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    Ed Carpenter Racing + Hurco

    Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) partnered with Hurco to gain an edge in the competitive world of IndyCar. Two Hurco CNC machines grind out parts for the motorsp...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Motorsports, Conversational, Lathe, NC, 5-Axis
    Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) partnered with Hurco to gain an edge in the competitive world of IndyCar. Two Hurco CNC machines grind out parts for the motorsports team located in Speedway, Indiana. In return, the Hurco logo is displayed on the team’s cars and uniforms in addition to special access for customer events during the IndyCar season.

     
    Robbie Ott, the head machinist at CFH Racing runs the machine shop. He discussed the transition to Hurco machines after we installed our flagship Hurco VMX42i mill and a TM8i lathe. Ott also elaborated on the possible benefits he expects when the shop adds the Hurco VMX42SRTi 5-axis machine.

    Setup Time

    "Switching from manual machining to 3-axis CNC, setup times have been reduced, even with the need for cutting soft jaws. Although the soft jaws take a lot of time that would not have been spent necessarily in the manual world, the time savings incurred is priceless. The CNC's manual jog and DRO also save time making part setup quick. I would imagine that when I make the switch to 5-axis machining, setup times will be reduced again, possibly more than the reduction from manual to 3-axis.The need for only two setups per part vs. six (or even more) will reduce setup times tremendously and I am looking forward to making the switch," said Ott.  

    Workholding/Tooling Reductions

    “Workholding was nearly non-existent in the manual world, so moving into 3-axis opened up a new world for me with fixturing. I have built some pretty extravagant fixtures for machining 4-6 sides of a part (not including the initial 'first op' side).   A great deal of the work I do on the Hurco is experimental and proprietary damper parts.The Dampers, or 'shock absorbers' are one of the most important parts of an Indy car and Hurco has allowed us to make strides in developing our own manifolds for managing fluid flow. These parts require multiple fixtures for machine opps on all sides and some angular setups.I am eager to get started with the VMX42SRTi and reduce my fixturing to one simple mount for the other 5 sides of a part or 'hemisphere' if you will.”  

    Part Accuracy

    "I would say that the accuracy of parts is tremendously better with the 3-axis CNC vs. manual machining.I would say that the accuracy of parts is tremendously better with the 3-axis CNC vs. manual machining.I was pretty good at holding half of a thousandth tolerance on the manual machine (if needed), but it was painful.With the Hurco machines, I get tenth of thousandths tolerance without even trying.The major advantage of moving from 3-axis to 5-axis I anticipate will be the accuracy in which the respective operations line up on the finished product.We all know that a half of a thousandth difference in surface matching is visible and can even be felt.Getting it perfect in the 3-axis machine is next to impossible (you are only as good as your fixture is!).Need I say I rarely attempted these types of operations in the manual mill, and at the end of the day, functionality was key, and abrasives were almost always necessary," explained Ott.  

    Surface Finish

    "I was completely amazed the first time I saw the Hurco cut metal!I had never seen such beauty.The combination of being flooded in Quaker coolant and the precise match of feeds and speeds left a surface finish that I never knew could be produced.The improvement that I look forward to in the switch to 5-axisis in the transition from surface to surface as described before."  



    Processing

    "Having a TMX8i and VMX42i machine next to each other has become a processing dream.After I became fluent in both "languages" if you will, I find myself often making use of both machines at the same time. Often I am turning a part in the lathe that I will then put in the mill for some milling opps to turn out a finished part efficiently. One example of this is threaded spring perches which I have made often, even before Hurco.This part has a series of holes around it for a spanner wrench, and a couple of threaded holes as well. I write 8 short programs, placing a position block in between so I can open the door and turn the table to press start again.This may seem barbaric, but believe me, it is still 10 times faster than doing it on a manual mill.This is a processing improvement that I look forward to when I switch to the 5-axis machine, no more rotary table. Other times my Hurcos are making completely different items, either way, it can be extremely productive for me."  


    Flexibility in prototype manufacturing

    "I especially like using the Hurco when building prototypes. Just recently we built prototype damper parts. And like with most prototypes, we did not succeed the first time. Hurco gave us the flexibility to make modifications quickly and easily without starting from scratch.Hurco and HSM Works solid modeling allowed us to build these extravagant and complicated parts that would not have been possible on the manual machine," concluded Ott.

     

  • Brad Waddle with Hurco TMX8MYS

    Innovators West/Waddle Manufacturing

    Innovators West makes harmonic dampers for street and racing vehicles and provides specialty services, such as custom designed dampers for special applica...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Conversational, Lathe, Mill Turn, Motorsports

    Innovators West makes harmonic dampers for street and racing vehicles and provides specialty services, such as custom designed dampers for special applications, ring gear lightning, and REM polishing. Owner of Innovators West and Waddle's Manufacturing, Brad Waddle, incorporated his passion for racing into his machining business in 1995 when he purchased Innovators West. 


    Waddle's businesses were featured in Manufacturing News magazine. In the article, he explains why he chose to replace his fleet of machining equipment with Hurco machines. Currently, Waddle has 6 Hurco CNC machine tools: a mill turn TMX8MYS, 2 TM12 slant-bed lathes, 2 VM10 machining centers, and a VMX64 machining center. Click here to read the article.​

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    The Precision Edge Machine: Hurco Feature Saves Shop Thousands of Dollars

    ​Matt Smith, owner of The Precision Edge Machine, needed a mill that he could learn to program quickly because he specializes in high tolerance, low-volum...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Conversational, Aerospace, Medical, Motorsports, UltiMotion

    Matt Smith, owner of The Precision Edge Machine, needed a mill that he could learn to program quickly because he specializes in high tolerance, low-volume parts for medical devices, the aerospace industry, and power sports. Additionally, he manufactures custom wheels and snowmobile parts from his Zimmerman, Minnesota shop, which is about 35 miles northwest of Minneapolis.


    From Turning to Milling

    “When I started The Precision Edge, it was a turning-only shop. I bought a 1993 KM3P CNC Knee Mill to do secondary milling operations on the turned parts, but I was amazed at how capable a machine of that size was and how easy it was to program. A year later, business was really beginning to take off. My customers were impressed with the milled parts and orders for 50 or more parts kept coming in. That was a problem. The KM3 didn’t have a tool changer. I was the tool changer. Purchasing a CNC mill was a huge decision, but I knew it was time to take the leap,” explains Smith.


    Why Hurco?

    During the decision-making process, Smith knew he needed an accurate machine that was reliable and would last. He also knew he needed conversational programming that was intuitive and easy to learn.


    “I didn’t want to deal with the expense and maintenance costs of a CAM package. For me, the Hurco conversational control was the perfect solution because I was a lathe guy,” says Smith.

     tpem matt programming at control.jpg


    His first CNC mill was the Hurco VM10 and he says he never looked back.
    “The Hurco control was really easy to learn. I pretty much taught myself. A former co-worker came to the shop for about two hours and I was able to figure out everything else as I went along…the added speed and capacity of the VM10 absolutely sky-rocketed sales. Sales increased so much that I had to move to a bigger building six months later. I was able to hire a full-time employee and bought two used turning centers one month after moving in—all because the VM10 was so efficient!” says Smith.


    Smith says about eight months later, he realized he needed to add more CNC milling capacity because the VM10 was so backlogged with work.


    Shop's Growth Leads to a Second Hurco

    “The decision to buy another Hurco was a no brainer. The employee that I had hired eight months prior had no previous CNC programming experience. In eight months he learned how to program, set up and run jobs with little supervision. That is a testament to the power of the WinMax control!”

    This time Matt bought a VM20 with a H160 4th axis. The VM20 was the perfect size machine eliminates the need to fixture parts for complicated side profile machining,” explains Smith.


    The Most Valuable Control Features for Matt's Shop: Hurco DXF and the Advanced Verification Graphics

    The two features Smith has found to be the most useful are DXF Transfer and the Solid Model Verifications Graphics. Hurco’s DXF Transfer feature lets Matt import part geometry from the dxf file directly to control. While other controls have similar features, Hurco’s DXF Transfer has an easy programming interface that allows you to edit DXF geometry, automatically chain contours, and select a group of hole operations based on the hole diameter. It also handles all 2D geometries on each plane of the part and multiple part planes can be linked into a single program, which is extremely efficient for processing complex parts on compound rotary tables.

    The Precision Edge Part
    “Bar none the verification graphics has been the most valuable. That feature alone has saved us thousands of dollars because of sudden rapid moves, wrong tool paths, broken tools and scrap materials. If you fat fingered a button. You put negative instead of positive. In that graphics screen you can see clearly if the part looks like it’s supposed to,” explains Smith.



    The Future

    Smith’s five-year plan is to double his business each year. To do that he says he will focus on what has worked during the first five years: outstanding service, quality parts, and the right equipment.


    “Hurco has been instrumental with the success of our business. I can say without any doubt that we would not be the shop we are today without the support of Hurco. As time goes on we will hopefully be able to replace our turning centers with Hurcos,” says Smith.


    In addition to relying on Hurco technology for fast turnaround of small batch part production, Smith will continue to run a customer-centric business. “I believe my customers’ needs are of the utmost importance. I take pride in every finished part we make. I really focus on providing customers with fast, courteous service, quality parts, and on-time delivery. So far, that formula has given me a lot of repeat business and referrals.”

     

    tpem part with ultimotion.jpg 

    Matt Smith says Hurco’s patented UltiMotion feature reduced cycle time by 20 minutes on this part. UltiMotion is technology exclusive to Hurco and relies on software to direct the motion control system instead of hardware. The result is faster, dynamic look-ahead that is optimized by the UltiMotion software.

     

    Matt's Shop was featured in Modern Machine Shop magazine.To read the article, click this link

     

    The Precision Edge Machine

    25730 7th Street West, Suite 1

    Zimmerman, MN 55398

    763.856.8355

    http://www.tpemachine.com/

  • Lou Ferriero, owner of PlasTech

    PlasTech - Success with 5-Axis Transition + UltiMotion

    ​Lou Ferriero was working in a plastics vacuum forming house when he identified a market that wasn’t being served. When he started PlasTech Machining and ...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, 5-Axis, Conversational, NC, UltiMotion, Medical, Aerospace, Defense

    ​Lou Ferriero was working in a plastics vacuum forming house when he identified a market that wasn’t being served. When he started PlasTech Machining and Fabrication Inc., he had one employee (himself) and one manual machine. Today, PlasTech has nine employees, six vertical machining centers, one 5 axis machining center, three turning centers, and Ferriero is thinking about upgrading to a multi-tasking turning center with live tooling and a sub-spindle.


    With more than 35 years of experience in the machining and fabrication of plastics, Ferriero is proud that 80 percent of PlasTech’s business is from repeat customers. Approximately 50% of his business is devoted to medical equipment.

     
    “We focus on high quality and precision. We don’t waste time trying to be the cheapest machine shop out there. Our prices are usually in the middle of the road compared to our competitors. We are the best at what we do and pride ourselves on delivering quality parts on time.”  It appears PlasTech’s focus on quality versus price is working. According to Ferriero, companies that shipped jobs overseas for cheaper rates have started bringing the business back to PlasTech. “We lost jobs to overseas suppliers about five years ago and most of that work has come back,” said Ferriero.

     

    UltiMotion

    A big part of PlasTech’s success is due to Ferriero’s commitment to stay current with technology by investing in new equipment. As PlasTech has grown, so has his investment in Hurco machine tools and Hurco technology. His latest investment in a Hurco software feature called UltiMotion continues to provide benefits beyond Ferriero’s expectations. As an example, Ferriero cites a part used for head restraints on hospital beds.  “When we machined the parts on our RoboDrill, it took 30 minutes per part. On our Hurco with UltiMotion, it takes 20 minutes and the surface finish quality improved significantly,” says Ferrierro.


    UltiMotion is able to simultaneously decrease cycle time and increase surface finish quality due to the underlying motion control algorithm Hurco developed that uses software-based motion instead of conventional hardware-based motion. UltiMotion software has rapid cornering capabilities that allow the spindle to travel through corners at high speed with negligible deviation without overshooting or stopping. Therefore, cycle time is significantly reduced when machining parts with complex geometries and/or repetitive tasks, such as drilling and tapping. Customers with UltiMotion also see improvement in surface finish because UltiMotion minimizes vibration, which results in smoother motion overall.

     

    Flexible Control that Supports NC and Conversational

    While PlasTech finds the conversational programming of the integrated Hurco control extremely useful to quickly make a fixture, Ferriero says he uses the NC side of the control for all of his jobs. Keeping his CAM system current is another technology investment that Ferriero continually makes to keep his company up to speed. PlasTech uses Mastercam X5 Cad /Cam software with Mill Level 3 and solids, Mastercam Lathe, verification software, Solidworks, and E2 Shop Systems for shop control.

     

    The Power of Five

    Like many prudent job shop owners, Ferriero’s latest machining center investment was a Hurco VM10U 5-axis machining center instead of a traditional 3-axis machine. The VM10U is part of the integrated trunnion style 5-axis machines from Hurco. With X/Y/Z travels of 21x16x19 and a 20-station ATC, the VM10U is one of the highest value 5-axis machines on the market.

     
    Ferriero bought the VM10U to cut down on setups and has realized numerous productivity benefits. "The Hurco VM10U has exceeded our expectations. It has cut down on cost, time, labor and material," said Ferriero.

     

    He cited a specific example for an article that appeared in Manufacturing News. The job entailed the manufacture of plastic components for prototype parts for de-icing the C-130 aircraft. "Without the VM10U 5-axis machine this would have been nearly impossible to get done on time for our customer," said Ferriero. "After offline programming, the setup time on the machine was done in a few hours. The part surface quality and time comparison was much better than expected. It would have been a minimum of 2 days just to make fixtures to machine these parts on a 3-axis machine."

     

    Quality Service

    Beyond the technology, beyond the equipment, Ferriero says he continues to invest in Hurco machining centers because of the high quality service he gets from Hurco and Hurco’s distributor, Brooks Associates. Says Ferriero, “The service we get from Hurco and Brooks is second to none. They listen and they are responsive.  They understand that your machines are your business.”

