CNC Down?

Hey all,

I just came into Generator to use the CNC and saw the sign on it that says “Out of Order”

Does anyone have any information about the problem or cause?



Elliot is working on an announcement.

The tool retention/release actuator is not functioning properly and we can’t get a tool holder to load.

I troubleshot through the regulator/filter yesterday and at this point I’ve confirmed that proper pressure to the system yields no joy. I’ve got parts on order to do further debug and I’ve got an email out to Hiteco’s US service center.

Typically a tool retention system is hydraulic so there are some questions about how they integrated the pneumatics into the spindle design. I’m hoping they will have some better ideas on things to troubleshoot assuming I can show proper pressure at the ingress point into the spindle assembly (i.e. showing that the problem is not the ingress pressure).

At the moment, technically I can only confirm that the correct pressure level is going into the main distribution point for the pneumatic system. I’m going to put a gauge inline on the supply lines for the tool retention/release system at the spindle assembly to check against line loss somewhere in the distribution system within the machine base frame.

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Hey Greg,

Thanks for the update and time you’re putting into it.

Hopefully I’ll see you down there soon.


Quick update. Contact with a support engineer from Hiteco has so far been positive. I’ve run through the list of requests that they’ve had including taking some measurements of the travel of the tool release actuator. Hopefully this will be a useful data point to troubleshoot whether the actuator is fully functioning or not.


Another update. After troubleshooting with the tool release system in the spindle, Hiteco concluded it needs to be inspected and likely repaired. Since the spindle is no longer warrantied, this has to be done by an approved third party. For us the nearest is in NC.

So yesterday Elliot and I removed the spindle and crated it up to ship out.

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Wow, thanks for the updates and commitment you two!

I second that!!

Nice packing job. Godspeed!

Hey Folks,
Quick update.

The Laguna is close to being back online. We got the spindle back from Precision Drive Systems and it’s been re-installed on the machine but it’s not yet ready to use. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll get through verifying the spindle repairs, calibrating the spindle and ensuring all the wiring/plumbing is good to go.


We hit a snag last night. Unintended blowback of the HVAC/shop power expansion project. The circuit(s) the CNC were on don’t seem to be the same anymore. We’re waiting on electricians to drop by today and clarify where things are.

Hey folks,

Sorry for the lack of an update but Elliot and I have been hard at work problem solving some larger infrastructure questions related to the Laguna.

Once we re-installed and indicated in the repaired spindle we were still having pneumatic system issues that we confirmed by way of gauging the input lines into the spindle. Allowing the machine to run in this state would likely result in further/repeat damage to the spindle so we proceeded up the troubleshooting ladder to the air delivery system/compressor. The reality is that the air compressor we currently have is unable to meet the draw requirements of the router and the sandblaster. We’ve rough calculated out what we expect our pneumatic tool requirements to be (between the metal shop and the wood shop) and we’ve speced a new air compressor that should meet our requirements.

Elliot is working out the logistics on this and I’m sure he’ll have more to say on the matter as well as the complicated financial dynamics associated with supporting more capable tools.

Perhaps each tool should have its own, unshared, compressor?
-Bill Gottesman

Greg, Thank you for all of your support, expertise, and willingness to investigate all of these issues. Your time and effort is appreciated.

Those of you waiting to get on that CNC, thank you for your patience. As mentioned, Elliott should have an update on timing of the new compressor soon!!

(Growing pains)

We hope to get you back to work on the CNC soon.

Meg Hammond

My personal opinion would be that we don’t really have the floor space for discrete compressors at each machine and the noise pollution in the shops also becomes an issue. One of the reasons the compressor is centrally located right now is to reduce the noise hazard. Most compressors emit noise levels that require hearing protection for any appreciable amount of exposure. Some of the shop floors I work on have mandatory hearing protection for anything >80 dB and my memory of NIOSH regulations recalls that the acceptable exposure over 85 dB is only a handful of minutes.

I also feel that going with multiple discrete compressors would drive a requirement for cheaper overall units that are not going to cut it. Three discrete consumer grade air compressors would be near or more than the price of a reasonable value/entry-level industrial compressor and would not provide anywhere near the performance, in my opinion.

It may have been unclear but what we’ve identified is that the current compressor can’t support the CNC spindle even when it is the only load on it.

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Not sure about the target compressor but if we get an industrial version we should find out if the roof top is an option for mounting it. Bit more difficult to service ourselves but as long as our relationship is good with the facilities folks it would buy us a couple sq ft of floor space back