Multi Spindle Screw Machines. Hourly Rate?
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    Default Multi Spindle Screw Machines. Hourly Rate?

    I have a few jobs that are not quite big enough quantities for multi spindles but I really like the idea of having 1 or 2 in the future. I was wondering what shops are charging for machine time on them. More specifically Acme Gridley or Wickmans (larger diameter).

    I see myself losing a lot of basic small parts under 5/8" to Davenport shops. I do not feel I need a Davenport but my old man ran Acme and Wicks in the early to mid 80's. He is not afraid of them and I am really interested in having one and learning how to use one.

    So the main question here is what are you guys getting for hourly rates. So far it makes more sense to me to run 2 Brown and Sharpes to make higher quantities as opposed to a big multi. I cant help but feel like it would save me so much time and allow me to attend to my other work more easily. The problem is having the space for one and then watching it sit idle 8-10 months out of the year due to me not wanting to break it down and have to set it back up for the same job every year (time factor).

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    I can't help you with hourly rates but if you are thinking multi then you should look at Davenport's. Noisy mangles they most certainly are but they are quick and easy to tool up. Every tool has its own cam and is individually adjustable. You have 5 spindles the last one of which can be used for a back countersink and bent shank tapping. Probably the smallest footprint of a multi.
    I hated the bloody things but I was only an employee. The employer must have loved them,they bought more.

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    Twas in HGR years ago, when they used to have a few National Acmes....Had an 8 spindle barfed model, I could put my fist thru the collets, IIRC 4" capacity !

    Qty (8) bars of 4" solid bar, 20' long each, all spinning, and then indexing.

    And the dropping a part every index.

    How long was the max. part length on those ? could be dropping a 20lb part off.

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    Hourly rate = All you can git and not a penny less!
    15 years ago it would have been hard to make much more than $15-20 as the work had gone to China and everybody still in the game was fighting over every crumb.
    Was not a good position to be in.

    However - today - I'm gunna say that you can likely make a bit better margins aggin.
    Many of the shops are closed now, and the guys that knew how to run them are gone.

    I'd take an Acme over a Brownie any day - unless it was just OD chamfer and cut-off.
    The Acme doesn't have special cams for every job, and .....
    I had a 7/8"-4 that I could change over quickly, and they make that model up to 1".
    I have a chum with the last two 1" RA4's built (sequential ser numbers)
    They are in VERY good condition and would be for sale if you are interested.

    The nice thing about them is that they are a small enough machine (built on the 9/16-6 chassis) that you can reach both the collet and the collet nut at the same time, and so changing collets is quick and easy.



    4" - 8 spindle Acme? I highly doubt that.
    The largest 8 banger I've ever heard of, or is listed in the book is 2-5/8, and that would have been built on a 3-1/2"-6 frame, but NAMCO did build a 6"-6 spindle (80,000#), and it is conceivable that they could have built an 8 spindle on that frame, and if they did - it would likely had been a 3-1/2", but 4" would be somewhat possible. However - nothing like that is listed in the book.

    Max feed-out on a 2-5/8 - 8 is 10" per*, but you can set it up to double feed out, so - 20", but you would essentialy have to take all the endslide holders off to facilitate that. But it could be conceived that you could have some roll supports and knee turners working the end. You'd want to rig up some sort of support for the end during cut-off I'd be thinkin'.



    * Same for a 3-1/2" - 6, or a 4-3/4" - 4 spindle.
    So you can doo the math on that....

    ... well, tha'd be 100# part


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    Hourly rate = All you can git and not a penny less!
    15 years ago it would have been hard to make much more than $15-20 as the work had gone to China and everybody still in the game was fighting over every crumb.
    Was not a good position to be in.

    However - today - I'm gunna say that you can likely make a bit better margins aggin.
    Many of the shops are closed now, and the guys that knew how to run them are gone.

    I'd take an Acme over a Brownie any day - unless it was just OD chamfer and cut-off.
    The Acme doesn't have special cams for every job, and .....
    I had a 7/8"-4 that I could change over quickly, and they make that model up to 1".
    I have a chum with the last two 1" RA4's built (sequential ser numbers)
    They are in VERY good condition and would be for sale if you are interested.

    The nice thing about them is that they are a small enough machine (built on the 9/16-6 chassis) that you can reach both the collet and the collet nut at the same time, and so changing collets is quick and easy.



