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Advice for New Large Machine Selection

Why is the idea to replace manual G&L boring mills with CNC bridge mills? Or am I missing something?

Why would you not replace them with CNC boring mills?

Also, if you're machining high-value, large one-off, time sensitive parts you're gonna have the guy standing there watching the cut whether it's manual or CNC.

I would LOVE to have the CNC version of my Kuraki HBM, but there's no way in hell I would walk away and do anything else that takes my attention away from the $50K part on the table. I would love to have a CNC HBM because of all the cool shit you can do with one and the toolchanger. It would save tons of time, but no way would it allow me to multitask much. I just don't see that happening.

G&L made/makes nice CNC HBM's. Boeing sold an almost brand new 5" G&L with full rotary and 31i Fanuc within the last year through Bidadoo for like $25k.
I would like to get a boring mill and vertical mill eventually. Starting with the vertical just because we have a touched up g&l horizontal waiting to be installed (idk why tf it hasn’t yet someone is dragging their feet higher up in engineering).

Still would be faster than how we currently operate. Took a long time to jsut put some key ways in a shaft cuz the machine likes to hop around mid cut. Cant even use our old machines the way they did in the 60s because of the condition.

For those we would have the guy watching, but making smaller (12”x12”x12”) parts from stock see as just having someone setup and start it, and be working nearby to hear anything or reload. Used to do it with one of our other machines had it running 24/7 ages ago. We won’t be able to have a guy on it all the time, too little people for too many machines. If we have a proven program for a common smaller part is it that bad to let it go on its own without someone hovering over the e stop the whole time?
 
So, there's no real incentive from the top to change, because it's as protected as protected can be. The profits, that is.
This is probably what's at play. Maintenance does not directly improve throughput or profit. Maintenance is maintenance. You need the assets to continue but, if management can kick the can a little further down the road, all the money saved is PROFIT! And maybe it can break when the next person is managing it!

I don't know what senior management turn-over looks like at the OP's company. At my last job, they seemed to all change roles every 1-2 years. Spending overhead budget was a game of hot-potato. As long as you weren't the one holding it then things went sideways, it wasn't your problem.

So the CEO flows down spending goals to each level of management. They get their annual budgets to do whatever it is they do. There is probably a 10-15% challenge goal attached to that budget. If they can save the 10-15% challenge, a portion of the savings goes directly to each manager as a year end bonus. Mid level managers could get high-5 and low 6-figure numbers where I worked. They really didn't want to give out money to buy pencils if they could find another way to do it.

The way to sell this to management like that is showing what a typical breakdown would cost in lost revenue. If a line shuts down for two months because some critical component broke and nobody can make a new one or even repair the old one, that will wake them up. Show them how you have a dwindling number of remaining machines in the area (internal and external) to do the repair. No CEO wants to be holding that when production stops, all the labor goes on overhead and delivery pay dates and late fines start passing.
 
I'm sure OP is working at a steel mill or a rolling mill, almost certainly making thick sections of specialty steel in support of a shipyard.

So, there's no real incentive from the top to change, because it's as protected as protected can be. The profits, that is.
Pretty darn close. Disgusting how many millions of dollars are thrown away for stupid crap that easily can be prevented. We still turn a profit it’s mind boggling. We would make a killing if everyone got on board and just did their job.
 
This is probably what's at play. Maintenance does not directly improve throughput or profit. Maintenance is maintenance. You need the assets to continue but, if management can kick the can a little further down the road, all the money saved is PROFIT! And maybe it can break when the next person is managing it!

I don't know what senior management turn-over looks like at the OP's company. At my last job, they seemed to all change roles every 1-2 years. Spending overhead budget was a game of hot-potato. As long as you weren't the one holding it then things went sideways, it wasn't your problem.

So the CEO flows down spending goals to each level of management. They get their annual budgets to do whatever it is they do. There is probably a 10-15% challenge goal attached to that budget. If they can save the 10-15% challenge, a portion of the savings goes directly to each manager as a year end bonus. Mid level managers could get high-5 and low 6-figure numbers where I worked. They really didn't want to give out money to buy pencils if they could find another way to do it.

The way to sell this to management like that is showing what a typical breakdown would cost in lost revenue. If a line shuts down for two months because some critical component broke and nobody can make a new one or even repair the old one, that will wake them up. Show them how you have a dwindling number of remaining machines in the area (internal and external) to do the repair. No CEO wants to be holding that when production stops, all the labor goes on overhead and delivery pay dates and late fines start passing.
I am sure it's a large corp and is exactly what is happening as usual.
It's in the end the top realizes the math was wrong.

it's the classic room rental quiz.

3 men go into a hotel. The man behind the desk says a room is $30 so each man pays $10 and goes to the room.

A while later the man behind the desk realized the room was only $25 so he sent the bellboy to the 3 guys' room with $5. On the way the bellboy couldn't figure out how to split $5 evenly between 3 men, so he gave each man a $1 and kept the other $2 for himself.

This meant that the 3 men each paid $9 for the room, which is a total of $27 add the $2 that the bellboy kept = $29. Where is the other dollar?
 
And jumping over dollars to save pennies.

Sometimes the little people don't know the bigger game at play.

I have some friends that own businesses, I interact with their employee's on the regular, a lot have the same complaint of, "it could be better if"

What they don't know is the $ resources that are needed to make it better, are being used in other diversified assets that yield a higher ROI than a shitty machine shop.

But the lowly employee isn't hip to any of this.

I've worked a machine shop that I was told made no profits, Its place was just their to support an injection molding shop, which is where the profits were being made.
Some things have to be considered a system though, as I iterated to the owner, because without the machine shop, the molding shop couldn't exist, because it created injection molds at cost.

