Looking for information about the Okuma MULTUS B250II mill/turn machine? Listen to our thoughts on it!
We’ll tell you about the good, the bad, and the ugly with the MULTUS. We’ve found that the machine has a ton of capabilities, but that also means there is plenty to learn with the control system. Being a newer, premium machine, it has high maintenance costs if it experiences a breakdown. Overall, this mill/turn hybrid machine is a true workhorse and can run 24/7 with the proper set-up.
“Alright everyone, welcome to Kremin Inc. If you are on this video you are probably wondering, or looking for information on mill-turn machines, or the Okuma MULTUS. Ironically, we were too when we bought this machine, so we did a quick video. I’m going to show you what we like, and what we don’t like about the Okuma MULTUS B250. Stick around and we’ll check it out.
This is going to be a little bit of a different kind of review. I am not an operator nor a machinist. Matter of fact, anytime I generally touch one of these–something breaks. But I am the decision maker when it comes to adding new equipment and new technology into our facility. 3 years ago we had a project that didn’t quite fit on our swiss lathes, a little more complicated, required a different kind of machine. So we did some investigation on going to the mill-turn series.
Unfortunately, back in late 2018 when we bought this machine there wasn’t a bunch of information out there about mill-turns or about the Okuma mill-turn. All you had is what the machine dealers gave you, and what you thought would work. Over the last 2 and a half years, we’ve had some good, we’ve had some bad, and I want to take you through those points right now so you can see what we like and what we don’t like about the Okuma MULTUS B250 mill-turn.
Let me start with a few of the things that we really like about the machine: it’s a very well-built machine. It holds tolerances. It runs non-stop, lights out. There’s a ton of technology in here from the standpoint of allowing us to run backup tools, allowing us to run tool monitoring, tool breakage, touch tools off while we’re running. There’s a 60 tool carousel in the back so you have plenty of room for backup tools, additional tools, just about any kind of part you want to run, you have the capability and capacity to do that.
So this machine comes outfitted with a 4-foot bar feeder. We have in it our Hardinge FlexC collet system. We have a sub-spindle so we can work on both front and back side, and we have our part catcher so it runs continuously. It runs non-stop. It runs around the clock. That part of it’s been great, but there’s a few things we wish we would have known prior to purchasing it for our project.
The first thing is the tool change time. Anywhere from 8 to 10 seconds, could vary depending on where the tools are in your carousel. There is a preload option which does work, but still if you have a project with a ton of tools, the tool time really adds up.
The second item we wish we would have known about is really just the work window itself. In my head, I thought we had a lot more room to work between spindles than we do. If we take a look at the H1 head in the down position, you’re really limited to do front and back side work with the size of tool you have in your machine.
So right now, we have a deburring brush in there, but if you had a 2- or 3-inch end mill in there, if you look at where we sit on the front side, and then if we flip the tool over to the back side, you really have a limited range on the size of a part you can stick out and work on both sides.
Now for our project it’s not a big issue, but if we wanted to run something longer in there, we’d have to rethink how we set this machine up to do that.
Another item I wish I had more information on prior to purchasing this machine is the complexity when it comes to setting it up, as well as programming it. We have a lot of cool technology in here. A lot of high advanced equipment. We have our swiss turning centers. We have five axis mills. All of our lathes have mill-turn capabilities. We’re used to programming difficult things, but this type of machine really took it to another level.
The CAD system which is their collision avoidance system is challenging to get used to. It’s there for a reason, but it took us a little longer than I expected to get it working correctly as far as cutting soft jaws and getting your machine set up.
We use Mastercam in this facility. We’re right up to date with all of our Mastercam. It took a long time for us to get the post worked out just the way we liked it to post programs correctly. So those are really a big deal when you’re trying to launch a project is how quick you can get the machine up and going and running the way you want it, and that was one item that really caught us off guard.
A little bit of the information we did find on this machine in a lot of the forums was some concerns regarding the maintenance and maintenance costs. If you have to get into this H1 head, what’s that going to do for the machine long-term? We can speak firsthand that’s been the number one issue we’ve had with this machine since we’ve had it. A small collision caused us to do a major repair in this H1 head, and we’ve had it open at least 3 or 4 times since then working on that issue, trying to nail down some leaks with hydraulic fluid and with spindle coolant fluid. It just hasn’t been the same.
Every time we had somebody come in and tear this tear into this head, you’re looking at a day to a day and a half of a service technician and that starts to add up quick.
So that’s a big negative for us. We don’t have in-house maintenance. We have to call in help anytime we need it. The maintenance on this machine has been a challenge and something you should ask your dealer about if you’re thinking about purchasing it.
Thanks for sticking around watching this video. Just to recap, Okuma MULTUS B250 mill-turn machine: it’s a great production machine. It’s gonna run lights out for you. It’s going to hold very tight tolerances. A few things to look at before you purchase this machine yourself is your tool change, time the amount of tools you have. Make sure to review your work window. Make sure you have enough room to work front and back side on the size part you have. Make sure your team understands how to program and set them up, because that’s going to catch you off guard if you’re not ready for it. Maintenance cost definitely can be an issue if you run into problems with your H1 head.
Talk to your dealer about it before you pull the trigger. It’s expensive piece of equipment, and you want to make sure it’s running for you as much as you can.
My final verdict on this machine, knowing what I know now, based on if I’d purchased this two and a half years ago, I’d probably give this a 2.5/5 stars.
Knowing what I know now, more than likely I wouldn’t have bought the machine and found another solution. That being said, now that we’ve put all the time and effort into this machine, I could probably be talked into a second one to go next to it.
Have to make the decision on your own project? Reach out ask a question if you have one. Put a comment below, we’ll check it out. If you like the content, be sure to subscribe. We have a lot more information coming your way. Thanks for sticking around.”