We?re glad that this quilt chat forum has given our customers a chance to express their joys as well as their concerns about their machines! It also provides us a way to keep in contact with everyone, so that we can share in your successes and help you solve your problems.
One of our top goals as a company has always been to provide the best quality product that we can. To that end, our research and development team is constantly looking at ways to make a terrific quilting machine even better. Hearing your concerns about different machine functions such as the wheels and channel locks helps us to concentrate our energy in the right places.
For many years, APQS owners have enjoyed the benefits of horizontal wheels?no more tracks to constantly clean out, no flat spots on the wheels, greater fluidity and ease of movement, and the ability to adjust the ?feel? of the machine to suit each individual. Occasionally, however, a customer would comment that her machine didn?t feel as ?smooth? as other APQS machines she had tried. This led us to modify the wheel adjustment system, so that the customer could more easily make the wheels tighter or looser to suit her personal taste. As you know, making one adjustment can sometimes create a domino effect?we then modified the channel locks to make them more efficient, and have most recently taken a look at the axles and wheels themselves, to see if we can improve them in any way (even though most APQS owners have been happy with the function and benefits of the current wheels for years.)
We conducted tests on different wheels at the factory and held ?blind test drives? to see if new wheels gave any different feel to the machine. The new wheels appear to have some slight advantages over the current wheels, so we decided to begin shipping them with new machines. Unfortunately, no matter what date we decided to begin shipping with new wheels, customers whose machines were shipped shortly before then would still have the current wheel configuration, which has been the standard since the company was founded.
Since the current wheels have been successful for so many years, we do not see the wheels as ?recall? items, but rather, ?improvements.? The current wheels are not defective; current APQS owners have been satisfied with their performance for quite some time. However, we always want to make the latest advances available to the whole APQS family; that?s why we are making the new wheels available for purchase to those who really want them.
Please keep in mind that the current ?tan? wheels have been used successfully for many years. Typically when owners have machine movement issues, other factors play a role as well:
? Is the table level, front to back as well as side to side?
? Is the table the same width across each cross bar? (see Connie?s table adjustment section on the web site)
? Is the carriage square and level? (again, check Connie?s response on the web site)
? Are the wheels on the machine?s axles adjusted to the same position?
? Are the carriage wheels adjusted the same?
? Is the machine resting on carpet? (if you park your machine on one side of the table each night, the extra weight can compress the carpet pad, changing the table?s level)
? Is the table ?square?? Moving one end of the table without a helper on the other end can torque the table out of square)
? Are the wheels set too tight (is the carriage or table frame snug into the curve of the wheel instead of the wheel lip ?resting? in the frame)
? Can you move each wheel freely while holding the quilting machine or carriage in place? (if the wheel will not turn without trying to take the machine or carriage along with it, it may be too tight)
? Is any bearing grease oozing out of the center of any wheel (a sign the wheel needs to be replaced)
? Does the machine feel stiffer in regulated mode versus non-regulated mode? (using the regulator increases the feeling of ?drag? since the machine is sensing your movement; with practice, this diminishes greatly. Try running the machine without the regulator on. If you still feel it is difficult to move, then consider making wheel adjustments. If it moves more smoothly, then it?s a matter of getting used to the regulator.)
? Is your hopping foot set correctly? (at the factory, we set the foot to a level consist with today?s popular cotton and thin polyester batting; if you are using thick batting or quilting over bulky seams, the machine will have more drag)
? Are your muscles working too hard? (The ergonomic handles on the Millennium and Freedom keep your hands in the correct position, but shift the effort needed to move the machine to your upper arms. Try sliding your hands outward along the curve of the handles, and rest your pinky fingers out along the outer curve of the handles. This shifts your muscle movements back to your forearms, where you have more control.)
