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    Default Going from VMC to HMC ?

    I have been running my butt off for months trying to feed 2 VF2SS mills and a VF4SS and two of them live full time with 4th axis fixtures ,, I just added a DM2 for tooling and second op parts and cant keep up with feeding the machine ,, I think its time to take the jump and change to a HMC for most if not all the parts ,, 90% of my work is 6061 and everything is pop can size or smaller and most of it calls for a 4th axis so I can do it in 1 or 2 ops.

    My main objective is to get more parts out per day and not go nuts ,,

    So here is the question.
    How is the learning curve to go from programming a VMC with a 4th to a HMC with twin pallets ? It looks like its mostly going from A axis to B axis but what about the pallet calls? Also how is setting up a HMC ?

    Every thing I do is production and in Fixtures. Mitee-Bite and cordless drill are my best friends

    The idea of going from feeding 3 machines to one and only having to run one seems like a great idea.

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    an HMC is no different in programming. You will pick it up very easily. Dont buy a haas hmc though....they dont use a zero retention on the pallet like most hmc's and under some hard drilling you can push the tombstone over and obviously lose accuracy.

    pallet call outs is as simple as calling the Mcode to swap them. Setting up is no different than a vmc.

    only problem I see is you will need to make sure to get an hmc that has enough tools to run all the different parts you have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by D.D.Machine View Post
    How is the learning curve to go from programming a VMC with a 4th to a HMC with twin pallets ? It looks like its mostly going from A axis to B axis but what about the pallet calls?
    It's an M code. You can probably handle that

    Also how is setting up a HMC ?
    Instead of looking down, you are looking straight. I think it is easier because you don't have to stretch out to get into the enclosure, the pallets are a lot more accessible. But the short answer would be, six of one, half dozen of the other.

    If you drop stuff a lot then it's more trouble. If you like to mdi with the door open (oh noes ! we're all going to die !), to indicate an edge or a locating pin, horizontals are imo easier. You can get physically closer and everything is at eye level.

    The idea of going from feeding 3 machines to one and only having to run one seems like a great idea.
    Horizontals kick ass and they machine better, too. You may have to jack up your feeds and speeds a bit.

    From your description, if you can find one with more than two pallets, that would be nice. But if not, make sure to get extra pallets then you can weld up a lazy susan type thing to switch them and set up several different jobs, one on each pallet.

    Some fms'es have pallet readers, you can just stick whatever pallet you want in, the machine reads it and automatically runs the correct part programs. Maybe overkill at this time

    But the downside would be, if you have four verticals and one breaks, you still have three. If you have one horizontal and it breaks, you need to fix it. So better preventive maintenance would be a good idea.


    Second as9100 on the Haas thumbs-down. Those aren't horizontals, they are just verticals tipped on their back like a turtle. A big disappointment there

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    From an operator view going from Vert to Hori, the biggest issue i found was prove out on the far face.
    Even when you have modelled tool holders and know your'e 1000% right, as the tool feeds to the rear face it looks like it's going to bury itself because you can't see it.
    I used feed hold (& distance to go), opened the door and held my smart phone over the top to get some pics, just to double check that all was well.
    And only dropped it in the conveyor the once
    Perhaps you can look at putting a gopro type setup in there.

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    You'll get your load/unload for free, so that should help.
    You could get 2 free pallets full of finished parts after you go home for the day if you choose.
    Gravity is your friend as far as chip clearing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbter View Post
    From an operator view going from Vert to Hori, the biggest issue i found was prove out on the far face.
    Even when you have modelled tool holders and know your'e 1000% right, as the tool feeds to the rear face it looks like it's going to bury itself because you can't see it.
    I used feed hold (& distance to go), opened the door and held my smart phone over the top to get some pics, just to double check that all was well.
    And only dropped it in the conveyor the once
    Perhaps you can look at putting a gopro type setup in there.
    Camera would work or use a giant mirror like we do Going from VMC to HMC ? think woman's hand mirror on a selfie stick.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by D.D.Machine View Post
    I have been running my butt off for months trying to feed 2 VF2SS mills and a VF4SS and two of them live full time with 4th axis fixtures ,, I just added a DM2 for tooling and second op parts and cant keep up with feeding the machine ,, I think its time to take the jump and change to a HMC for most if not all the parts ,, 90% of my work is 6061 and everything is pop can size or smaller and most of it calls for a 4th axis so I can do it in 1 or 2 ops.

