: Photos of the CNC turning center-



97EldoCoupe
09-02-11, 12:08 AM
Hope nobody minds if I post in here, I know this doesn't have a lot to do with a Northstar engine-

But this is the new (to me) machine that is destined to make the parts for the stud kits, as well as other fasteners and parts too-

A photo of the Miyano before I had it hooked up to power:
http://www.northstarperformance.com/machineop/1.jpg

Here's a photo of my two pride and joys- the mechanical Ward turret lathe and the Miyano CNC. I have them set up so that if I need to, I can run the manual machine while having the CNC in sight. The automatic can run on its own (with supervision) while some type of operation is being done on the manual:
http://www.northstarperformance.com/machineop/2.jpg

The front panels are off for cleaning. Some switches got damaged in transport so I'm replacing those right aways as well as a new keyboard for the Fanuc 0T control system-
http://www.northstarperformance.com/machineop/3.jpg

Here's the electronics in the back of the lathe. Note the loose wires, the servo drive for the live tool needs repair so it's getting shipped to Tennessee later. Live tooling is not required at the moment but I'm going to want that running soon too. Looks like fun if it ever blows a circuit right? Well a fuse blew already, had to temporarily jump it until the fuses I ordered come in. Nobody carries Daito MP fuses in stock..... Don't worry I jumped it with a "homemade" fuse. Welding wire ground down to act as a fuse.
http://www.northstarperformance.com/machineop/4.jpg

Here's the new wiring that runs this unit- moved the compressor into this panel as well. That's an American Rotary 25HP phase converter. Instant 3 phase power from single phase supply. Works great so far- clean 3 phase power. Yes I know the compressor says "Farm Hand". It's made by Campbell Hausfeld, it's a four cylinder, and it's tough. I've had one in Ontario for three years and with regular oil changes it has not dropped in CFM. This compressor has helped clean a lot of parts already. Rotary screw is the next type I want in the shop :)
http://www.northstarperformance.com/machineop/5.jpg


I know that right now I have a few people ready to wring my neck for being behind on orders (understandably). I cannot work without parts and I cannot wait any longer. This machine is going to make everything possible and put an end to the problems I've been having with both quality, availability, and delivery times of both engines and stud kits.

The auto bar feeder is going to be set up next, and the parts catcher, to make the machining process 95% automated.

Please hang in there everyone, I've done everything next to selling my own soul to set all this up and get this business back where it needs to be.

Note to Sal: I owe you some advertising dollars- you will get every cent and my continued business very soon. I've hit a rough patch of water and I'm riding the wave.

I will post updates.

A few other items that this machine is capable of producing (keep in mind it has accuracy to the 4th decimal place: .0001)

-Studs of all shapes and sizes up to 34mm in diameter
-Bolts with hex heads (live tooling will mill the hex right into round bar)
-Nuts
-Washers
-Piston Pins
-Valve Guides from any material, bronze included
-One piece Intake and Exhaust valves out of any material
-Bushings, spacers, alignment pins
-Etc.

The quality only depends on the operator and his programming ability, accuracy of the machine and the material being used. I may hire a programmer for the first few runs until I get the hang of it. Looks straightforward anyways. It may be an older lathe, but keep in mind it was still in production making military Hummer suspension parts when I purchased it. I saw the parts it was producing and accuracy was not an issue.

I owe many people a thanks for helping make this possible. And Aaron, if you catch this, your engine is shipping VERY soon- I know how badly you need it. Grady and Tim, those bottom end studs are shipping very soon as well. I've been fighting the clock for a while now and the loss of a good employee didn't aid the situation.

But I am so happy- this marks the beginning of the end of supplier problems and shipping delays. The Ward lathe was supposed to take over a while ago but manual machining thousands of parts just wasn't feasible. Nothing beats the speed and accuracy of CNC.

Thank you all.

97EldoCoupe
09-02-11, 12:25 AM
This lathe will be running 24/7 (other than occasional maintenance down-time) once it's all set up. If it's not producing the studs (and plans are to have 100 sets on the shelf at all times) it will be producing other machined parts directly related to the Northstar.