     

    Click this link to read the article about PlasTech that appeared in Manufacturing News.




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    Injection Mold - Hurco Eases Moldmaker's Transition to 5-Axis

    ​During the last 30 years, Injection Mold, Inc. (North Vernon, Indiana) has grown from a small garage shop dedicated to producing lens molds for the autom...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, Moldmaker, Conversational, Automotive, Medical


    During the last 30 years, Injection Mold, Inc. (North Vernon, Indiana) has grown from a small garage shop dedicated to producing lens molds for the automotive industry to a full-service shop that that specializes in Rapid Prototyping (RP) molds for multiple industries, such as medical, electronics, safety, baby products, appliance, and plumbing. A desire to reduce set-up times and increase accuracy led the company to upgrade from three-axis to five-axis machines.

    According to General Manager Jason Vawter, Injection Mold has a stellar reputation when it comes to speed. “Customers call us immediately when they need something quick, without even considering their other suppliers, because we are the quickest," he says.

    This need for speed led Injection Mold to consider upgrading from three-axis to five-axis technology. “A lot of our RP work involves multiple setups on three-axis machines, and with the short deliveries we do, we needed to find a way to speed up our times,” Vawter explains. “Using five-axis technology would allow us to eliminate a lot of set-ups.”

    Vawter looked at a number of different machines, but all roads led to Hurco. “One of the reasons we went with Hurco is that they are right down the road from us,” he says. “We also owned Hurcos in the past and have been very happy with them. We found that the VMX30U was exactly what we were looking for.”
     
    Hurco decided to make 5-Axis a priority 10 years ago and has dedicated resources to the development of features that make the transition easy for 3-axis shops. Hurco even started a website devoted to five-axis education (www.FiveAxisMachining.com) that includes a dedicated telephone number and email that goes directly to Hurco Applications Engineers with expertise in 5-axis/5-sided. The VMX30U that Injection Mold purchased is one of 11 Hurco 5-Axis machining centers that are the result of Hurco’s focus on 5-axis.

    While the transition from 3-axis machining to 5-axis can be intimidating, most machinists grasp the concept fairly quickly and continue to realize additional benefits the more they use the machine. “Five-axis was a brand new area for us,” Vawter recalls. “Since we have always had three-axis, we grew accustomed to working in three planes. Then, all of a sudden, there were five.” While he says it took the employees several months to get completely comfortable with the machine, Hurco was always readily available to field questions.

    Multiple Advantages
    Injection Mold bought the machine solely for the purpose of eliminating multiple set-ups, but Vawter notes the more they use the VMX30U, the more they find they can do with it. “For example, we had some slides (multicavity tool with multiple slides per cavity) and they have angled holes through them on 20 degrees,” he elaborates. “There’s a 25-degree angle on the back with tapped holes. To machine these in the past, we would have one set-up for each operation on a 3-axis mill and it would have taken probably five set-ups with an hour to an hour-and-a-half on each block. When we do it on the VMX30U, it is one set-up and 20 minutes in each piece.”


    Another payoff is higher accuracy. “Each time you have to take the piece out of the machine to put in another setup,  you take a chance of everything not blending out,” he explains. “Now we just pick it up one time and we will cut from the top and the machine will rotate and cut the piece from the side—so accuracy is better. We maintain .005 micron accuracy on our work.”
    Vawter is very pleased with the VMX30U. “Once we made the leap, we continue to find more benefits—things we didn’t even consider are now possible. We have had it a little over a year and we feel like we are just starting to scratch the surface of what we can utilize it for. We will definitely consider another five-axis purchase by year’s end.”

    Injection Mold, Inc. / (812) 346-7002
    inject@tls.net / injectiomoldinc.com

     

    Click this link to read the article about Injection Mold as it appeared in MoldMaking Technology Magazine



  • /en-us/why-hurco/success-stories/blog/Lists/Photos/MoughtonEngineeringFishingSpearturnedpart.jpg

    Moughton Engineering Services - Sub-Contractor Grows with its Machine Tool Supplier

    ​Great Yarmouth-based subcontractor, Moughton Engineering Services, has enjoyed 30 per cent annual growth for the last three years and hopes to repeat tha...Read moreTags: Lathe, 3-Axis Mill, Conversational, Energy Sector, Custom Machinery

    ​Great Yarmouth-based subcontractor, Moughton Engineering Services, has enjoyed 30 per cent annual growth for the last three years and hopes to repeat that performance in 2006. 

     
    Paul Moughton, a partner in the family-owned company, says that the upturn in the company’s business can be traced back to 2002 when his father, Brian, used money from his pension fund to purchase a Hurco Hawk 30 CNC mill.

     

    It was the first computer-controlled machine tool on site and paid for itself within six months.  Since that time, a VM2 machining centre and two TM10 CNC lathes have been delivered by the same supplier, Hurco Europe, High Wycombe.  Coincidentally, it too has increased sales rapidly over a similar period by a slightly lower annual average of 25 per cent, doubling turnover since 2002 to nearly £10 million in the financial year to 31st October 2006.
     
    The Hawk mill is an object lesson in both machine tool manufacture and user application.  Paul Eden, who along with his colleagues has been trained to set and program all of the Hurco machines at Moughton Engineering, advised that shortly after installation the Hawk was used to machine a metre-long aluminium component for a plastic window-making machine.  The end customer checked the part on a CMM and found that two 38 mm diameter holes had been interpolated at either end of the bar to a relative positional accuracy of -0 / +12 microns.
     
    A machine of this class is not expected to hold such tight tolerances and indeed there is no evidence that other Hawk mills are able to; in any case, they are no longer made.  What the CNC machine did for Moughton Engineering, however, was to propel it from a general supplier of manually machined components to a subcontractor capable of producing very high precision, repeatable components.
     
    Encouraged by the success of this project, the company approached Hurco when the decision was taken to install a CNC lathe.  The first TM10 was delivered at the end of 2004 and was joined by a second, identical 10-inch chuck model in early 2006.  "We were able to buy both of the Hurco lathes for the price of one that we considered from a Japanese supplier, albeit the latter was of higher specification," continued Mr Moughton.  "The TM10s do not have driven tool capability but have proved to be good machines that hold tolerance well on general turning work.”
     
    One example is the production of four sizes of CrMo steel fishing spears of 18 to 22 Rc hardness, used to retrieve objects from an oil or gas borehole, such as a broken drillstring or tools.  A typical spear takes 75 minutes to OD profile turn, threadcut and bore from solid billet.Another component regularly put on the TM10s is a 250 mm diameter, 316 stainless steel pressure release plate for sub-sea applications.  Following 45 minutes of OD turning and facing, the part is transferred to a Hurco VM2 three-axis machining centre for prismatic features to be machined on both sides in a one-hour cycle.
     
    The latter machine was also installed earlier this year to take some of the load from the Hawk mill and to introduce Moughton Engineering to the higher productivity offered by machines with automatic tool change.  The 40-taper VM2, with its 1016 x 457 x 457 mm working envelope and 16-station tool magazine, is described by Paul Moughton as "superb" and he is busily relocating offices onto a new, upper floor to make space for further machines, including a larger-capacity Hurco VM3.
     
    He concluded, "All of our Hurco machines are very accurate and reliable; so much so that we think it is a waste of money taking out insurance to cover spares and service after the warranty period.
     
    "When things occasionally go wrong, as they did initially with the first TM10 lathe, back-up from Hurco is very good – and you can even get through to the desk of the MD without any trouble, if necessary.”
     
    About Moughton Engineering Services
    Moughton Engineering was established in 1974 by Brian Moughton as a toolmaker and subcontract manufacturer of parts for food packaging machinery.  Despite having "retired", Brian remains active in the business at over 70 years of age.  Paul joined in 1984, but by 1997 the company still employed only three staff, including Susan Moughton.
     
    In that year, a new fabrication side to the firm was started, mainly making conveyor systems for a packaging company whose moulds and dies Moughton Engineering had been producing for many years.  A 2,000 sq ft unit was acquired to house the new division.  However, the packaging customer was forced to close in 2001 due to the high cost of removing asbestos from its buildings, so the Moughtons quickly diversified into the offshore, telecoms and power generation sectors to fill the gap.
     
    Contracts for the food and packaging industries now account for around half of turnover, mainly in East Anglia, although systems are delivered as far afield as Germany, Nigeria, Australia and the US.  Today, the firm occupies 6,000 sq ft of factory space and employs 36.

     

     

     

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    Goodrich Aerospace - Increased Productivity. Decreased Overhead.

    ​“Our parts became more complex and the need for faster turnaround times increased, so we decided to bring the work inside. We needed a compact, easy-to-u...Read moreTags: Conversational, 3-Axis Mill, Aerospace

    ​“Our parts became more complex and the need for faster turnaround times increased, so we decided to bring the work inside. We needed a compact, easy-to-use, and yet powerful machining center. Hurco’s VM1 filled the bill completely.”

    – Mike Ingersoll

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
     
    Goodrich Aerospace produces a wide range of avionics equipment, most of which are custom-made, small lot components. The need for faster turnaround times to meet customers’ demands prompted Mike Ingersoll, manager of the prototype shop, to improve his CNC machining operations.  He met with Hurco’s local representative in Kansas City, Dirk Gage, of Gage Machine Tool. When Dirk reviewed the applications and operations at Goodrich, he found that there were several areas of Goodrich’s operations that would benefit from Hurco’s unique control and machine technology.

     

    The Hurco Advantage
    Goodrich both designs and manufactures parts. Dirk showed Goodrich how he could optimize part data conversion to increase productivity using Hurco’s control. One of the unique features of the Hurco control is its ability to directly read and convert CAD files into operational programs for the machine tool. The result is that CAD files are now produced in an optimized fashion for rapid conversion into machine programs. Even when working with complex multi-level parts, using 10 or 15 different tools, Mike’s team can create programs at the machine in minutes instead of hours.

    Dirk also reviewed Goodrich’s actual machine requirements. In Mike’s prototype shop, floor space was a premium and most of the parts are small and made from various aluminum alloys. Hurco’s VM1 machining center addressed both of these challenges. It has a large work envelope with travels of 26" x 14" x 18", yet only occupies 15 square feet of floor space. Its 8,000-RPM spindle is ideal for processing aluminum and its 16-station swing arm ATC can cover all the operations needed.
    Finally, Dirk and Mike discussed the programming and training time he could save by having his machinists use the conversational programming element of Hurco’s control. Goodrich had an old NC mill that was extremely difficult to program and only one member of his team knew how to do it. Hurco’s conversational control was truly easy to learn and use. Now, though one machinist is the prime user, all of his machinists have been cross-trained to use it.  No matter who is in the shop, Goodrich can produce parts to meet its customers’ demands. This flexibility helps him attain the level of productivity and response that he needs to be profitable.
     
    Summary
    Hurco’s VM1 compact machining center with the Hurco control was a perfect fit for Mike Ingersoll’s prototype shop for several reasons. Using the control, Mike’s machinists can now program complex parts in minutes, not hours. The small footprint of Hurco’s VM1 made it ideal for the limited space available in his prototype shop. Only one person could run and program the NC mill in Mike’s shop, but Hurco’s control was so easy to learn that all his machinists can run and program the VM1. As part of the complete solution for Goodrich, Hurco also supplied the tool holders and the table vises. 
     
    Hurco’s VM1 machining center saves programming and training time for the machinists at Goodrich Aerospace. Productivity has increased while overhead has decreased, allowing Goodrich Aerospace to run its operations in the most efficient way.

     

  • /en-us/why-hurco/success-stories/blog/Lists/Photos/3jl_op17.jpg

    Erin Mills Machine and Tool Works Ltd - Becomes Competitive in Small Runs

    ​Erin Mills Machine and Tool Works Ltd. is a 17-year-old shop in Mississauga, Ontario that specializes in custom mold making and machining work.   The t...Read moreTags: Lathe, Conversational

    ​Erin Mills Machine and Tool Works Ltd. is a 17-year-old shop in Mississauga, Ontario that specializes in custom mold making and machining work.

     

    The three-man shop, founded by Harry Mistry, has a mix of manual machines and CNCs running on Fanuc controls. In general, Harry has been pleased with the quality of parts produced on his existing machines.  However, set-up times and program times are much too long to stay competitive. More and more of their work is becoming small lot size, requiring quick turnaround.

     

    Key Hurco Advantage
    This led Harry to purchase his first Hurco, a TM8 CNC slant-bed turning center with conversational MAX control. They purchased the Hurco because the control is easy to use, yet powerful enough to take on a wide variety of work. They have not been disappointed. The TM Series of lathes can handle conversational programming, G-Code, offline CAM programming and even CAD imports--something no other lathe in the industry can do.
     
    After just a month they were very satisfied with their investment. Erin Mills Machine and Tool Works ran nearly 20 different jobs on the TM8 using a wide variety of materials and different part sizes. The operator has greatly utilized the Hurco MAX control's features and capabilities in solving outside diameter and inside diameter processing. They have had no issues in attaining desired surface finish, part accuracy, and run-time productivity through this range of operations.
     
    Summary

    The operator of the new TM8 has quickly become very comfortable with the control and has already reduced programming times for short and medium runs. In addition, he really likes the verification graphics that allows him to see the cuts on the screen before they are made, virtually eliminating wasted material, wasted time and errors. Harry has been so pleased with the TM8 that he plans to add a Hurco VM2 vertical machining center to compliment the lathe.

     

     
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    Freedom Machine, Inc - From Prototype to Production on the Shop Floor.

    ​“As I grew my business from an engineering prototype shop, I found that I could not compete for the production contracts on the jobs I had prototyped. My...Read moreTags: Conversational, Aerospace, 3-Axis Mill

    ​“As I grew my business from an engineering prototype shop, I found that I could not compete for the production contracts on the jobs I had prototyped. My Hurco VMX30 was the perfect solution. Now I can move from prototype to production on the shop floor. No need for off-line programming overhead or hard to find CNC machinist. I now have a clear path to grow my business to the next level.”

