilize all aspects of communicating with potential customers. I still say the best means of drumming up business is face to face even if you don't enjoy sales if you can get in and see potential parts/projects especially as an experienced machinist it gets you much more in your comfort zone and talking about how you can help them out make that part and make the entire process and price per part more to their liking it doesn't really feel like "sales" anymore. there are a lot of shop owners out there that are great machinists and not so hot at the business side of things.....recognize your weaknesses we all have them and work on getting better. on another note if you don't mind reading pick up the book "selling to zebras". good read but really focuses on finding the right customers that fit your business model and mission as some have stated recently.

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