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  1. #1
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    Bad experience with Multicam

    Hello everyone,

    We recently purchased a Multicam 3000 Series machine from Multicam Midwest. This is not the first time we've bought from them but certainly the last.

    When the machine arrived from the factory, it ran for 30 minutes before it broke down. The Multicam Midwest service technicians have been out to "fix" the problem over half a dozen times in the past 6 weeks, and cannot seem to diagnose the problem. He's switches out parts, gets the machine to run for 2 hours, and then it breaks down again. Mind you, Multicam's warranty will only cover manufacturer's defects, so they require an open-ended purchase order adopting their price list before they'll even come out to see what's wrong. On top of that, they will do everything in their power to curtail responsibility, so I strongly encourage everyone to get everything in writing.

    Is there anyone else out there that has had a potentially defective Multicam machine? To this day, only one of the heads on our double headed router work, we've had a defective keypad, they've replaced boards, fuses...the list goes on. They still cannot pinpoint the problem, and our pocketbook is wide open. We are at a complete loss.

  2. #2
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    I had two Multicam machines both plasma cutters, one convention one hi def, I wouldn't by a glass of water from them, after the check clears the bank you are out of luck

    I still have the conventional machine and have it running about 95% with absolutely no help from them, the hi def machine I had to hire a lawyer, and all in all it ended up costing me $50,000 to get back 80% of my investment

    Through the process I located 5 other people who have bought their machines and they all had the same story as mine

    I bought from them as their factory is about 40 miles from our shop, but I do not see how they are still in business, they build a solid machine but they can't make them run or give any support when it doesn't

    Good luck I hope you can make it run but don't expect any help from them

  3. #3
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    It would be interesting to hear what your actual problems with the machines were instead of just bashing the company. MultiCam has been selling industrial grade high quality routers and cnc plasma systems for many years....with many thousands of happy customers around the world. I have personally worked with these machines for over 15 years....they are of very nice design, and are extremely well built.

    Please detail the issues....and I'd be happy to help steer you in the right doirection to get it sorted out.

    Jim Colt


    Quote Originally Posted by Catpower 1 View Post
    I had two Multicam machines both plasma cutters, one convention one hi def, I wouldn't by a glass of water from them, after the check clears the bank you are out of luck

    I still have the conventional machine and have it running about 95% with absolutely no help from them, the hi def machine I had to hire a lawyer, and all in all it ended up costing me $50,000 to get back 80% of my investment

    Through the process I located 5 other people who have bought their machines and they all had the same story as mine

    I bought from them as their factory is about 40 miles from our shop, but I do not see how they are still in business, they build a solid machine but they can't make them run or give any support when it doesn't

    Good luck I hope you can make it run but don't expect any help from them

  4. #4
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    Wow, so I see we're not the only ones. So I take it you're in the Wisconsin-Illinois area? It would be nice to find other businesses who've had this same experience.

    All we want is to reach a point where our machine works. They have become defensive and won't help much. We have bought from them in the past and never had any issues with the machines or service, but the reality is that you never really know who you're dealing with until a problem strikes. I'd love to hear more about your situation.

  5. #5
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    My problem with MultiCam is just getting them to return a call or email. Because of that, I would not likely ever purchase a machine from them.

  6. #6
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    Since I work occasionally (with plasma systems) with Multicam and have always respected them as a company with great products and support...I thought I would research these reported issues....here is what I found on the machine issues reported by Sanddy:


    They actually have two Multicam machines...one which has been running well since 2004, the second was installed (completed) on August 9 this year. It was reported that both had failures on August 13th....and the local MultiCam rep (diverted from another call) arrived within a couple of hours...he found that the new machine had a failed motor drive card, and the other machine had a failed contact on a contactor. Ultimately it was also discovered that the older machine also had a failed main transformer and a relay. MultiCam says they actually made 7 (not 6) visits subsequently to this site, and that the customer was required to submit a PO (pretty much standard operating procedure with all repairs by most industrial service companies in my experience) that would be used in the event that some issues could be non warranty....in reality they have not been invoiced for anything at this time. Ultimately...since the older machine had not had failures until now...and since both machines have recently had failures (another drive card and a stepper motor)...the techs started to consider some sort of input power anomaly or surge that may be affecting the machines....and have suggested that the customer install some power line monitoring equipment in an attempt to verify or rule out that possibility. In most cases the customer is responsible to supply proper input power....yet in this case the customer was reluctant to have a monitor installed...so there seems to be some disagreement in this area!

