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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Haas Mills > Air Consumption on older Haas?
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  1. #1
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    Air Consumption on older Haas?

    I have a 1993 VF3 that I recently moved into my shop and while getting it up and running I noticed an air leak from around the spindle. After removing the covers I found the culprit, which appears to be part of the drawbar mechanism(solenoid?). It is located at the base of the spindle motor on the left side. It is constantly leaking air while the machine is powered on not just while changing tools; I can't recall if it leaks while the machine off, I don't think it does but I can check that later today.
    This is the only leak I can detect and it is draining air like crazy; I have a 150PSI 60 gallon tank just for this machine and it will be empty in 15 minutes. This seems pretty significant to me, is it possible that the switch is broken, or maybe some other line is plugged? I didn't see anything that looked out of place so I'm fairly certain some other line didn't pop off...

  2. #2
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    Either a switch or a solenoid valve malfunction. There is airflow through the spindle during a tool change and for a few minutes after. It could just be something stuck as a result of using wet or oily air but probably the simple solution is to replace the solenoid valve.
    An open mind is a virtue...so long as all the common sense has not leaked out.

  3. #3
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    Anytime the spindle is turned on, air will come out around it. It will shut off after 2-3 minutes. No air is used when the machine is sitting idle. So, let it sit for a few minutes and plug anything that leaks after that.

    If it uses a lot of air when the spindle is on, check that the secondary regulator in the back for the spindle is set to 15 psi I think it is. No higher.

    Mike
    Two Haas VF-2's, Haas HA5C, Haas HRT-9, Hardinge CHNC 1, Bother HS-300 Wire EDM, BobCAD V23, BobCAD V28

  4. #4
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    It leaks constantly.

    I could feel air blasting out of that solenoid when I put my hand next to it. I checked out our VF3 at work and it makes no where near the racket the one at home does.
    I do recall that I tried to plug the leak with my finger and it caused the drawbar spring widget to move, which makes me think that maybe it is intentional; it just seems like its bleeding too much air for that.

    I will check that regulator, if that was set to high then maybe that's the culprit, if not I will try replacing the solenoid.

  5. #5
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    Quote Originally Posted by evanse89 View Post
    It leaks constantly.

    I could feel air blasting out of that solenoid when I put my hand next to it. I checked out our VF3 at work and it makes no where near the racket the one at home does.
    I do recall that I tried to plug the leak with my finger and it caused the drawbar spring widget to move, which makes me think that maybe it is intentional; it just seems like its bleeding too much air for that.

    I will check that regulator, if that was set to high then maybe that's the culprit, if not I will try replacing the solenoid.
    That should indicate that a solenoid is stuck. Trace back and replace or clean.

    Mike
    Two Haas VF-2's, Haas HA5C, Haas HRT-9, Hardinge CHNC 1, Bother HS-300 Wire EDM, BobCAD V23, BobCAD V28

  6. #6
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    I believe it should be 100psi and 4cfm?

  7. #7
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    It leaks even when the machine is not turned on-the middle port facing the spindle motor is open/empty, should there be something there? I also cannot find an exact match on the model #, I will try calling HAAS but maybe somebody here knows if I can replace it with something similar? Part # is 55B-11-PI-111BA
    Attachment 262586
    (Picture is representative, not the actual part)

    I also checked the smaller regulator in the back, it looks to be broken as well. I turned it all the way open and the reading didn't change though it just occurred to me that maybe this is caused by the leak and there is no way to maintain any pressure?
    I didn't realize this only registers pressure while the spindle is running...

    DIY, the main reg on the machine is set to 85 PSI and my compressor is 60 gallons at 150 PSI. How are your machines looking? You actually snaked them out from under me! I went down and took a look but hesitated about 6 hours too long!

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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    After looking at some exploded diagrams and pictures I believe there is supposed to be one of those bronze filters in that port-that would explain why it is leaking so much-I have a brass fitting in there but its pretty much just a big hole.

  9. #9
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    Quote Originally Posted by evanse89 View Post
    After looking at some exploded diagrams and pictures I believe there is supposed to be one of those bronze filters in that port-that would explain why it is leaking so much-I have a brass fitting in there but its pretty much just a big hole.
    No, the bronze filter is just to limit the noise of the air coming out when it is supposed to. It will not prevent any leaks. You need to track the leak down, back trace it and fix it.

    Mike
    Two Haas VF-2's, Haas HA5C, Haas HRT-9, Hardinge CHNC 1, Bother HS-300 Wire EDM, BobCAD V23, BobCAD V28

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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    That is the leak. Maybe the solenoid is stuck open as well as the muffler/filter missing-I will try to clean it as an interim fix while I order up a replacement.

    While it was assembled I could reach in and cover that hole with my finger and trigger the drawbar (spring would compress) Doesn't that mean its working properly? That would mean that it was always open. If it is supposed to be that way then air should always be leaking through like it is.

  11. #11
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    Quote Originally Posted by evanse89 View Post
    That is the leak. Maybe the solenoid is stuck open as well as the muffler/filter missing-I will try to clean it as an interim fix while I order up a replacement.

    While it was assembled I could reach in and cover that hole with my finger and trigger the drawbar (spring would compress) Doesn't that mean its working properly? That would mean that it was always open. If it is supposed to be that way then air should always be leaking through like it is.
    No, that is not right. The valve is stuck open it seems.