    4" - 8 spindle Acme? I highly doubt that.
    The largest 8 banger I've ever heard of, or is listed in the book is 2-5/8, and that would have been built on a 3-1/2"-6 frame, but NAMCO did build a 6"-6 spindle (80,000#), and it is conceivable that they could have built an 8 spindle on that frame, and if they did - it would likely had been a 3-1/2", but 4" would be somewhat possible. However - nothing like that is listed in the book.

    Max feed-out on a 2-5/8 - 8 is 10" per*, but you can set it up to double feed out, so - 20", but you would essentialy have to take all the endslide holders off to facilitate that. But it could be conceived that you could have some roll supports and knee turners working the end. You'd want to rig up some sort of support for the end during cut-off I'd be thinkin'.



    * Same for a 3-1/2" - 6, or a 4-3/4" - 4 spindle.
    So you can doo the math on that....

    ... well, tha'd be 100# part


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    ...Could have been a 6 spindle.

    or maybe it was a special, the plant was just down the road eh ?
    Google Maps

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    I believe the shops on the east coast get $100/Hr for the Acme Gridleys. I see more Davenports around that dont look too hard to figure out.

    I had a long talk with the Owner of probably the largest machine shop in New England. CNC Mill Turn - CNC Multi-Spindle Screw Machining - CNC Swiss Machining - Multi-Spindle Screw Machining - Rotary Transfer Turned Parts - MA He has cnc multi spindles as well as a bunch of Index 3 turret 2 spindle cncs. He told me they are the fastest of them all and run at 2 bucks a min ($120/hr). They are about $250k though and used on higher end parts. Not the simpler 2 axis parts I am running.

    I have a few parts that will take me about 9-10 months to do every year and I want to get them done faster in order to free me up to run other jobs as well as get myself a cnc lathe or 2 to take on additional work.

    Finding help right now is tough. If I want good help its gonna cost me $25/HR and in order to justify paying them that much I will need CNC's to take on the higher dollar work.

    My Father ran Acme and Wicks in the 80's and is not afraid of them. We have 20 Brownies with no cnc's around. I can set up, run,and maintain all of my own machines and can see keeping them around for another 20+ years. I know I will never be able to train anyone to take my place with those.

    Essentially it makes more sense to just keep longer running jobs on machines and just put them in a shipping container when not in use. Pull them out when the jobs come up and back in the container when not in use.

    I always want to learn more though and think having a multi spindle that can take a 10 month job and run it in 6-8 weeks would free up so much time. I almost wouldnt mind it sitting idle for the other 10 months of the year just to allow me to take on more work.

    Back to the hourly rate...I have had Hydromat guys laugh and tell me I do not want to pay them the hourly rate for them. Its 1 million part runs and like $.90-$1.10 per part at those quantities. I really see a void in the market for the parts that dont fit on Davenports.
    Although Davenport does list a 1" Cap. version now. I dont know what they go for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanASM View Post
    I believe the shops on the east coast get $100/Hr for the Acme Gridleys.
    Well it sounds like you already knew the answer to your question.
    ???

    Quote Originally Posted by DanASM View Post
    He has cnc multi spindles as well as a bunch of Index 3 turret 2 spindle cncs. He told me they are the fastest of them all and run at 2 bucks a min ($120/hr). They are about $250k though and used on higher end parts. Not the simpler 2 axis parts I am running.
    I'm not sure which of those "they" is, but there aint nothin' in that paragraph that you can touch for less than 2 - 2.5 times your figger by the time you make first chips.


    IDK anything about a 1" Davenport, but [IM/HO] the only time that you want to run a Davenport near the oversize capacity (7/8) I would recommend it be alum or 360 brass.
    Keep in mind that the Davenport spindles were designed to take 9/16 round is all.


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    Ox

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    INDEX C100 production turning machine - INDEX Corporation

    These were the ones he was telling me about. He said he owns the most machines of this brand on the east coast.

    I guess he has Index/Traub Multi spindles too but they are like $2 mill+ per machine.

    It does make sense not to run machines at their max. Too much stress = too many problems.

    The $100/hr I came up with for Acmes was just a number I came up with in my head. It makes sense to me but I was wondering if anyone had personal experience owning one. I see them on ebay for 10k-25k. So if I got one I know it would be feasible for the parts I need to run. Just unchartered territory for me. Would be a learning curve for sure.

    I actually feel like running a cnc lathe with a magazine bar feeder unattended would bring in more cash with less operators. Although I am thinking of basic parts that need little attention (for a lower than average hourly rate). Not really what cnc's are made for.

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    Well, if you run parts on your Brownie, and you know what you can get on a given part there, all you need to doo is figger out what the cycle time would be if you broke the job down to the single longest action.

    Cut-off?

    Then doo the math.