How does a full roller valvetrain sound for a 93-99 Northstar? Or lower timing chain tensioners that will never wear out-

Realistically speaking the first plans other than stud kits are to have all possible fasteners, studs, pins, bushings, etc. machined and in stock. If you need transmission alignment dowels, I will have them for you. Stock size cylinder head studs in both M11x1.5 and M11x2.0 thread sizes. Exhaust studs. Specialty bolts. Etc.

I have a special admiration for the Northstar engine and even if some of them are getting old, they will not be forgotten. Keep your Northstar cars on the road- I will have parts for you.

Speedygman
09-02-11, 07:53 AM
Way to go Jake, full speed ahead and GREAT days are ahead for all of us thanks to you and your machines.

ternstes
09-02-11, 09:32 AM
Looks awesome, Jake! Can you elaborate on a roller valvetrain for the 93-99? How would that be possible?

vincentm
09-02-11, 09:38 AM
Wow, way to go, love the dedication to keeping these masterpiece engines on the road.

97EldoCoupe
09-02-11, 11:02 AM
The roller valvetrain I have not yet figured out but I know with the wearing exhaust cams and lifters it would be a nice thing to have available. I would work machining a custom bucket lifter with a roller on top and guides that kept it from turning but the cam lobe ramps are too steep to make that work. I have some more ideas though for that. Another day. Today it's all about filling orders and after that, move some skids of engine blocks and set up the bar feeder. The whole unit once set up is approximately 25-30 feet long.

I have an order of studs that's being machined in the USA right now and they'll be ready for me on Sept 13th (two weeks later than they had originally told me!) but I cannot wait that long. I am now backordered again.

This is why the CNC is priority #1 because without studs I cannot:

-ship stud kits
-build engines
-repair cars

And it takes me around 20-30 minutes to machine one stud on the manual machine because I have to be within .001 for thread rolling- over size will snap thread rolls and prevent nuts from turning on and undersize will produce an inferior part. I have to account for tip wear and bit replacement, etc.

The CNC is supposed to be 10x faster and repeat accuracy is a sure thing- so if I have to spend the whole weekend and labor day setting this unit up and programming it, by Tuesday I will already have that time back (as opposed to running the studs on the Ward all weekend). I've tested all of the servos and hydraulics/electronics on the CNC and they're all up and running. A few things needed oil and cleaning but that's done.

tateos
09-02-11, 11:26 AM
Good luck - looks like fun, Jake. I always thought a roller lifter permitted a STEEPER cam profile.

97EldoCoupe
09-02-11, 02:52 PM
Guess I'll have to do my research on that one.

Well looks like I'm up $hit creek and my paddle is a week away. Some orders are shipping out today- the urgent and the oldest, I'll be working all weekened and labor day cranking out studs on the CNC.

Sorry to all who I have let down, this is the last time. I am at the point where I'm coming to a fork in the road- if I cannot supply the demand for the stud kits I will sell the rights (patent in the pending status) to any company interested who can supply the public with the clause that I retain the rights to produce enough to keep my own shop busy. So that CNC better work and it better work NOW. I've written a program on it this morning and I can enter G-Code with no problems and save the program. Now just for the barfeeder and to replace some momenary switches and I should be set to go.

I'm riding a wave and I can see land. I'll post updates if any good ones come up over the weekend. When there was a supply shortage for three weeks around February all hell broke loose and I almost lost my mind. This time I have some back-up.

Submariner409
09-02-11, 06:30 PM
Well looks like I'm up $hit creek and my paddle is a week away. Some orders are shipping out today- the urgent and the oldest, I'll be working all weekened and labor day cranking out studs on the CNC.

Hang in there, Jake. The gearheads who truly give a damn will always be here.....................

(I'll open a franchise near you tomorrow AM.................)

knon2000
09-02-11, 07:39 PM
I can tell you without a doubt that this will be a very good investment. I have run CNC machines for years, and there is no way to come close to matching the quality and the repeatability.
This will allow you to get some kits back into stock and feel confident in the quality that you are kicking out. I just hope you are planning on thread rolling and not cutting, a cut thread is
far inferior to a rolled one.

wainabee
09-02-11, 08:24 PM
Hang in there Jake you are providing a much needed solution to the HG issue on some of these Northstars, I don't think anyone should mind waiting a bit for quality, honesty and reliability, all of which you supply to many very grateful customers.