? Is your ?leveler bar? set at the correct height? (when a quilt passes under it, be sure the machine doesn?t drag or rub against the quilt)
? Do you have the fabric too taut between the rollers? (this can cause the fabric to ?cup? under the hopping foot instead of laying flat across the machine?s throat plate, causing the hopping foot to rub on the quilt and create drag)
Certainly if you?ve worked through the above hints and your machine is still sluggish, something is amiss. If your channel locks aren?t grabbing properly, the tension block is not doing its job, or you?re still not comfortable with the machine?s performance, please call tech support and talk with Connie or one of our other service technicians about your problem. Perhaps our R & D team needs to revisit the adjustable wheel/channel lock issue. Service and support is a top priority for us. We do our best to handle each case with care, compassion, and fairness.
As a company, we do pride ourselves in having a top-notch warranty for our product. We work closely with each individual who has a warranty claim to fix the problem quickly and fairly. As our warranty indicates, sometimes that means sending new parts for replacement; other times it means sending us back the defective part, so that we can repair the part, learn what the problem is and correct future occurrences. The reason we now ?bill? a customer is to ensure that the defective part is returned to the factory. Unfortunately, a few unscrupulous individuals continually requested ?replacement parts? for their machine without ever sending the defective parts back to us (leading us to believe that the parts were not defective to begin with--we were being scammed.)
We consider each APQS owner a member of the family. We are delighted by each member?s successes and triumphs, and try to be there when things aren?t going so well and someone is having a bad day. Unfortunately, that doesn?t exempt us from having ?those days? as well?just like real life, we make mistakes, we try to fix them, and do the best we can each and every day. Communication is the key to keeping our products, our service, and our people performing at peak capacity. If you have a problem that is not resolved to your satisfaction through our technical support staff, feel free to contact me directly so that we can discuss possible solutions. We appreciate your business!
Bob Ketcham, APQS Sales Manager
1-800-426-7233 ext. 13
We have a Millennium and had been struggling with "drag" and angles impossible to sew smoothly with the old wheels. We had re-set, cleaned and adjusted MANY times to no avail.
When the new wheels came out, we had a chat with APQS and they explained that the aluminum used in the manufacture had torqued, or gone out of alignment and the new wheels compensate for that. That's great and the wheels work well, as many of you have said, HOWEVER - the new system is expensive and are a fix for a known problem with the design of the machine. I would have hoped APQS would treat this as a recall and repair a problem for which they were responsible like any company, ie. car recalls, product recalls, etc.
We're glad there is a fix, we're happy with the new system BUT we are paying to fix a flaw in the design of their machine.
How do the rest of you feel about this?
I agree with you that IF the wheels had a design flaw there should be a recall. But if they are simply improving the machine then that is different.
I got my Liberty in mid-December. That was only 3 months ago. Very close timing. Just a few weeks after getting it, I find out that they are changing the wheels & now I have to pay extra if I want them. I must admit that I was very disappointed with that. If it had been explained to me, I could have simply waited 2 more months.
These are very expensive machines & you shouldn't have to be upgrading them a few weeks after purchase.
When my machine was set up, there was a problem with the tension block from day one. It just didn't seem to fit properly. The #2 roller turned way too freely no natter what you did.
I called & they were very nice about it and said it could be the tension block or it could be the table frame/roller. They were very prompt about sending a new one.
BUT didn't mention to me that I was going to get a bill for $100. Now I have to pay to ship back a defective part. Apparently, once I ship them the defective part, the bill will go away.
That got me to wondering how much it would cost me to ship back the frame/roller if that turns out to be the problem.
When my Total Gym had a defective part, no hassle at all. They sent replacements & that was the end of it except they called later to make sure I had the part & that it fixed the problem.
When my computerized treadmill stopped working, I called the company and explained what it was doing. They listed 4 things that could cause that problem. They sent ALL 4 parts & a technician to switch them out. No problem. They didn't even test to see which of the 4 things was making it foul up. They just replaced them all. Now that's what I call a warranty!