    ―– Marc Chauvette, Owner, Freedom Machine, Inc
     

     
    Marc Chauvette started Freedom Machine 12 years ago part time in his garage. As a trained R&D model maker and test equipment designer, he found a nice business doing prototype work for the aerospace and electronics companies that operate in New Hampshire. Things were going so well that he took the plunge 6 years ago and went after this business full time. While he was successful, he found that his operating costs were squeezing his margins. His 2 axis knee mills were fine for one or two prototypes, but he couldn't secure the production contracts that would generate a more stable cash flow. He realized he needed a Vertical Machining Center. 

    His first purchase just didn’t work out. With a standard G-code control, Marc, who had no programming experience, was faced with having to hire a class ’A’ CNC machinist to run the machine or invest heavily in a CAM system and incur the overhead of a full time programmer to make the machine operational. As a small company, he just could not do it. With the market turning soft, Marc was in danger of losing his business he had worked so hard to build. Fortunately, he discovered Hurco and the capabilities of the integrated control. Marc is the first to admit he is not a computer wiz, but he is an excellent machinist. What he found in the Hurco control was conversational, a programming method that spoke his language instead of G-code. From the first day he was producing programs and parts, meeting customer schedules, and making money.
     
    Key Hurco Advantage
    Marc sees the Hurco as his ‘friend’.  It speaks his language and allows him to control his business. During the recent downturn, Marc watched as a number of well-known local shops went under. Marc knew he had to grow his business but keep costs, especially overhead, at a minimum. The Hurco VMX30 with conversational programming has shown him a way to succeed. The performance, in terms of speed and accuracy, of the Hurco matches up very well with competitive equipment costing thousands more. So he can compete. He has added customers with his new production capability and the ability to process small lots efficiently.

     

    Summary
    As it has proven for over 25 years, the fully integrated Hurco control on the Hurco VMX machining center provides users with unmatched capabilities in processing short to medium lot sizes with no overhead. All the programming and editing are done on the shop floor in plain English. No G-codes or macros. No off-line programs to post process and edit. Marc is in control of his business. He can find people to run his machine because it is so simple to use. His costs and overhead are under control and he can move from the prototype contract to productions runs seamlessly and profitably.
  • /en-us/why-hurco/success-stories/blog/Lists/Photos/Custom%20Tech%20Services%20AZ%202.jpg

    Custom Tech Services: Arizona Machine Shop + Hurco Grow Together

    To Keep a Big New Customer, a Startup Company Turns to Hurco to Deliver a Needed Machine Fast.Story and photos by C. H. Bush, editor / As Seen in CNC West...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Conversational, Lathe, Defense, Great Service

    To Keep a Big New Customer, a Startup Company Turns to Hurco to Deliver a Needed Machine Fast.
    Story and photos by C. H. Bush, editor / As Seen in CNC West, An Arnold Publication Serving the Western Metalworking Industry Since 1981

    Okay, here’s the scenario. You’ve dreamed of having your own business from the time you were ten years old in grammar school in Mexico. The kids laughed at you and said, “What are you talking about? That’s for old people. Old people think about that!” But you didn’t care. Later you go to the Institute of Technology in Mexicali, Mexico. After graduation, you work in Mexico for a while as a  manual machinist. Eventually you come to America where you work really hard in a variety of companies for a couple of years each, learning all you can at each one.

     
    You never stay at one job long enough to rise into management, but again, you don’t care. You’re thinking ahead to your future. You want to learn mold work and how to solve tough machining problems, so you can start your own business. Of course, you’ve been saving your money all along.

     
    Finally, you buy a manual mill and stick it in your garage, and you’re in business. But you keep your day job. You get a customer who wants you to build prototypes. You’re happy. Your dream is starting to become a reality. But then that customers says, “Look, we just landed a good contract. We want you to make the parts for us. Can you do it?” You panic. You can’t meet their demands with your manual equipment. And you don’t know anything about CNC programming. What do you do?

     
    “That’s exactly what happened to me,” says Carlos Sarabia, founder-president of Mesa, AZ’s Custom Tech Services, LLC. “I had a project for one of my customers, who knew I was working on the side. The parts required a CNC machine to be able to produce them consistently, and all I had was a manual knee mill. I had seen mills with conversational programming before, which I figured I could learn quick, so I called up a company and ordered a CNC knee mill. I told them I needed it in my garage in two weeks. They said fine."


    CNC operator Fidel Sanchez checks a part produced on a Hurco VM30. In the background, CNC machinist-operator Charles Masters works at a Hurco VM1, while CNC operator Ervin Velasquez sets up the company’s latest Hurco, a VMX30. The company now operates 9 Hurco machining centers, including 2 TM6 lathes, a TM8 lathe, 3 VM1 mills,  1 VM2 mills, 1 VM3 and a VMX30. All Hurcos in the shop have conversational programming, and all are capable of being programmed offline as well, using the company’s seat of Mastercam. 


    Hurco to the Rescue
    Two weeks later there was no machine. “I was in trouble,” says Sarabia. “I had told my customer I could do it. They needed parts in a couple of days. I was out of time. Then I remembered talking to Randy Flores from D&R Machine, the Hurco representative in my area, so I cancelled the other order and called Randy.


    “I asked him if he could get me a machine in two days,” he says. “He said he didn’t have any, but he knew someone who was selling an old Hurco KN3 with an Ultimax CNC control on it. He gave me the information, and I drove there immediately. The machine was in a body shop, never used by the owner. I told him I wanted to buy his machine. And he said he didn’t know if it worked or not. We plugged it in and checked it out. Everything worked fine. I paid him and hauled it back to my garage that same day. I read the manual, plugged it in, and four hours later I was making parts! Hurco had saved my customer for me. I never forgot that. That was back in 2003, and I still have that machine. I love it because it helped me start my business.” Since those early days, Sarabia’s business has grown at an amazing rate, he says, and though it all, he has remained loyal to Hurco.

     
    A few months after getting his first Hurco kneemill, Sarabia landed a bigger client, which demanded a bigger machine. “I got a really good customer about two months after I got the KN3,” he recalls. “I was doing all the prototyping for them. They were doing work for military ground vehicles, a lot of protective armor. They finally landed a really good contract based on all the prototyping I was doing. They called me and said they needed a lot of parts, and they wanted me to do them. They liked my work because when I saw something on the design that made the parts more expensive, I’d call the engineers and tell them. Anyway, I knew I couldn’t do the production on my kneemill. I needed a bigger, closed machine, so I called Randy Flores again for help. I told him my customer needed parts right away, and I had to have a vertical mill and a lathe as soon as possible, but that I needed the lathe in my garage immediately. I didn’t have room for the mill.”

     
    Once again, Hurco delivered, Sarabia says. “They shipped a TM6 lathe to my house in one weeks,” he recalls. “I never had worked on a CNC lathe before, but it was a Hurco with a conversational control, which I already understood from the kneemill. The lathe was not much different. I got a few hours of training from D&R, and after that I learned by myself. We got the machine set up, and the next day we were running parts. It was very very simple to use, a very simple control.

     
    Carlos Sarabia enters data into the conversational WinMax control on a Hurco VMX30 vertical mill. He bought Hurco originally because he needed to make parts fast and didn’t understand CNC programming. He now has 9 Hurcos in his shop.

    Sarabia moved out of his garage soon after taking delivery of the Hurco TM6 lathe.“I had to find a bigger place fast,” he says. “I had ordered the VM2, which wouldn’t fit in my garage, and I needed to make parts. So, I leased a 1700 square-foot industrial space for two and a half years. Once we got in that space, we just kept growing. Every time we bought another Hurco, we got more business.”


    In 2009 Sarabia bit the bullet and bought a modern 5,600 square-foot facility, his current location.
    Today Custom Tech Services employs 3 shop people, plus Sarabia himself, who operates machines and does everything else to keep the business going. 

    Hurco Shop
    Sarabia calls his shop a Hurco shop. “We operate 9 Hurco machines here,” he says. “We have two TM6 and a TM8 lathe, three VM1 mills, two VM2 mills and a VMX30. A lot of people have the idea that Hurco is only for prototype work. But, I started using Hurco for production right from the beginning. And they’ve been great. We’re cutting aluminum, steel, titanium, and we consistently are able to hold tolerances to one or two tenths. I have my first VM2 machine running really heavy titanium, and I still hold tolerance within a couple of tenths on it. You wouldn’t believe how many hours that machine has run. On the first project I got, we were running the VM2 about seven days a week, sixteen hour shifts, probably 90 hours a week. It consistently held tolerance within two tenths and it was extremely reliable. These are great production machines, especially considering the price.”


    Sarabia operates one seat of Mastercam to handle programming that can’t be done directly on the Hurco controller. “The truth is about 98% of the jobs we run can be programmed directly on the machine,” he says. “Maybe 2% need to be done offline with Mastercam. One really good thing about conversational programming is that it makes it really easy to train new employees. The learning curve is unbelievably short. The controller asks you what you want to do, you answer, and the next thing you know, you’re running parts.


    What About the Future?

    As successful as he has been in such a short time, Sarabia might be expected to want to keep growing as fast as possible. “Well, I’m pretty conservative,” he says. “We’ve grown the past two years right through the recession. We’ve paid off all our equipment, so we’re not in debt, which makes it nice. I have a good shop for probably eight people. But I’m a little bit scared to try to move up to become a midsize shop with 20 or more people. That’s kind of dangerous, especially with the economy so unstable. Right now I very happy to sit back and enjoy the success we’ve had, and to give our customers the best quality service we can. Maybe someday when the economy takes off again, we’ll rethink our position. Until then, I’ll just remember where I started and stay happy.”

  • icon Why I Love Hurco

    Why I Love Hurco: "You can go from print to part in minutes"

    This is a submission from our "Why I Love Hurco" Sweepstakes. Control Is Easy to Learn ​I have operated a Hurco VM1 for several years. I have ...Read moreTags: Conversational, 3-Axis Mill

    This is a submission from our "Why I Love Hurco" Sweepstakes.

    Control Is Easy to Learn

    ​I have operated a Hurco VM1 for several years. I have come to appreciate the  Hurco control and its ease of use. Having never used a conversational control, I found it extremely easy to learn. You can go from print to program in minutes.


    Built to Last

    I am also impressed with the rigidity of Hurco VMC’s. We have 7 Hurco mills at Detroit Tool and Engineering. As you can imagine, these mills have taken a beating over the years. I am amazed how they have recovered after some of the crashes I have witnessed.

    Most of our Hurcos are more than 15 years old and still going strong. They all hold tight tolerances even after the forementioned abuse. I think it is clear to see why Hurco will continue to strand out in a crowd. If I was ever to open a shop of my own, I would definitely choose Hurco for my CNC needs!

    Jeff Read

  • /en-us/why-hurco/success-stories/blog/Lists/Photos/Portchester01.jpg

    Portchester Engineering LTD - Shop Floor Programming Speeds Production

    ​​Two-thirds of Portchester Engineering’s  turnover comes from subcontract production of metal and plastic components for the marine industry, shipbuilder...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Conversational, Energy Sector

    ​​Two-thirds of Portchester Engineering’s  turnover comes from subcontract production of metal and plastic components for the marine industry, shipbuilders as well as offshore oil and gas platform operators being regular customers.  To provide additional capacity for machining smaller prismatic parts within a 660 x 356 x 457 mm envelope, the company has added an entry-level Hurco VM1 vertical machining centre to its plant list.

     

    Samantha Morrison, who bought the six-employee company from a family member in 2002, joined the firm in the early 1990s when all of the mills and lathes on the shop floor were manually operated.  Now there are three machining centres and the same number of CNC lathes in addition to manual machines.  Over the years, the customer base has expanded to include the motorsport and scientific instrumentation sectors.


    Located near Portsmouth and due to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, Portchester Engineering tends to produce small batch sizes.  100-off is a large order, with five-offs down to one-offs more usual.  So it is  essential to set up jobs quickly to maintain profitability, as fixturing and programming often represent a large proportion of total production time.

     

    Hurco’s single-screen CNC system with slimline touch-screen colour LCD uses drop-down menus, conversational programming and scalable graphics to speed program generation on the shop floor.
     
    Commented Ms Morrison, "Compared with the older machining centre that the VM1 replaced, which had a control that required G-code programming, the Hurco MAX control is much faster to program on the shop floor, so less time is wasted getting the job into production.
     
    "Nearly all of our programmes are prepared this way.  Only if the component is particularly complex or needs an engraved identification number do we generate the cutting cycles off-line using Vero VisiCAM."
     
    Another aspect of the VM1 that she liked in particular when vetting the machine at Hurco’s High Wycombe showroom was the speed of the machine.  The 10,000 rpm spindle option, 19 m/min rapids and BT40 tool change time were all faster than on the previous machine.  In addition, the small footprint of 1.8 x 1.6 metres was useful to minimise the amount of space taken up on the shop floor.
     
    A wide range of materials is processed by the subcontractor, from plastics through brass and mild steel to Duplex, stainless steel and titanium.  General tolerance is ±0.01 millimetre, which the VM1 easily holds. www.portchesterengineering.co.uk
     

     

  • /en-us/why-hurco/success-stories/blog/Lists/Photos/Vector3.jpg

    Vector Precision - 80,000 Lines of Code Versus 7 with Hurco Control

    ​One Friday morning in August 2005, a mince pie arrived in a taxi at the Crewe works of subcontractor, Vector Precision, with the request that the crust b...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Lathe, Moldmaker, Conversational, Aerospace, Custom Machinery

    ​One Friday morning in August 2005, a mince pie arrived in a taxi at the Crewe works of subcontractor, Vector Precision, with the request that the crust be reverse-engineered and a mould made for its volume production.  Owners Tony Bourne and Les Ford set about measuring the dimensions of the nine thumb impressions around the periphery of the pie, which was the unique feature of the product.  It then took them around 15 minutes to program their Hurco VM1 machining centre to mill the required mould.

     

    Said Mr Ford, "The program was written using Hurco's conversational programming software, for which we had bought the supplier's 3D mould and simulation packages.  The resulting program consisted of just seven lines, whereas the number of G-code instructions they represented was over 80,000 and took 20 minutes to download to the VM1.
     