    Mike
    Two Haas VF-2's, Haas HA5C, Haas HRT-9, Hardinge CHNC 1, Bother HS-300 Wire EDM, BobCAD V23, BobCAD V28

  12. #12
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    I pulled the solenoid apart, some chips had actually gotten into it through the missing filter (which I found buried in a pile of chips) so I cleaned those and replaced the filter.
    When I turn the machine on now it is substantially quieter, but air is still always flowing through that port.
    Has anyone taken that switch apart? The piston in "middle" block which triggers the plunger moves maybe <.020" but the plunger needs to move >.100" is it supposed to be that way? It looks like it may use air pressure to move the piston. Using air to switch on air seems kind of silly...

  13. #13
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    A lot of air solenoids are designed so that the electrical solenoid only switches a very small amount of air and then that small amount of air actually moves the valve (by a piston or diaphragm). That allows a much smaller solenoid which is cheaper and consumes less power.

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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    That jives with what I'm seeing.
    I popped the cover off of the VF3 at work just to see what it does and it is definitely not the same as mine. When sitting idle there is no air coming out of that port, and when it performs a tool change I can feel a quick burst of air.
    On mine there is always some air leaking, but when I perform a tool change it does the big burst; it seems to me like the switch is working just not 100% right. I reset the small regulator to 12(ish) PSI, is there anything else that could be preventing the switch from working correctly or should I just bite the bullet and order a replacement?

  15. #15
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    I can't find one with the 55B-11-PI-111BA part # but I see a lot of the 55B-12-PI-111BA. Looking in Mac Valvues catalog it looks like the 11 is 1/4" NPT and the 12 is 3/8" NPT so hopefully there is room to fit a couple of reducers once everything gets put back together...

  16. #16
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    Does anybody have a digital copy of the service manual for older machines? The stuff on Haas' website is mostly for new machines and doesn't necessarily reflect what I am working with. I've started taking it apart bit by bit to find any other troublesome issues and I would like to see a representation of how it came from the factory; I think the previous owners may have done some modifications that aren't quite up to spec...

    I am also getting a return margin error for Y axis. I was getting this with Z but I cleaned the limit and the drive dog(switcher widget?) and now it seems fixed, the Y axis one looks kind of warped. Could that be the source of the error, and how critical is the location/alignment of that?

  17. #17
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    Just to add my 2 cents and for a bit of clarity.

    The main air regulator for the machine supply air should be at 85psi. Directly off the main regulator, you should have a line that goes to a solenoid and small air regulator that supplies air/oil mix to the spindle; this should be set at 15-17psi. The air/oil solenoid should be on anytime the spindle is on and will remain on for 2-3 minutes after the spindle stops.

    This is mostly repeat information, but there are a couple of responses that are confusing or innacurate.

  18. #18
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    Quote Originally Posted by evanse89 View Post
    I am also getting a return margin error for Y axis. I was getting this with Z but I cleaned the limit and the drive dog(switcher widget?) and now it seems fixed, the Y axis one looks kind of warped. Could that be the source of the error, and how critical is the location/alignment of that?
    A damaged or sticking switch can definitely cause the zero return margin error. As long as the switch gets triggered and the axis motor reverses to back off of the switch during the homing process, all is good. Just be sure to reset your work offset any time the home switches are messed with.

    Hope this helps.

  19. #19
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    Thank you for the clarification, my new solendoid should be waiting on my doorstep so fingers are crossed that replacing that fixes all my woes.
    The return margin seems to be an intermittent error (the worst kind) so we will see if cleaning the switch solves it.

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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    Thanks for the advice, I replaced the solenoid and I'm back in business!
    Sort of...
    Now that the leaks are fixed I fired the mill back up and that pesky Y return margin rears up every time I send the machine home. I'm pretty sure when I pulled the way covers off I warped that limit switch dog; the question is how do I get that error to go away? Every time I hit the auto power up or home Y axis it comes up and I dont particularly want to redo my offsets every time I turn the machine on...

  21. #21
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    Quote Originally Posted by evanse89 View Post
    I'm pretty sure when I pulled the way covers off I warped that limit switch dog
    What EXACTLY do you mean by warped?


    Quote Originally Posted by evanse89 View Post
    the question is how do I get that error to go away?
    If you damaged or "warped" the bracket that triggers the switch, then fix what was damaged or warped. Once repaired, you may still need to adjust parameter 126 Y Grid Offset. This parameter is what tells the machine how far to turn the ball screw in order to back off the limit switch once it has been triggered.

    Quote Originally Posted by evanse89 View Post
    I dont particularly want to redo my offsets every time I turn the machine on...
    Once the problem is fixed, you will not need to reset everytime you turn the machine on.

  22. #22
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    Do a custom search here on CNCzone using 'grid offset haas' and you will find many posts dealing with this type of problem.
    An open mind is a virtue...so long as all the common sense has not leaked out.

  23. #23
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    That little flag that hits the switch is kind of twisted, I think when I was loosening the bolts near it or pulling off the side covers something got caught on it and bent it. I 'straightened' it out but it must not be back in the same spot otherwise this error would go away, I think changing that grid offset should do the trick.
    Geof I see you must be an expert with this!
    Thanks everybody!

  24. #24
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    Thanks for the protip, I reset Y and Z using the formula (Distance to Go - .118) x (Steps/Unit) = Grid Offset found here: http://www.cnczone.com/forums/haas-l...gin-small.html

    I traced the limit switch cables to the rear of the machine and they converge into a nasty rats nest balled up in electrical tape, should there be a plug/disconnect or something? I would like to remove the panel with the filters/regulators to allow for access to the Y screw, but the cables are short and fixed together.
    Attachment 263534
    There is also a third regulator, on the right side of the oiler when viewed from the back of the machine, what is that one for?

  25. #25
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    Re: Air Consumption on older Haas?

    Ya that could be cleaned up for sure.

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