"In our operation, milling and drilling are the final operations on what is now a very valuable product. We must be sure that the program and set-up are correct. Mistakes at this stage would be very costly.”
—Kevin Jurus, Partner and Principle Hurco Operator
SFR Turning in Howell, Michigan is a small, five-man shop that specializes in CNC lathe work. One of their principle products are wheel-forming dies. While the bulk of the operations are done on CNC lathes
, there was enough milling and drilling operations that a CNC machining center could be justified.
After a careful review of available equipment, Harvey Wright, President, decided to invest in a VMX24
vertical machining center from Hurco. The result has been an improvement in his shop’s capabilities and operational efficiencies. Prior to purchasing the VMX24
Hurco, all the milling and drilling was done on manual machines.
Hurco’s Control Provides the Flexibility and Power Required
Kevin Jurus, Harvey’s partner and the principle Hurco operator, found that the Hurco VMX24
was a perfect fit for SFR Turning. The VMX24 offers a 24" X-axis travel and a 20" Y-axis travel in a small footprint (54.3 sq. ft.). It’s rigidly constructed to eliminate vibrations – even under the heaviest cutting conditions. The standard, 10,000 RPM spindle compares favorably to many machining centers costing considerably more. With additional features such as the 24-tool capacity and digital drives, the VMX24 provides more flexibility, greater part accuracy and a higher quality finish.
As with all Hurco machines, the VMX24
is equipped with Hurco’s powerful control. The control’s conversational programming
software was originally developed for machinists who were accustomed to having complete control of their equipment. These basic concepts of operator/machinist control still remain the hallmark of Hurco’s control operations. For example, the Hurco control has a “program interrupt” button. This allows the operator to stop the program at any point, have the tool re-track, and permit the operator to inspect the part or make adjustments. Then, when the button is depressed again, the machine resumes its program exactly where it left off. No other control can do this. Most have to restart from the beginning of the program and waste valuable time getting “back in the cut.” “Program Interrupt” gives Kevin complete control and the knowledge that his final operations will be done correctly. Summary
Kevin also found that the Hurco control was very easy to learn and program. When the machine was first purchased, SFR had an off-line CAM system, which they used to program their lathes. They began programming the Hurco machining center using the off-line system. However, they quickly learned that editing and changing the off-line generated program was very time consuming. Kevin soon realized that all his programming and editing could be done on the shop floor and at the machine with the Hurco. In fact, much of the programming is now done while the machine is doing another part.
The power of Hurco’s UltiMax control combined with the accuracy of the VMX24
reduced the time it took to setup, program, edit and machine a part and increased the productivity of its machinists. The result is the ability of SFR Turning to multi-task, which is vital to remaining competitive in this industry.