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Emco PC Mill 55


anders.s.larsson@...
 

Hi,
I’m thinking about bidding on a PC Mill 55 which seems to be in original working order. I have a hard time finding out what to expect out of the machine. Is it possible to do meaningful machining of steel for instance? What tolerances are to be expected (depending I wear etc of course)? Also, it would be helpful to understand where this fits in the range of Emco mills from the F1 mills and upwards.

Any insights are highly appreciated,
 Anders


David Rabenius
 

Anders:
  First things first. The Mill needs to have the RS422 interface card in the PC. Then you need the MSD disk with the factory parameter settings & WinNC software, all of these need to be included or you have a heavy paperweight. If you can see the machine running in person then even better. These machines need older Computers to run, depends on which year the Machine was made. The interface card you need is a RS422 and is proprietary to the EMCO machines. They are hard to find today as most people just upgrade the controller to modern electronics.
  Next you have to realize its a SMALL machine with limited horsepower. Made to a standard quality and used with modifications in the computer industry (chip unzip) were chosen due to the high accuracy of the base machine. This is NOT a production machine and cutting steel is going to be slow. These machines were designed for training so they never were designed for high speed production. The 55 series had higher spindle speeds than the 50 series. These are some of the best tabletop machines made, that machine could have hit $17,000 - $20,000 when new. Is the optional control console included? they can be run off a standard PC keyboard.
   The F1 mill was the origional CNC mill and as computer technology progressed were upgraded. The next machine after the F1 was the 50 series. WAY more useable than the F1. They used 5 phase steppers and had basically the same frame as the F1 This machine used the RS485 card and relied on Window 98 operating system. The 55 series were introduced in the late 1990's and offered higher feed speeds, higher spindle speeds and more coding functions. The one after that was the Concept series, these machines were made with a larger enclosure that prevented one from getting it thru a standard door. There was a 7 station toolchanger option available along with the interface card integral into the machine. These machines used an Ethernet connection to a standard computer. 


anders.s.larsson@...
 

Hi David,

Thanks for the thorough answer. Yes I believe this to be a complete functional system including computer and a control console. I have not had a chance to check it out yet in person and I’m not sure I’ll be given the opportunity to run it.

I realize that machining steel might not be the intended purpose of this machine. I’m mainly trying to get an idea of the rigidity of the machine and wether that or the spindle power (or both) might be a bottle neck.
What about the lead screws are they acme or ball screws? If I understood it correctly that was one of the differences between the F1 and F1P for instance.

My main purpose of getting this machine is to learn more about CNC without having to convert an existing manual mill as well as machining small parts in brass and possibly steel for hobby purposes. However, the parts need to be quite precise so that’s why the accuracy is of interest too.

If anyone knows where I could find the documentation for the PC Mill 55 that would be great too.

Thanks!
 Anders 


David Rabenius
 

All of these machines had ballscrews from the factory. The F1P had more powerful steppers & spindle motors. The controller was more Industrial and ran on 3 phase power vs. the standard household 110 current F1 cnc. I dont know if the F1P had beefier ballscrews or not. Spindle speed was higher on the F1P. They also made a F1 woodworker with 10,000 rpm spindle, these are rare to find today.


Ludvig Friberg
 

I have the VMC-100 and I think it is similar when it comes to rigidity? When cutting 1075 steel for example my limit at 3 mm DOC at 2000 rpm on a 10mm 4 flute mill is 1.5 mm engagement and a cutting speed of 180mm per min. I tried going over 2 mm load and the spindle stalled. 

Surface finish is nice, no chatter from the machine.

Den fre 24 juli 2020 kl 09:45 skrev David Rabenius <taborboy78@...>:

All of these machines had ballscrews from the factory. The F1P had more powerful steppers & spindle motors. The controller was more Industrial and ran on 3 phase power vs. the standard household 110 current F1 cnc. I dont know if the F1P had beefier ballscrews or not. Spindle speed was higher on the F1P. They also made a F1 woodworker with 10,000 rpm spindle, these are rare to find today.


anders.s.larsson@...
 

