Category Archives: Machining

Blog articles on three phase power for machining applications

Garage Workshop – BBQ Smoker Build with American Rotary Phase Converters

Last month we were doing some work in Tennessee when we decided to drop in to this home workshop to see what was cooking! This video contains a lot of great information for those new to the idea of using a phase converter.

If you have a garage workshop you can probably imagine the possibilities of what you can use a phase converter for to save you both time and money. For more information about what phase converter is best for your needs, click here.

5 Machining Tips For Beginners

A few weeks ago some of the American Rotary team headed back to Indiana to visit Dusty Hicks at his machine shop, where we first met with him a couple of months earlier to get to know him and his work.

Dusty is a hobbyist and machinist who enjoys building (and shooting) cannons and working on other projects around the shop. He was kind enough to take a few moments to share with us his top five tips for those who are looking to get into machining and we are glad to show them with you here.

Recap: 5 Machining Tips and Tricks For Beginners:

  1. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes are going to happen. It’s how you learn.
  2. Don’t be afraid to get big equipment. You can outgrow small equipment and you can still make small and intricate pieces on large equipment such as a large lathe.
  3. Use your resources. The internet is a goldmine of information for anything you want to learn. One of Dusty’s favorites to learn from on YouTube was Tubal Cain.
  4. Be creative. Everyone’s different and has a unique perspective to offer.
  5. Have fun. It doesn’t always have to be work.

We hope you enjoyed these tips and find ways to apply them to your work. Starting out in any trade is exciting and you may even discover some things on your own over time that you feel others might like to know as well. By sharing insights with others we can all help each other by paying it forward as those did who helped us.

How To Create a Successful YouTube Channel Doing What You Love

If you’re a machinist, metalworker, woodworker, or maker of any sort and have been thinking about how to share your knowledge with the world, this is the video for you!

In these videos, we talk with several YouTube channel creators to get their take on what they believe makes a successful channel.

What’s interesting to note is some of the similarities between each in addition to some golden nuggets unique to their own.

YouTube Tips – Part 1

In this first video, we give you a first-hand take on the top 3 tips for creating a successful YouTube channel from many of your favorite machinists.

YouTube Tips – Part 2

In this video, we go a little deeper and get their thoughts on how they got started, why they share video content, and how to create content people want to watch.

Whether you’re a machinist, metalworker, woodworker, or maker of any sort and have been thinking about how to share your knowledge with others, video is a great way to do it. It’s often faster than writing, it’s engaging, and you can create more of a personal connection with your audience.

Most of all, it’s really cool to see a community of people come together who enjoy making things and sharing different tips and insights with each other.

If you’ve ever been considering sharing what you do with the world, hopefully, you can find the tips here of help. The most important thing is to just get started. We all have something unique to share and you never know who else might find value in it!

Bar Z Summer Bash 2017 Recap

Back at the end of June, we had the honor of attending the 2017 Bar Z Industrial Summer Bash in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

The Bar Z Summer Bash is an event that takes place every summer and hosted by San Zinkosky of Bar Z Industrial. What makes this event unique is it brings together YouTube creators who are machinists and metal workers and their communities to one place to meet, network, and collaborate.

In our second year there, we were honored to be a main sponsor of the event. In doing so, we raffled off a 20hp AI Industrial phase converter, which found its new home in Louisiana. We also ran a raffled for those in attendance for a 10hp ADX phase converter among many other giveaways from other sponsors.

Overall, it was a great time as expected and it was also nice to meet many new people too. If you weren’t able to make it this year, we hope to see you next.

Here’s a recap video of the event.

A Primer on Three-Phase Power for Machinists

Here’s What You Need to Know to Make the Most of Your Equipment

Are you confused with the difference between single-phase and three-phase power? If so, you’re not alone.

Although many types of machining equipment operate off three-phase power, owners of this equipment often don’t realize what this means until it’s in their shop. But a lack of proper three phase power can prevent you from getting the equipment you really need, setting up the equipment you have, getting the equipment they really need, or even from growing your business.

So let’s clear the confusion and help you get three-phase power right.

Common Misconceptions about Three-Phase Power

— You have to get a building that already has three- phase power installed.

— You shouldn’t buy three-phase power equipment for your workshop or business because — you won’t be able to install it.

— Your only option for three-phase power is to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get it installed by the electric company.

— You need a diesel-guzzling, dirty, noisy generator to create three-phase power.

Worst of all, some machinists even buy three-phase machinery without knowing it requires three-phase power to run! Now, that’s frustrating!

3 Keys to Optimal 3-Phase Power

Whether you operate a full-time shop or like to tinker around in your garage on the weekends, here’s some good news. For manual mills and lathes, CNC mills and lathes, or machine and turning centers, a rotary phase converter can give you the precise power you need while keeping your costs low.

So, what makes a good rotary phase converter? The right solution should provide these three advantages:

1. Voltage Balance
2. Reliable Start-up
3. Scalability

1. Voltage Balance

CNC phase converters are phase converters that meet the requirements of 3-phase CNC applications by maintaining at least a +/-5% voltage balance. The more balanced the output of the rotary phase, the better a piece of equipment will operate and the longer it will last. Unbalanced voltages seen with non-CNC phase converters can be hard on the equipment, causing undesirable conditions such as excess noise and poor performance.

Rotary CNC phase converters can be used on any type of equipment, especially voltage sensitive machines such as CNC machining centers, milling machines, lathes, PLCs, EDMs and any other type of equipment that relies on balanced input power. But first, verify that the rotary CNC phase converter is rated for the specific kilowatts (kW) that your equipment or machine requires.

2. Reliable Start-up

For years, phase converters have had a reputation of drawing a huge inrush current upon start-up. This disproportionate power draw has resulted in, among other problems, dimming neighbors’ lights, demand charges from the utility and large increases on power bills.

So it’s important to look for a phase converter that has variable impedance technology built directly into the idler/generator. This will drastically reduce inrush (starting) current for reliable starts, every time, with no voltage drop.

Unfortunately, many phase converter manufacturers claim that they have such technology, when they instead use a regular stock motor, rewire it for low voltage and cut off the exposed rotating shaft, which is also a huge safety hazard. If you’re not sure whether a particular phase converter actually provides variable impedance, feel free to contact us.

Additionally, a phase converter should be rated to run single or multiple motor loads. This capacity is only limited by the single-phase current available. By selecting a converter with precision balanced from a “no-load” condition, you don’t need to worry about running a small motor together with larger ones using the same phase converter. More importantly, it should also be able to operate with no load engaged for an indefinite period, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your unit while your equipment loads are not operating.

3. Scalability

One of the great things about phase converters is the ability to scale your energy use as your shop or business grows. However, if you build your own or buy a lesser-quality converter, this is hard to do. You might not get the best fit for your usage and equipment.

High-quality phase converters are capable of phase synchronization for increased capacity to double, triple or quadruple your power.

With these three key attributes in mind, you have a good head start toward finding a rotary phase converter that best suits your needs. But if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

In the meantime, here’s an example of how a machining company is scaling their business with help from rotary phase converters.