    "To prepare the program conventionally would have been error-prone and taken two or three days.  It would not have been economic so we would probably have had to turn down the job.  As it was, we delivered the aluminium mould to the customer on the Sunday, ahead of the bank holiday Monday deadline."
     
    Although a job of this complexity is exceptional, Mr Ford commented that it illustrates the power of the Ultimax control system control and software, a copy of which he uses off-line rather than on the shop floor so that the machine is not tied up unnecessarily.  What is not exceptional is the one-off order; most of Vector's work is in batches of one- to 20-off, for which conversational programming is ideal, as it shortens the non-productive part of the manufacturing process.

    Mr Bourne is a chartered engineer and time-served toolmaker, while Mr Ford, also a toolmaker, was for many years a manager of another subcontracting business in the area.  Having established their business in July 2001 with a manual milling machine and lathe, they set about designing and manufacturing automated machinery for the MOD as well as pharmaceutical and food companies.  Vector still undertakes work of this type, and is currently rebuilding two round (ie cartridge and bullet) gauging machines for British Aerospace, at the same time converting them to measure a different gauge of ammunition. 
     
    Now employing six people in a larger unit in Radway Green, near Crewe, the ISO 9001:2000-approved business has diversified to serve also the rail and aerospace sectors.  Forty per cent of its turnover comes from providing a breakdown repair service, from troubleshooting and design through to component production and machine refurbishment in short time scales, allowing customers to resume manufacture quickly.
     
    When they moved into the current premises in 2003, Messrs Bourne and Ford still did not have any CNC machines, but soon bought a second-hand Hurco knee-type mill from a local firm.  Quickly they realised how much faster and more accurate it was than the manual machine, so a year later they decided to invest in a new Hurco VM1 machining centre with 660 x 356 x 457 mm working area and 16-station magazine for 40-taper tools.
     
    Advised Mr Bourne, "We looked at different machines on the market but liked the simplicity and user-friendliness of the Hurco control software so much that another Hurco machine was really a foregone conclusion.
     
    "At the same time, Hurco upgraded our CNC mill with an electronic, variable-speed head so that it would use the same programming software, giving us production flexibility."
     
    Typical prismatic machining jobs now coming off the CNC machines include a thread-milled acetyl assembly for a quiche-dosing machine, and stiffener plates for a fiberglass moulding that forms part of the cab for an off-road vehicle.  Positional accuracy of each drilled and reamed hole is ± 0.01 mm, so the plates fit precisely to the moulding when assembled with dowels.
     
    When the time came to upgrade its turning capacity from manual to CNC, Vector turned again to Hurco for a TM6 lathe, which has a 254 mm maximum turning capacity and 12-station turret for fixed tooling.  It uses a conversational programming system similar to that on the manufacturer's machining centres, allowing efficient one-off and small batch production.  The operator simply inputs the profile dimensions and the control does the rest, calculating all intersection points, even for blend arcs and chamfers.  It also sets speeds and feeds according to the tooling selected, while automatic constant surface speed calculation ensures good surface finish on the machined component.
     
    Components turned by Vector range from small gauge, solid copper bullets through prototypes for cold-rolled products to driving bands for automated machinery that need to be accurate to 0.01 mm total tolerance.  Other examples of precision turned parts are taper threads for BSPT fittings; and, for specialised vehicles such as dust carts and fire engines, 40 mm diameter steel shafts that need to have a near-ground 0.8 Ra finish to take a bush, and a tolerance of +0, -0.02 mm.

     

    Vector is now in a period of consolidation, as despite expanding into the adjoining unit in March 2004, there is little room to install further machines.  Any increase in business will be accommodated by moving from a single shift plus overtime to a double shift.  They are actively seeking extra mouldmaking work, such as the mince pie mould, as well as contracts to produce other complex 3D parts for which its CNC machines are proving ideal.

     

  • http://www.hurco.com/en-us/why-hurco/success-stories/blog/Lists/Photos/testimonials/Shane%20at%20DRR.jpg

    Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chooses Hurco for Machine Shop

    ​"The Hurco control makes it easy to get the part from my head to the control.”     Shane Sievers, Lead Machinist, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Ind...Read moreTags: Mill Turn, Lathe, 5-Axis, Conversational, Motorsports

    ​"The Hurco control makes it easy to get the part from my head to the control.    

    Shane Sievers, Lead Machinist, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Indianapolis, USA

    In racing, there are millions of things that happen before the driver even gets in the car that make a race team more competitive. As Dreyer & Reinbold Racing geared up for the 2011 season, they looked to their machine shop for a competitive edge. The Hurco 5-axis VMX42SR and mill-turn TMX8MYS were installed at their 35,000 square foot facility in Indianapolis in March of 2011.


    “We never know what’s coming next....which is a lot like a job shop environment,” says Shane Sievers, the lead machinist at DRR. Sievers started machining back in the days of punch tape and has run numerous brands of CNC machines. He had always run G-code until Hurco.


    I truly love these machines. Being able to program at the machine is my favorite thing. With the VMX42SR, I can do 5-axis [5-sided] work without having to use the CAM system or G-code. Transform Plane is the feature that makes it easy,” says Sievers.


    Another reason the Hurco CNC machines are perfect for the race team’s shop is the ability to minimize setup time.  “50 parts is a big run for us so it’s important to have a machine that reduces setup time,” says Sievers. The 5-sided process on the VMX42SR, Sievers eliminates three setups on just one part, which saves him at least 30 minutes per part.


    “In a lot of ways, we’re like a prototype shop. I’ll get a call when the team is on the race track and they’ll say they need a new part tomorrow morning. Sometimes I have a print. Sometimes I sketch it out on a  piece of paper. The Hurco control makes it easy to get the part from my head to the control. That’s what I love about being a machinist for an IndyCar team. No day is ever the same. And our Hurcos are made to handle that kind of quick turnaround and the need for constant flexibility.” Even though Sievers says he loves both the VMX42SR and TMX8MYS, he does have a favorite that he thinks might surprise some people. 


    “If they made me choose, I would choose the TMX8MYS lathe with live tooling. This last software upgrade has been a game changer on the lathe. The verification graphics are phenomenal and the control just makes everything so easy.“

     ​

     

  • /en-us/why-hurco/success-stories/blog/Lists/Photos/Aerolux3.jpg

    Aerolux - Machining Replaces Fabrication

    ​Blackpool-based Aerolux, a world leader in the manufacture of aircraft galley insert equipment such as ovens, refrigerators, wine chillers and coffee mak...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Aerospace, Conversational

    ​Blackpool-based Aerolux, a world leader in the manufacture of aircraft galley insert equipment such as ovens, refrigerators, wine chillers and coffee makers, has stolen a march on its two main competitors in Germany and the USA by CNC machining many components that were previously fabricated.  Half of all prismatic parts are now machined from solid aluminium on two Hurco vertical machining centres installed in the Spring of 2004 and 2005 respectively.  While safety-critical parts in aircraft are always produced this way to prevent the risk of crack generation, food-related equipment in the galley has traditionally been fabricated. 


    The benefits to Aerolux and its customers are considerable, as parts are quicker and less expensive to make by milling than by welding.  Managing director, Ken Metcalfe, says that a fridge door and frame, for example, would require 10 to 12 hours in the fabrication shop whereas they are machined on a Hurco VMX42 in less than half the time.  A further advantage is that components are more repeatable than when welded, which introduces distortion, so parts assemble more accurately from batch to batch.  Moreover there are no welds to fettle, so a lot of finishing has been eliminated.

     

    Second-operation work such as drilling and tapping, which was previously carried out by hand on the fabrications, is now completed in-cycle on the machining centre, saving further time.  The cosmetic appearance of products has been improved as well, as it is possible, for example, to radius corners when CNC machining - a refinement that is not feasible when fabricating products.
     
    The move towards CNC machining has far-reaching implications on the design of Aerolux products.  It is possible, for instance, to mill sections down to 2 mm, much thinner than can be fabricated, resulting in reduced weight.  Another positive change has been to machine on the Hurcos, the groove that accepts the oven door seal instead of having to use two frames, one inside the other, to achieve a similar, heavier result.  Lightness is of key importance to aircraft operators, which are always looking to maximise fuel efficiency.
     
    Mr. Metcalfe has plans for redesigning many other parts and predicts that most of the components that go into the company's products will be CNC machined rather than fabricated within a year or so.  He has also adopted a similar policy for turned parts, many of which now go onto CNC lathes.

    Until the late 90s, practically everything was fabricated at the Blackpool factory, mainly from aluminium for lightness, stainless steel for hygiene, and expensive, heat-resisting plastics approved for aerospace applications.  The plastics were designed out of the ovens, partly due to the high price of the material and of the vacuum forming tools needed to make the oven doors, and also because the plastic was prone to crack when machined.
     
    At the same time, Mr. Metcalfe went to local subcontractors to have frames and doors CNC machined, convinced of the advantages, but found that this was more expensive than fabrication, partly because batches tended to be small.  For the same reason, he found that that he was constantly having to chase work, as subcontractors tend to favour customers that place large volume business.  The quality of the work was also a problem at times and required constant monitoring.  Suddenly, a large order for 100 aluminium and stainless steel oven doors was placed by Kelox, Madrid, for the Spanish Railways (rail industry work accounts for 30 per cent of Aerolux turnover).  This extra business justified the purchase of the first Hurco, which was delivered directly from the MACH 2004 exhibition in Birmingham and paid for itself within a year of installation.

    Once the VMC was installed, other parts such as mounting rails for expresso machines were soon produced from the solid as well, eliminating buying-in castings and machining them by hand on a turret mill.  So successful was this exercise that Aerolux now supplies these components to its competitors.  Fridge frames were next onto the Hurco, followed by rear mounting brackets, and the migration of parts from the fabrication shop to the CNC machining section has continued ever since.
     
    By the beginning of 2005, the machine was working flat out during the factory’s 10-hour daily shift.  It had become so important in the Aerolux operation that a breakdown would have disrupted customer deliveries; and there was not even time to train more operators.  The obvious answer was a second Hurco VMX42, which was installed in May together with an off-line programming station running WinMax software that mimics the capabilities of the machines’ Ultimax control.  The latter’s intuitive touch-screen, with drop-down menus and second, adjacent screen for displaying a graphic of the component and simulating the cutting cycle, is used very successfully on the shop-floor for programming.  The off-line facility will be used, in the short term at least, for new product development. 
     
    A typical order from one of the major airlines might result in batch sizes of 25-off doors or frames and 50-off mounting rails, but it can be as low as one-off if the appliance is to be used in a custom executive jet.  Ease of programming at the machine has therefore been of considerable help to Aerolux.

     

     

     

  • /en-us/why-hurco/success-stories/blog/Lists/Photos/WyeValley1.jpg

    Wye Valley Precision Engineering - Faster Turnaround for Rubber Mould Tools

    ​Installation of a Hurco vertical machining centre (VMC) in the toolroom at the Ross-on-Wye factory of rubber mouldings manufacturer, Wye Valley Precision...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Conversational, NC, Moldmaker

    ​Installation of a Hurco vertical machining centre (VMC) in the toolroom at the Ross-on-Wye factory of rubber mouldings manufacturer, Wye Valley Precision Engineering, has resulted in much faster availability of mould tools compared with when the company was using a manual-tool-change CNC mill.  A typical middle plate in P20 tool steel is now programmed and machined in six hours, whereas the same job used to take a week.  Said machine operator, Matthew Griffiths, "Programming was very time-consuming using our previous machine because the control system did not accept the DXF file output from our CAD system.  So after a mould was designed, I had to program every feature manually at the control and the complexity of the tools meant that there was a risk of making errors, which were subsequently difficult to find and correct."This contrasts with the user friendliness of the Ultimax control fitted to the Hurco VMX-24 VMC, installed in April this year (2003).  Mr Griffiths advised that the twin-screen CNC system not only reads DXF files directly and automatically generates tool paths from them, but also has powerful on-board software to simplify creation of the entire part program.


    For example, a rubber mould might contain, say, 1500 holes in four blocks which used to take several hours to program.  Using the Ultimax control, it is simply necessary to program one block, highlight it on the right hand graphics screen, and then rotate and repeat it three times around the appropriate PCD.  It is then possible to input the commands for centre drill and drill for all holes at the same time, instead of individually.  Another feature is the unlimited number of islands that may be created within a pocket boundary (the previous maximum was 12) and the automatic, gouge-free machining.
     
    A further area of programming that is speeded is the generation of 3D parts from 2D contour profiles followed by automatic creation of roughing and finishing cycles after telling the control which tools to use.  This is a real benefit to Wye Valley Precision Engineering, as more and more it is being asked to design and produce 3D moulds for the manufacture of keypads, for example.
     
    "The Ultimax control is by far the best on the market for one-offs,” said Mr Griffiths.  “It is so quick to use that sometimes I have difficulty believing the program is right.  I have more confidence in this CNC system after one month than I had in the previous control after 10 years."  When the machine is cutting metal, various features within the control contribute further to faster mould production.  Conversation touch-probing of the tool allows periodic checking of the tip for wear, with the appropriate offsets sent automatically to the control.  Alternatively, if necessary, a command is sent to replace the cutter with a sister tool from the 24-station magazine.  Mr Griffiths also highlights the recovery/restart feature within Ultimax, whereby after the spindle has been stopped it is possible to resume cutting immediately at the same point, without having to cycle through from the beginning of the last whole program block.
     
    Certain design characteristics of the machine itself promote high productivity with minimal operator attendance.  Flood coolant is effective at washing swarf to the front of the machine, from where a spiral augur transfers chips into a bucket at the side.  It is not necessary to stop the machine to clear swarf from the working area.  Notable also is the high speed of the Hurco VMC compared with the previous CNC mill.  10,000 rpm is 2.5 times higher than the previously available spindle speed, and cutting feedrate is double at 2 m/min with the possibility of 8 m/min utilising new tooling currently under investigation.
     
