I have a vertical machining center (Bridgeport VMC 800xp2) with a 30-tool tool changer that is dropping a tool on occasion. This is a horizontal axis type rather than an 'Umbrella" type. The machine has a Fanuc 18i control. Just by chance, I noticed that it dropped the tool as the tool bucket lowered, before the changer arm even went to grab the tool. I also noticed that the tool dropped out of bucket #2, so I grabbed the tool and felt how well it fit in the bucket. It has very little retension force in the bucket. The buckets are supposed to hold several pounds and this barely will hold an empty cat-40 endmill holder (obviously sometimes not at all). On further investigation, I found that one of the 3 detents that grab the retention knob is worn out. Does anyone out there know of a good source for replacement parts?
When I bought the machine, bucket #11 was missing from the carrousel. I asked the technician at the machinery dealer about this and he replied that all tool changers of this type have an empty slot. Is this true and if so, what would be the reason? The tool changer exercize routine tries to load and unload the missing bucket.