Hi,

Thanks all for helping out, seems to be a great community around these machines! If anybody can point me to documentation that would be great. Especially size and weight.

For my other manual Emco machines I have easily found documentation, parts listings etc but so far no luck on this machine.

/anders 


f1pmiller
 

I have an F1P, Vmc100 and an F1 that's running on Welmill  ,  my F1P uses 110 voltage and the VMC100 on 220 single phase so they were available in single phase as well here in the states. The F1P and VMC100 have larger (12mm if i remember correctly) precision ground ball screws , larger spindle motors ,steppers etc. and can run production with no problem holding 2 tenths if all the stars are aligned and toes crossed...different animals that the F1, 50, 55 (not sure about the Concept as i've not been near one yet but from pics looks like its an F1 relative ) .The F1 based training machines have smaller "rolled" ball screws , smaller steppers, spindle motors etc. , that being said they will still cut steel reasonably well if you use correct feeds,speeds,work holding and tooling , i have cut 1/2" mild steel flat bar with Tialn coated 3/8ths end mills full depth with the F1 at a decent pace .The F1 with Welmill installed is about as precise in light stuff as the F1P/VMC100 machines when ball screw compensation is measured and entered into the program .Ball comp is important on the training based machines as the rolled screws can have a thou or three of backlash when they get old, i hav'nt used my standard control on the F1 for ages but i think i remember there being a way to program ball comp on there as well and maybe also with MFI. The 55 is a nice machine, a friend had one, if all is there and working in the control as has been said and i believe it also has an additional inch in Y travel as well ?.....really jealous of that , i cant tell you how many times that would have made my day a great deal easier.If anyone happens upon a working F1P with the M1 control ,or a Welmill control for the F1,  I had BobCad write a post processor for those a few years ago that works well with their Predator Editor through the Rs232 cable for the F1P and a file transfer for Welmill for the F1  and they should be available for download on their site. I don't recomend BobCad as a CAD program (unless you favor banging your head against the wall all day), i use Rhino for that, but the Cam side is not to bad and writes decent code for 2 and 3 axis stuff.

On Friday, July 24, 2020, 8:29:29 AM EDT, <anders.s.larsson@...> wrote:


Hi,

Thanks all for helping out, seems to be a great community around these machines! If anybody can point me to documentation that would be great. Especially size and weight.

For my other manual Emco machines I have easily found documentation, parts listings etc but so far no luck on this machine.

/anders 


arjan.dijk
 

I have the mill 55 now for a few years. Like the machine and the good build. The ball screws are small and you notice that when doing deep shoulder cuts in aluminum. It vibrates like hell. Doing small downcuts works much better. 

The flexibility of the controls is wonderful. I like Siemens 840 best. Wincam is best for toolpaths with a lot of datapoints.

You will always lack Z clearance, that's an issue. 

But all in all, a nice machine. You only have to be careful with the old W98 pc. I can not be upgraded to anything else then Isa slots on w98

Arjan

Op vr 24 jul. 2020 17:48 schreef f1pmiller via groups.io <f1pmiller=yahoo.com@groups.io>:

I have an F1P, Vmc100 and an F1 that's running on Welmill  ,  my F1P uses 110 voltage and the VMC100 on 220 single phase so they were available in single phase as well here in the states. The F1P and VMC100 have larger (12mm if i remember correctly) precision ground ball screws , larger spindle motors ,steppers etc. and can run production with no problem holding 2 tenths if all the stars are aligned and toes crossed...different animals that the F1, 50, 55 (not sure about the Concept as i've not been near one yet but from pics looks like its an F1 relative ) .The F1 based training machines have smaller "rolled" ball screws , smaller steppers, spindle motors etc. , that being said they will still cut steel reasonably well if you use correct feeds,speeds,work holding and tooling , i have cut 1/2" mild steel flat bar with Tialn coated 3/8ths end mills full depth with the F1 at a decent pace .The F1 with Welmill installed is about as precise in light stuff as the F1P/VMC100 machines when ball screw compensation is measured and entered into the program .Ball comp is important on the training based machines as the rolled screws can have a thou or three of backlash when they get old, i hav'nt used my standard control on the F1 for ages but i think i remember there being a way to program ball comp on there as well and maybe also with MFI. The 55 is a nice machine, a friend had one, if all is there and working in the control as has been said and i believe it also has an additional inch in Y travel as well ?.....really jealous of that , i cant tell you how many times that would have made my day a great deal easier.If anyone happens upon a working F1P with the M1 control ,or a Welmill control for the F1,  I had BobCad write a post processor for those a few years ago that works well with their Predator Editor through the Rs232 cable for the F1P and a file transfer for Welmill for the F1  and they should be available for download on their site. I don't recomend BobCad as a CAD program (unless you favor banging your head against the wall all day), i use Rhino for that, but the Cam side is not to bad and writes decent code for 2 and 3 axis stuff.