    Paul Nelson, manufacturing director of family-owned Wye Valley Precision Engineering, was surprised at the variability of response from the eight machine tool vendors he contacted when he was researching the market.  One well known supplier had an old fashioned showroom, derided the competition's machines and failed to keep its website up to date.  Some had outdated looking machines and / or controls.  Others wanted to make an additional delivery charge to take account of the restricted height of the door at the Ross-on-Wye factory.  "In the end, Hurco was the obvious choice," said Mr Nelson.  "All the machines in the range are modern and good value for money, the Ultimax control is a clear advantage and the approach of the company was very positive and helpful.  We felt that it conducted its business in the same way that we do.”
     
    In conclusion, Mr Nelson confirmed that he had proceeded with updating his toolroom after the company had rejected the option of outsourcing the manufacture of mould tools.  "We like to be in charge of  our own destiny," he said, "and rapid availability of tools is important to us in order to ensure a prompt service to our customer's.  "We can turn round a rubber mould in one week, including design and manufacture, or perhaps in two weeks if the tool is particularly complex.  We could never match this by going to overseas suppliers.
     
    "In any case, the high quality and low price of foreign-sourced moulds appears to be a myth.  We had a tool made once in France which was very poor quality; and a number of Portuguese toolmakers sent us prices that were not far below those quoted by UK suppliers.  In the end, it made sense to keep this important function in-house."

     

     

     

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    A & G Precision - The Profitability of 5-Axis

    Read how this sub-contractor reduced machining time from 60 minutes to 8 minutes by switching from 3-axis to 5-axis.  The installation of two new Hurco m...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, NC, Conversational, 3-Axis Mill, Aerospace, Defense, Motorsports, Energy Sector

    Read how this sub-contractor reduced machining time from 60 minutes to 8 minutes by switching from 3-axis to 5-axis. 

    The installation of two new Hurco machining centres has allowed Lancashire subcontractor, A&G Precision, to attract more work and produce components more efficiently in fewer set-ups.


    The company is a leading producer of complex components used in key military and civil aircraft programmes.  It is also active in other sectors, principally defence, marine, petrochemical, motorsport, rail and pharmaceutical engineering.In addition to batch production of high-precision components, A&G provides a range of additional services including prototyping, sub-assembly manufacture and reverse engineering.

     
    One long-running job, an aluminium part, used to be produced in three set-ups on a 3- axis machining centre at the subcontractor’s Poulton-le-Fylde works.  The   complexity of the component necessitated a lot of step-down profile generation using a ball-nose milling cutter, so overall machining time was around one hour. The same part has been re-programmed and is now completed in a single, eight-minute cycle on the company’s first 5-axis machining centre, a Hurco VMX42SR installed in mid 2008.  Not only is there a large saving in machining time, but two set-ups are eliminated as well, considerably reducing the cost of manufacture.
     
    Another component to benefit from one-hit, 5-axis, prismatic machining, in this case after a turning operation, is a steel eye bolt that previously required three separate operations on a 3-axis machining centre.  The bolt is of relatively simple design, so there is little difference in overall machining time, but two set-ups are saved.

    Michael Pinder, a director of A&G, commented, “Generally, we do not reprogram existing components to run on the 5-axis Hurco unless they are ongoing jobs and savings are significant.  However, the availability of the machine has changed the way we approach the machining of new components.“In the first year after we started operating the VMX42SR, we produced 73 different parts on it in titanium, aluminium and various steels including stainless.  A proportion of those contracts we previously would not have won, as the prices for producing them conventionally would not have been competitive.” He went on to explain that the machine was not purchased in anticipation of receiving new contract, but was bought on spec after a number of customers repeatedly offered A&G 5-axis work that it could not fulfil.      
     
    Several machines were shortlisted and reviewed at MACH 2008.  One reason for choosing the Hurco was the powerful 36 kW / 12,000 rpm spindle.  Another was the easy-to-use Ultimax twin-screen control, which includes a special version of the proprietary WinMax software specifically designed to simplify programming of complex, multi-sided parts.

    A further significant factor in the purchasing decision was the swivelling head design with horizontal rotary table, which Mr Pinder says offers a larger working envelope than the more usual configurations based on a vertical spindle and two-axis, trunnion-mounted table.  In some instances, components are set up in the space at the side of the rotary table on the VMX42SR for second-operation work to be carried out.

    At the end of 2008, A&G installed a second Hurco machining centre, this time a 3-axis VMX60t with two-metre capacity in X.  It was in response to an approach from an existing customer that wanted some ribs machined, knowing that the subcontractor had the necessary ISO 9001:2000 and AS9100 approvals.

    The rib contract was limited, but Mr Pinder found that once the machine was installed, its existence on the shop floor created work as soon as customers heard that the facility was available.  A couple of dozen different jobs approaching the machine’s capacity have already been won as a result. Additionally, several smaller jobs can be fixtured in separate vices on the table to meet demand when the smaller machines are  working flat out, so very little time is wasted. 

    Programming of the Hurco machines is carried out either at a PC in the office running WinMax software or on the shop floor at the Ultimax control.  In the case of the 5-axis machine, most programming is off-line, as components tend to be complex.  Customers supply mainly Catia models that are converted to STEP files.  Open Mind’s hyperMILL CAM software converts these into efficient cutter paths that are post-processed and downloaded to the Ultimax control.

    The reverse is true of program preparation for the VMX60t.  So far, most has been done at the machine, owing to the simpler nature of the work, except for the ribs.  Some of the shop floor staff had already used Ultimax at previous companies, so were familiar with its strengths.

    Continued Mr Pinder, “The conversational control is the easiest to use of all our CNC systems and is practically foolproof.  The operator simply follows instructions on the touch screen, working his way down, filling in the boxes.
     
    “At any point, pressing the ‘draw’ button produces a component graphic on the second screen that shows exactly where he has reached in the program.  My brother, Jordan, who is an apprentice here, learnt the system very quickly and is now able to program quite complicated jobs.“We do a lot of prototype work here as well as one- and two-offs.  Typical batch size is 10-off.  So speed of programming is essential to keep production costs down.”

    A&G’s purchase of the two Hurco machines is part of an expansion programme over the past 18 months that has seen more than £1 million spent on plant acquisition and buying, extending and refurbishing its previously rented Poulton-le-Fylde premises, a Grade 2-listed corn mill. 

    The 38-strong, £3 million-turnover business has become an integral part of the North West of England’s regional aerospace supply chain.  It is still a family-owned company, established in 1989 by the current managing director, Arthur Pinder, and another son, Scott.

     

     

     

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    BFO Motorcycles - Bike Designer Follows His Dream into Manufacture

      Hurco machining centre turns as well as mills at start-up motor cycle factory.  Ever since the early 90s, after graduating with a first class honours ...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Conversational, Automotive

     

    Hurco machining centre turns as well as mills at start-up motor cycle factory.

     
    Ever since the early 90s, after graduating with a first class honours degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Abertay, Dundee, Steve Atkins has wanted to produce his own motorcycle.  While pursuing a successful career as a car designer at such prestigious companies as Peugeot, Jaguar and Aston Martin, he spent his spare time designing his own bike and four years ago built a first prototype.


    Two more followed, the last in October 2006, just in time to launch the concept at The International Motorcycle & Scooter Show at the NEC.  He took his first order, the customer paying a deposit there and then.  Together with a small amount of Government funding, it convinced Steve to start his own company – BFO Motorcycles – and press ahead with series production.
     
    Based on the Honda Fireblade, BFO manufactures a kit costing around £6,500 plus VAT and, within a month, converts the donor bike into a bespoke motorcycle called the ‘switch:BLADE’.  Only the Fireblade’s wheels, suspension, brakes, wiring and engine are retained; the rest is replaced in the makeover.  The plan is to build 100 kits before moving on to a second donor bike, the Suzuki Hayabusa, and repeating the exercise in collaboration with international motorcycle stylist, John Keogh.  This second bike is already attracting a great deal of interest following release of the initial artist’s impression.
     
    To mill the components, Steve bought in mid 2007 a Hurco VM1 machining centre, listing at £27,900, which with its 660 x 356 x 457 mm working volume he says is the ideal size for producing motorcycle parts.  As he is under financial constraints while building up the business, he is using a 3-jaw chuck and circular interpolation on the machine to produce most of the turned parts for the bike as well, postponing investment in a lathe.

    To buy even one machine tool in addition to renting an industrial unit in Coventry and incurring sundry other expenses, all based on a single bike design, is a big step for an individual.  Steve chose the Hurco machining centre because of its low price and ease of use.  He is a designer, not a machinist, and previously had hardly operated a manual machine tool, let alone one that is computer controlled.
     
    Manual machines would have been too labour intensive for series production, making the kits too expensive, added to which there is potential for inaccuracies to creep in due to human error.  Learning conventional CNC programming using G- and M-codes would have been very time-consuming.  All he wanted to do was get accurate bike components off the machine quickly.
     
    Steve commented, “I knew of the conversational programming capabilities of Hurco control systems through local subcontractors that had made prototype parts for me on Hurco machines.  “The way the Max control manipulates geometry is similar to my I-DEAS CAD system, so I am in a familiar environment.  The touch screen control makes it very easy to build up a cutting cycle based on the geometry of the part and the tooling I have available.  You simply redraw the part on the Max screen, input feeds and speeds and the program writes itself.”
     
    For machining more complicated 3D parts such as patterns for producing areas of the carbon fibre bodywork and the seat, which was styled by John Keogh, Steve has installed a OneCNC CAM package that will allow input of complex, 3D cutter paths directly into the Max control.
    He continued, “Just by machining the patterns for the switch:BLADE in house rather than having to subcontract the work, I have saved one third of the cost of the Hurco.
     
    “All the formed 7020 aluminium tubing for the frame has to be machined so that it fits together first time.  There are fork clamps, mudguard brackets, foot rests, brake calliper mounts, handlebars and a host of other components to be machined from billet, plus most of the traditionally turned parts – I now only have to subcontract the turning of headstocks, which are a little too long for the Hurco.
    “I calculate that there is about £2,000 of machining in each switch:BLADE kit, so together with the saving in pattern machining, the Hurco will have paid for itself after nine bikes.  Everything after that will be for free, except for tooling and running costs.”
     

     

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    Hurco Machines Are Reliable and Easy to Program

    This is a submission from our "Why I Love Hurco" Sweepstakes. ​I am a CNC Machinist with over 20 years of experience. In my humble opinion, th...Read moreTags: Conversational

    This is a submission from our "Why I Love Hurco" Sweepstakes.

    ​I am a CNC Machinist with over 20 years of experience. In my humble opinion, the Hurco line of machines have always been one of the most reliable and easy to program CNC machines.
    Ernesto Angel.jpg
    Most of my experience has been with CNC machining centers and I have always loved the easy use of the conversation controls. It just makes sense and it makes my programming jobs a lot faster and safer. Having the graphics gives you a very good idea how the manufacturing process progresses. I like the option of being able to have DXF files right at the machine in case I need to do “on the fly edits” to my parts.

    The ease and simplicity of the Hurco CNC control has made my machining / programming profession much easier. If I happen to be the lucky winner of this machine, it will be put in good use at my father’s shop, which specializes in the restoration of vintage motorcycles.

    Sincerely,

    Ernesto Angel
    Pompano Precision Products, Inc.
    Engineering Manager



     

  • what i love about hurco icon

    Conversational Control. Reliability. Value.

    This is a submission we received as part of our "Why I Love Hurco" Sweepstakes. We have a 2006 Hurco VM1, and love the machine. It does not hav...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Conversational

    This is a submission we received as part of our "Why I Love Hurco" Sweepstakes.

    We have a 2006 Hurco VM1, and love the machine. It does not have the WinMax control, although that would be nice. Shop floor programming is still a breeze with the conversational control!!! We have not used the NC side of the control once. The machine is very rigid, and has run very well over the years. We have not had to call a tech out once! We do not have a boring head for the machine, and haven't needed one! With a good carbide endmill, we have circle milled bearing bores without any trouble. We would have had to spend a lot more money on other brands to get the same features and quality!!

    Keep up the good work,
    Jerry Pruitt

     

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    Crossen Engineering Ltd - Toolmaker Expands into Aerospace Sector

    During 2011, 4,000 such seals will be produced in the press shop at Newtownards, which has 17 power presses rated from 35 to 500 tonnes force for subcontr...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Aerospace, Automotive, Moldmaker, NC, Conversational

    During 2011, 4,000 such seals will be produced in the press shop at Newtownards, which has 17 power presses rated from 35 to 500 tonnes force for subcontract production runs of progression and deep drawn components.

     

    The contract has boosted the proportion of aerospace sector work done by Crossen Engineering to 20 per cent of turnover.  The company received AS9100 quality management accreditation in 2010 and intends to grow the aerospace side of its business further to 75 per cent by 2015.  Another recent aerospace project, for University of Ulster spin-off, LenisAer, Belfast, was to design a press tool for forming a sector for an engine nacelle lip skin from a sheet metal blank, currently aluminium but perhaps also titanium. The concept, to extend the trailing edge, promote laminar flow and eliminate a join, has been proved and production quantities are being considered. A lip skin prototype will be exhibited on Crossen Engineering's stand at the International Paris Air Show 2011 in June.  Pressworking contracts carried out in other industries include making a tool and supplying hood reinforcement parts for lift trucks; and tools used in the production of the Audi A8.
     
    Started in 1978 by Paul Crossen's father, Derek, to service a local need for press tools, the firm moved into the manufacture of steel and aluminium mould tools in the mid 90s. It gradually established an injection mould shop which now has machines from 60 to 500 tonnes clamping force to fulfil subcontract runs in short lead times. Today, the split between press tool and injection mould work is roughly 50:50.
     
    A recent success was winning back a contract previously lost to China, namely tool manufacture and production of plastic moulded parts used in flat-pack kits for polling booths and ballot boxes marketed by Pakflatt in Derry. Another injection mould, machined on a Hurco VMX42, is for producing parts for ABS dummies assembled by a Belfast company, Trucorp, for resuscitation training.
     
    A customer in receipt of both mould and press tools together with the plastic and pressed parts is roof window manufacturer, Keylite, Cookstown. These days, Crossen Engineering is rarely asked to make only the tool.
     
