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  • Enco lathe / Baldor motor problems

    Recently our company bought a new Enco 13" lathe 110-1354 with DRO and the usual stuff. Enco also advertised it came with a Baldor US made motor which I thought was a nice touch. We went the Baldor route and I am beginning to regret it! Installing and leveling the lathe went fine and overall the lathe was in pretty good shape with just a few of the usual careless hand sanded spots on the cross slide and a few other spots.... The paint job was also pretty good.

    Anyway there is apparently a problem with these Baldor motors. When powered up they have an unuaually high amount of vibration and get hot VERY quickly. The vibration transfers right to the spindle and you can see it in the finish of what ever part you are machining. Enco supplied a new motor after the first day of tryouts with this lathe and the second motor also exhibits this vibration. Due to other jobs the lathe has sat for a few months and I am in the process of working this out with Baldor as Enco was of no help at all with the problem... all I got from them was a big..."Your Lathe only has a 90 day warranty!" even though this turns out to be a custom motor made for them by Baldor!! They suggested we call Baldor which we did and and Baldor is building us a new motor which will take about a month.

    However.... a bit of experimenting with the motor revealed that if its wired for 220 volts BUT powered by 120 volts it runs silky smooth..... this is obviously a bad motor and has either mis-labeled wires, the wrong stator coils or the stator coils are wired wrong internally or possibly improperly placed in the stator slots. The lathe wiring is fine and this motor also exhibits this high vibration and hum when powered up on the work bench.

    I wanted to bring attention to this problem in case anyone else out there is going through what I have been with this lathe.... it looks to me like Enco has a bad batch of Baldor motors.... Anyone else have this problem? I will also say that because of Encos lack of any assistance with this problem they have lost me as a machine tool customer!!

    Any input or feedback is appreciated.

    Mark Gulbrandsen
    Salt LAke City,UT


    [This message has been edited by Mark Gulbrandsen (edited 01-08-2005).]

  • #2
    Hi Mark, just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I bought a Enco 13-40 last July with the Baldor motor and had the same problems, plus an irritating vibration noise. I tired putting rubber pads under the stand, no help. I built wooden boxes for the bottom of the cabnet. I then poored concrete pads under the stand and put carpet on the inside. I tried everything I could think of and talked to some machinist friends and could not come up with any idea's. I called Enco and they told me to contact Baldor and Baldor referred me to a Baldor repair dealer. I took the motor to the dealer and they ordered another motor. Two weeks later the motor came in and I installed the motor with the same or little results. I still have a noisey motor but I don't have the vibration transfering to the spindle, just noise. I give up. I have not tried the rewiring trick. I don't want another Baldor Motor. The Chinese make a better motor. Good Luck, Frank

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    • #3
      Yea, if you wire for 220 and run it on 120 you will be amazed at how smooth it is and still plenty of tourque. I will give Baldor another chance and we'll see how it goes.... if I get the same results I will probably install a Reliance electronic drive motor system. This is a very good example of the declining US ability to supply anything of quality. Enco has also got a zero rating from me. Whan they were based in Chicago they were an excellent company but they sure are not any more.

      Mark

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      • #4
        The next new Baldor motor was just as bad s the others we had received and we decided on taking the Baldor motor to a third party motor shop for another opinion and low and behold we sure found the right shop. The guys there happened to specialize in CNC drive systems and when they took a look at the Baldor they laughed and said it would NEVER work EVER! Clearly this Baldor motor is a real piece of junk and the motor shop said that if Enco spec'd this motor they screwed up big time.... but it would be a good motor to run a largish blower.

        With their help we finally found a solution to the problem that didn't cost us a ton more money and we still have the option now at any time to go with a solid state drive should we decide to.

        This motor shop led us to a Leeson Electric 3 phas emetric frame 3 phase motor that was a bolt in equivelemt of the single phase Baldor. As it also turns out the Chineese are not completely stupid and the motor control box was very easy to configure for three phase and while we were doing so we also discovered that tyhe main terminal strip that is used in the control box is extremely substandard and had several broken terminals that were hidden inside the plastic part. So we also replaced this terminal strip with a higher quality Phoenix modular strip that fit right in place of the old one and was very sturdy.