    My main objective is to get more parts out per day and not go nuts ,,

    So here is the question.
    How is the learning curve to go from programming a VMC with a 4th to a HMC with twin pallets ? It looks like its mostly going from A axis to B axis but what about the pallet calls? Also how is setting up a HMC ?

    Every thing I do is production and in Fixtures. Mitee-Bite and cordless drill are my best friends

    The idea of going from feeding 3 machines to one and only having to run one seems like a great idea.
    Workholding will be the biggest change IMO. I know it sounds obvious, but I didn't realize that until we tried to get it up and running (long story). I had made some fixtures for a production part we ran and it would have needed to have some mods (screw holes? magnets?), or delicate handling since now gravity was working against me instead of with me.

    You can't just drop parallels in the vise, need step jaws, or springs, or banding to hold them in place. Right now you can (or most can/have) unbolt your vise and lift it out onto a work table or whatnot. Not likely going to happen on a tombstone that is eye level, will need some type of hoist or cherry picker setup.

    You will need more tools (possibly) if you want to run 2 pallets with say 4 different part numbers. Chip and coolant management get a little more if you want to run some unattended after hours stuff.

    Not trying to be all doom and gloom, but there are a few things to consider. It's probably the right direction, but a few hurdles to overcome (or account for) at startup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    Camera would work or use a giant mirror like we do Going from VMC to HMC ? think woman's hand mirror on a selfie stick.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
    That's how we got the "Into the pot" shots when producing a local cooking show...large rectangular mirror set above the stove, just out of camera view (up in with the lights)

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    The biggest issue that I find is that Horizontals are huge for a given capacity. I have a baby 300MM kitamura which is an overall small size, but I really want a 500 or 600MM horizontal and the fucking size and horseponies of those things means I'd have to give up one of my verticals and upgrade my power service. Not ready for that yet.

    This is right in your neighborhood no? Milling machine - tools - by owner - sale

    That's probably about par with a VF2/3 performance wise. Mits control is cheap and simple. But if it's like most 20+ year old HMC's it's run to death and just plain gross. Might be worth taking a look at though. It looks surprisingly clean in the pictures. Usually there's 6" of oil and chips packed against the sides at the floor and it's sitting in a tray to collect all the leaks.

    I bought my Kitamura, well actually, I stole it, for $0. It's an older one, but it had ways ground, new Turcite, new spindle, new spindle drive and new ways covers within a few years of me getting it. Control wouldn't fire up. It was a $5 relay. The only thing really wrong with mine is that it's a full 4th and the worm gear has a couple thou slop at zero. I can run pallets cocked a few degrees and it's fine, but I want to pull that thing apart someday and see if I can index the gear to fix it.

    I would want an indexing one, not a full 4th given the choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    The biggest issue that I find is that Horizontals are huge for a given capacity. I have a baby 300MM kitamura which is an overall small size, but I really want a 500 or 600MM horizontal and the fucking size and horseponies of those things means I'd have to give up one of my verticals and upgrade my power service. Not ready for that yet.
    This has been my observation as well. I've been looking at them for years. But dang, they are huge, power-hungry, and crazy heavy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by D.D.Machine View Post
    but what about the pallet calls?
    I have a 2 pallet vertical Mori/Fanuc. It has a Work Number screen you fill in telling it what program runs on what pallet. Even if it's the same on both. The Work Number Search is set off by an M30. Except for finding your way to that screen (Custom Menu/Work Number) there is nothing at all new to learn. At least as far as automated pallet switching goes. Well... the okay-to-go button has to be lit at the pallet station so that's something. There is one M code each for MDI pallet switching. (M160 (B) M162 (A)). I'd have to believe that there is some version of this on any pallet machine whether it's sitting upright or flipped on its back like a... ahh... turtle. :-)

    From the sounds of it, what's going on at the far side of the pallet is going to be the biggest thing to get used too.