    Derek Crossen bought the company's first Hurco, a BMC40, 25 years ago through local Irish representative, Michael Gannon. "The machine gave 20 years of excellent service, cutting a range of materials including prehardened steels," confirmed Paul Crossen, "and although not currently in use, it is still operational."
     
    The machine's reliability and suitability for toolmaking, with its ability to manufacture one-offs efficiently and move on rapidly to the next job, is behind Crossen Engineering's decision to purchase prismatic metalcutting equipment only from this source. In the last six years, the company has installed four VMX42s, the latest in April 2011, and a VMX64 to increase the size of parts that can be machined in-house. All are 40 taper machines.
       
    The first VMX, with 12,000 rpm spindle, arrived in 2005 to produce aluminium injection moulds for manufacturing rubber mats for cars. Suppliers to Porsche, Mazda, Kia and Mercedes Trucks number among the many users of these moulds.
     
    One of the other VMX42s has a higher speed spindle capable of 15,000 rpm. It was bought to concentrate on machining of aluminium parts for aircraft, such as seat supports and trim, as well as to produce vacuum forming tools.
     
    The VMX64, with its 1,626 x 864 x 762 mm working envelope, was acquired in 2009 for machining bolster plates and other larger components whose production was previously subcontracted. A similar machine will replace the BMC40 at the end of 2011.
     
    Programming efficiency at Crossen Engineering is just as important as machining time, because very often only one part is produced. In this respect, Winmax software in Hurco's latest Ultimax control is proving beneficial.  Although it is possible to use the conversational capability to program relatively complex 3D shapes on the shop floor, this is mainly done in Delcam Powermill and downloaded. Programming of 2D shapes is well within the control's remit, but again, the toolmaker tends to do this in Autocad and send a DXF file to the Ultimax, which is able to read the data directly. The rationale is to eliminate the possibility of human error.
     
    Conversational capability in the control is used to prepare some simpler programs. However, it really comes into its own for conveniently copying and pasting existing macros for pocketing and drilling, for example, into downloaded NC programs. The software also provides flexibility for editing programs quickly on the shop floor, without having to return each time to the CAM system in the office.  Conversationally generated elements of the program can be integrated seamlessly with blocks of G-code in Winmax. Moreover, merging of the two can be completed in background while the previous part is being cut, so valuable production time is not lost.
     
    One operator runs two Hurco machines at Newtownards over a single shift at present, so there is plenty of capacity to ramp up output, if order levels dictate. Nevertheless, Crossen Engineering already benefits from production hours after each manned shift, as one or two machines routinely are left to run unattended overnight and at weekends. Some jobs, such as profiling of the car mat injection moulds, continue largely unattended for 48 hours.

     

     

     

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    Florida Precision - Part Accuracy and Repeatability.

    ​“I have built my business by attracting top-notch machinists and then giving them the tools to put their talents to work. I have found that the capabilit...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, 3-Axis Mill, Conversational

    ​“I have built my business by attracting top-notch machinists and then giving them the tools to put their talents to work. I have found that the capabilities of Hurco machining centers to do complex, high accuracy work is perfect for my operation.”

    – Mike Vella

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     

     

    Hurco’s machining centers provide precisely what’s needed
    The five Hurco machines that Florida Precision owns have proved invaluable. The machinists found that the Hurco machines, equipped with the UltiMax dual-screen control, can solve virtually every machining problem they encounter. There is no need for off-line programming that slows operations.
     
    The machinist is able to determine the best way to machine the part and then uses Hurco’s control to program it. This “multiplication of skills” is the key to growth at Florida Precision. Jobs are turned around fast and competitively. They have become a key source for many parts that are simply too complex for the average shop to tackle.
     
    Florida Precision, as its name implies, handles tough machining problems. As part complexity continues to grow, so does the requirement for precision. More and more parts require machined tolerances measured not in thousandths, or even half thousandths, but in ten thousandths of an inch (0.0001) or 0.0025 mm. Florida Precision’s latest Hurco VMX 24 vertical machining centers are capable of responding to inputs as small as 0.0001". Using high-resolution encoders, Florida Precision mapped ball screws and high speed processing technology; and the newest Hurco machines are achieving the most demanding levels of part accuracy and repeatability. It has become a key aspect of the operation.
     
    Summary

    As part complexity grows, Mike can see the need for 5-axis machines to efficiently produce multi-sided parts in one setup. Hurco’s control is 5-axis capable and its vertical machining centers can be equipped with a variety of precision tables. 
       

    If a fully integrated solution is required, Hurco has high performance vertical machines with an integral trunion table, which is perfect for processing complex high-precision work in one set-up.

     

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    Ishida - Productivity of Hurco Machines Eliminates Outsourcing at UK Subsidiary

    ​ Summary: This article explains the benefits Ishida derived from the purchase of Hurco machining centers, which made it more cost-effective to move its...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Conversational, Custom Machinery

    Summary: This article explains the benefits Ishida derived from the purchase of Hurco machining centers, which made it more cost-effective to move its manufacturing in-house. The machine shop personnel and managers point specifically to Hurco control features that have increased their productivity—features, such as Patterns, DXF Transfer, Concurrent Programming, NC/Conversational Merge, the overall speed and usability of the WinMax platform, and Conversational Programming.
     

     

    ​UK machine shop pioneers Japanese group's in-house manufacture
    Article originally appeared in Packaging Europe Magazine

     

     
    The Japanese, family-owned Ishida group is a giant in food packaging machinery, with a worldwide turnover in excess of half a billion Euros. Perhaps surprisingly, almost all of the component parts that go into its automated weighing, filling, packing, handling and inspection equipment are made by subcontractors, while assembly is carried out at Ishida factories in Japan (Shiga prefecture), Korea, China, Brazil and the UK.
     
    Group policy on subcontracting is about to change, however, largely due to the success of a UK subsidiary in Poole, Dorset, and its use of four Hurco machining centres. Here, 80% of components are produced in-house for a new range of semi-automatic traysealers. Prototype parts are also machined for larger in-line traysealers assembled at Ishida Europe's headquarters in Birmingham, while customers' bespoke traysealer tools are designed and manufactured in Poole.
     
    In the long term, core production of traysealers will be brought in-house in its entirety, with just very simple parts and seasonal over-capacity subcontracted. The main advantage to Ishida will be faster lead-times. Other benefits are an enhanced ability to control component quality as well as scope for making higher margins by reducing subcontracted machining costs.
     
    Despite the recession in many European countries, the demand for traysealer tools has been increasing over the years, as consumer demand for pre-packed fresh meat and ready meals has been on the rise. This had led to a demand for high-speed packing lines and larger sealing tools to help food processors and packers meet the demand.
     
    The requirement to mill and drill these larger tools, mainly of C250 aluminium but sometimes 304 stainless steel, which can be over a metre long and weigh in excess of 300 kg, prompted Ishida Poole to purchase its first Hurco vertical machining centre (VMC), a VMX50t, in 2009. Until then, the company had relied on other, smaller capacity VMCs.
    Ishida Part Picture from Packaging Europe article copy.png

    Chris Witheford, Production Manager, comments, "We noticed that a local subcontractor to whom we regularly give work uses a similar Hurco machine.
    "I was particularly impressed with the ease of programming using the supplier's conversational software, WinMax, which is a Windows-based suite running on Hurco's twin screen control.Our tooling designs are based on core templates containing lots of repeating holes and pockets which need to be copied, sometimes rotated and pasted elsewhere .For this, the pattern location functionality within WinMax is ideal and saves a great deal of time. This is important to us, as batch sizes here are typically ones, twos and threes, so programming takes up a large part of overall production time."
     

     

    David Nielsen, machine shop team leader at Ishida Poole, agrees: "WinMax is at least three times quicker at creating programs than the conversational control on our previous VMcs, some of which are still in use for making spares and on which the control systems employ Q-def programming. The latter tend to be laborious, whereas WinMax is more user-friendly."

     

     
    According to Hurco, WinMax controls can be used to prepare programs simultaneously while a component is being machined. A graphic of the component is visible on the right hand screen as the cutting paths are being created. At the end of the process, the entire cycle can be simulated to ensure that there are no interference issues.
     
    This is particularly important when machining small batches, as a single scrapped part could be a high proportion of total production. The twin screen also improves staff confidence when running the program, bearing in mind that 80 to 90% of solid material is removed to make a tooling plate. Cycle times vary from around one hour for an insert up to a full shift to machine an entire plate.
     
    Mr Nielsen continues, "A valuable feature of the Hurco control for 2D programming is that it accepts DXF files directly from our SolidWorks CAD system.
     
    "One tooling plate might contain 120 holes and it is very time-consuming and error-prone to key in the hole centres individually by hand, whereas WinMax picks them up automatically from the DXF data.
     
    "When we have 3D elements to program, like the front heater plate profile for a tool, we find it quicker to prepare those blocks in a OneCNC CADCAM package and add them to 2D elements written conversationally in WinMax, using another of its useful functions, NC Merge."
     
    All of the machine tools on the shop floor, which now include a further Hurco VMX50t and two smaller VMX42t machines purchased at MACH 2012, are networked to a server at Poole, together with the CADCAM systems. Mr Nielsen adds, "Compared with programs previously written conversationally using other controls, those generated in WinMax are more standardised and clearer, which is an advantage for networking."
     
    The result is seamless transmission of program data and tooling lists, ensuring that any Hurco machine can produce any part (subject to size compatibility) with minimum delay, creating a lean production environment. Four operators, two fewer than previously, run the machine shop despite there being more CNC machine tools, currently seven.
     
    The specification of all the Hurco VMX machines includes a 12,000 rpm spindle with a chiller for high speed cutting of aluminum, a dual-wound motor to provide high torque at low revs when machining stainless steel, and an 8-jet coolant ring for flooding the cutting area to remove chips efficiently.
     
    The four Hurco VMXs at Ishida Poole have transformed the company's approach to prismatic machining and allowed it to take cost out of production. That is important, as the site is a cost centre within the group and constantly takes buy-or-make decisions based on the price of producing a part in-house compared with how much a subcontractor would charge. Invariably, the internal production cost is lower, which fits with the firm's aim of bringing more of its manufacture in-house.



     

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    Cube Precision Engineering - Manufacture of Automotive and Aerospace Components

    Black Country toolmaker and subcontractor, Cube Precision Engineering, has installed its largest Hurco machining centre to date, a 3,200 x 2,100 x 920 mm ...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Dual Column, Automotive, Conversational, NC

    Black Country toolmaker and subcontractor, Cube Precision Engineering, has installed its largest Hurco machining centre to date, a 3,200 x 2,100 x 920 mm capacity, bridge-type, vertical-spindle DCX32. Delivered at the end of May 2012, it is the fifth machining centre from the same supplier to be purchased.

     

    The latest investment follows recent strong business growth, particularly in the manufacture of automotive press tools for producing interior and body components for such famous marques as Land Rover, Jaguar, BMW and Honda. Turnover at the 35-employee firm is expected to increase this year by more than 12 per cent compared with 2011 to £3.5 million.
     
    One recent high-profile job involved completing work on tools for pressing the door outer panels that go into the new, all-aluminium Range Rover (L405), launched at the Paris Motor Show on 27th September 2012. Other press tools machined on the 3-axis DCX include those for producing the wheel arches for the Jaguar F-Type (X152), a new, aluminium-chassis, two-seater sports car due to enter production in 2013.
     
    Mould tools, progression dies and transfer tooling are also produced on a total of 11 CNC machines running 24 hours a day, 5 days a week at Cube's Rowley Regis factory. The larger machines are fitted with multi-axis heads to enable   3+2 axis CNC machining of complex components.
     
    Outside the automotive industry, the Hurco DCX regularly produces aerospace components, including for jet engine research, and machines parts for armoured personnel carriers and tanks. Materials processed range from aluminium through cast iron, Armox, aerospace grade steels and Inconel to D2 and P20 tool steels. Almost all work is for primes and tier 1 manufacturing companies.
     
    Cube's service encompasses proving the tooling it produces on presses ranging up to 4.5 metres / 1,000 tons-force. For the aerospace sector, the company designs and manufactures tooling used in die quench and super plastic forming processes as well as a range of composite materials.
     
    Neil Clifton, one of three director-owners of Cube, commented, "We are one of very few companies in the UK that has invested in the space, craneage and equipment to machine parts to five metres in X and weighing up to 35 tonnes.
     
    "Finish machining of large-size parts was causing a bottleneck, so we opted for a Hurco DCX, as it was economically priced for a machine with over six cubic metres of working volume.  "Despite its size, the machine easily achieves general tolerances of 0.03 mm and regularly goes down to 0.02 mm, with excellent surface finish.  "We also like the fact that the machine comes with a 40-position magazine and automatic toolchanger for BT50 cutters as standard. Such equipment normally costs extra on a machining centre of that size."
     
     
    Another benefit of the machine to Cube is that its operators, already familiar with using the twin-screen WinMax / Ultimax control on the other four Hurcos on site, could move seamlessly onto the identical CNC system controlling the DCX32. WinMax has powerful, conversational shop floor programming capability and a second screen on which a graphic of the part is generated as the cycles are built up.
     
    Mr Clifton says that, in practice, most 3D cycles are prepared off-line from customers' models, imported into Delcam Powershape, via IGES if necessary, and processed using Powermill CAM software.
     
    Changes to a job can require urgent attention, such as alterations to a tool when automotive body parts are not fitting together properly during a vehicle's initial build phase. So prompt programming offline from a revised solid model is essential while the tool is being transported back to Cube.

     

    It is usual for simpler 2D elements of a program to be programmed at the control by the machine operator, however. One of the benefits of WinMax is that such cycles can be easily merged with the 3D cutter paths prepared externally. Previously, such an approach would have resulted in two separate cutting cycles.

     

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    Ayrshire Precision - 2-Meter DCX22 Leads to New Work for Energy Industry

    Few contract machinists in Scotland have a modern, vertical machining centre to match the 2,200 x 1,700 x 750 mm capacity of the Hurco twin-column, bridge...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Conversational, Energy Sector, NC

    Few contract machinists in Scotland have a modern, vertical machining centre to match the 2,200 x 1,700 x 750 mm capacity of the Hurco twin-column, bridge-type DCX22 installed at the Coylton works of Ayrshire Precision. This was precisely why managing director, Bert Bradford, purchased the machine on spec in February 2011. Since taking the plunge, the company has secured new work in each of its main industry sectors – mining, nuclear and oil / gas.

