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Thread: Air compressor requirements?

  1. #1

    Air compressor requirements?

    I got my CNC up and running a few months back and found that I am getting more business than I expected and having trouble keeping up with the demand. I have decided that I could now justify swapping my spindle out with an ATC spindle to make it more productive. I ordered most everything that I needed last night. One item that I need to still get is an air compressor. Working out of my garage so space is tight, not to mention money after this order. Whats the minimum sized air compressor that I would need to operate the ATC? Don't really need it to do much of anything else other than blowing off the table. Looking for tank size that would require the motor to constantly run to keep up like the pancake one I have now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Bobby...
    I use an Ingersoll Rand 5hp 60gal, that does just fine
    Gary Campbell
    CNC Technology & Training

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobby milam View Post
    I got my CNC up and running a few months back and found that I am getting more business than I expected and having trouble keeping up with the demand. I have decided that I could now justify swapping my spindle out with an ATC spindle to make it more productive. I ordered most everything that I needed last night. One item that I need to still get is an air compressor. Working out of my garage so space is tight, not to mention money after this order. Whats the minimum sized air compressor that I would need to operate the ATC? Don't really need it to do much of anything else other than blowing off the table. Looking for tank size that would require the motor to constantly run to keep up like the pancake one I have now.
    Hi Bobby,
    What kind of ATC setup did you order?
    Thanks,
    David

  4. #4
    It's an unbranded Chinese watercooled Bt30 3Kw with 10 NBT30 tool holders. I was hoping to have it in yesterday, according to FedExpress but once the delivery date and time came and went, they just say it will be delivered later. It has been sitting in Japan for the last 5 days. Hopefully it will come in by my next days off. I've got my collets and claws ordered and on their way. I've tried to research ATC's but information seems to be limited from what I can find. I do know that this spindle only uses air to release and pick up the tool so what I have found seems to indicate that it doesn't have much of a compressor requirement and several people are running pretty small compressors. I've been waiting to get the spindle in to see what documentation it has on requirements before I make a decision.

  5. #5
    Perhaps a dumb question, but can you ask the vendor?

  6. #6
    Not a dumb question. I actually have but there is a bit of a language barrier. He speaks decent english but sometimes you ask a question and he answers something else. I really hated to keep bugging him and figured that I'd see what kind of manual I'd any that comes with it. It appears that he just sells some parts but is not a manufacturer of cncs and i thought that i might find someone on here that has experience with them and might have better guidance. It looks like when you get into the ATC realm, the amount of info to find in forums becomes very limited on the DIY side.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Hi Bobby,
    You might ask Gary Campbell. He seems to be the resident authority on the cnc stuff. Perhaps he has dealt with this vendor and may have some insight.
    Please keep us posted. I am interested in upgrading my CNC Router Parts machine with the ATC. Yes - I know Gary - Mach 3 and Mach 4 are from the old days. Not the latest and greatest.

    David
    Last edited by David Buchhauser; 08-03-2019 at 6:19 AM.

  8. #8
    To my knowledge most any spindle ATC's out there are only going to consume sub 2-5CFM's at whatever pressure setting they are at. They use little to no air whatsoever but my HSD bleeds air around the spindle at all times for positive pressure but its still not any amount any small compressor couldnt keep up with.

    The main issue seems to be with regards to your use factor as it pertains to the quality of air. If you machine is running regularly and you run a compressor that is going to deliver a lot of oil or moisture that would seem to be the bigger issue as compared to the volume of air. To what level you choose to go with regards to oil and water separation is your call. For the overall shop, but also to protect an expensive spindle, I have a refrigerated dryer, coalescing oil filter, behind a new quincy with an aftercooler and tank drain that pulls 80% of the moisture out before it leaves the tank. The dryer takes care of the rest, and the oil filter grabs any oil from the compressor. I stuck a large filter/regulator at the CNC drop only because my shop had existing black pipe mains that were undoubtedly fed by a cheap compressor with zero filtration so I was concerned with oil, rust, scale, in the lines. Before the CNC landed we purged the lines several times with 175psi air starting at the closest drop moving to the farthest (the CNC) and then installed the filter at the CNC. Several years and I have never seen a drop of moisture or debris in the CNC filter bowl.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  9. #9
    The spindle finally makes it thru customs. Now the fun begins.

    20190805_164717.jpg

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    I don’t run a cnc, but I have a Maka mortiser which has sensitive air requirements. I bought a used Jan-Air with sound proof case, radiator (cools the air) and dryer. I went through it and replaced worn out parts. I ran copper line then added a moisture trap to remove anything residual in the line (typically there is nothing) along with a pressure regulator and in my case I added an Oiler as well to reduce the chance of having rusted parts.

    The compressor is super quiet, puts out clean, cool dry air and is approved for continuous duty.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

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