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  1. #1
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    Feb 2010
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    Milltronics Partner 1?

    http://www.cnczone.com/forums/want-t...ml#post1547248

    I kept my post in the want to buy need help because i was unsure how active this milltronics section was. If anyone owns one, please checkout my link and see if this seems to be an ok mill, or what i should check if your aware of certain specific issues with these.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Milltronics Partner 1?

    That is a really old Partner 1. Call or e-mail Milltronics Service Dept. with the serial number, they can tell you what's in the service file.

    That style toolchanger can have alignment and prox switch issues. Have it do lots of tool changes with the carousel fully loaded to check it out.

    It has small linear rails and bearing blocks and small diameter ballscrews that are usually lubricated with a grease gun, sometimes not too frequently. Run it around with jog, the handwheel, and with MDI commands to observe the motion. Listen for noises and smoothness. I'd check backlash in several places to look for wear in the screw and the thrust bearings.

    The motors may be full of carbon dust from worn brushes, you may have to remove the end caps to look at the tach plate and pull the armature brushes to check them.

    Run the spindle, many RPMs, all over-ride switch positions, CW and CCW, how does it sound? Spindles can be rebuilt but bearings can get expensive. How does it grip toolholders? Belleville washers do relax and break, but are easily replaced.

    The home-switches and over-travel switches wiring, and often the axis wiring can have problems with coolant and chips, pull the covers back and inspect.

    Without more information about electronics updates/upgrades, it is difficult to tell you what to check. The computer may still use cat900 motherboard and the 1st gen Acroloop cards, neither of which are replacable with new cards. The drive cards will probably be Westamps or Fenners, but they can usually be repaired. Power supplies are also available or repairable.

    Most of the relays, solenoids, etc., are standard items commonly available.


    Bottom line - look it over, drive it, run some programs, test it out. Don't spend a lot.

  3. #3
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    Re: Milltronics Partner 1?

    Thank you for the details! He was selling it for $3000 which for a working machine (so he says..) is a steal if you plan on using it till it dies. But the way it looks, he would be lucky id offer $1500 even if it did work and i saw it move with my own two eyes. Well see what comes from it in the following week. $1500 is my max if it all works which is a 1 in a million chance. It's that scary looking. haha

  4. #4
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    May 2013
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    Re: Milltronics Partner 1?

    The toolbox/tools are worth far more than the Tub Enclosure..er... Milltronics. I ran a few of these back in the early 90's. Good for plastic and aluminum, LOW precision parts. Following error was abysmal. A programmed cut at any angle other than 0 or 90 looked like someone had done it by hand on a Bridgeport. Every inch or so was a mark where the machine was "catching up". That was using normal G-code, which you have to cheat to get to work properly. Finishes and lead-in/out were better with their conversational programming. If you think you can make money with it, why not?, but good luck if you want to re-sell.

  5. #5
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    Re: Milltronics Partner 1?

    Quapman, you must have had a machine that was WAY out of adjustment or had some other serious problems. Did anybody ever perform maintenance on it?

    That is not at all typical of how Milltronics machines work.

  6. #6
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    Re: Milltronics Partner 1?

    This was on three different machines at two different employers. All three were brand new.

  7. #7
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    Re: Milltronics Partner 1?

    quapman, I've had three Milltronics and still have two in my shop. The first 2 were built in the '90s with the fiberglass enclosures and still have one built in '98 or '99. I've never seen anything like you describe so I'm calling your statement as pure BS. Milltronics makes nice machines and if they are taken care of they will last as long as any machine on the market. Problem is most shops will pay 4 times what a Milltronics cost thinking they won't have to worry about maintenance, only to realize later that repairs will cost them 10 times over if it does go down. Operator error is the biggest reason machines go down or leave lousy finishes. We still hold .0002 on our 15 year old machine. We liked ours so much we traded our oldest for a brand new one in 2012.

  8. #8
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    Re: Milltronics Partner 1?

    You can call BS all day long if you like. I have absolutely no stake in this game, I don't sell machines, not trying to sell the OP a machine. We (the shop I worked at in the 90's) had the worst one lasered and the following error was somewhere north of .002"/inch. The owner was famous for buying "floor models" and machines that were rumored to have "fallen off the truck", so who knows?. I spent more time handworking the mess that came off those machines than I did machining them.

    If you're happy with yours, kudos. I might have one if it was given to me...then again, I'd more likely try to trade it for something a little nicer.

    WTF does "operator error" have to do with lousy finishes? "Oops, I forgot to override the programmer's crappy program again...my mistake!" (I take no personal offense in that statement, as I have not been an "operator" since around 1986.)

    Do you think this section of the forum might be a little busier if these machines were *actually* the bees knees?

  9. #9
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    Re: Milltronics Partner 1?

    I call it BS because the following error is an easy fix. Like ZZZZ asks, was maintenance ever done on those machines? I can think of a half dozen things an operator or programmer can do to screw up finishes on surfaces made on perfectly good running machines. Of course they're going to blame the machine. I've been in machine shops since the '70s and I think I've seen it all and heard every excuse imaginable. You're right that this forum is somewhat slow. I think it has more to do with Milltronics poor advertising, or lack of, than anything else. It's a small company and maybe they want to keep it that way, it's their choice. You can call them and get an answer straight from the builder. Try that with Hass. As an almost 20 year user of there products I can attest to their quality and reliability if they are maintained properly.

  10. #10
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    Re: Milltronics Partner 1?

    Well, the machines were all CHECKED, but were they ever adjusted? Once the shop got an estimate, no.

    There are good operators and lame operators, some of it is them, some is how they were trained by the people who should know better. I've seen them all myself.

    I was actually surprised that Milltronics is still in business. Again, if you're happy with them, keep on making chips and dollars!

  11. #11
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    Re: Milltronics Partner 1?

    I'm not sure why you would read/post/comment in a Milltronics forum if you hate them so much. I picked up a 1992 Milltronics Partner 4 (knee mill) about 2 years back that was dead on arrival, rebuilt the computer (motherboard battery leaked and wiped out the original mother board) and have been running it since. This is a well used and abused machine, I have way more backlash than I would like, but yet somehow, it can still give me good surface finishes, interpolate a round hole within about .0008" (little hard with the backlash I have) and kicks ass through a lot of work.

    Maybe it's because I took the time to adjust/find out how much backlash I had, tuned the axis drives to make sure following error is within limits (a pretty easy thing by the way, with documents right from Milltronics on the process), and in general made sure the machine is getting way oil and checked everything out.

    Here is a link to my website, you can see some of the parts I'm making... maybe not the finishes I would get out of a brand new $100k VMC, but they are acceptable for what I'm doing. Oh, and nothing gets run under about 30-40ipm for finish passes, so it's not like I'm slowly creeping along.

    Home

  12. #12
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    Re: Milltronics Partner 1?

    Very nice Brian. The parts look impressive. I have a website but because of preparatory agreements I can't show any of my molds. Not sure what the big deal is. Most of the parts from my molds are castings used on commercial aircraft such as airfoils, structural parts and auxiliary power units.

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