     
    The first new job to come along was refurbishment of explosion-proof, steel covers for transformers used in coal mines. They are cooled by water flowing through a hollow jacket, the inner surfaces of which need to be roughened to create turbulence and increase heat transfer to the water. These and other plates up to four metres long are machined for the mining sector on the 50-taper DCX22, the larger workpieces requiring two clampings on the 2,100 x 1,600 mm table.

    Forty-metre-long distillation tanks for nuclear waste storage require many large, high tensile steel panels to be machined and 25 such vessels are planned in the UK to cool and make safe spent radioactive material. Ayrshire Precision has won a contract to contribute to this project, which involves not only milling the panels but also drilling large numbers of holes to accept temperature probes.
     
    More recently, 500 mm diameter flanges for the oil industry have been machined cost-effectively on the DCX22, the first such machine to be installed in Scotland, thanks in part to the ability to set up four at a time on the table. Each flange requires milling and drilling of 16 holes. Centres have to be within ± 25 microns, while the tolerance held on a sealing groove is 18 microns total.
     
    All four parts are completed in one hit to minimise tool changes and maximise production efficiency. Moving from one part to the next is achieved rapidly and automatically using the 'work offset' feature of WinMax, the conversational programming software in the proprietary Hurco control system. The same feature can be used for multiple part machining, even when setting up dis-similar jobs for unattended running.
       
    To maximise, flexibility, Bert Bradford bought a universal angle head from Hurco for use on the DCX22, which is proving especially useful for machining internal slots and angled holes. A separate WinMax module was written by Hurco to accommodate this extra facility.
    Mr Bradford commented, "During the MACH 2010 exhibition in Birmingham, Hurco gave a good demonstration of their WinMax-based twin-screen control system.
     
    "We use the menu-driven, conversational programming nearly all the time, as it is so quick and easy at generating cutting cycles for our jobs, which in most cases are relatively simple. Occasionally we will program off-line on our Edgecam system for more complex work.

     

    "The DCX is our first Hurco machine, but our lead programmer, David Torbet, had no trouble picking up WinMax and our other machine operators can use it as well."

     

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    AB Graphic International Increases Efficiency with DCX22

    The world's leading manufacturer of narrow-web label finishing and converting lines, AB Graphic International, used to put out the machining of large plat...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Dual Column, Conversational, Custom Machinery
    The world's leading manufacturer of narrow-web label finishing and converting lines, AB Graphic International, used to put out the machining of large plates used in the construction of its equipment.  Even though free-issue aluminium, mild steel and boiler plate was supplied to subcontractors, expenditure on machining was in excess of £80,000 per year.
     
    So in July 2009, the Bridlington company installed a Hurco DCX22 bridge-type machining centre and brought the work in-house.  The competitive price of the 2,200 x 1,700 x 750 mm capacity machine means that it will pay for itself within 18 months. Phil Robson, operations manager at AB Graphic, commented, "We machine a lot of ones and twos when producing larger structural plates; 12-off is a big batch for us.  "Rapid set-up is therefore very important for economical manufacture of components.  "We chose the Hurco machine partly because the Windows-based conversational control has the ability to import data files directly from our CAD system, speeding program preparation."
       
    Machine operator Andy Playforth takes up the story.  "Over our network or using a memory stick, I download a DXF file of the part to the Hurco Ultimax CNC and it appears on one of the two screens.  The conversational menu within the WinMax software comes up on the other screen to guide me through the programming sequence.  "I extract all component features and dimensions from the 2D file.  For example, the software will identify all holes of a certain size and put them automatically into the program.  I just need to tell the machine which drill to use. "Similarly, pocket coordinates are entered without having to key them in manually.  Again, I simply specify the mill and the direction of travel and the next part of the cycle writes itself automatically. In this way, the program is quickly compiled.
     
    If a repeat job is being run and design changes have been made since the last iteration of the component, which frequently happens due to AB Graphic continually striving for improved production efficiency, edits to the program are made easily on-screen from notes on the drawing.

    Mr Playforth says that a large aluminium plate measuring, say, 2,150 x 1,500 x 20 mm and containing over 100 features can be programmed in less than 45 minutes at the Ultimax control.  In contrast, the same job would take many hours on a different control on the shop floor, as all parameters would have to be keyed in manually, with a consequent risk of human error and potential for scrapped parts.
     
    He continued, "Having two screens on the CNC system means I can see a graphic of the part created as the program is built up.  It is rather like having a CADCAM system inside the control. "You can get similar software for other controls, but it costs extra and we would need to retrofit different packages to all of the various CNCs on our shop floor to achieve the same functionality."
     
    Another big advantage of WinMax, he says, is that the program stores the position of the part on the table as well as the cutting cycle.  So if the next billet is fixtured in exactly the same place and no edits are required, production can start immediately.
     
    Founded in 1953 by George Burton and now in its third generation of family ownership, AB Graphic employs 180 in Bridlington, nearby Middleton and Baesweiler, Germany.  Over 80 per cent of production is exported.

    It is the company's policy to subcontract out half to three-quarters of component production, according to the workload on its own shop floor.  It was one of the local subcontractors, which operates several, albeit smaller, Hurco machining centres, that recommended AB Graphic source its bridge-type machine from the same supplier.
     
    Installation of the DCX22 was described by Mr Robson as "phenomenal", carried out by "consummate professionals".  Apart from the machine’s competitive price and the benefits of the integrated Hurco control, the other feature that impressed AB Graphic’s production staff was the all-round guarding, allowing aluminium to be milled at high speed without showering chips all over the shop floor.  Other bridge mills they looked at only had fence-type or open guards.
     
    In practice, the machine has proved to be very accurate.  Some dimensional and positional tolerances – hole centres for the path rollers that transport the web, for example – are down to 10 microns total to ensure accurate label production and printing.
     
    Based on the success of the DCX22, when another machining centre on the shop floor had reached the end of its useful life, the automatic choice to replace it was another Hurco, a VMX42m with 1,067 x 610 x 610 mm working envelope.  It is fitted with a Max control, which has all of the Windows functionality of an Ultimax, but without the second screen.
     
    Speed of programming is only one way in which AB Graphic maximises production efficiency.  Both Hurco machines, and indeed seven other machining centres on the shop floor, carry drilled jig plates on the tables to reduce the time needed to locate and clamp components.
      
    Renishaw tool length setting and probing for datuming components and post-machining inspection have been fitted to the Hurcos to ensure that machining starts as soon as possible after the component has been fixtured.
     
    A further initiative has been to work with tooling suppliers to maximise metal removal rates.  Solid carbide cutters are used, mainly from SGS for machining aluminium and Fenn for use on steel.  Mr Robson referred to big improvements that have been made in tooling performance over the past year.  The power and rigidity of the Hurco machining centres helps to extract maximum advantage from this latest tooling technology.

     

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    BAW Precision Engineering Ltd - Hurco Helps BAW Hit Niche Markets

    ​When BAW Precision Engineering Ltd emerged from the global downturn under new ownership in July 2010, the primary aim for the new directors of the Swanse...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, Custom Machinery, Medical, Aerospace, Automotive, Energy Sector, Conversational

    ​When BAW Precision Engineering Ltd emerged from the global downturn under new ownership in July 2010, the primary aim for the new directors of the Swansea Valley company was to build the order book and re-establish the subcontractors’ prestigious reputation.

     
    The re-emergence of one of Wales leading subcontractors commenced less than a year ago with the introduction of new management, employee training and a lean manufacturing philosophy. These building blocks have been supported with new sales and marketing structure that can now promote the new capabilities provided by the subcontractor’s latest asset, a new 5-axis machining centre from Hurco.
     
    Already boasting marquee customers such as Biomet, The Royal Mint, Honda, Continental Teves, Walkers Foods, Borg Warner and Bosch to name a few, the diverse customer base sees BAW work in the medical, aerospace, automotive, power generation and hydraulic sectors among others. This extensive subcontract expertise is supplemented by an internal department that boasts one of the UK’s few specialist concept to component automation machinery builders. 
       
    With both departments increasingly winning new business, a new machining centre was a necessity. As BAW Precision’s Operations Manager, Mr Andrew Hoseasons comments: “The new ownership and internal developments at BAW has delivered an influx of new business and despite already having 3+2 axis set-ups on our existing machines, we acknowledged that we needed full simultaneous 5-axis capability to drive the company forward. We have identified a need in the marketplace and the new Hurco will be our first step to filling this gap in the market.”
     
    When Pontardawe based BAW entered the market for a new 5-axis CNC machining centre, the fact that the company already has nine Hurco machining centres purchased over a period of 20 years, influenced the decision. As Mr Hoseasons continues: “Despite having an excellent working relationship with Hurco, we still investigated the marketplace to review and consider alternative suppliers. However, we quickly found that the Hurco VMX30U was the most suitable machine for the type of parts we produce. Additionally, our experience informed us that Hurco machines offer exceptional reliability and user friendliness that is matched by excellent performance and productivity levels.”
      
    Emphasising such points, Mr Richard Gunn, Group Engineering Development Manager of RG Tooling, BAW’s development arm, is keen to highlight the immediate impact of the Hurco VMX30U with its integrated Trunnion table. “At present we are machining toolholders for sister company Eurogrind, a manufacturer of standard and bespoke milling and turning toolholders. The simultaneous 5-axis machining has already slashed production times. Previously, our square shank toolholders underwent three individual set-ups that took 10 minutes each. Added to the set-up times were three machining cycles of 15 minutes each, resulting in a complete part time of 75minutes per toolholder. Now, the new VMX30U only requires one ten minute set-up and one 15 minute machining cycle.”
     
    As one of the first jobs on the new Hurco, BAW are delighted with a time saving of 50 minutes. The company initially expected the VMX30U to deliver productivity gains of 25%; however this one job has delivered a saving that has surpassed 60%. This is credit to the reduced set-ups, efficient 5-axis tool paths and higher speed and feed rate capabilities. To put the saving in perspective, BAW machines the toolholders in batches from 10 to 30 with an annual production exceeding 500 units.
     
    Whilst the production times are being cut, Mr Gunn is keen to emphasise the benefit of the new Ultimax control system on the new acquisition, stating: “We have always found the Hurco control system easy to use, but the latest version takes user friendliness a step further. Each function box offers a foot note prompt that tells the operator exactly what to do, making errors difficult to make. From a productivity standpoint, we specified the twin-screen control. This enables us to machine a part with the existing program running on one screen whilst the operator can simultaneously program the next part on the second screen. As the majority of jobs passing through the machine will be small batches of 1 to 10-offs, this will drastically reduce programming times and improve operator productivity, especially as 90% of jobs are programmed on the shop floor.”
      
    “Other features on the Hurco Ultimax control that already benefit us, is the ‘surface finish feature’ that improves cycle times by automatically increasing or reducing speeds and feeds according to the cycle. Additionally, the new control has a transfer plane command that takes the trigonometry calculations out of any programming. It also enables us to merge NC code with intuitive 5-sided conversational programming, further simplifying and speeding up the programming process,” continues Mr Gunn. 
     
    One of the niche markets BAW is targeting is the oil & gas and hydraulic valve sector. The company set this strategy in motion when specifying the VMX30U that was installed in February 2011. The trunnion table with a 420mm face plate accommodates a diverse range of chucks and is ideal for producing complex valve components. As Mr Hoseason concludes: “We identified a gap in the marketplace and acquired the ideal machine for such complex components. This acquisition has enabled BAW to expand its target markets. When we promoted our extended capabilities and new machine at the recent Southern Manufacturing Exhibition, we had a major success winning over 15 new customers and significant orders in the process. Looking to the future, we will be implementing AS: 9100 to get a stronger foothold in the aerospace market. We will also be adding to our plant list – and with immediate impact of the Hurco VMX30U, there is little doubt we will be specifying Hurco machines in the future.”

     

     

     

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    Bowtech Products - Hurco's NC Merge Capability is a Big Advantage

    Bowtech Products was established 22 years ago as an importer of products used for underwater applications, but now designs and manufactures its own equipm...Read moreTags: Mill Turn, 3-Axis Mill, Conversational, NC

    Bowtech Products was established 22 years ago as an importer of products used for underwater applications, but now designs and manufactures its own equipment. Exports currently account for two-thirds of turnover, which has helped to double the size of the business over the last five years and was one of the reasons for the company winning the Subsea UK Global Export Award 2012, sponsored by Scottish Enterprise.

     
    Manufacture of components has historically been subcontracted but is gradually being brought in-house to control costs and quality as well as to shorten lead times from weeks to days. Two CNC lathes and a machining centre from Hurco underpin this activity at Bowtech's production facility on the Kirkhill Industrial Estate in Dyce, near Aberdeen airport.

     

    Typical batch size is 100-off, which is now more economically produced on-site, while small runs and prototypes are machined much less expensively than when they were put out to external machinists.  Cameras and LED lights are core Bowtech products, particularly those mounted on remotely operated underwater vehicles. Business is so brisk at present that, so far, efforts to reduce subcontracted manufacture have been thwarted, as internal manufacturing capacity has been consumed by growth in demand. So Bowtech has decided to build a new, dedicated machine shop which will become operational in 2013.
     
    Meanwhile, the Kirkhill unit continues to lead the way within the group in bringing machining in-house. The main activity of the division is production of polyurethane joints that connect submerged electric cables. Manufacture of injection mould tools to make the joints is the province of a Hurco VM1 vertical machining centre, installed in 2009.
       
    Stuart Rowley, Cable & Mechanical Moulding Manager at Bowtech, said, "After I have designed the two halves of a tool, production takes two to three days on the Hurco, whereas lead time was much longer when we had the mould made outside.
     