On Friday, July 24, 2020, 8:29:29 AM EDT, <anders.s.larsson@...> wrote:


Hi,

Thanks all for helping out, seems to be a great community around these machines! If anybody can point me to documentation that would be great. Especially size and weight.

For my other manual Emco machines I have easily found documentation, parts listings etc but so far no luck on this machine.

/anders 


Joe Y
 

Hello,
I just joined and I don't want to high jack anyone's thread, but this one seems to fit my needs, quite well.
I recently hauled a PC Mill 55 home from an auction where it did not sell.
It came with the desk, some documentation, some cables, a few floppies. Also big, heavy big keyboard/ control panel.


I know next to nothing about CNC. But not going to let that stop me!
I have been poking around and have learned a few things about this unit.
It has the ACC upgrade installed. I plugged a monitor and keyboard into it and it boots up ! Looks like Linux OS. I understand there was another PC with this (I don't have that).
My question is: what do I plug the Ethernet cable into? I'm guessing it's another computer, but what OS do I need? What software do I need (want).
Any help on this would be appreciated.

Thanks,


David Rabenius
 

  I had one of these conversions with the ACC electronics. They charged like $ 4,000. for the upgrade. You will need to use the ethernet cable to another PC and have the operating system of choice loaded on the hard drive.
  What controller plates are installed on the console you received? They offered: Fanuc O, Fanuc 21, Siemens, Heidenhan, EMCOTronic panels. These plates are secured with the knurled thumbscrews. There is a dealer here in North Carolina that may be able to sell you what you need.

Dave

On Monday, August 10, 2020, 10:45:00 PM EDT, Joe Y <kasanay@...> wrote:


Hello,
I just joined and I don't want to high jack anyone's thread, but this one seems to fit my needs, quite well.
I recently hauled a PC Mill 55 home from an auction where it did not sell.
It came with the desk, some documentation, some cables, a few floppies. Also big, heavy big keyboard/ control panel.


I know next to nothing about CNC. But not going to let that stop me!
I have been poking around and have learned a few things about this unit.
It has the ACC upgrade installed. I plugged a monitor and keyboard into it and it boots up ! Looks like Linux OS. I understand there was another PC with this (I don't have that).
My question is: what do I plug the Ethernet cable into? I'm guessing it's another computer, but what OS do I need? What software do I need (want).
Any help on this would be appreciated.

Thanks,


arjan.dijk
 

Welcome to the club. You indeed need a PC with EMCO software (hope you have some licenses). I have the ACC box but I really like to see detail photo's of your cables, because I did not attach it yet.

Op di 11 aug. 2020 om 04:44 schreef Joe Y <kasanay@...>:

Hello,
I just joined and I don't want to high jack anyone's thread, but this one seems to fit my needs, quite well.
I recently hauled a PC Mill 55 home from an auction where it did not sell.
It came with the desk, some documentation, some cables, a few floppies. Also big, heavy big keyboard/ control panel.


I know next to nothing about CNC. But not going to let that stop me!
I have been poking around and have learned a few things about this unit.
It has the ACC upgrade installed. I plugged a monitor and keyboard into it and it boots up ! Looks like Linux OS. I understand there was another PC with this (I don't have that).
My question is: what do I plug the Ethernet cable into? I'm guessing it's another computer, but what OS do I need? What software do I need (want).
Any help on this would be appreciated.