No one asked me to pay to ship back defective parts and I can assure you, the cost of my total gym & treadmill was a drop in the bucket to what the Liberty cost me.
APQS is the only company I have ever heard of that does this but maybe all long-arm companies do. That isn't something I checked on.
Besides that, I am very happy with my Liberty.
bought my Millennium new in May last year and I have to admit that my channel locks have NEVER worked when I loosen the wheels to make them as smooth as APQS showroom and Road Show machines...
I was just at APQS last week for training and used the showroom machines and took many pics and tried to look closely. I am doing everything the same, I too was told that the aluminum warps and my husband agrees.
One Millennium in the showroom was not even close to level and that machine glides across the table. Mine has never done that...
I love the machine and really like the folks I have met at APQS, but I am sorely disappointed that my machine has never glided smoothly while tight enough for the channel locks to work.
It really should be a recall issue, and APQS should help fix it. I hope they take these messages to heart and help us out. I think they should atleast afford us a solution. If other wheels are really less sensitive to the drag of a warped axle then we need them...
Please help APQS.
I ordered my millie in April 04 and it was delivered in June 04. I have never had the horizontal channel lock work correctly. If the wheels are adjusted for the channel lock to hold the machine on the horizontal - the machine is very difficult to move. So we adjusted the wheels to allow for free movement - and when I need the horizontal channel lock - I tighten the wheel nut for the time I need the horizontal channel lock. We marked the bolt with a black marker so I know how tight or how lose to make it. As far as the new wheels go - I feel taken advantage of. I was told via e-mail that they are back logged on the new wheels and they are being put on the new machines first. I would have to wait until I could order wheels for my machine. My machine is not even 1 YEAR OLD!!! I also wonder why others on this list have been able to get wheels and I was told to wait? So now I have to pay full price for new wheels and wait too! I thought at least the company would give a percentage off the price depending on how old the machine was. It is annoying to have to keep paying full price for upgrades. Even computer software gives you a discount when you upgrade to a newer version. Just my 2 cents worth.
am soooooooo glad to know I'm not crazy!! I've had the same channel lock problem since my machine arrived in November 2003. Everytime I asked about it, I was mysteriously cut off - with no return phone call. I can honestly say that I love my machine so much, I have learned to live with the channel lock problem - I used a binder clip on the carriage. It only involves one walk around the table - not having to tighten and loosen my wheels!
I'm glad to see that others feel the way that I do. I got my Milleniun September 1st and I love her dearly BUT, I think that since there is so much trouble with machine parts that the maintence video should be included with the machine. Also, at least a hefty discount for the new wheels and any other part that is upgraded in the warranity period. We paid a big price for these machines(like buying a small car). I thought that I was the only one that was having problems. I have had several regular sewing machines and have NEVER had the thread tension problems that I have with Jenny. The two times that I called about problems, I was made to feel that I was being picky and there really wasn't a problem at all. I also have never had to work on any of my machines before...my logic to that is that if I wanted to be a mechanic I would be. Maybe it is a good thing to get to know all of the machine parts personally but not everybody is mechanically inclined. The problems that I have had with Jenny have been there from the start...not something that occured over time. Other than that I love my Jenny.
I would like to see a post by someone other than a APQS rep (Sherry Rodgers). Could one of the owners please make a statement about these problems and what might be a solution online for us to read? Please remember that one of the best selling points for the APQS is your service to your customer. I am not a new longarm machine quilter and have owner other make machines. My millenium arrived in Feb. so I do have the new wheels and have received nothing but excellent service so far, but one of my main reasons for chosing this make of machine was the level of service. I was guaranteed they would be there for me. Reducing the price, during warranty , on a "fix" type problem seems only reasonable. If someone had purchased they machine weeks before an upgrade that should be replaced for free. I know this type of thing can be extremely expensive, but if you those your reputation for customer service at the highest level that would be detrimental. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to these messages