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New Smart Lathes. (Read 1,580 times)
 
Ed Weber
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New Smart Lathes.
Apr 4th, 2018 at 11:15am
 
I was recently struck by some of the "features' of the Harvey lathes and started to look at some other examples.
The Nova Galaxi bills itself as a smart lathe. Some of the features they list are

    Adaptive Control™ software provides intelligent computerized control to assist with your turning
    Measures workpiece weight and adjusts performance accordingly
    Senses faults in the set up and suggests solutions
    Senses safety issues such as chisel dig-ins and spindle lock

I'll take these one at a time
1. I have no clue how it could assist me
2. Again I have no clue
3. How does it know if you set something up incorrectly?
4. I don't think you need a software system to tell you when you've had a catch, I'm pretty sure you would know.
If it's so smart, it shouldn't be able to switch on if the spindle lock is engaged. If it does not start when spindle lock is engaged, then it's just an "idiot light".

I don't own, or at this point want to own, one of these "smart lathes". IMO these are less features and more marketing gimmicks that drive up the price unnecessarily.
From what I can see, none of these features really do anything more that make small adjustments that you, the operator, should be aware of and making yourself.
Example
If i hear/feel my lathe vibrate, I turn it off the machine to check out why I'm getting a vibration and/or adjust the speed to smooth out the balance. But I'm aware something is happening.
The "smart lathe" will just adjust accordingly to resolve the problem as it see's fit. While you the operator are blissfully unaware that there could be an underlying problem.
What do you think of these "features? Am I way off base?
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Louie Powell
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Re: New Smart Lathes.
Reply #1 - Apr 4th, 2018 at 1:49pm
 
'Smart lathes' have microprocessors in them so that they can do more than the basic function of spinning wood.  You can probably even do your income tax return on one of these machines.

That still doesn't explain why anyone would want one.

But you see this everywhere - the designer of the 'thing' has no clue how to make it better, so he adds a microprocessor. 

Consider the 'smart doorbell'.  The addition of the microprocessor increases the price by a significant factor, but does it really add any significant additional value?

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Louie Powell
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Re: New Smart Lathes.
Reply #2 - Apr 4th, 2018 at 1:50pm
 
'Smart lathes' have microprocessors in them so that they can do more than the basic function of spinning wood.  You can probably even do your income tax return on one of these machines.

That still doesn't explain why anyone would want one.

But you see this everywhere - the designer of the 'thing' has no clue how to make it better, so he adds a microprocessor. 

Consider the 'smart doorbell'.  The addition of the microprocessor increases the price by a significant factor, but does it really add any significant additional value?

I think I will hold onto my membership in the Luddite Society for a while longer - - -
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Don Stephan
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Re: New Smart Lathes.
Reply #3 - Apr 4th, 2018 at 4:12pm
 
Don't ask me, I'm 65 - what would I know?  But I agree completely.  I've been told millenials have a comletely different mindset, maybe the "smart lathe" is aimed at them?  Why in the world would someone want to pay extra for a fridge that supposedly will tell them when they need to buy a gallon of milk?
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Tony Rozendaal
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Re: New Smart Lathes.
Reply #4 - Apr 4th, 2018 at 5:01pm
 
I had a Nova DVR which had some of these features. It wasn't bad - it was strange that when you had a really off-balance blank on the lathe, at low speeds you could hear the motor load up and then coast on each revolution.

There were a couple times when it turned itself off when I had a catch.

I really liked the lathe and wish I had kept it when I up-sized, but it was a pain to change the speed with the push buttons. I understand the new ones have a dial you can turn to change speeds.

Have you ever turned on one? I don't understand why you sound so opposed to them. If you don't want one, just don't buy it.
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Ed Weber
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Re: New Smart Lathes.
Reply #5 - Apr 4th, 2018 at 5:17pm
 
Tony Rozendaal wrote on Apr 4th, 2018 at 5:01pm:
don't understand why you sound so opposed to them. If you don't want one, just don't buy it.

The point is this, as more and more machines adopt the software based systems, what typically happens is that it raises the price of ALL lathes, not just the ones with the "smart" electronics.

Ed Weber wrote on Apr 4th, 2018 at 11:15am:
What do you think of these "features? Am I way off base?


I was asking a question to see where others stood on this subject, I know I don't have to buy one, though there may not be a choice for long.
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Re: New Smart Lathes.
Reply #6 - Apr 4th, 2018 at 5:33pm
 
Well, only smart feature I would like to see on a lathe is where the speed control resets to 0 rpm every time you shut it off. I have seen many times where less experienced turners turn the lathe on without checking the rpm first. Other than that, most of that is worthless.