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    I only make like 10 part numbers ,, but do about 10K parts a month. I have been vary happy with the VF2ss mills and for the most part just need one of them flipped on its back ,, I spend more time changing parts and loading the 4th axis than actual spindle time, I have looked at the twin pallet verticals but I prefer to stick with 40 taper and not a single one of them has a good way of dealing with chips ,, as it stands I produce 2 trash cans a hour of chips with the three mills , so if I get a fast pallet machine it well theoretically do that every hour ,,

    I hope to find a newer EC-400 and yes I fully understand its not a mori or a Doosan but I can keep it running and really like the control.
    but trying to find a newer one 2010+ has been kinda hard , most seem to be pallet pool or older.

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    Quote Originally Posted by D.D.Machine View Post
    I only make like 10 part numbers ,, but do about 10K parts a month. I have been vary happy with the VF2ss mills and for the most part just need one of them flipped on its back ,, I spend more time changing parts and loading the 4th axis than actual spindle time, I have looked at the twin pallet verticals but I prefer to stick with 40 taper and not a single one of them has a good way of dealing with chips ,, as it stands I produce 2 trash cans a hour of chips with the three mills , so if I get a fast pallet machine it well theoretically do that every hour ,,

    I hope to find a newer EC-400 and yes I fully understand its not a mori or a Doosan but I can keep it running and really like the control.
    but trying to find a newer one 2010+ has been kinda hard , most seem to be pallet pool or older.
    I totally get your desire to stick with cat40. But, I have to ask: What is your biggest tool?
    A Brother R650 with a 4th on each pallet would bang out some freakin' parts!
    And, chips are not a problem. Occasionally give 'er a hose down, just to keep it looking tidy-ish inside.
    Only time I ever had to physically remove chips was when I forgot to turn the conveyor on, LOL.
    And the way the Brother handles pallets/programs is slicker than snot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    But dang, they are huge, power-hungry, and crazy heavy.
    That's what makes them machine like a mofo

    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    I want to pull that thing apart someday and see if I can index the gear to fix it.
    Take a look at the service manual, I bet there is a fairly easy way to adjust. Most equipment that uses worm drives have a way to adjust backlash. The crappy way is shims, the better way is a dual-lead worm that you just move along its axis. But generally, in better quality stuff, they plan for that eventuality.

    Might be a case of spend four hours, save four hundred.

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    Quote Originally Posted by D.D.Machine View Post
    I only make like 10 part numbers ,, but do about 10K parts a month. I have been vary happy with the VF2ss mills and for the most part just need one of them flipped on its back ,, I spend more time changing parts and loading the 4th axis than actual spindle time, I have looked at the twin pallet verticals but I prefer to stick with 40 taper and not a single one of them has a good way of dealing with chips ,, as it stands I produce 2 trash cans a hour of chips with the three mills , so if I get a fast pallet machine it well theoretically do that every hour ,,

    I hope to find a newer EC-400 and yes I fully understand its not a mori or a Doosan but I can keep it running and really like the control.
    but trying to find a newer one 2010+ has been kinda hard , most seem to be pallet pool or older.
    I would advise against an EC400. We had the pallet pool model (not sure of year, but I would guess 2012-2015 ish?), but irrelevant IMO for this discussion. Chip nightmare! Their hokey auger setup is a joke on the hori. We (and myself personally) have always done fine with the augers on a Haas vmc, but for some reason it just doesn't work on the hori. We ran very very few parts through ours in it's short time with us, but even so, constantly cleaning chips out of/around the auger, chips were getting into the coolant so bad it would clog up the lines every month or so.

    The tool probe is front and center and in the way of everything when trying to do a setup.

    Pallet management is a bit confusing to start, but relatively easy. Their is a scheduling 'system' in the control that you can tell what pallet and program BUT we found it easier to hand code a pallet call (M code) at the beginning of each program....

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    Quote Originally Posted by D.D.Machine View Post
    I have been running my butt off for months trying to feed 2 VF2SS mills and a VF4SS and two of them live full time with 4th axis fixtures ,, I just added a DM2 for tooling and second op parts and cant keep up with feeding the machine ,, I think its time to take the jump and change to a HMC for most if not all the parts ,, 90% of my work is 6061 and everything is pop can size or smaller and most of it calls for a 4th axis so I can do it in 1 or 2 ops.

