How long can the Machine Run for?

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Thom Davies
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How long can the Machine Run for?

Postby Thom Davies » Wed, Aug 17 2011, 5:11PM

Hello!

We just got a very large job thats well over 1000 sheets to be done in 6 weeks. My question is there any time limit to how long the machine can run for? like for over heating and stuff? Cos its prob gonna be running for like 24 hours a day or more!

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Re: How long can the Machine Run for?

Postby Dean B. Webb » Wed, Aug 17 2011, 5:26PM

There should be no limit as long as you keep it maintained. Grease/oil when required and keep the filters on the A/C unit clean.
We have run ours 24/7 without any problems. We routinely run 12-13 hour long programs, unload and load new material and start it again without any major problems.
Clean the tool holders as needed and keep it cutting.

Good luck with your job.

Dean

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Re: How long can the Machine Run for?

Postby Neville Bastian » Wed, Aug 17 2011, 7:35PM

Hi Thom, We also have run the machine for a few 14 hr days. No real problems when its normal weather but when hits the mid 30's sometimes we get these unknown freak outs. Although we have a aircondioner it seems to build up heat.
I'd be inclinded to set up a pedistal fan to get air flow happening near the intake vents. This should be a no or low cost insurance solution.
Regards
Neville
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Re: How long can the Machine Run for?

Postby darren m harvey » Fri, Aug 19 2011, 6:09AM

Thom, we just ran a 189 sheet job. i was nervous about the same problem. but our machine ran like a jem. we did have one broken bit, and the humidity did have the affect with our head picking up a tool (steel wool fixed that every-morning). other then that it went great. good luck!

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Re: How long can the Machine Run for?

Postby Georgi Baltov » Fri, Aug 19 2011, 9:01AM

Did you guys have problem with the computer trying to nest all those sheets? I've notice that when ever I try to nest more than 40 sheets the computer takes a long time to calculate machining and nesting. We use all dovetail boxes and blind dado construction.

When you say 189 sheets - what parts are you talking about? Materials and construction?

How old is your machine? May be the new computers can handle the load.

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Re: How long can the Machine Run for?

Postby darren m harvey » Fri, Aug 19 2011, 9:21AM

when the guy sent over all the TWD's we nested them, and then went through by the different types of materials. this guy was using at lease 5 types of material for one cabinet (no kidding). that worked real well for us and the way the materials were placed in our shop. so, we got the TWD, nested it and filtered through the materials, and ran the router. i hope this helped- Darren

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Re: How long can the Machine Run for?

Postby darren m harvey » Sun, Aug 21 2011, 7:46PM

Thom- here is a break down of that job we did.we ran 193 sheets and logged 31.44 hours of run time for an average of 9.77 minutes per sheet. Time includes 57 flip operations.

Other irrelevant data - it took 171,460 lines of code to cut out 1,388 pieces of cabinet parts.
The job was a mix of twd's and AutoCad generated dxf's.

The job was a conventional frameless cabinet job with lots of blind dados and line boring. Slab doors were cut including the boring for the hinges. i hope this helps you out. darren

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Re: How long can the Machine Run for?

Postby Rob Davis » Mon, Aug 22 2011, 3:26PM

Thom,
Maybe this is stating the obvious but our problem with these long running jobs is always tooling. Tools either get dull or when we do outline on sheets that have 20 parts on them , the outline tool heats up and the collet slips and then we have to rezero, new tool, etc. So, if you are not having this issue, what are you doing to prevent it so I can learn from you? Are you using the new "super life" tools or diamond or how are you keeping them sharp, cool and cutting at full rate for 1000 sheets?

Ryan Hochgesang

Re: How long can the Machine Run for?

Postby Ryan Hochgesang » Wed, Aug 24 2011, 9:34AM

Your Thermwood machinery should certainly be capable of the 24/7 operation as long as you maintain as mentioned above. I have a number of customers, beyond those of you listed in this posting, who run round the clock shifts with their machines.

Finding the ideal feed/speed is going to be your key in getting best life out of your tooling. It is best to work directly with actual tooling manufacturer for any data they might offer to help you dial in the best you can. The numbers they give you are a good starting point, then you will have to deal with part fixturing, hold down and other mechanical real world aspects of your machining process.

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Re: How long can the Machine Run for?

Postby Neville Bastian » Wed, Aug 24 2011, 10:34PM

Hi Ryan,
This is getting away from the original post. You mention keeping a track of tools, cutting speeds, RPM etc. Its a shame you can't pull a big Brother on us. I would imagine a lot of Thermwoods would have access to the internet for CN updates. If you volunteer to be part of usage stats so that we all list the tool brand and model each time we replace the tool. You then have control nesting keep a track of meters run, speed percentages, rpm and material cut, etc. That way we could benifit from the data collected. This would then influence how we set up the tooling, what tools we buy and maybe costs per meter.
I guess you would have to write a program to colate the data but this would benifit to us and the tool manufactures getting this historical data over years of use.
Not sure if anyone else would thnk this would be a good idea?
Regards

Neville
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Re: How long can the Machine Run for?