    Some jobs may have a LOT of time difference.
    Others may not.

    But if $100/hr was routine, those machine on E-bay would be worth way more than they were 20-30 yrs ago, when a decent 1" or 1.25" - 6 would fetch $30K on up.
    Any good running 8 spindle was worth $100K all day long!
    An 8 spindle CORE was worth $50K!

    So go doo the math.....


    You wanted a cheap machine back then - it was a Greenlee, a Cone, or a #60 New Britain.


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    Quote Originally Posted by DanASM View Post
    INDEX C100 production turning machine - INDEX Corporation

    These were the ones he was telling me about. He said he owns the most machines of this brand on the east coast.

    Somehow you are under the impression that you could pick that machine in your link up for $250K?

    That would be a 10 yr old.

    Index/Traub is always the most expensive thing that you can find.
    Maybe they are, and maybe they aint - worth it, but I don't even know if you can buy a bare bones anything from them for that price, let alone an 11 (12?) axis fixed headstock.


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    Yeah I guess the one in the link I posted should have been much higher. I meant a comparable machine that was 5-7 years old with 10k hours on it goes for 250k ish. I think the guy was telling me 800k for the one in the link but I may have thought he was talking about a different one. I was at a trade show talking to a lot of companies. I may have my numbers wrong.

    I know at $100/hr (multi) I can still beat my single spindle price at $36/hr. Probably could still run it at 60-75 an hour and beat my brownies easily.

    I am told there are very few people to set up and run them anymore. They want to make like 200k parts yearly to be worth setting one up and running it.

    Davenports I see running 10k parts sometimes. I get most of the jobs I quote from 2k-25k parts.

    I did lose a 14k part job and 20k and 40k part jobs recently that I am sure went on a Davenport. It was easy .375 1018 CS parts. From a long term customer of mine too. Would have been nice but I cant lower my prices just to make someone else money.

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    You feel like running a CNC lathe with a bar loader. Why not go the cheap route and put a bar loader on a Brownie? It doesn't have to be CNC to run lights out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by camscan View Post
    You feel like running a CNC lathe with a bar loader. Why not go the cheap route and put a bar loader on a Brownie? It doesn't have to be CNC to run lights out.
    Brownies need more attention. I dont run carbide due to no constant sfm spindles. The Lipe Bar feeders are not that reliable and are mainly for shaft work (I am told by the guys who have run them in the past). Too many issues and upkeep to run a brownie lights out. Plus the work I want to run on a cnc are a not really brownie work.

    I have thought about it and didnt see it as being feasible. Its best to have a human there to check for bad parts every 12' of stock. If I could run say 25-50' in a magazine bar feeder with a conveyor parts collector to keep parts separate I feel like this would be a good addition. Not really looking for lights out but if I could run an additional machine for 8 hours without an additional employee I see it as a win.

    I would have to justify a cheaper used lathe and run it at 45-50/hr to make sense. I still cant convince myself this is the right move. Any money I spend on a used lathe I am afraid I will wish I still had 6 months later when I feel I need a better one. I wont finance anything. I refuse to take on debt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanASM View Post
    Brownies need more attention. I dont run carbide due to no constant sfm spindles. The Lipe Bar feeders are not that reliable and are mainly for shaft work (I am told by the guys who have run them in the past). Too many issues and upkeep to run a brownie lights out. Plus the work I want to run on a cnc are a not really brownie work.

    I have thought about it and didnt see it as being feasible. Its best to have a human there to check for bad parts every 12' of stock. If I could run say 25-50' in a magazine bar feeder with a conveyor parts collector to keep parts separate I feel like this would be a good addition. Not really looking for lights out but if I could run an additional machine for 8 hours without an additional employee I see it as a win.

    I would have to justify a cheaper used lathe and run it at 45-50/hr to make sense. I still cant convince myself this is the right move. Any money I spend on a used lathe I am afraid I will wish I still had 6 months later when I feel I need a better one. I wont finance anything. I refuse to take on debt.
    I really don't understand the non use of carbide,it was on the market long before constant surface speed. For brass, aluminium and lots of steels it's the dogs bollocks.That is for forming,turning and drilling.
    I don't know the Lipe bar feeder,that was born a bit later than me but the ones that I did use were reliable.
    I applaud your decision to run debt free,when/if work slows down it won't hurt you as quickly as others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanASM View Post
    Brownies need more attention. I dont run carbide due to no constant sfm spindles. The Lipe Bar feeders are not that reliable and are mainly for shaft work (I am told by the guys who have run them in the past). Too many issues and upkeep to run a brownie lights out. Plus the work I want to run on a cnc are a not really brownie work.