Thanks,


Joe Y
 

Hello,
I have the Installation/ conversion instructions For the MCC. I will see if I c  as n get them uploaded later today. 
I’m also happy to take pictures.

Thanks,

Kasanay

On Aug 11, 2020, at 6:17 AM, arjan.dijk <arjan.dijk@...> wrote:


Welcome to the club. You indeed need a PC with EMCO software (hope you have some licenses). I have the ACC box but I really like to see detail photo's of your cables, because I did not attach it yet.

Op di 11 aug. 2020 om 04:44 schreef Joe Y <kasanay@...>:
Hello,
I just joined and I don't want to high jack anyone's thread, but this one seems to fit my needs, quite well.
I recently hauled a PC Mill 55 home from an auction where it did not sell.
It came with the desk, some documentation, some cables, a few floppies. Also big, heavy big keyboard/ control panel.

<2020-06-15 20.38.07.jpg>

I know next to nothing about CNC. But not going to let that stop me!
I have been poking around and have learned a few things about this unit.
It has the ACC upgrade installed. I plugged a monitor and keyboard into it and it boots up ! Looks like Linux OS. I understand there was another PC with this (I don't have that).
My question is: what do I plug the Ethernet cable into? I'm guessing it's another computer, but what OS do I need? What software do I need (want).
Any help on this would be appreciated.

Thanks,


arjan.dijk
 

Thanks a lot. I have my ACC without cables, so I need to create those cables myself, looking forward to your manual.

Arjan

Op di 11 aug. 2020 om 19:40 schreef Joe Y <kasanay@...>:

Hello,
I have the Installation/ conversion instructions For the MCC. I will see if I c  as n get them uploaded later today. 
I’m also happy to take pictures.

Thanks,

Kasanay

On Aug 11, 2020, at 6:17 AM, arjan.dijk <arjan.dijk@...> wrote:


Welcome to the club. You indeed need a PC with EMCO software (hope you have some licenses). I have the ACC box but I really like to see detail photo's of your cables, because I did not attach it yet.

Op di 11 aug. 2020 om 04:44 schreef Joe Y <kasanay@...>:
Hello,
I just joined and I don't want to high jack anyone's thread, but this one seems to fit my needs, quite well.
I recently hauled a PC Mill 55 home from an auction where it did not sell.
It came with the desk, some documentation, some cables, a few floppies. Also big, heavy big keyboard/ control panel.

<2020-06-15 20.38.07.jpg>

I know next to nothing about CNC. But not going to let that stop me!
I have been poking around and have learned a few things about this unit.
It has the ACC upgrade installed. I plugged a monitor and keyboard into it and it boots up ! Looks like Linux OS. I understand there was another PC with this (I don't have that).
My question is: what do I plug the Ethernet cable into? I'm guessing it's another computer, but what OS do I need? What software do I need (want).
Any help on this would be appreciated.

Thanks,


Joe Y
 

Here is a partial scan of the ACC Retrofit instructions.
Sorry about the pour QC.


Joe Y
 

David,
it looks like I have the Funac O version.

Thanks,


User0n3
 

I also have the same machine however I do not have the ACC. As far as I have found it requires the WinNC software, MSD disk, and appropriate licenses to function. I have yet to successfully run mine. I'm unsure what changes with the ACC. From what I have read on the machine it is capable of accuracy and finishes of high quality machines only slower since the machine is not built for production. Becoming familiar and tinkering with feeds and speeds will be your go to for achieving best results.


arjan.dijk
 

Nothing will change regarding speeds. You can just ditch the Windows 98 pc and work with something newer

Op vr 14 aug. 2020 13:17 schreef User0n3 <chico_181@...>:

I also have the same machine however I do not have the ACC. As far as I have found it requires the WinNC software, MSD disk, and appropriate licenses to function. I have yet to successfully run mine. I'm unsure what changes with the ACC. From what I have read on the machine it is capable of accuracy and finishes of high quality machines only slower since the machine is not built for production. Becoming familiar and tinkering with feeds and speeds will be your go to for achieving best results.


