We are looking for a new VMC, probably in the Haas, Fadal, Leadwell class.
I was wondering if anyone is familiar with the Fadal FX machines. These
have Fanuc controls and servos. The local rep has a really nice package
at a nice price for the 4020 FX machine.
I am familiar with Haas machines and controls, currently have a VF0 that
will have to go after the new machine is put on order. (No room for 2
The Leadwell V40 at IMTS seemed really nice. Looked really well laid out
seemed a step above the Haas and Fadal.
We are a small shop with a cnc lathe and the above Haas VMC as well as some
manual equipment looking to upgrade.
Any help welcomed
The FX series are great machines and I say that from hands on experience.
They are about the same as the HAAS but not up to an FX.
Of the three the FADAL is the best value hands down but it probably won't be
Pricing, as you must know, can be almost as flexible as is necessary but you
have to make apples to apples comparisons.
What's the diff between a fanuc fadal and the 88 hs?
In the affordable range, I don't think anyone here has anything *but* Haas'
and Fadal's. Someone mentioned a sharpe, someone else some years ago had a
Viper, Haas, and Fadal, and said the Viper won out hands down.
I like the Fadal cuz you can set it on fire, and with just a cupla trips to
NJ and very low $$, it will run fine again.
Oh, a shout out to Electronic Drives and Controls, Parsippany, NJ,
electonicdrives.com, who got my spindle inverter going again.
Very, very good people -- they even *held me* as I bawled my eyes out,
groveling, in their waiting room.... please..... pleeeeease help me.....
Fadal deals with them, as well.
Hurco supposedly makes a nice machine that works both conversationally AND
with g-code, AND is 30x20 (not 30x16). $69K or thereabouts.
Hurco's conversational is much easier than g-code.
I was doing a pita series of parts today, for my Hurco komrade who's in the
middle of a move to a new shop, and doing a lot of editing at the fadal, as
the part series varied regularly in one dimension, AND the setup was really
screwed up. I could see his eyes glaze over.
The Hurco tech said a lot of small shops don't fare well with g-code.
The Haas pendant, tho, looks like it's from effing Star Trek, altho the
abbreviated keyboard looks like it would be a real pita.
I wonder what that pendant/control can do, that others can't, or mebbe it's
all moot anyway, with cadcam.
I know I monkeyed around on a Haas once for a cupla minutes, and that
goddamm thing would alarm out *immediately* if you just touched the table
limits, manually. Re-start up was then an effing pita.
The fadal lets you go right up, and just stops moving. It will only alarm
out if you hit the limits in a program. I thought that was a very nice
touch. And if it does alarm out, all's you gotta do is hit the jog key and
wait a cupla seconds.
The older fadals (88 hs ) won't vertically interpolate in g68 (coord
rotation), and a cupla other minor things.
The fadal people say theses fadals are sensitive to quality power. Now,
altho I did manage to set mine on fire, this was done by running the 208
taps at 240+ V, and one leg at near-270 V. goodgawd....
Actually, the fadal ran pretty good like this, until it just couldn't take
And with the right voltage taps utilized, it runs well on really crappy
rotary converters, *all* of which need to be rewired to function properly.
Altho the diy-web "literature" on rpc's is extensive, it is my personal
opinion that they largely miss the essential points, and take an awfully
long time in doing so.
A good alternative, something I might have done in hindsight, is get digital
3 ph converters, which is pricey ($5-10K), but sounds really really nice.
The partial point to this rant is that the notion of "inherent quality"
transcends bells and whistles. It's hard to communicate the *real* quality
of something without bells and whistles, as B&Ws are so alluring -- ax
Like my buddy's Kellogg-American compressor -- big, shitty, dirty, grimey,
but has run 30+ years, I suspect a good part of that time without oil. Puts
out over 180 psi.
Ditto old fans, stereo equipment, and cars, if they haven't rusted out.
Even window glass!
Progress is indeed a mixed blessing -- high tech shit.