    My main objective is to get more parts out per day and not go nuts ,,

    So here is the question.
    How is the learning curve to go from programming a VMC with a 4th to a HMC with twin pallets ? It looks like its mostly going from A axis to B axis but what about the pallet calls? Also how is setting up a HMC ?

    Every thing I do is production and in Fixtures. Mitee-Bite and cordless drill are my best friends

    The idea of going from feeding 3 machines to one and only having to run one seems like a great idea.

    The H is pretty efficient, but I don't think that you are going to get 3x as many parts out the door.
    2wice at best.

    But you said that your load time is more than your cycle time as is, and if that's the case, you'll never walk away w/o losing time, and your cycle time will be your load time.


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    Ox

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    The H is pretty efficient, but I don't think that you are going to get 3x as many parts out the door.
    2wice at best.

    But you said that your load time is more than your cycle time as is, and if that's the case, you'll never walk away w/o losing time, and your cycle time will be your load time.


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    Ox
    You probably know better than me, but with clever fixturing he should (I don't know the parts bear in mind) be able to bonus parts in the evening / last load of the day. It might require duplicate fixtures with a quick change / zero point system of some sort. Unload a fixture, shoot a bit of air, load next fixture ...that you loaded while those were running, of course

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    You probably know better than me, but with clever fixturing he should (I don't know the parts bear in mind) be able to bonus parts in the evening / last load of the day. It might require duplicate fixtures with a quick change / zero point system of some sort. Unload a fixture, shoot a bit of air, load next fixture ...that you loaded while those were running, of course

    Well, as for running after walking out the door, he can doo that now eh?
    Sure, just one load, but - if his load time is as long or longer than run time, he will only ever have "1 load" to run after walking out the door.

    And then - with a load time as long or longer than run time, there is zero value in leaving it run after you walk out the door - since the machine would then be waiting on you in the morning when you load the other pallet.

    Sure, the HMC will git 80% more parts out in a given time (ass_u_ming the longer load time) but it's not going to run un-attended without waiting for you when you git back the same amount of time.


    Clever fixturing - he said that he's already running an A axis, I guess maybe I just ass_u_med that he has stones/fixtures on those and not likely going to make much gains thatway?


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    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    Well, as for running after walking out the door, he can doo that now eh?
    Sure, just one load, but - if his load time is as long or longer than run time, he will only ever have "1 load" to run after walking out the door.

    And then - with a load time as long or longer than run time, there is zero value in leaving it run after you walk out the door - since the machine would then be waiting on you in the morning when you load the other pallet.

    Sure, the HMC will git 80% more parts out in a given time (ass_u_ming the longer load time) but it's not going to run un-attended without waiting for you when you git back the same amount of time.


    Clever fixturing - he said that he's already running an A axis, I guess maybe I just ass_u_med that he has stones/fixtures on those and not likely going to make much gains thatway?


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

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox
    Our signals seem to be getting crossed somewhere...

    True you can load a vmc or hmc before you go home, BUT with the hmc, you can unload and reload pallet 1 and cycle into machine and start running while you are taking care of the other pallet. In a vmc you have to unload, reload, start cutting, then just wait (or go load another machine), rinse and repeat.

    BUT if like you said he is duplicate fixturing things so changeover is minimal and machine is only not running for 5 minutes or so, then yes hmc isn't going to really help. It sounds to me like he needs another set of hands, or robotics, but that is a WAG from some guy on the internet.

    Something to consider, can you mix the parts up somehow to increase cycle time between loads? Not adding cycle time to the parts, but mixing in long and short run parts maybe? Or maybe some pre-running prep to speed up loading? I dunno, stacking parts a certain way to make handling easier / more efficient, having them all deburred and clean before hand....

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    The slow down is changing parts, I really need to keep the spindle turning more and spend less time swapping parts out ,, well I have kissed out the change over time on parts it still takes a lot of time to pull and replace parts ,, and with 3 mills going there is a lot of wasted time running between three machine and keeping them running. my plan is to build all new fixtures for the tumbstones and just have a set of locating pins like I have been using on the 4th axis ,, I can change 4 fixure plates and load a program in about 30 min and be back up and running ,, with a HMC I could run one part number per fixture and swap parts on one fixture well the other is getting wet ,,,


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