    It sounds to me like pretty good response on Multicam's part....and that with cooperation from the user..they will get it resolved. These types of failures can occur on any type of equipment...and often are difficult to sort out. The local rep is hoping the customer will cooperate with them to get this difficult failure resolved asap.

    Jim Colt



    Quote Originally Posted by sanddy View Post
    Hello everyone,

    We recently purchased a Multicam 3000 Series machine from Multicam Midwest. This is not the first time we've bought from them but certainly the last.

    When the machine arrived from the factory, it ran for 30 minutes before it broke down. The Multicam Midwest service technicians have been out to "fix" the problem over half a dozen times in the past 6 weeks, and cannot seem to diagnose the problem. He's switches out parts, gets the machine to run for 2 hours, and then it breaks down again. Mind you, Multicam's warranty will only cover manufacturer's defects, so they require an open-ended purchase order adopting their price list before they'll even come out to see what's wrong. On top of that, they will do everything in their power to curtail responsibility, so I strongly encourage everyone to get everything in writing.

    Is there anyone else out there that has had a potentially defective Multicam machine? To this day, only one of the heads on our double headed router work, we've had a defective keypad, they've replaced boards, fuses...the list goes on. They still cannot pinpoint the problem, and our pocketbook is wide open. We are at a complete loss.

  7. #7
    Registered jimcolt's Avatar
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    I also did some research on the two MultiCam machines with issues reported by Catpower:

    As it turns out...the older machine is a lower cost machine equipped with a Powermax air plasma system. It operates on the only available power at the very rural site...which is single phase. This machine, although there had been a few issues in the past...seems to be operating well. The newer machine, which requires 3 phase power (HyDefinition plasma's are all 3 phase, 100% duty cycle systems) was connected to a solid state phase converter that essentially turns single phase power into 3 phase power, however the modified waveform does not always work well with highly inductive loads (my experience). After multiple visits to the site from MultiCam's tech service department...it was ultimately determined that the 3 phase power from the phase converter may be causing most of the issues.....so MultiCam brought in a larger Rotary Phase converter (at their expense) which solved the problems.....they also upgraded the gas supply lines to the specs listed by Hypertherm ....the system was producing poor cuts due to cutting gas starvation. The customer ultimately decided that they did not want/need the machine...and enlisted lawyers to get their money back......which was the final outcome. MultiCam resold the machine in its used condition without further work...and the new owner is very happy with its performance.

    My take is that the customer decided he probably did not need the larger machine...and that the expense of upgrading his power was prohibitive...so legal help was enlisted to get his money back. I can understand the issues....too bad the lawyer was the only one that made out in this case!

    Jim Colt


    Quote Originally Posted by Catpower 1 View Post
    I had two Multicam machines both plasma cutters, one convention one hi def, I wouldn't by a glass of water from them, after the check clears the bank you are out of luck

    I still have the conventional machine and have it running about 95% with absolutely no help from them, the hi def machine I had to hire a lawyer, and all in all it ended up costing me $50,000 to get back 80% of my investment

    Through the process I located 5 other people who have bought their machines and they all had the same story as mine

    I bought from them as their factory is about 40 miles from our shop, but I do not see how they are still in business, they build a solid machine but they can't make them run or give any support when it doesn't

    Good luck I hope you can make it run but don't expect any help from them

  8. #8
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    Jim, I guess you work for Multi Cam, as your response was the same as all of Multi Cam's have been to the other 5 people who have bought you machines, it's always the incoming power

    Multi Cam did bring out a rotary three phase converter and had all of their engineers here for 13 hours one hot summer day, and when they left it still was crashing the torch into the material they told me to work with it and tweek it they were basically done with it

    Kind of funny the ESAB I ended up buying works perfect with the Phase Perfect converter

    Like I said you make a real good machine just pi$$ poor controls

  9. #9
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    No....I have worked for Hypertherm for over 35 years. Through my position at Hypertherm I have had the opportunity to work directly with over 80 manufacturers of cnc cutting machines worldwide.....and those include Esab and Multicam. I know my way around the machines...and certainly the plasma systems. My response was just to let readers know that Multicam is a great company with an excellent product and support. There are situations with every product in the world where the end user becomes dissatisfied...and this apparently was one. Sounds as though you got it solved in a way that works for you!