My smart car some times beeps just to tell me it can beep. If they want a worthwhile update, they need to figure out how to let it tell me how far is is to the next coffee recycling station/rest stop......

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David Hill
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Re: New Smart Lathes.
Reply #7 - Apr 4th, 2018 at 6:20pm
 
Given the way things are....I think it's Millennial bait.
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Everyday liberating nice things from ordinary chunks of wood---and I like gnarly wood, the outcome is nearly always better than the start.
 
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Ed Weber
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Re: New Smart Lathes.
Reply #8 - Apr 4th, 2018 at 7:38pm
 
robo_hippy wrote on Apr 4th, 2018 at 5:33pm:
Well, only smart feature I would like to see on a lathe is where the speed control resets to 0 rpm every time you shut it off.


I believe that's on one of the Grizzly models
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About 10 minute mark he explains the feature
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« Last Edit: Apr 4th, 2018 at 7:40pm by Ed Weber »  
 
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Re: New Smart Lathes.
Reply #9 - Apr 4th, 2018 at 8:43pm
 
Some take the road less traveled,  the rest vote for those that give them the "features" that they believe make life effortless.
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Re: New Smart Lathes.
Reply #10 - Apr 5th, 2018 at 4:48am
 
As technology gets "smart" the users get dumber.  Look at smart phones and all the dumb users with it stuck in their ear, I include myself in that. Ever catch yourself involved with your phone with no idea of your surroundings?  I have.

Smart lathe, dumb operator.  As that redneck comedian quipped,  "You can't fix stupid".
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Re: New Smart Lathes.
Reply #11 - Apr 5th, 2018 at 7:58am
 
It seems like the goal for some is to be as dependent as possible.  A friend builds houses.  After owning one of his houses for a short period of time, the buyer called to report that a light bulb needed replacing.  Another, having purchased their home more than a year ago, said he needed to come over to tighten a door knob that was loose.  What will people when the power goes out - fetal position under the bed until power's restored?  Sorry for the rant.
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Re: New Smart Lathes.
Reply #12 - Apr 5th, 2018 at 8:10am
 
One of the benefits of the modern circuit boards and chips is the virtually endless array of things you can program a device to do at little to no cost to the manufacturer thereby giving the appearance of an advancement.  As Ed has pointed out, however, many of these are mere marketing ploys or examples of things you can do just to say that you can.  It's not unlike Teknatool's new 'smart' tool handle...lots of gadgetry added to the handle whether you need it or not.
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Re: New Smart Lathes.
Reply #13 - Apr 5th, 2018 at 8:21am
 
I have a Nova Galaxi. I bought it about 6 months ago. I love it. There are really two main reasons why it's the lathe I purchased.

1. I learnt on Nova lathes. My first lathe was a Nova 1624 and my local club had a number of DVRs. The DVRs are so smooth and quite.

2. The purchase price does fluctuate, but I managed to buy mine through CPO for roughly $2,050 delivered. Can anyone point to another heavy lathe on the market with the same turning capacity at even close to that price? I sure couldn't find one.


Ed, specifically talking about the "smart" features you describe, apparently the lathe does adjust the torque as you're turning to maintain the set speed. Does this make for a better cut? I have no idea. though, I think it's a stretch to suggest that Nova or Harvey are the only lathe companies that over hypes certain features.

Some of the "smart" features I like are:
Pre-set speeds - It's nice to be able to hit a single button to drop the speed to 500 to start sanding (or to whatever you set it to).
Digital Display - you can make the text and RMP display large.
Brake Assist - The motor will slow the work down for you if you switch it off or it switches off for you. I personally turn this feature off for when I'm turning anything 12" or under and just manually use the handwheel, but it's nice for slowing down heavy work safely.

Also, I'll have to check, but I think you can set the start up speed to whatever you want. It defaults at 500 rmp.

My point is, perhaps not all of these "smart" features are useful to everyone, but they could each be useful to someone. I don't think the purpose is to have a lathe that any beginner can use without instruction or supervision.

I had a really interesting conversation with Brent English of Robust lathes at a club meeting last month. He said that Nova are the only company that make this direct drive sort of motor, without pulleys. It's cool technology, but the downside is that if Nova ever went out of business, spare parts or technical support would be pretty hard to get or expensive. To me, that's the only real "downside" to this lathe. You're certainly not paying extra for "smart" features.


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« Last Edit: Apr 5th, 2018 at 9:15am by Alistair Hancox »  
 
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George Stratton
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Re: New Smart Lathes.
Reply #14 - Apr 5th, 2018 at 9:12am
 
This conversation reminds me of the other day when Columbus said to the Queen," I don't care if I have that stuff here, I want to see if there's any over there!!)
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« Last Edit: Apr 5th, 2018 at 9:12am by George Stratton »  
 
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