ThumperPup
09-02-11, 08:48 PM
way to go joke great looking machine

Pete1996
09-03-11, 01:17 AM
Nice setup, very NICE! All the best to you Jake.

97EldoCoupe
09-03-11, 11:33 AM
Submariner, way to start my morning off! With a smile and a good laugh :)

Knon: Yes thread rolling using Fette rolling heads for now until I can get my hands on a Tesker. The Thread rolling may be done manually in the Ward because of a few reasons. I know I can set that up in the CNC too if I want to- but the lathe is designed to use coolant/cutting oil mix. The thread rolling operations works best with a heavier weight oil.

Wainabee, Thumperpup, and Pete1996, Thank you :)

Late last night I rewired the CNC for a 9 pin serial connector for RS232 communications. Vasi (N*Caddy) would be proud of my wiring/soldering job. Then it's going through a USB cable to a computer to upload and download programs to the lathe. Using a full keyboard for programming sure will beat the Fanuc control buttons, + this allows me to use AutoCad for machining if I decide to go that route.

It's now or never. Let's see how this weekend goes-

RippyPartsDept
09-03-11, 12:36 PM
this is awesome Jake - thanks for the updates these last few days ...

wainabee
09-03-11, 01:16 PM
Hey Jake, if you need anything done in AutoCad I can help with that.

(Wainabee = Rick Parkins)

Ranger
09-04-11, 10:08 PM
That's some piece of machinery Jake. Good luck! :thumbsup:

97EldoCoupe
09-04-11, 10:35 PM
Thank you. I've been playing with the lathe all weekend.

I cannot get it to run a program. I can jog the x and z axis and do a turret index (tool change), but machine alarm LED comes on each time I press cycle start. I started looking into the problem and some sensors are disconnected and wiring cut / also jumped.

On the bright side the machine is in relatively good condition, downside is I guess I got ripped off. I will have to either source the wiring diagrams and some replacement parts or hire an industrial mechanic to come up here and have a looksee.

Good thing is it has on-board diagnostics but unless you understand the coding or have a manual for it, you're out of luck. Kind of like not knowing what PCM codes are.

The backup plan is still in place, I have enough studs for 100 engines on order (top quality, no defects, right to spec) which should be ready in about 9 days or so.

I'm trying real hard right now to look on the bright side of things and keep going. I wish I would have been a rich man when I started this business I would have simply bought one of these machines new at a cost of approx. $100,000.00. But this is real life, it is what it is.,

I will get the Miyano running yet one way or another. Fanuc is a very common control system and parts are readily available. Some of the sensors are made by Orcon- the same company that made many of the relays in the Cadillacs we drive.

I know there's going to be a silver lining on the other side of these storm clouds. I guess I just have to shift focus for now. Pri #1 is get the kits out that I can for now, give the others options of either a delayed shipment or a refund, place a hold on all orders coming in for now, and finish the engines and vehicles on the work list.

I know the Miyano is a machine built for high production and once it works right again, it will make sure that I can supply my customers on time with studs and kits, bolts, etc.

One thing I did find under the one cover, is a spindle indexing system for cross-drilling/live tool machining. It's a small servo motor that takes care of spindle indexing and a sprocket with hydraulic lock that holds it in place. Looked like it hadn't been used in years so I cleaned it up.

I'll keep y'all updated. But I will do my very best for my customers.

Pete1996
09-05-11, 06:54 PM
I'm an EE with some recent experience in industrial control with some very high end robot arms. I found the the Emergency Stop (E-stop) circuits had a lot of issues but worked through them and got them all working correctly. Years later I talked to other people who worked on the same model and they said, oh yeah lots of E-stop problems, we just jumped them all out to make it work. I'm not suggesting to do anything like this, but there is a common thinking of just keep the machine going and minimize the down time. I hope your issues are something simple like this.

An alarm like that is often an E-stop issue. They might have cut a few things to be sure that the machine was only run by someone who knew what they were doing in order to avoid injury. Or they might have cut and jumpered them so that they could run it with doors open or whatever. Basically, there are probably door switches that don't allow the unit to run with the door open, things of that nature - a complex system can easily have 10 or more different E-stop contacts or limits.

Good to have a backup plan, and just give it time - you'll get it.

If you're able to get schematics I'll be happy to take a look at them.