    I have thought about it and didnt see it as being feasible. Its best to have a human there to check for bad parts every 12' of stock. If I could run say 25-50' in a magazine bar feeder with a conveyor parts collector to keep parts separate I feel like this would be a good addition. Not really looking for lights out but if I could run an additional machine for 8 hours without an additional employee I see it as a win.

    I would have to justify a cheaper used lathe and run it at 45-50/hr to make sense. I still cant convince myself this is the right move. Any money I spend on a used lathe I am afraid I will wish I still had 6 months later when I feel I need a better one. I wont finance anything. I refuse to take on debt.

    If you run Brownie work, then it is not even hardly "getting off the porch" to get a CNC lathe with 4' magazine loader.
    That is exactly who you are competing agginst.
    The target qtys would be the same, and the CNC will be able to make much better finishes in most apps, and be able to run threads a WHOLE lot easier.

    A sub-spindle allows you to at least pick-off (no tit on solids) and back chamfer your through hole parts.

    I would point you in that direction over a multi-spindle, but for the higher qtys - maybe both might be in order?


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    Ox,
    Is my memory defective or did Acme make a 3 5/8 ten spindle machine? I worked for Phoenix Automatic in the 70s in the second op department and they had what I remember as a 10 spindle 3 5/8 machine in the back, I think I heard a value of about a million. That machine was later traded for two 2 and 5/8 ten spindle machines I think one was an Acme and the other a Gildameister or something.

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    Not unless it was some bastard custom machine - if NAMCO even ever made specials - I don't know?
    I have a mentor that might have a bit better idea of oddities that I could ask, but I highly doubt it.

    I have never heard of a 10 spindle multi under any name, let alone that big.
    That would have to be a 100,000# machine.

    Maybe they had (2) 5 spindle Warner and Swasey multi's?


    You could run 3.625 in a 3-1/2" machine if you use one piece pushers.
    Actually, when I got my 3-1/2, it had 3-1/2" plastic in it that came in at 3.620 (just measured a bar end just now) and it fit.

    But that is "bar", but you could possibly be thinking of a chucker? They did make chuckers that big and bigger in 8 spindle configuration.
    Those have 3 jaw (?) chucks on the front of the spindle in stead of a collet inside.


    However - 2-5/8" is a standard machine size, and they did make 8 bangers in that size, so my guess is that is what you are thinking of.


    I don't know my Euro machines, and mostly just know the Acme's, so I don't know if Gild, or Schutte', or someone else ever made a 3-1/2" 8 or not (possible), but ZPS does actually build a 3.15" 8 spindle CNC currently.

    They are calling it an "867" yet spec'ing it at 80mm capacity, so ... I'm not sure what's up with that?

    They DID have this machine at IMTS 2008. It is BIG, and expensive.
    I'm sure that they had some tire kickers at the show, but considering the whole werld went into recession 6 weeks after IMTS show, the machine didn't sell, and it made the rounds to show after show for 1.5-2 years I think before they found a buyer for it.

    ZPS 867 CNC | ZPS America




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    Ox,I read the specs on that machine. 8 spindles with chucks which will take 12" diameter seems to be a stretch. Just think of the weight that needs to be indexed. Do you think there could be a mis-print?
    I would assume that you disconnect the stock tubes but that seems to be quite a mass.

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    No misprint.

    It is saying that you can "chuck" a 12" part in the machine if equipped with 3 jaw (other?) chucks in stead of collets.
    It's not going to swallow a 12" bar, just a 12" slug - just like in your CNC chucker lathe with a 3 jaw chuck.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    If you run Brownie work, then it is not even hardly "getting off the porch" to get a CNC lathe with 4' magazine loader.
    That is exactly who you are competing agginst.
    The target qtys would be the same, and the CNC will be able to make much better finishes in most apps, and be able to run threads a WHOLE lot easier.

    A sub-spindle allows you to at least pick-off (no tit on solids) and back chamfer your through hole parts.

    I would point you in that direction over a multi-spindle, but for the higher qtys - maybe both might be in order?


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    Ox
    I have in mind for the cnc lathe the 1000 part and under jobs. I get a lot of 250-500-1000 part rfq's that my tool charges run the price up too high. I also would use it for the better finishes and some stainless work. I would use it for holding tenths as well.

    But if the machine was available I wouldnt hesitate to use it for easier jobs that are backlogged. Just to catch up while my other machines are busy with other jobs. I couldnt raise my prices on those parts though so I have to justify running it at 40-50 an hour.

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