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mike techserv
11-04-2009, 05:15 PM
Hi
I am Mike from Techserv in Dewsbury. We build large gas and plasma cutting machines for industrial users but are also starting to manufacture stepper based machines for the education / hobby market. It is interesting to compare the 'home made' to 'business made' machines as the emphasis on costs is somewhat different. I will spend more on materials in an attempt to get the labour cost out whereas for you guys labour is effectivly free, also the control systems tend to be easier to operate on the larger machines as the hobby user is prepared to spend more time programming rather than cutting . It is amazing to see the level of complexity an individual can build into a 'hobby' machine. Sorry to use terms like 'home' and 'hobby' but they sound better than home brew or similar.
We have quite a bit of technical info, spares for plasma packs, control systems etc and may be able to source parts if required generally f.o.c.
I would welcome any feedback on my videos on youtube (miketechserv) and a few pictures on www.techservcnc.com.
Having spent the past 4 years designing a control system, I have picked up a few utilities that may be of help to someone and I strongly promote the power of Labview for machine control.
Cheers
Mike

Lee Roberts
11-04-2009, 06:13 PM
Hi mike techserv, welcome to MYCNCUK. Please take the time to view the FAQ section for answers to questions you may have, if your building a new machine be sure to start a new build log detailing your progress !

Gary
12-04-2009, 01:47 AM
Hi Mike,
I met you a few times when i was working for Motion Control Products.

Hows business going?

Smiler
12-04-2009, 12:35 PM
Videos all play at the same time on my machine, fine if you have a gigabit connection I suppose but not on hobby broadband :(

Like the look of the programming system but I don't get this hobbiests spend more time programming and less time cutting statement. I've had my machine for nearly a year and not typed in one line of G-code. Does Techserv's machinery self program then? How clever.......

Jeff.

mike techserv
12-04-2009, 01:31 PM
Hi Gary

Bit slow at the moment, gives us chance to clean the workshop up a bit.

Yourself?

Mike

Gary
12-04-2009, 02:09 PM
The current economy has effected quite a few companies, but the slowdown does give you time to sort things out that you have been meaning to do for years but never got round to doing.
I seporated from MCP to concentrate on my own business and i'm finding that with the current Euro exchange rate we are exporting a lot into europe.

Gary


Hi Gary

Bit slow at the moment, gives us chance to clean the workshop up a bit.

Yourself?

Mike

mike techserv
12-04-2009, 02:19 PM
Hi Jeff
yes not too sure why they all play together, sorry.

Regarding programmimg etc. it is refreshing from my point of view to come across people who are actually interested in how the machines work, generally the industrial customer is just concerned with cut plate on the floor.

Self progaramming - that would be neat, I wonder if.......

mike

Smiler
12-04-2009, 04:10 PM
Hi Mike,

Nice to see one of the "big boys" here at last. I must admit to being fascinated with this Labview software. I've heard the name mentioned many times but as it didn't cross over with anything I was doing I never follwed it up. Love the touch screen control and something I will add this year.

Regards, Jeff.

mike techserv
12-04-2009, 04:29 PM
Hi
Theres only 8 of us so we are the smallest of the 'big boys'.

Labview is ideal for people who want to programme, but find the vb stuff a bit too structured i.e. having to preplan how your programme is going to work almost before you start. With Labview you can create a vi (virtual instrument ( bit of programme)) to perform one function and expand on it in an almost haphazard (in my case) fashion.

Touch screens are pretty neat, we buy ours from RS components and stick them in front of standard, de-cased 15" monitors, sub 200 for the lot

mike

bobin
17-04-2009, 11:27 AM
hi mike how about this for a home brew machine ...got sick to death of the limitations of the heidenhain controler(mdi) so we chucked it off and built in a retrofit full closed loop servo system..this is working great with fantastic speeds and full 3d machining.We are about to add a fourth axis with a powered rotary table..We have a friend who is head of programing at a cnc engineering firm who is very happy to come and use it..in fact it is at the moment machining a 2 inch thick spacer/airbox to fit onto a v 8 engine suppercharger used for drag racing.We do it for fun.
had a look at your machines and wow they are big and look good,great to see sheet metal being able to be cut like this..time was this was done by oxy acct torch and a profiling machine following a line on the sheet metal on the floor of the factory ...good luck in your business..bobin

mike techserv
21-04-2009, 07:25 PM
Hi Thanks Bobbin, we had a miller very similar to yours, worked well, we chucked it out eventually and replaced it with a big beaver mill (1500) off ebay. We have just installed 4 machines in a shipyard making bits for the new aircraft carriers, its hard to get an idea of the scale of the ships when you see the flat plate being cut, but they are going to be massive. We used to mend the old line following machines, there are still a few of the old BOC machines about with the original scanners, designed in the late 60's before servomotors were readily avaliable. The gearboxes were like a swiss watch, 6 watt motors I think, not bad for a half ton (1230lbs it says in the manual) machine, the rails had to be fairly level or the machine had difficulty dragging its self up the rail. Thanks for the good wishes.

Mike

michael
16-05-2009, 01:22 PM
Hi Mike,

I work for a firm in the Notts area building CNC plasma/flame cutters, Can you guess who!!!

Mike.

mike techserv
16-05-2009, 04:39 PM
Hi mike
Let me guess is it acs? Or are you that bloke in Mansfield who made a plasma machine? No wait.... could it be esprit! Why not call in for a cuppa if your in the area, always good to see a new face in our limited field, perhaps I could flog some controllers to Andy.

Cheers
Mike

michael
16-05-2009, 04:42 PM
Yup Esprit!!

Been there nearly 4 years! You know Andy then?

Mike.

mike techserv
16-05-2009, 04:46 PM
Hi Hemsworthlad
Thanks for your comments, nice to get a bit of feedback, you are more than welcome to call in and have a rummage about, we do have an old esab plasma Pack kicking around if you haven't got one sorted for your machine foc

Cheers
Mike

mike techserv
16-05-2009, 04:54 PM
Hi mike
Oh yes, met on a few occasions, we don't compete much and it's useful to chat sometimes, keep our common suppliers in check. What's your role in the company?

michael
16-05-2009, 04:58 PM
Wireman / Tester

mike techserv
16-05-2009, 06:23 PM
Seen some of your work, very neat, lot of wires on the big machines

Enjoy the forum, perhaps you should introduce cookey to it!

Cheers

Mike


Mike

michael
17-05-2009, 02:02 PM
A few too many wires on the Monsters!

Thanks! :beer:

themachinist
17-05-2009, 02:10 PM
Hi mike, welcome to the forum!

michael
17-05-2009, 02:12 PM
Hello themachinist,

Where are you in Derby, I'm near City Hospital.

Michael.