    In regards to incoming power...The HyDefinition plasma systems from Hypertherm have some unique features. The Power supplies are pulse width modulated chopper designs that have very efficient voltage amperage output characteristics. Because of this...they create a very high inrush current draw at the beginning of every cut cycle. Power lines that are marginal, 3 phase voltage waveforms that are not perfect (all 3 phase converters produce non symmetrical waveforms) will affect the efficiency and operation more than they will with many other designs/brands. These plasma's are also pretty tightly tied to the control system on the cnc machine....and issues related to the inrush current surge can cause a corresponding input voltage droop....especially on marginal power. I suspect the problem may have been related to this...and with a little more patience it probably would have been sorted out and solved. There are quite a few 3 phase plasmas running in the world on MultiCam machines with phase converters... successfully.

    Regardless, I am glad you are now operational.

    Best regards, Jim Colt


    Quote Originally Posted by Catpower 1 View Post
    Jim, I guess you work for Multi Cam, as your response was the same as all of Multi Cam's have been to the other 5 people who have bought you machines, it's always the incoming power

    Multi Cam did bring out a rotary three phase converter and had all of their engineers here for 13 hours one hot summer day, and when they left it still was crashing the torch into the material they told me to work with it and tweek it they were basically done with it

    Kind of funny the ESAB I ended up buying works perfect with the Phase Perfect converter

    Like I said you make a real good machine just pi$$ poor controls

  10. #10
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    Jim,

    No they NEVER made the 3000 run right it was crashing when they loaded up and left, they told me to work with it, I should be able to tweek it to get it to cut. We still have the videos we took when all the engineers were here that shows it crashing, I can post them if you want.

    Your theory sounds good but it doesn't hold water. The machine would crash the torch at random, seldom at the start of the arc, the cut could be almost finished then crash. Then it could cut for a day flawlessly, then the next day you couldn't get it to make one part.

    If it did work the cuts were fantastic, very little bevel nice and crisp

    Yeah they are real good with support, it took 9 months to get them to even attempt to make it perform the way they said it would work

    I understand your support of the company, they are selling your product, but being an end user, I have yet to find anyone who is completely satisfied with the operation of one of their machines. I am sure they are out there, just haven't met up with one yet.

  11. #11
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    I recently purchased a multicam 1000 series router second hand from a sign and I must admit that despite its age and abuse from previous owners it seems to run well and i can say that I am satisfied with my machine. The only problem i've had with it is a wiring fault on the Xb limit switch but i believe that fault was caused by the previous owners. If you're looking to buy a multicam cnc do not rely solely on forum posts to form. Do your research to find the machine that best fits your needs and always remember that individual results may vary.

  12. #12
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    I purchased a used Multicam MG-NB and the machine I cant really complain about, their service department and customer service department leaves a lot to be desired. The regional service group dispatched a tech to my shop for install and training and he immediately began to cry about my spindle leaking air and being liquid cooled etc. After I explained to him that the Columbo RC/RA could be configured to be either liquid or air cooled he then proceeded to hook it up backwards. Then he couldnt get the draw bar to actuate and terminated the cone pressurization line in the gantry. While this allowed the drawbar to work, he also believed he stopped the "leak" out of the nose cone. What ended up happening was a total spindle failure requiring a complete rebuild costing over $8500.00 plus in rebuild cost plus down time and shipping. Not to mention the charges for removal and reinstall by multicam. There is only one technician there I trust and unfortunately he is in upper management and doesnt service accounts. Things have become so contentious with them at this point I feel legal help may be necessary. I did not back charge them my costs, they never take responsibility for the simplest items and despite all of this now refuse to even sell me parts to service my machine. I now use Scott at cnc911 out of Oklahoma City when I need in shop service and support He is a rockstar if there ever was one.

  13. #13
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    jimcolt

    Jimcolt,

    Since you seem to have all of answers for the others that have Multicam issues maybe you can help me out as well and get to he bottom of it. I have been trying since June of last year to get pricing and a demo on the EZ G code advanced software and i still cant get an answer. I did FINALLY get a price on it but getting a demo from them is like pulling teeth. At this point i have wasted more money with my time spent on emails then the actual software costs. Everytime i keep contacting Multicam for the demo they keep telling me I will get the info...... "this week"... Two weeks ago they started making up different excuses....they had a "lap top crash"....and now last week it was an issue with a dongle. I would be more than happy to post all of the emails back and forth i have had with them so you can see just what i have gone thru trying to get a demo.