I have also found the MidAtlantic cnc-fadal peeple to be very
helpful/honest. They used to have regular cnc-g-gode classes, proly still
do, just not as often.
I think these product-oriented threads are among the most valuable topics,
yet don't get a lot of play, for some reason.
Would be nice to have people "review" their own machines, esp. on a
comparative basis, if they are so lucky as to be able to compare.
Sheeit, I must be lonely.....
WOW talk about reccomendations from opposite ends of the spectrum.
John, who knows what he is doing and DT who shows the durability of
the Fadal by putting his machine through survival training.
Well according to the sales guy, the fanuc has faster processing
and the rapids and cutting speeds are up also. More importantly to
us is that the Fanuc is about 4K less the Fadal control.
I am going to try real hard to not duplicate this test of
The Haas control can't do anything more than the others, but it is
very nicely laid out and easy to get around. There seems to be
very little difference in the layout of the older controls (our VF0
is a '94) and the new ones. The new ones do have more info on the
screen by a ling shot. The new ones have about 3 or 4 pages of info
compared to my '94.
The Fanucs seem to take 2 or 3 steps to do the same thing that the
Haas can do with 1 button.
While we were looking at the Fadals at IMTS we took a look at the
Infimatic control that is going to be offered for the Fadals and
all the other MAG machines as well. It was very nice and seemed
well thought out. We even ask the local rep about it and they
checked to see if it was available. Seems that they are still
being beta tested. It seems that the local rep is very reluctant
to even talk about these controls, seems they bit a big one with
Fadals last control experiment. You may remember Black Dragons
exciting times with it. This one probably has a better chance of
success with all of MAG behind it.
Thankfully we have true 3 phase at our shop.
We have an older Quincy that just keeps on ticking and pretty quite
for a piston compressor. The automatic tank blow is more annoying
than the the compressor.
The Texas rep seems to be very customer oriented as well. They all
seem to be during the sale. ;)
I am hoping that barring some stupidity on my part that I don't
have to find out about their service..
John, thanks for the reply, yours is an opinion I value.
We sent out RFQS to Haas, the local Fadal rep, and the Leadwell
distributer and had them configured as alike as we could without
knowing the actual options (except for Haas whose is online). Got
two replies and the Fadal is the best by quite a bit. The Texas
rep. has a package called the Texas edition that has several
desirable options tossed into close to the base price. The fanuc
0I control is almost fully optioned by Fadal, so except for the
remote possibility of wanting 5th axis there isn't much to ask for
there. I have a couple of further questions for them but will
probably pull the trigger tomorrow.
I think Fadal has been energized, after being bought by Mag. Mag may be
bigger than Haas, and Fadal may become even more of a player in machine
Mag seems to have kept the Fadal arm largely intact, including Neal, who
used to post here. He gave up, is over on PM or cnczone.
Ask them to throw in a 5-10 year service warrantee -- see who blinks. :)
Well, I would love to have gotten a Matsusurra, Mazak, Makino or
other high end machine, but this is a big upgrade for us. If you
have several Fadals then you must have thought they were ok and
either they are getting the job done for you or they are spare
parts. I hope it is the former.
We are going from a 1994 Haas VF0 to the Fadal, so I think that
this is like going from a Fadal to a Mazak. :-) Hopefully soon we
can make the move to high end machine in the near future.
The linear way machines still run fine, a 1998 and a 1996 model
Our oldest Fadal ( a 1991 4020 ) is likely to become a parts machine soon,
the spindle is once again beginning to sound like a siren, ( I have spare
bearings in my desk drawer ) the monitor occasionally quits working ( I have
an old vic commodore monitor on the bench I can use instead if needed ),
and just I robbed the y axis motor for another machine where the tach isnt
putting out a velocity signal ( no biggee I have spare brushes )--Sadly Ive
developed knee problems and its physically too difficult for me to work on
mostly due to its size....a sad end but then again it has certainly paid
Sounds like they have paid their way. 17 years for a budget VMC that has
been in semi production (my guess) sounds good to me.
Good luck with the knees, my wife is going thru knee problems. No fun at
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