Postby Josh Rayburn » Thu, Aug 25 2011, 7:02AM

Neville,
Back in the "old days" we used to change tooling for veneer core setups so we were sure it was sharp. We couldn't run 10 sheets of MDF or Flake or melamine then switch and cut the veneer core material with those same tools so we replaced them prematurely because we didn't have the additional toolholders to keep them in the mix for less critical stuff - consequently we ended up spending a lot of money on tooling. The tool life was usually not truly reached and would have provided false information if it was tracked that way. So the point is - if we had inaccurate information like that in the mix it would be impossible to isolate good data from bad data and compile it into anything useful at the end of the day.
Now we have enough toolholders to accommodate melamine tools, a separate set for veneer core tools, a separate set for fiber products. This allows us to reach the full tooling life and we can compare tool life per material, etc. but we still find it difficult to track when the jobs are constantly changing.
In an average day, we might cut 5 sheets of melamine then switch to 20 sheets of veneer core, then switch to 20 sheets of fiber - so how is this all accounted for in an automated tracking and reporting upload?
I think overall each shop cuts a little differently and uses different tooling so tooling choice, cut quality, feed speeds, materials being cut, all that stuff would be a mound of data that would take a very sophisticated system to process and would be extremely difficult to compile into anything that made sense.
I do like to hear about other experiences with tools and setups, but it really is too specific by the job for the variety that we see on a regular basis. I wouldn't want to go through all the extra work to get the information reported accurately on my end, it would be a lot more manual work to be sure it was accurate.
So at the end of the day I guess experience is the best teacher!
jnr
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Re: How long can the Machine Run for?

Postby Neville Bastian » Thu, Aug 25 2011, 7:47PM

Hi Josh,
I see your point. There are some tools we change all the time but our production sees us cutting mainly melamine particleboard and melamine MDF. We do very little veneers or other materials. I guess we are all different in what we do. If there was a way of sorting unreliable data and good data it may be useful. It would be a advantage to me if I could compare other Thermwood owners tool results life based on all the variables that can happen. The reliability of the data may have to gauged on the number of tool changes and material cut.
Not to worry. Was just a thought.
Regards
Neville
Neville Australia

Ryan Hochgesang

Re: How long can the Machine Run for?

Postby Ryan Hochgesang » Fri, Aug 26 2011, 9:54AM

Thank you for your thoughts Neville, however, I currently do not see Thermwood adding the capability of tracking data you mention here due to the vast amt. of variables as discussed.

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Re: How long can the Machine Run for?

Postby Gerry A Brown » Tue, Aug 30 2011, 7:29AM

Hi ,

We are in the process of getting our router set up so don't have much to offer on the router side but I just read the manual for our Busch vacuum pump & this seems like it might be a concern for you if you have a Busch RA pump. Quoted from the manual.

"The oil separated by the exhaust filter element forms droplets on the outside of the exhaust filter that collect at a low point in the upper half of the exhaust box. From there the collected oil is drained back to the oil sump via an oil check valve (Ref. 275) which opens on R 5 RA model pumps when the pump is shut off. It is necessary to shut off the RA model pumps after every 8 hours of operation to allow the check valve to open. If the pump is not shut off after this time period, it is possible to starve the pump of oil since the oil is not allowed to drain back into the oil sump and/or oil droplets may be blown out of the exhaust. If the pump is operating at high pressure it may be necessary to shut it down sooner than 8 hours."

Gerry

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Re: How long can the Machine Run for?

Postby Georgi Baltov » Tue, Aug 30 2011, 1:02PM

Gerry A Brown wrote:Hi ,

We are in the process of getting our router set up so don't have much to offer on the router side but I just read the manual for our Busch vacuum pump & this seems like it might be a concern for you if you have a Busch RA pump. Quoted from the manual.

"The oil separated by the exhaust filter element forms droplets on the outside of the exhaust filter that collect at a low point in the upper half of the exhaust box. From there the collected oil is drained back to the oil sump via an oil check valve (Ref. 275) which opens on R 5 RA model pumps when the pump is shut off. It is necessary to shut off the RA model pumps after every 8 hours of operation to allow the check valve to open. If the pump is not shut off after this time period, it is possible to starve the pump of oil since the oil is not allowed to drain back into the oil sump and/or oil droplets may be blown out of the exhaust. If the pump is operating at high pressure it may be necessary to shut it down sooner than 8 hours."

Gerry


Gerry,

I do hope you give your guys and machines at least 15 min breaks from time to time. If not I hope I would never have to work in your company. :)

We've run our machines pretty hard and had no problems. We've had problem and shut downs but at most for a day. The problems have been easy to diagnose and fix - most of them by myself since our machines are off warranty.
I don't think there's another CNC I would prefer over thermwood. So despite american cars I do like their CNCs.


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