        So now this 13 X 40 is set up and running on 3 phase power and is smoother than when we ran the 220 wired motor on 120 volts... amazing difference indeed and alsoa much better surface finish than before as well. Now this lathe is a real good runner and is pretty accurate too.

        The result if this experience was to find out that Enco speced an improper single phase motor... funny as when you call Enco to tell them they just ignore you and refer you to Baldor since its their motor. We also discovered that Baldor is also not a company that will tell the truth about a product they manufacture... sure they offered us more of the same motor but provided no clue that it may have been spec'd wrong. The only way to go with this lathe is to buy it from another source with the Chineese built single phase motor or buy it from Enco set up for three phase to begin with. We suspect that we would not have had any problem if we had done this in the first place but the metric frame Leeson is a much better made motor anyway and only cost us 200.00. We left the Baldor at the motor dealer that helped us out in a honest fashion and told he he now had a new door stop.

        Would I buy another Enco product..... NEVER! I would also only buy any future machine tool set up for three phase even if I had to use a phase converter as the resulting smoothness of operation on 3 phase is simply amazing. Also, once you are set for three phase then a solid state drive module can drive just about any 3 phase motor as well.

        Mark


        P.S. anyone that ends up with one of these lathes and that single phase Baldor motor WILL have the same problem we encountered!!


        [This message has been edited by Mark A. Gulbrandsen (edited 08-06-2005).]

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        • #5
          Single phase forever? Once you go to silky smooth three phase motors run from a VFD from single phase you'll never go back to single phase motors.

          O' course it IS spendy for all but the truly obsessed. I had 7 machines on VFD's workin' on replacing the VFD on one.

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          • #6
            I completely agree with you on that. We use alot of VFD drives on cinema projectors. Projectors we equip with VFD drives never ever have gear train problems. For the lathe I just don't really need any more speeds than the gear head provides to me right now. But adding a VFD drive unit at any time is now a piece of cake.

            For those that got the shaft from Enco with the Baldor motor at least now there is a reasonably priced fix that anyone can go out and buy and its really pretty easily install the motor and conver the controls to 3 phase. If those that have the single phase want to get the maximum performance out of the lathe then they should convert it to 3 phase of some sort. Since this motor is a single speed motor it will also run nicely off a static phase converter, or off the 3 phase generated by a rotary converter. Just depends on how much you want to spend making 3 phase.

            Mark

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            • #7
              Deleted accidental reply with quote....

              [This message has been edited by Mark A. Gulbrandsen (edited 08-06-2005).]

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              • #8
                Mark,

                This thread is very interesting. Did the shop ever tell you exactly what was wrong with it?

                I once brought a "chinese" motor to a shop for evaluation thinking it was going to be junk and to my surprise they told me it was built just fine. Hey, he even told me that a Baldor motor probably wouldn't be any better. Gee, now I wonder what he meant???

                Actually that "chinese" motor has been working just fine for eight years now.

                Mike

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                • #9
                  I guess I'm not reding this corectly - you had it wired for 220v. but ran it on 120v.?

                  If it ran well, I can only assume they had the leads mislabelled or it was a faulty motor in terms of its internal winding connections.

                  If you ran a normal motor at half voltage it would hardly run at all and not for long.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Mike,
                    The shop found no problems with the Baldor motor except that its not the type of motor that anyone that knows anything about machinery would have spec'd, that was Enco's fault totally as they spec'd the motor and it was a custom job by Baldor. The Baldor warranty station we delt with (Diamond Electric) was an absolute joke and would not make any comment one way or the other for us. We only happened upon a local motor dealer(also a Baldor dealer)by accident that happened to specialize in CNC machinery drives. He just happened ran an honest motor shop and gave us an honest opinion which turned out to be 100% correct "the motor did not have enough iron in it". He said thats just the way the Baldor motor was made and it would be just fine for something like running a large squirrel cage blower or a pump, but not on a crotical application like a machine tool.