    Andy

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    But wait, It gets better in december while running at 22k rpm the spindle unchucked a tool in mid program. needless to say I had to send it to be rebuilt again $7,500.00 and was looking to be down almost a month. I decided to send it off but bought a new ISO30 Columbo. In programming the new inverter parameters etc. we found a programmers note for their KATC macro they disabled the clamp prox switch in order to allow the machine to make consistent tool changes. This is extremely dangerous, basically with the prox switches enabled they seemed to be having trouble with the taper alignment and without the switch showing as closed the machine would halt and not spin up. They chose rather than to re engineer their product or switch to a different set up and tell the original purchaser they couldn t deliver what they had agreed to, to simply deliver it unsafe for operation. They are damn lucky they haven't killed anybody. When and if it did have issues they would just bill the owner for service and blame the operator etc. I would never have found this out were it not for the fact that we had to completely reprogram the inverter for a different spindle and taper. It is too late to sue them but I feel people should know about what kind of corporate culture they are dealing with over there and these people would rather make a buck now than deliver a quality product that is safe for industrial use.

  15. #15
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    arizal

    do you know many folks buy 4x8 router with servo and ATC for the money, you only spent on spindles?


    ================================================== ====

    for electrical issues..
    anywhere on the world when electrical equipment designed, regardless household or industrial, they are working with a range... likely 210-240 volt
    because everyone knows the electricity in the system changing minute by minute..

    if an equipment deigned for 220 volt that should work all around the world... in cities same power comes out from the outlet than on rural areas :-)

  16. #16
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    whats your point Victor? I mean I would love to have only spent that little on our machinery, but we are not a hobby shop and this is not some garage toy. We are currently running 130 sheets per day 6 days per week average production. It doesnt really matter what it costs, the point is and the topic of the thread is MULTICAM and as it relates to me personally a very unsafe and negligent practices. I nearly had a spoilboard cutter take out my leg. I know someone who was killed by their machine, an insert bit wasnt torqued properly and went right through him. That was his fault but the point is, Here you have a multimillion dollar company that is international, intentionally disabling critical safety features on a device that can easily kill and or maim the operator and innocent bystanders in order to save face and make a quick buck.

  17. #17
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    Re: Bad experience with Multicam

    Is the MuiltiCam you're talking about unrelated to these guys? AUS MULTICAM CNC routing machines, woodworking machinery, flat bed routers, engraving tables

  18. #18
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    Re: Bad experience with Multicam

    arizal

    hope you got your production running..

    it is possible to make 130 sheet per day... counting on 10 hour a day, mmeans 13 sheet per hour... less than 5 min for one sheet..

    I cant imagine too complicated parts could be made.. within 4-5 min on a sheet..
    so my point is, you might using 2 or 3 spindles instead atc.. because you don't using more than 2 tool .. atc itself very costly, the special toolholders could result same cost than a secondary spindle..
    with other words, if a ""conventional"" spindle 2000 then same sized spindle made for atc could cost 6000 or more..

    about your comment not toy... I didn't think you were hobbyist.. on other side you gave proof yourself the high price don't guarantee you get something industrial..
    if you were take time and look around what you can buy, you would be surprised you could buy 2-3 machines for same price than you have now one machine..

    what I see sometime companies don't charge for the actual value, indeed they try to charge customers, establishing how much they can pull out from them..

    at this moment as much I understand you are pending on one single machine for your production... and if so, then it would really worth to take a look on two lower cost machine so in case one faulting, then still one is in production...


    I don't want to comment on specifically about the disabled safety ... that is something likely if your car randomly would turn off break.. and you couldn't stop at train crossing example...

  19. #19
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    Re: Bad experience with Multicam

    one of my friend has multicam.. it is looking great and working great... but...
    it made at the texas plant.. allegedly at texas the machine priced about 55K ... he paying to the dealer 120 K ... he cannot buy directly.. from the plant.. practically when he paid ""deposit""" the machine was paid full and all other was the tip... very cool... to reading it happening others and not me..

    im sorry but it somehow, something is not correct.. numbers are might not fully correct.. but this is what happening..

  20. #20
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    Re: Bad experience with Multicam

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianLL View Post
    Is the MuiltiCam you're talking about unrelated to these guys? AUS MULTICAM CNC routing machines, woodworking machinery, flat bed routers, engraving tables
    I don t know exactly the relationship if any to the Australian Multicam. However the platform/table gantry appears similar

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