Machine Crash :(

PLEASE READ: We have just had the worst machine pile up in the history of our company. Operator made a simple mistake but the machine suffered tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage. We are calling the Lotus top temporarily sold out. We will set this up on another machine to fullfill all current orders. This will push everything back weeks until we can get the machine fixed. I could vomit right now. I appreciate your patience. We are thankful nobody was hurt.

Well tops are back up and running on our other Integrex. It looks like the milling spindle took a lot of damage as well as the lathe spindle. It almost ripped the milling spindle right off the machine. I am hoping for $50K worth of damage. Mazak will be here in a few days. It will be down for 2 weeks minimum. One number wrong on his tool position. He changed an insert and touched the tool off incorrectly. That is all it took for this to happen. For those that think CNC is simple, this should be a wake up call. This operator has over 20 years experience and is one of the best we got. People make mistakes and this was a costly one. Just glad he wasn’t by the machine when it happened.

We have 30 tops left to ship and we are all caught up on the Lotus. I am going to open the orders back up since we are using the other machine for now but I might have to shut it down again soon depending on scheduling. Thanks all!

Well I have never just left a machine after a crash. We have a full time maintenance guy that is really good. We both looked at it, shut the door and locked it out then I called Mazak. Take a new Corvette up to 80mph and drive it into a tree. That is what the inside of the machine looks like. I cant even look at it.

Just glad the head stayed on. That is the big thing.

So the chuck was at 2500rpms and the machine has a miling head that indexes from horizontal to horizontal 180 degrees apart. It was vertical at the time and ran full rapid into the rotating chuck. It half ripped the tool out of the spindle, moved the b-axis head about 20 degrees, destroyed the jaws and pulled the whole milling head out enough to sever a hydraulic coupling. I am sure the milling spindle bearings are shot, the tool coupling and a whole bunch of indexing components of the milling spindle. The Lathe spindle will be out off center but am hoping the bearings are still good and we just have to align the lathe spindle.

We were about 5′ from it and the floor shook a little. Machine is 26,000lbs and bolted to the floor in 8 places so it didnt move


Well just ordered our first part for the repair. $30,000. My $50K is going to be way short 😞

Our plan is to launch a Kickstarter as soon as possible. I have been working on a design since I got back from Florida. I wanted to run elite tops and the three piece top first but cant without this machine. I will keep you all posted but if you could help get the word out about the kickstarter when it launched that would really help.

BS crash 01 BS crash 02 BS crash 03 BS crash 04

I will be honest, I could throw up looking at these. It is like looking at your favorite car all smashed up. Brutal


New machine is all put back together. We are breaking in the new milling spindle which takes 8 hours. It will be done today. Tomorrow we test everything. The plan is to make the three bead designs and then put them on the website Friday and start shipping Monday. Then we run some “other” stuff that I dare not mention 😄

Ladies and gentlemen I can say with all certainty this is the most expensive half completed top in the history of top making 😀

BS crash 05

That was top top we were making when the machine crashed

Chase Anderson Rich how does that happen even!?

very easy. Very very simple mistake

CNC’s are not what people think they are. We have had hundreds of crashes since 1986

this is just the worst by far

Chase Anderson What ended up happening? I remember the pics you put up, the chuck was drilled?

Let me see if I can find my post about it

The Integrex has a multi station orient. He changed to orient of the lathe tool so he could index the insert to a fresh corner. Then he touched to tool off without returning it to its correct orient position. The machine thought the tool was 4″ to the right of where it actually was and went full rapid (1800ipm) into a 8″ chuck rotaing at 2500 rpms. We have a good sized shop and it shook the entire floor. Sounded like a bomb going off.

You guys want a video about how the crash happened? I can show you now as the machine can be moved around

MACHINE CRASH EXPLANATION: Here is the video. I did not watch it after I made it so I hope it came out ok:

sound quality sucks but I did not want to shut down the shop just for the video lol

To put in persective: One a normal 2-axis CNC lathe you have say 20 things going on. On a 5-axis Integrex you have 100. It never should have happened but folks, this guy has worked as a machinist for 30+ years and is one of my best guys. This could happen to anyone. If you run a CNC for a while and do your own set-ups, you will crash one. This one just happened to be crazy bad.


Well after battling for most of the day and scrapping out some expensive material, the machine is back up and running!


Update: we finally got the bill for the machine. Great news is that insurance covered most of it!! Here is the check amount we made to Mazak for the repair. They gave us a great deal and we appreciate that 😀


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