I am in the final stages of purchasing, and would like to ask if I can have any feed back with people who have an ATC on there 1100, and how its preforming, any issues to date, only reason why I am asking this is due to people stating to me that a ATC with Mach 3 is a disaster, it will fail crash and burn most times, I just don't know how to take there comments on board, as I am pretty convinced that Tormach would not release such a product if it was going to fail most times than actually operate in the manner it was intended to, this purchase is very important for the next step in my business.
Any feed back on the ATC and its usability would be very much appreciated, as the machine will be doing consistently small runs for me & really need the machine to have ATC so it can go along on its own, whilst I do other jobs around the machine shop, and figure asking this question to real people who have first hand knowledge will be the best way around it.
Last edited by outofsquare; 11-07-2011 at 10:07 PM.
As long a you take your time to set it up properly (alignment, etc) its outstanding ! I dont need an ATC for what I do, but I freakimg love the thing. it's been perfect, without failure, except the time I forgot to turn on the compressor.
Where are you located? If it were me buying a new Tormach (i got mine last year) I would buy the ATC and PDB, a heap of toolholders and tooling, 4th axis and anything else you think you might need or want.
I have it all but the ATC, because the ATC wasn't available when I ordered mine. If your are organising to freight the machine direct with Tormach and a freight forwarder this will be the cheapest freight you will get to Australia, it takes around six weeks and you will be able to track the ship on the web!
When the freight forwarder talks to you about import duty tell them that it is exempt from that, I think they put machinery parts on my declaration. I used IJS Global who were absolutely fantastic. You will have to pay GST on your mill and accessories, but if you can claim it back thats no problem, if you are not in business you can get away with it on smaller orders by ordering lots of bits and pieces on the Tormach website and just keeping the value below 1000.00 AUD, but I still think the bulk shipment is the way to go.
If you hurry up and order it you might just get it for Christmas!
I've been running one of the first shipped ATCs since March and I love it. Since I was one of the first users there was a learning curve but I've never regretted the purchase.
The most important issue is alignment alignment alignment... spend the time to get this perfect. The next most important thing for me was finally installing the low air pressure switch. The integration of the pressure switch in Mach 3 is great.
I had a number of crashes because of low air pressure before I installed the switch. I also added a small 5 gallon air tank with a non-return valve that only supplies the ATC/PDB. I placed the tank under the mill inside the stand. Now if I'm working somewhere else in the shop using air for something else I'm not robbing pressure from the ATC (the small tank will provide air for probably ten tool changes which provides plenty of time for my compressor to catch up.
I don't think I ever had any issues with the Tormach / Mach 3 ATC versions. Even the first version pretty much ran great right out of the box. The last release that has the "low pressure switch" support has been rock solid.
I have a 8" 4th Axis which unfortunately has to be mounted on the left side of the table under the ATC because of the motor placement. This means that the tool length is limited or else they hit the top of the rotary table during tool changes. For example I can't use my C-T tapping head, the large TTS drill chuck, or boring head with the ATC when the rotary table is mounted. I think the maximum length for the TTS holder / tool combination is around 3.75". Again, only an issue when the fourth axis is mounted. I've been thinking about getting the Tormach indexing rotary head (manual 5th axis) which will mount on the right side of the table opposite the ATC.
I'm using SolidWorks and SprutCam for my Cad/Cam and the current Tormach SC7 postprocessor for the Mach 3 ATC version works quite well.
Thanks guys ,its really great hearing comments from real users of the product, Mark your comment about the 4th axis causing issues has been excellent, not to mention the air pressure, Mark is the low pressure air switch a standard item with the ATC? or is it an option, I am very keen to find out more about this part.
Will, your advice on freight is much appreciated, I have touched base with the Australian on seller, but yet have received an actual quote on the whole thing, I will wait a couple more days and if no answer will just go straight to Tormach as we really need to get it here on our shop floor, we are in Cairns, the land of endless summers & the occasional little cyclone Lol, if you want PM me your contact number and I will give you call.
No problems, I don't think I will have a air supply issue in my machine shop, but as a safety precaution I will purchase one as if something was to happen its going to override the system and stop the machine until it detects enough pressure to continue, excellent gadget I think should be mandatory on the installation.