                    Greg,
                    That single phase Baldor motor is a current pig no matter how its connected. 11 amps no load on 220 volts is a rediclous amount of current for a 2 hp motor to draw. We thought exactly that they had either mis-labeled it of wound it wrong. When it was wired for 220 volts and running on 120 the Baldor motor ran silky smooth and drew about 8 amps. In either configuration the Baldor motor runs VERY hot but it ran just fine for over 8 months on 120 volts but wired for 220. I completed several big jobs with the motor wired and running this way. Only real heavy cuts would bog it down.

                    Funny thing was that I owned the identical lathe about 8 to 10 years back when I lived in Chicago. The Enco operation there was a very amazing place and still owned by the same family that started the company way back during WW-2... huge warehouse and parts department and such and you could inspect ANY new machne under the power(single or 3 phase) of your choice. At any rate mine also had the Chinese motor was single phase 220 and ran just fine. It was a larger motor that the Baldor and obviously has alot more iron in it.

                    I also owned the large floor mill with 54" table. It had some minor problems with the quill returning after release during boring operations. Enco solved that by sending a machinery mechanic out to repair it at no charge and this after I had it way over 90 days! Today you get a 30 day limited warranty from Enco and no more.... Indeed this company is nothing more than just a name today.

                    Mark

                    [This message has been edited by Mark A. Gulbrandsen (edited 08-06-2005).]

                    [This message has been edited by Mark A. Gulbrandsen (edited 08-06-2005).]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      .


                      [This message has been edited by Wirecutter (edited 01-28-2006).]
                      The curse of having precise measuring tools is being able to actually see how imperfect everything is.

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                      • #12
                        I just bought one of these exact lathes for work. Thank God theres a really good electric motor shop up the road.

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                        • #13
                          I would guess that the motor was a result of ACAP... "As Cheap As Possible" mentality.. I am surprised Baldor would get into that rut, but I guess they are trying to survive, like the rest of us... On the note of motors, back in the late 80's, I bought an Old Sigourney Drill press. I took it to a motor shop to get motor checked out before I plugged it in. It was marked 1/4 HP, the guy there said it was more motor than the One horse ones made now... by the way, it had a tag on it where it was on a Navy ship in 1943......

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I can't add anything to the Baldor saga but I do have one of those ENCO lathes you mention. Mine came in 1997 and was supplied with a Marathon Electric of Indiana motor. It rumbled so bad I was thinking of buying ear protectors but the rumbling also caused a moire pattern on the work. To make it a short story. I eventually discovered that the drive belt was too tight. So how tight or how loose should it be? So loose you can stall the spindle and the motor continues to run. I was going to look for a softer more compliant V belt than the Chinese made one but so far everything is ok. If anyone has information and a good V belt please pass it on.
                            A problem with the ENCO lathe that another machinist also has is the contactor for the motor gets stuck on and you cannot turn the motor off unless you hit the panic button. You can also bang hard on the electronics box and jar the contactor loose. Operation can be normal for weeks and then it get an attack of being stuck and it becomes a major PITA. Short of replacing the contactor/relay does anyone have a cure?
                            Other than those glitches the ENCO lathe has done a great job for me and would recommend to anyone not too critical of lousy Chinese finishing/paint jobs. Not pretty but real functional. <GGG>
                            Cheap too. I got it when sales were slow and I got it on sale with free shipping including lift gate delivery. How could I complain?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't have an Enco Lathe but would like to know what the heck happened to Baldor? They once were one of the better motor manufacturers on the market. Baldor buffers and grinders are supposedly the best out there. I actually bought 4 brand new, still in the box, Baldor motors off of ebay. I put one, a 115v 1/2 hp capacitor start single phase motor on my Dayton drill press and had no problems. How could these clunker motors migrate from the Baldor factory and end up on these Chinese lathes?
                              Any ideas or guesses?
                              Ed
                              Ed Pacenka

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