View Full Version : inspecting machinery before purchase

07-10-2011, 03:54 AM
My employer recently secured some funds for getting an in-house machine shop for R&D work. I have been asked to review any of the stuff we're looking at before purchase, but this is the first time I'm doing this on my own.

One of the machines we're looking at is a centroid-controlled prototrak knockoff. I'm guessing I should check the spindle for runout, backlash on the x/y axes, run the spindle through the range of adjustment, and just give it a general lookover for any obvious damage. Is there anything else obvious I should look out for?

I have prior experience with the oddities of older centroid controls, as well as other windows based control software like the PC2100 on a tree j250, and my current foe, Mach 3. While I have a working knowledge of the controls/electronics side of the machine, we're going to have at least one EE in tow who will be responsible for all of that. My primary concerns are making sure the machine runs properly and isn't totally haggard.

07-10-2011, 04:27 AM
Mainly listen to the head. You can tell a lot from that. Check the spindle taper.

I dont know how much they have to spend but I would find an enclosed machine any day over a knee mill. Right now at aucion you should be able to get a good deal. Its been a couple years now, I was at an auction and Haas VF-3's sold for 6500 to 8k. I was also looking at a Fanuc Robomate that had an asking price of 6500 as well.

07-10-2011, 04:16 PM
that haas must have been beat all to hell. the same guy here in Santa Cruz has a VF-0 for $28k, although that includes a ton of 40 taper tooling for it, two kurt vises, and a large 4th axis.

I'd definitely go for a full-on VMC and not a knee or bedmill, but it's not in the budget right now.

the bay area pays a premium for everything. scottts valley/santa cruz is over the mountain and pays an extra 10-20% on top of that to get a rigger to haul whatever it is over highway 17.