My New VMC….Need advice for tooling up

Dear All:

This forum has been a tutor to me — helping a lot with essentials of machine tools, cutting tools and what not!

Finally after having 3# CNC lathes, we are upgrading our shop with a VMC with 4th Axis Rotary. Need basic help here for tooling it up! The machine is Indian make, LM guide ways for all axes, Fanuc 0imD controller, 400x350x500 axes capacity, 600×350 pallet size, single pallet, 20 tools ATC.

Here’s what I have been listing:
1. Few ER25 collet chucks and a set of collets
2. Side Lock Adaptors
3. Roughing Mills — prefereble 4# inserts, Dia 40 or so.
4. Finishing End Mills (not decided what size yet)
5. Standard Drill Chuck

We would be machining almost steel all the times (medium carbon and alloy steels).
Kindly advise: What is better to hold Endmills and Drills ? Side Locks or Collets ?

Please add to the list if I am forgetting a few tools.

Thanks !

Magnesium fire safety

I work at a factory that uses a CNC to make magnesium parts. As im sure you all know magnesium fires can be pretty serious especially when shavings are involved. We are looking into an automatic fire detection and suppression system to install in the CNC machine.

I was wondering, have any of you guys heard of such a system or have any experience dealing with magnesium fires, particularly in an industrial setting? We would prefer to avoid dry agents as the clean up in the machine would be an issue and we want to minimize stop time on our machine.

Any information you can provide me could be very much appreciated, i can also provide more information if requested about our machine if necessary.

Do you use G73 on a Fanuc lathe

How do you machine a job with a non-monotonic variation in surface profile, i.e., with radial or axial undercuts, if Type II G71 / G72 cycles are not available? May use a CAM software if you have access to it. That is perfectly okay. But, how do you machine a workpiece obtained by casting or forging with only slightly oversized dimensions, say, about 2 mm? One cannot use G70 because removing 2-3 mm material in one pass may not be permissible. G71 or G72 would be too inefficient because the tool would cut in air most of the time. One can, of course, use a CAM software where the initial shape may be appropriately defined, but that also requires additional modeling time as well as software expertise. G73, on the other hand, can very quickly machine it to the final size in just a few passes (depending on the chosen depth of cut in one pass and the amount of over-size). G73 is designed mainly for such applications only. With G73 properly understood, the manual part programming would never be the same again!

Can I use Variables and Logic Statements in the G-Code

We recently ordered a CAMaster Stinger I with a WinCNC control. In a previous job I ran a few CNC machines and programmed G-Code without ever running into a code that didn’t work (I assumed all controls supported pretty much all G-Code).

Trying to use a standard variable such as #100 returns a syntax error. Maybe WinCNC calls out their variables differently?
Trying to set up an IF THEN statements returns the error “Multiple Commands” leading me to believe the control doesn’t understand the word IF…

Reading through the manual for the WinCNC, I cannot find any references to using variables or Logic (IF THEN statements or GOTO statements).

Does anyone have any experience with programming a WinCNC controller? Is there any way to use a variable or a Logic statement?

Coolant for tapping aluminum

Is there a good coolant that can be used for cutting aluminum but more specifically for tapping? I’ve tried many different things to tap in the machine but the coolant we have just doesn’t cut it. The aluminum sticks to everything. Its a synthetic coolant. We cut mostly aluminum. Rare times we cut steel but most cases I don’t use coolant anyway for it. Any recommendations for a coolant more specific to aluminum?
I know its the coolant cause as soon as I use cutting oil (A-9) the tapped hole comes out beautiful. Problem is I have the safety disabled on the door temporarily for this reason. When an operator is running it, he cannot use the oil.

Cheap grade of steel that is decent to work with? Customer requesting “whatever”

Apparently the barn door is wide open on a bunch of parts for a customer. Print just says “steel” and customer confirms, he don’t care… They will be welded up though. I think parts for fixtures.

What is a good grade to quote up in about 1/4 and 3/8 plate? Would narrow profiles be any cheaper than a big sheet? We usually only work with specific 4000 steels.

If someone has an idea on cost/lb, feel free to throw it in. I am figuring around $2/lb.

Advice on used Tree (Kira?) VTC-30

Howdy folks! I have been reading PM for some time, and have gotten tons of good advice on here, and now have a specific question I couldn’t already find (generally) answered.

I am looking at a used Tree VTC-30 (I have seen these also referenced as Kira brand, not sure?). The seller is a job shop not too far from us that hasn’t used it for a few years and is moving in a bigger machine.
They are asking $3000. They say the ways are in fair to good condition (haven’t checked them yet), the machine holds good accuracy (about .001?) last time they used it, and the toolchanger works, etc.
The controller is a Fanuc O-Mate setup for RS-232.

The kicker is that there is a problem with the brake / clutch on the z-axis. The guy I talked to says it throws a servo alarm, and that it’s just because the brake/clutch is ‘too tight’. He’s thought about removing the clutch but then couldn’t do rigid tapping.

I have little experience with CNC, as I’ve run mainly manual, although I have done some work with small (Roland and Tormach) machines in a couple shops I worked with. I’m an engineer primarily, not a machinist, though I do have a friend who has significant experience *running* (not repairing) CNC mills who has agreed to go with us and look at it.

We are putting together a prototyping shop (small ag equipment, consumer items, and possibly some medical equipment), and this will be the primary piece of machining equipment for the first few years. Our budget is tiny (which is why we are looking at this). My question is … does this sound like a big problem, or a potential money sink? Particularly with the z-axis problem – a disaster, or probably a simple fix? Any ways of checking it if/when I look at it?

Thank y’all!