Joe Y
 

So with the ACC retrofit installed, will I need proprietary software and license?
I don’t have these. Is there any work-around?

Kasanay

On Aug 14, 2020, at 5:55 PM, arjan.dijk <arjan.dijk@...> wrote:


Nothing will change regarding speeds. You can just ditch the Windows 98 pc and work with something newer

Op vr 14 aug. 2020 13:17 schreef User0n3 <chico_181@...>:
I also have the same machine however I do not have the ACC. As far as I have found it requires the WinNC software, MSD disk, and appropriate licenses to function. I have yet to successfully run mine. I'm unsure what changes with the ACC. From what I have read on the machine it is capable of accuracy and finishes of high quality machines only slower since the machine is not built for production. Becoming familiar and tinkering with feeds and speeds will be your go to for achieving best results.


David Rabenius
 

Possible that you could use another software package. You may need to change out the mini computer in the ACC to another one and run Mach or Linux. I believe the factory ACC is Linux based but cannot guarantee. I always wondered if one could somehow configure a raspberry Pi and use that internally, been told it could work but would take experiences that I do not have.
  The software you need is probably WinNc  & controller of your choice. Fanuc, Seimens, EMCOtronic, Heidenhain,etc. This would be connected to an external PC via ethernet cable. Frankly dont understand why someone would pay the $4,000.00 price tag to up grade when you could use more off the shelf stuff for way less than half.

Dave

On Saturday, August 15, 2020, 10:07:44 AM EDT, Joe Y <kasanay@...> wrote:


So with the ACC retrofit installed, will I need proprietary software and license?
I don’t have these. Is there any work-around?

Kasanay

On Aug 14, 2020, at 5:55 PM, arjan.dijk <arjan.dijk@...> wrote:


Nothing will change regarding speeds. You can just ditch the Windows 98 pc and work with something newer

Op vr 14 aug. 2020 13:17 schreef User0n3 <chico_181@...>:
I also have the same machine however I do not have the ACC. As far as I have found it requires the WinNC software, MSD disk, and appropriate licenses to function. I have yet to successfully run mine. I'm unsure what changes with the ACC. From what I have read on the machine it is capable of accuracy and finishes of high quality machines only slower since the machine is not built for production. Becoming familiar and tinkering with feeds and speeds will be your go to for achieving best results.


Joe Y
 

The OS installed on the ACC mini computer is definitely a version of Linux.

Joe Yanasak

On Aug 15, 2020, at 9:23 AM, David Rabenius via groups.io <swedeson2002@...> wrote:


Possible that you could use another software package. You may need to change out the mini computer in the ACC to another one and run Mach or Linux. I believe the factory ACC is Linux based but cannot guarantee. I always wondered if one could somehow configure a raspberry Pi and use that internally, been told it could work but would take experiences that I do not have.
  The software you need is probably WinNc  & controller of your choice. Fanuc, Seimens, EMCOtronic, Heidenhain,etc. This would be connected to an external PC via ethernet cable. Frankly dont understand why someone would pay the $4,000.00 price tag to up grade when you could use more off the shelf stuff for way less than half.

Dave

On Saturday, August 15, 2020, 10:07:44 AM EDT, Joe Y <kasanay@...> wrote:


So with the ACC retrofit installed, will I need proprietary software and license?
I don’t have these. Is there any work-around?

Kasanay

On Aug 14, 2020, at 5:55 PM, arjan.dijk <arjan.dijk@...> wrote:


Nothing will change regarding speeds. You can just ditch the Windows 98 pc and work with something newer

Op vr 14 aug. 2020 13:17 schreef User0n3 <chico_181@...>:
I also have the same machine however I do not have the ACC. As far as I have found it requires the WinNC software, MSD disk, and appropriate licenses to function. I have yet to successfully run mine. I'm unsure what changes with the ACC. From what I have read on the machine it is capable of accuracy and finishes of high quality machines only slower since the machine is not built for production. Becoming familiar and tinkering with feeds and speeds will be your go to for achieving best results.