I have read this forum several times before but never took the time to join it. I have something I feel is worth contributing so here it is. It is related to a service call the shop I work for placed and our experiences. Just for the record our shop only has one CNC. We purchased the machine brand new 7 months ago.
We had a intermittent tool changer fault just after our machine was out of warranty. Our experience so far with the machine has been great. It has met all our expectations and has turned out great parts repeatedly every time.
Our tool changer issue was a failure for the tool carousel to index. I popped the cabinet open and checked the relays that control carousel rotation and they were functioning properly. I tried wiggling the cables and it still was not working. So, we opted to call the service guy and let him deal with it. I at least gave it my best. The time of failure was about 1am.
Next day we called the very nice and helpful sales rep who sold the machine to us and he said he would handle getting service out right away. He made a service call for us and to our surprise the same day we had a service tech at our shop. He was also very friendly and professional. He fooled with manual rotation and it began to work. So, he wrote a simple routine for the tool changer to follow and wait for the problem to return. It turned out that a brush in the motor that operates the tool changer was hanging up. It would make intermittent contact with the commutator and not turn. The brush was just a few thou too large to slide freely in the brush hood. He corrected this and reassembled the machine. While working the HFO contacted the service man and he placed an order for a replacement motor just in case which was to arrive the next day. They also did not charge us for this service which we expected to pay for. I also did not expect him to repair the motor itself which HAAS clearly doesn't make.
All in all I'm very happy with the service we have received on this machine. On top of that we are very happy with the machine itself. Having experience on Haas lathes, VMCs, and HMCs before the owner and I had a very good Idea what this small VMC was capable of. Thus far its been producing good parts and has been a pleasure to run. Hopefully in the future we can add an SL series machine to our shop and bring our entire operation in house. While its not a lie I like HAAS machines I'm not a cheerleader for them either. I understand some people have just had problems or they were sold the machine with promises that it could do something it would not. For our shop and our work the machine we chose is more than capable. So, it should be no surprise that it does its job as expected. I have just seen allot of mention on the internet saying every aspect of HAAS ownership has been displeasureable.
Our local dealer is about 2hr away from us, but they are very nice people. I have been there once for a machine tool open house type show. They are a multi brand dealer but they do move alot of HAAS big grey refrigerators out of there. The old sales guy local to us was a car salesman type. Guy had no knowledge related to machines, tools, or programming of any kind. The guy who replaced him is great. He has background in actually USING machines. What a novel concept! One thing that may have made our experience so positive is that we already knew what we wanted, what options we needed, and what the machine would and would not do. It does exactly what we wanted and then some. We have the new controll up until IMTS this year where they released an even newer one. Even though we have a small machine the new tool management is great and we have been making some use of it. Although Im sure it would really shine on a EC400 or larger machine.
I use the Super mini mill on a daily basis and am pretty much the shop Haas guy in our shop. We have had our toolchanger motor changed out four times!! Even though we had to purchase the last one plus the service call. The machine works great, holds tolerance and is realy fast. Now thanks to philipm I know what the prob. is and how to fix our "spare" changer motor. Thanks We just got a HA5C indxer which works wonderful (Just boasting a bit) It turned a 2:45 min. job into a 42 sec. one. Drilling six holes in the dia. of a part with an end mill and lil' bit o interpolation. Sure beats doing it with a manual indexer!!!