I am looking at used machining centers and I keep seeing these machines for reasonable prices. They look like a nice machine and have good travels and a nice toolchanger. Does anyone here have one? Are they reliable? Can they do 3d machining? Are they expensive to fix comparatively? If I found a GOOD one in decent shape what would you say would be a fair market price for a relatively clean running Partner1? I have been offered one for sale recently, dunno the price or condition yet but I like the idea it is USA made and wanted to hear about the specifics from you fellas here... peace
I have 2 partners, vintage early 1990's .
They run almost every day .
What do you consider a good price ? 5-10 k is what I have into mine , but that can vary on condition .
I don't think anyone will claim that any cnc's are cheap to repair.
Seems that most of the major components all cost around $1,000 MOL
to replace .
Drive boards , spindle bearings ,VFD,
But the good news is that the factory will provide excellent support ( for a price ) .
Yes they can do 3d , that is you can program all 3 axis the run at the same time .
They can also run on 220V single phase .
My 2 , very used Partners continue to crank out lots of work and I have never regretted buying them .
Thanks for the information, Do you have two partner1's in your shop? The Milltronics people seemed to be able to support this machine I am looking at and I am TRYING to get a nice one for a decent price. The other machine I am considering is the Fadal VMC15XT but they seem to be USUALLY priced higher. I have seen some Hurcos in a reasonable price range also older machines but they seem to look good anyways. The milltronics you mention can run on single phase do you mean that they do not require a phase converter or that their control runs okay using a phase converter....? What kinda materials and parts do you make on your machines? peace
I am not 100% sure that these machine will work on 220V single phase .
I had a professional installer do the final electrical hook up . It has 3 hot links going in . Maybe someone else on this board will clarify this issue .
Yes I have 2 Partner 1's . This is the one with the fibreglass enclosure , not the one that looks like a modified Bridgeport .
When you mention Hurcos and Fadals , you may be comparing apples to oranges . Some machines will have full sliding bedways , and more suitable for heavier milling . My Partners have linear ball cartridges sliding on guidebars .
This is great for smooth , rapid movements , but not as good at damping out heavy vibrations . ( someone will be along shortly to contradict me ).
But as to what I do with these machines : lots of keyways , milling small parts , drilling . You cannot hard tap with these machines , the spindle is just not able to link to the Z travel to predictably reverse at the correct time .
I have never done 3d milling with these , simply because I never had a call to
This machine was a great starter CNC for lots of shops . Some of us just never moved on because they just keep providing good service .
Look at some of the online auction sites . ( I like Hoff-Hilk ) and you will see what some of the recent sales went for .
You will see anything from $4,000 to 15,000 for similar machines
Actually ALL of the machines I am considering are pretty much Linear guidway machines. To be honest depite their reputation for being considered light duty when compared to the boxed way machines. I like the idea that the movements can be replaced instead of paying for an expensive scraping. The Linear guideway machines are also physically lighter which is a consideration for my concrete slabs health. What I am looking for is a small footprint machine that is reliable, has a nice toolchanger, and does not cost an arm and a leg. These machines I stated are in that category from what I am reading and I wanted to get firsthand opinions of the milltronics machines from those that have them. These Partner machines, The full enclosure models with toolchangers, not the knee mill based machines, are seemingly in my price range. The Partner1 seems like a good fit for what I want to do. I have a dealer that has one as well as someone else who contacted me with a nice one that I am considering. The Smaller Fadals such as the VMC15XT and the 2016 and similar are also in my price range altho more at the top of it. Thus far the people that have these milltronics machines seem to like them and have good things to say about the company. I am gonna be making parts predominately from Aluminum and some mild steel as well as the occasional stainless part. What I am looking for I suppose is an affordable alternative to a HAAS mini mill or similar. Peace
It sounds like you are already talking yourself into a Milltronics . Of course if you go to the Fadal room they will convince you that their machine is best .
You say you have a dealer with a used Millt. If you are lucky enough to deal with a dealer that sells / services milltronics , then pay the premium price to buy from them . They will prove to be a valuable resource . The factory will provide them with a machine history of any dealer serviced items , based on the serial number . Also they will be able to tell you the age of the machine , and any options it was shipped with from the factory .
But I don't think they will provide this info to just any caller . I can understand how that would be a big drag on their time .
A partner would do just fine on aluminum, steel projects .
The guideways will last forever if you grease them once in a while . But I would not consider ball guideways a "user servicable / replaceable item ". It takes a skilled technician to properly align them .
Actually I recently spoke with Milltronics both their service dept as well as their parts dept. They told me that if I can give them the serial numbers of the particular machine I am interested in they can give me the complete service history as it pertains to Milltronics direct service and parts ordering. I am not trying to talk myself into anything here, I am looking for honest opinions from people such as yourself that actually Own and use these same machines. Honestly so far as I have seen and talked to other folks about this I would maybe prefer the Fadal machines but these milltronics are a close second in the price range I am in. Generally the Fadals are more expensive than the Milltronics for the same travels and features of machine. The Milltronics partner1 that the dealer has apparently has 30 inches of X travel so that is a big plus. Why do you say that the Linear guideways would require a skilled technician to install? I know a lot of people who build their own machines using linear guideways all the time and from what I understand, the ways have a sort of ledge that one of the rails aligns to and the other way is aligned using the other rail as a guide.... I have not personally done this but I have read a bit about it in different places on the net. Peace
There are several versions of the Partner machinse, a few -a , some b some -very few c and a fair amont (several thousend) of D, E ,F,G, H and J versions. after the J version they went to the VM series of machines.
#1 look at the control serial # (silver tag on the bottom of the black box inside the electrical cabinent. unless the machine is pristene, accecpt nothing less then a "-B" control machine. This has to do with the cost of future control updates, The "-B control the the least expensive to modify and update.
Machines prior to Partner 1 G had 25mm rails, Partner1 G and later have 35 rails. and P1 E could have 6 or 12 pocket tool changers. Partner 1 J and VM's would have 12 or 20 pocket tool changers.
Get the machine S/N and call Mill tronics service and ask about the machine.
All the Milltronics machines are easy to operate, easy to program, and cut parts in steel or aluminium with ease.
Tappingis done either thru a " soft tapping" cycle ( it uses the incomming voltage and frequency ( 60 HZ) to "ball park" a spindl speed, ( using a propritary algorithium) or if equipted a "ridging tapping" cycle that uses a spindle encoder as feed back to the control for spindle speed.
Partner machines that do not have the CSM 3 speed spindle drives can be run on single phase, ( connect incomming power to L! and L3, jumper L1 to L2. this makes the spindle drive think is has 3 phases. abet with let power.