A lot of variables the employee doesn't know. :D
With how ungodly high our maintenance budget is already, if this shop closed today the entire place won’t be too far behind. I’d give it a couple years. Somehow we turn profits and the company is still dumping money to shine up the turd of a place as well. Hopeful things will start to move in the right direction, but hope isn’t something I wanna rely on. Hell if we greased bearings we could save upwards of $300k/year, probably more.
 
I've worked at a lot of different places, not one has required corporate approval to grease bearings. Not even managerial approval. Supervisor, maybe.
 
This is probably what's at play. Maintenance does not directly improve throughput or profit. Maintenance is maintenance. You need the assets to continue but, if management can kick the can a little further down the road, all the money saved is PROFIT! And maybe it can break when the next person is managing it!

I don't know what senior management turn-over looks like at the OP's company. At my last job, they seemed to all change roles every 1-2 years. Spending overhead budget was a game of hot-potato. As long as you weren't the one holding it then things went sideways, it wasn't your problem.

So the CEO flows down spending goals to each level of management. They get their annual budgets to do whatever it is they do. There is probably a 10-15% challenge goal attached to that budget. If they can save the 10-15% challenge, a portion of the savings goes directly to each manager as a year end bonus. Mid level managers could get high-5 and low 6-figure numbers where I worked. They really didn't want to give out money to buy pencils if they could find another way to do it.

The way to sell this to management like that is showing what a typical breakdown would cost in lost revenue. If a line shuts down for two months because some critical component broke and nobody can make a new one or even repair the old one, that will wake them up. Show them how you have a dwindling number of remaining machines in the area (internal and external) to do the repair. No CEO wants to be holding that when production stops, all the labor goes on overhead and delivery pay dates and late fines start passing.
You’re spot on. Our can has been kicked to the moon and back.

Only the top manager of the site has changed more frequently from what I have heard, a couple changes happened when I started, but they moved up after like 5 years in that position. We actually have a problem with holding onto managers who shouldn’t be there way too long.

I hate the idea of bonus systems like that, good way to run the place into the ground penny pinching.

That was my plan, seems like no one really has thought about it because we have always delivered when needed. Recently we have been cutting it very close on almost shutting down, took us 4 days to fix parts made wrong on the outside one time. We constantly have to fix parts made on the outside slightly and it really kills us. When I brought up a new machine the maintenance manager said “well don’t you have this one?” And I had to break it to him it can’t even use an end mill on it because it will chatter to the point it messes up the part. Seems like he’s getting the gist he just told me I have to rationalize the purchase.
 
I've worked at a lot of different places, not one has required corporate approval to grease bearings. Not even managerial approval. Supervisor, maybe.
Nope no approval here. It’s funny how the bearing all show up with fresh grease when they blow up, but when you clean them up they’re rusted and obvious signs of lack of lubrication. They hear it making a noise and pump it full. We got rid of our lubrication crew back when the economy was bad apparently and the guys just don’t wanna do it when they’re not torching apart stuff. They get paid the same to sit and wait for it to break again the same as greasing so why not. Don’t align shaft assemblies worth 100k+ properly so we eat through gears like it’s thanksgiving. So many basic maintenance practices overlooked and even when we make specific plans and tell the managers to do it, they dont hold anyone accountable. Gonna chase our tails until we get new management who has a spine or isn’t checked out waiting for retirement.
 
Organizational culture and clueless management aside, you need to look at Awea bridge mills.

Pretty good value for money. Okuma? In those specs? Why?
We had one in Kunshan ... not a huge one, maybe two meters in Y, twice that in X.

It wasn't very good. It did the job okay but I wouldn't recommend one ... the construction was cheesy, the spindle feeble and not well-designed, tool changer kind of finicky, I think they got it for cheap. It made big flat plates mostly okay but if I were in the market, I'd look for something better built. The whole thing sort of vibrated when you were taking a cut. Not saying Okuma, just a little nicer than the Awea.
 
Soo much feedback.
I have 8 Mazaks here with VMC and MSY lathes in the mix. ALL programming is with Mazatrol. Because I learned it with the 640 FUSION T/M series, and easily enough picked it up with the new SMOOTH controls. I did have a 60" x 144" FANUC router and hated the damn thing. Why? Because I had Master Cam to program it from my own CAD drawings....................in my freekin office. Length of the plant away and 2 flights of stairs up. Very seldom had the option of bringing the laptop to the machine. Riggers took it away 2 years ago. Somebody else loves it now.
Just why do I keep to Mazatrol??? Because I am a manufacturer and also a product designer. I have several mobile desks with laptops or full blown CAD systems on them and do all Mazatrol programming at the machine with a CAD system running smack next to the control while I write the programs on the control. And have wireless keyboard and mouse for the Mazaks next to CAD wireless keyboard and mouse for CAD. Often tweek designs on the fly as I program.
Why is that right? Right for me because I am running a manufacturing business and most programs are written and called up by operators for YEARS. And conversational is awesome because some minor material anomaly may require a tweek to keep things flowing.
But every case is different.
You need a very large machine and you also need CAM to broaden your choice. Good CAM will make any machine usable by anybody who can use the CAM seat. Teach a man to twiddle a crank and you may get a good part on one specific machine. Teach him to use CAM/CAD and any machine will make good parts.
Yeah, I have a nice seat of MasterCam lathe and mill. Have not used it for 3? years? I am pretty sure it is a real nice program. If I had different parts throughout the day I would learn more about it. But 1 or 2 odd parts every few months? Not worth the learning curve. IN MY SITUATION!
 








 
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