Pete1996
09-05-11, 07:06 PM
I searched on Miyano lathe alarm fanuc and found this:
http://cnc-professional-forum.com/miyano-monarch-mighty-modig/594-miyano-bnc-34-a2-machine-alarm-help-me.html

You can probably do better with the exact model in the search or post your exact issue there. Sometimes manuals are online for free because the company just wants customers to keep their equipment running.

Moderator there offers manuals:
http://cnc-professional-forum.com/7782-post17.html

97EldoCoupe
09-09-11, 12:46 PM
I found the company that sold this machine and they can get me all of the wiring schematics, parts and service/operators manual. I've been checking all of those safety switches and found one that may be at fault. There's a hydraulic spindle lock and the position sensor wires were disconnected. If I were a machine and my spindle was locked, I wouldn't try to start up :) In other words that would likely be a very important switch. It seems to be a magnetic proximity switch but I can't seem to get a reading with an ohmmeter at all if I pass metal in front of it-

Pete1996
09-09-11, 06:56 PM
I think that the older ones were mercury based and you have to use a magnet. But I do also believe that the newer ones are Hall effect and might work with just iron. Is there a part number on the proximity switch?

97EldoCoupe
09-13-11, 02:05 PM
There is I just haven't checked- anyways that's currently unimportant (but thank you that information will be needed soon Pete!) because of this bit of news:

THE CNC IS UP AND RUNNING!!!!!! :):):):)

In the midst of the stud shortage crisis and not exactly sure what to tell customers who have been patiently waiting on kits because of supply issues again, the silver lining emerges-

Damn this thing is FAST- I've taken a couple hours to trace a wiring fault to the cycle start and feed hold switches. Now to write the programs for the studs and everything should smoothen out. What almost was looking like a five-figure financial mistake is looking now to be the saviour of Northstar Performance -

I have a lot to catch up on and I will live up to my obligations and try my hardest to meet demands as quickly as humanly possible- but now I see light- The only thing stopping me from producing large quantities of these studs now is the programming and that really is a piece of cake (wrote a couple small programs already).

Please everyone you will see major changes soon. This is a big leap forward. This machine will be able to produce 10 studs in the amount of time it used to take me to produce 1 on the manual machine.

:D :D :D :D :D

Speedygman
09-13-11, 02:54 PM
:yup::yup:GO JAKE GO :yup::yup:

97EldoCoupe
09-14-11, 03:43 PM
Ok - update again -

I'm getting there- quickly - but I need a few more days-

I know how incredibly patient people have been (a man from Michigan, a few in Ontario, and a few stud kit customers) and I owe you a large debt of gratitude.

The quality that this CNC turning center is producing is 300% beyond what I have ever received from my one supplier in Canada, and equal to or a hair bit greater than my supplier in the USA. Reason? I'm using a higher quality steel, slower machine feed rates, and new tooling. I don't care if each stud takes 1 minute longer to produce if the quality increases and I can meet demands. I don't care if I have to have three shifts going around the clock. I will very soon (within days) be proud of the product I am shipping out and can say that it was produced by Northstar Performance, to our exact specs, in-house. Ship times will be same-day again soon and parts shortages will be a thing of the past.

There will be improvements made to the fixture plate as well, the improvements that would not have been possible until now. I've been stuck in that damn circle for so long it's nice to finally be able to step out and say "This is what we need, this is what we're going to do, these kits that were ordererd this morning are ready to be picked up by UPS."

The stud kit has been the best repair kit and the best on the market for the Northstar since being released and I will do whatever I can and need to do to maintain that status - by listening to feedback from customers, by spending more time on R&D (once the current cars are finished and off the list), and there will be a new kit released specifically for being able to do the repair with the engine in the vehicle.

Believe me it's not that I don't care- it's not that I don't realize how important speedy delivery is and a quality part. I care. I missed my mortgage payment last month to purchase that CNC. That's how much I care. That's the roof over my head. I'm caught up now with that and now it's time to live up to the responsibilities as the owner of Northstar Performance and start delivering quality parts, on time.

I thank all who have stood by me as friends, customers, and forum members, I'm almost done riding that wave. I'm still afloat and I see the shoreline nearby.

Thank you Submariner409 for the paddles that helped get me up $h!t creek.