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Problem with 1997 Haas VF-10 Mill Z-Axis Noise and drive error 163


Jun 16, 2023
Hi all,
I have been having some trouble with my 1997 Haas VF-10 mill recently. Intermittently, but now more frequently, the Z-axis is making a high pitched whining noise whether moving or holding in position and eventually throws an Error 163 fault for a drive fault, the error claims it is an overload.

I initially thought it was because the counterbalance pressures were low because the Z-axis would sag on power-off (around 1000 PSI, last filled 4 years ago) so I had them recharged to 1175 PSI each and had the hydraulic fluid drained and refilled to 2 quarts in each nitrogen tank. The error still persists, although the Z-axis no longer has the power-off or estop sag issue.

I have posted a video below on Google drive showing the problem. Anyone have any ideas of what to look for or where to start? I've already tried re-seating the connectors for the Z-axis encoder and the low/high voltage connections on the Z-axis servo amplifier. No fault light comes on the servo amplifiers when the error occurs. I've looked at the service manual, but it only mentions amplifier shorts, servo shorts, or cable shorts which I don't believe to be the issue because then it wouldn't be an intermittent issue nor would I be able to clear the error if that was the case.

Is this a mechanical issue or is there some parameters for the Z drive that I could change (filtering, PID gains, etc)?

Video of me demonstrating the noise that leads up to the error tripping: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1j6U72uzBZ3NexQgUYLHiId7Hutd9wT0F/view?usp=sharing

Image of the error screen after it trips: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kOxts5vgFd6fgrlza0RneU4HoSg3CTfR/view?usp=sharing
Image of the machine serial number: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kEuQxEoHBgeUbEb4ioj26oojEaegpFop/view?usp=sharing
Image showing no fault leds on the servo amplifiers after the error trips: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kS1aOU12tT2iqyUXVWeIaBGeWK6Q98ya/view?usp=sharing

Thanks for your assistance,