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Rottler F67a or other makes? Lets hear your views

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#1 footprints

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 07:29

I've been researching on cylinder boring machines lately and the rottler F67a seems to be a really nice setup. It is CNC operation, feature packed and easy to operate. Would like to hear your views abt it and if there are better machines in the market that is multi function and easy to operate? Or is it better to invest in a Haas VF series CNC machining center? What are the disadvantages of the rottler if any? How about pricing?

Lets hear your views and recommendations!


#2 McGuire

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 11:36

First, to answer your question directly, the Rottler doesn't have any bad points that I have heard of. Beautiful machine. Here is the question every shop has to ask about a big purchase: do you really need it, or do you just want it?

I have seen it a million times... the successful, growing shop has this talent: It takes a brutally honest look at the shop workflow and the customer base. Business, not toy shop. If you can keep a particular machine busy, buy it. That decision makes itself. The generalized or multifunction machine is sort of hard to pay for when you think about it, even though it may seem to justify its existence... if that makes any sense. It's a multifunction machine, not a multitasking machine. It can still only do one thing at a time, with extra setup time and hassle in between.

Personally, if I were starting up a real professional job shop (and with sufficient capital) I might start with a Rottler F68A. (One beauty of this machine is it can run Windows or G code.) On a shoestring, I would buy used manual equipment because that stuff is available in beautiful condition for pennies on the dollar. Then I would upgrade as quickly as I could to automate the shop's actual workflow.

#3 Canuck

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 11:49

I've run a handful of different HAAS machines in my short machinist career including 3 different VF mills (or machining centers if you will). The upside of a (Haas) mill is the obvious greater flexibility it provides - it'll do more than just bore cylinders for you. The control is consistenly rated as one of the most user-friendly on the market (but like anything else, ease of use often means advanced and/or complex functions become very trying), it's very easy to find an operator that knows how to setup and run a Haas machine, and their service network is pretty wide-spread. Things to take into consideration - depending on the size of your cylinders, you may end up with a very large machine to allow for the necessary height - in addition to your cylinder or engine block, you have to be able to get your boring tool (which has to be long enough to get to the bottom of the cylinder with crashing the spindle into the block) up over your material. Depending on the style of your tool changer, you may need an even larger machine (to either shift the material away from the tool changer during tool change, or yet more Z height). The older VF-6 I used to run dropped the tools down ~5" during a tool change. By the time you add any fixtures, torque plates and tooling, your "z-height" is going to end up huge. I bored a set of HD Sportster cylinders for an 883-1200 conversion (half an inch total removal on dia) and needed every single bit of the 16 inches of travel, and it's a 5.5" long cylinder, give or take. You can get extra-height spindles however they don't give you more spindle "travel", they just start that much higher off the table (which means using it as a mill with smaller parts mounted to the table needs extra long tooling to reach, which introduces it's own problems). A horizontal mill like the EC-1600 may be worth investigating in a case like this (without knowing what sort of cylinders you're working with).

On the other hand, a boring machine does exactly what it's supposed to do, was designed to do just that, has control features, machine dimensions etc all specifically to do exactly what you want it to do.

#4 TurboBoostedRS

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 18:47

I work for Centroid CNC,
We just launched our Engine Block Machining Center at last years PRI show...

What exactly are you looking to do?
Are you wanting to do normal generic machining on production engine blocks? Or are you more on the prototype side of things?
Do you want a machine that will do more than just engine blocks?

Take a look at the PRI video on our website:
And yes I'm in the video... I'm the Centroid guy with the long hair...;)

Lots of info on our website

We are currently leading the market in 5-Axis CNC Cylinder Head Porting and plan to tackle the engine block side of thins in the same way...

I'm actually off to Nebraska tomorrow to do startup training on an engine block machine...

I'll be happy to answer any questions honestly about either our machine or any of the other machines out there... I'm pretty much the head of development for the 4 and 5 axis machines and processes that we have... I made both types of 5-axis machnes shown in that video go, as well as the 4-axis engine block machine :)