    "Before we bought the VM1, we looked at a similar machine in operation making mould tools at the Great Yarmouth factory of SEACON (Europe), whose underwater electrical connectors we sell in Scotland.  "We realised that the WinMax software in the Hurco control was ideal for small quantity mould production, due to the powerful conversational programming capabilities. It takes next to no time to master.
     
    "To maximise its effectiveness, we bought the manufacturer's 3D Mold package and practically every other software option."
       
    The success of this first in-house machining venture encouraged Mr Rowley in 2010 to consider making camera and light housings on site, which need a lot of drilled and tapped holes on the ends of round components. The Hurco TMM10 CNC turning machine with 10-inch chuck and driven tooling was the obvious choice, as it is controlled by Windows software that is so similar to the milling version that Bowtech staff did not even need to go for the training that came with the lathe purchase.
     
    Most recently, a Hurco TMX8MY lathe has been added. Of 8-inch chuck capacity, the machine has a Y-axis to allow off-centre cross-drilling of holes and milling of flats, functions that are not possible on the TMM10 machine.
      
    The company tends to pick higher added value work to turn-mill in quantities of up to 100-off. Larger runs, which can be as high as 1,000-off, continue to be subcontracted for the time being. Materials range from anodised aluminium through stainless steel to titanium alloy for the high value end of Bowtech's product range. Accuracies held are typically 0.125 mm total, although some O-ring grooves need to machined to a tolerance of 0.025 mm.
     
    Mr Rowley opted to install Hurco's off-line WinMax programming software on his PC. It arrived ahead of the VM1 and at the outset was a useful facility for self-training. Now it is used to review the next program off-line while a part is being machined on the machining centre or one of the lathes. This approach allows the progression of a live program to be monitored at the machine controls, instead of tying it up programming the next cycle in background.
     
    Mr Rowley continued, "If more complex cutter paths are needed for any particular routine, such as engraving our company logo into the curved surface of an injection mould, we use AutoCAD Inventor to create the design and output it as a DXF file that the WinMax control is able to read directly.
     
    "The big advantage of Hurco's NC Merge capability is that we can program conversationally around the DXF element to generate the complete cycle, without having to use tedious G and M codes. It is surprising how easy it is to do."
     
    A probable next step for Bowtech will be to consider 5-axis machining to address milling of complex titanium components, which have to be machined from the solid, as casting are very costly. Such work also tends to be expensive if put out to subcontract.

     

     
     

     

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    Riteway Engineering - Galway - Hurco Lathe Cuts Production Time in Half

    ​Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in research and development activity at medical device manufacturing facilities around Gal...Read moreTags: Medical, 3-Axis Mill, Mill Turn, NC, Conversational, Great Service

    ​Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in research and development activity at medical device manufacturing facilities around Galway, while the same area in the west of Ireland has also seen a surge in the growth of companies in the biosciences field.

     

    One contract machinist that was quick to spot these trends is ISO 9001:2000-accredited Riteway Engineering, located on the Liosban Industrial Estate in Galway City. To help it take advantage of business opportunities generated by the expanding medical sector, the company has invested in new machine tools, notably from Hurco Europe, and has forged links with NUIG (National University of Ireland - Galway) and GMIT (Galway - Mayo Institute of Technology).
       
    Riteway's specialisms are computer aided design and quick-turnaround manufacture of highly accurate components for the surgical, pharmaceutical and machine automation sectors. Batch size ranges from prototypes to several hundreds-off and over 95 per cent of turnover is currently in the medical sector.
     
    Company directors and equal partners, Chris Murphy and Keith Donnellan, founded the company in 2006 with a handful of manual turning, milling and grinding machines and one customer. They now employ 10 staff and operate wire-cutting and drilling EDM machines, a fused deposition modeller and laser marking equipment in addition to CNC turning and prismatic machining centres from Hurco.  Latest to be installed, in 2009, was a Hurco TMM8 lathe with 8 inch (203 mm) chuck, 12 driven stations in the turret and a short bar magazine for feeding stock up to 52 mm diameter.
     
    "The machine at least halves production time across the turned components we produce, allowing us to make parts less expensively," said Chris Murphy. "It has also allowed us to bring in-house some of the more complex turn-milling work that we previously had to subcontract out."  He commented that tight tolerances need to be held on some parts, often down to ±10 microns, which the lathe accomplishes without issue.
     
    As ever during comparative appraisals of machine tools that involve Hurco products, it was the simplicity and power of the manufacturer's CNC system that was the deciding factor at the time of purchase.  In particular, the Windows-based, conversational control offers consummate graphics support during programming.
     
    Mr Murphy mentioned that the screen graphics are especially important when proving out turn-milling jobs, as rotating components have much more momentum than cutters on machining centres, so there is the potential for heavy collisions if a program is not correct.
       
    It was a contract to produce 500 anodised aluminium carrier plates for transporting stents that led in 2007 to the purchase of Riteway's first of three vertical machining centres (VMCs), a 3-axis Hurco BMC30. The job was too labour intensive to complete economically on the company's 2.5D CNC milling machines and manual mills.
     
    Mr Murphy knew Michael Gannon, Hurco's local representative in Ireland, from contact at a previous manufacturing company and asked him to source a used Hurco VMC for machining the carrier plates. Again, the manufacturer's proprietary control with its conversational programming was instrumental in the selection of this make of machine.
     
    Called Ultimax, the CNC system has, alongside the left hand alphanumeric screen, a second screen on which a graphic of the part being programmed is continuously generated. The facility is useful for checking that the cycles are correct as programming progresses. Mr Murphy, who at the time had no prior experience of using CNC, confirmed that he was proficient with the control in just three days.
     
    Later the same year, a new, smaller capacity Hurco VMC joined the BMC30 on the shop floor. The 3-axis VM1 provided additional capacity for producing prismatic parts at the lower end of the size range. It was followed in 2008 by a similar, 4-axis model fitted with a CNC rotary axis for higher-added-value work, reflecting a trend in the medical industry towards ever more complex components. The latest machine's single-screen Max control is shipped with Hurco's latest WinMax software, similar to that in the Windows-based control on the lathe.  Continued Mr Murphy, "A lot of what we do requires small batch production, so efficiency of programming is very important to us.
     
    "Even though the Hurco controls are quick and easy to use, we only enter data manually around 25 per cent of the time. A majority of input is created in our MasterCam and Vero PEPS computer-aided manufacturing systems and downloaded as DXF files, which the Hurco controls can read directly.  "A big benefit of WinMax software is being able to toggle between conversationally generated code and external data blocks, merging them seamlessly to produce a finished program. We can do similar in the older controls, but it is more time consuming."
     
    Mr Murphy indicated that a point in favour of purchasing Hurco machines in Ireland is that it is relatively easy to find operators that have used them, so when they join Riteway their learning curve is short.
     
    After-sales service, training and support provided by Hurco from its High Wycombe headquarters in the UK are all good, he says, even over the telephone or if a drawing is emailed to High Wycombe for advice as to the best approach to programming.
     
    Riteway is now poised to take its business to the next level. Later in 2011 it will move to premises three times the size of its current unit nearby in the Galway City area. Chris Murphy and Keith Donnellan will take the opportunity to DNC-link all of the CNC machines and gradually increase the company's capacity list with a view to expanding into the computer, automotive, food and aerospace sectors. All of these industries have been serviced in the past but have had to take a back seat due to the concentration on medical work in recent years.
     
    Further Hurco machine tools will undoubtedly form a cornerstone of this new platform for business expansion.

     

     

     

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    Schivo Group - Conversational Control Cuts Cycle Times by a Third

    ​Two Hurco VMX30 vertical machining centres (VMCs) have been added to the subcontract machine shop of Schivo Group in Waterford, on the south coast of Ire...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Medical, Conversational

    ​Two Hurco VMX30 vertical machining centres (VMCs) have been added to the subcontract machine shop of Schivo Group in Waterford, on the south coast of Ireland. Compared with a VMX42 installed in 2004, the latest machines are 50 percent more productive, due entirely to the increased functionality of Hurco's conversational programming software, WinMax, incorporated into the control systems. 
     

    All of the Hurco machines were supplied through local Irish representative, Michael Gannon. The earlier model, which complemented manual-tool-change mills on site, was equipped with touch probing to speed workpiece set-up and boost productivity. It added machining capacity and high metal removal capability for manufacturing mainly medical devices and instruments in batches of typically 10- to 50-off.
     
    Jack Lyng, Technical Director of Schivo Precision, said that the success of the VMX42 installation prompted the purchase of the two new machining centres. Now, however, the programming software in the proprietary Ultimax twin-screen control has been upgraded to Windows-based WinMax, which is considerably more capable and speeds conversational programming.
     
    CAD data of particularly complex components are supplied by some customers and run through a hyperMILL CAM system at Waterford. Cutter paths are output in DXF format so that the programs can be conveniently downloaded directly into the Hurco control.
     
    For 85 per cent of the time, however, programming is carried out on the shop floor from drawings using the powerful conversational capabilities of WinMax. It displays graphics on the second screen at the same time as programming progresses on the first screen using convenient drop-down menus. The programmer can therefore check in real time that the cycles are being input correctly.
       
    Schivo programmer, Conrad Nolte, is enthusiastic about the facilities built into WinMax, citing so many advantages over the earlier software that the list needs to be curtailed here for reasons of practicality.
     
    A general observation he makes is of the control's user-friendliness, especially the fully-rotatable 3D graphics and tool movement simulation, which allow programming errors to be spotted quickly. Tool set-up is also faster, owing to the software's ability to assign spindle speed and axis feed rates automatically to achieve optimal surface cutting speed and chip load for any given tool type and workpiece material.
     
    New canned cycles speed data entry, such as pocket milling without having to define the boundary of the feature. Input of internal or external, clockwise or counter clockwise thread milling cycles, including for tapered threads, is made easier by restricting the amount of data that has to be input.
     
    Another new cycle allows drilling at different rotational speeds any number of times during a single operation. It was developed by Hurco for machining composite materials to avoid delamination, but comes into its own at Waterford when drilling at an angle using an indexable-insert tool. Slowing the speed during entry improves tool life when the inserts are taking interrupted cuts.
     
    When setting up the next part, bearing in mind that the soft jaws used by Schivo can vary positionally by 20 or 30 microns, or when measuring a critical feature in-cycle, probing speed is dramatically increased using the new 8 m/min rapid approach. This has had a big impact on productivity, according to Mr Nolte.
      
    He commented, "Before, without the facility to rapid the probe, the cycle took typically one minute, whereas now the same is completed in less than half the time.  "It not only shortens the overall cycle, but also encourages more frequent use of this function, enhancing product quality."
     
    He said that having WinMax has increased production output by speeding the cycles. What previously took 30 minutes to machine now takes, say, 20 minutes, which makes a massive difference over a large batch. Operators have therefore rewritten most of the old Hurco programs using the new software to speed the cycles on the VMX30t machines, while the VMX42 has been retrofitted with WinMax so that it too can gain the productivity benefits.
     
    Furthermore, WinMax will convert any conversationally prepared program into NC code so that it can be used on other makes of machining centre. Mr Nolte says that it is rather like having a CAM system on the shop floor, while an off-line version for office use is available which Schivo may install to free up the Ultimax controls. A DNC link to the machines is also planned.
     
    Assembly and test in clean rooms forms a major part of the service provided by Schivo, which has held ISO 13485 medical device certification since 2008. Work is also done for the semiconductor, aerospace, computer and oil/gas sectors.

     


     

     

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    Dawnlough Ltd - 50% Increase Production Output with Hurco

    ​Galway-based subcontract machinist, Dawnlough, which specialises in manufacturing components for the medical industry, has bought equipment to the value ...Read moreTags: Conversational, Medical, Mill Turn, 3-Axis Mill

    ​Galway-based subcontract machinist, Dawnlough, which specialises in manufacturing components for the medical industry, has bought equipment to the value of £1.5 million since 2005 to expand its design, production and inspection capabilities. The purchases include eight vertical machining centres (VMCs) and a driven-tool lathe from Hurco, supplied through local sales representative in Ireland, Michael Gannon.

    Other investments include Solidworks / Solidcam CAD/CAM seats, a CMM and vision system from Mitutoyo, two Fanuc wire erosion machines and a Citizen sliding-head lathe. Financial assistance was secured through funding from Enterprise Ireland, the Government agency responsible for supporting Irish businesses in the manufacturing sector.
     
    Established in 1990 by Brian McKeon's father, Patrick, the subcontractor started out as a general toolmaking company focusing on press tools. From the mid 90s, medical firms started springing up across Ireland, especially in the Galway area, and Dawnlough concentrated more and more on this sector.
     
    Today, 100 per cent of its business is in the design and production of special-purpose jigs and fixtures to assist in the manufacture of catheters, stents and other items for treating vascular and neurovascular disorders. Dawnlough is accredited to ISO 13485, which means that its management system meets stringent requirements for the design and manufacture of medical devices, and the company also holds ISO 9001:2000.
     
    One of the factors that kick-started the investment in Hurco machining centres was the length of time it took to program jobs on a pre-existing 3-axis VMC from another well-known supplier. At the time, Dawnlough operated a lot of manual machine tools but were keen to "CNC everything", as director Brian McKeon put it, to raise component quality and accuracy.
     
    He commented, "Production here is mainly one-offs and small batches, so we wanted to be able to program each new part quickly on the shop floor, otherwise job preparation becomes too large a proportion of overall manufacturing time, reducing profitability.
     
    "Conventional G-code programming on our old VMC was really quite slow. So we looked around for a faster solution and homed in on the conversational Max CNC fitted to Hurco machines. The Max control is the compact, single screen version of Hurco’s popular Ultimax control.  "The difference was staggering. We found we could program up to six times more quickly by manual data input at the Max control, and as we only make small quantities of parts, it has translated into a 50 per cent increase in production output overall."
     
    He went on to say that from programming demonstrations performed in his office by Michael Gannon in 2005 using a dummy Max control, it was already clear that big savings were possible. The exercise was directly responsible for Dawnlough's purchase of the first Hurco machining centre, a VM3. It was joined two years later by a similar model, followed by a line of three smaller-capacity VM1s in 2009 and three of the updated VM10 version in 2010 and 2011. Of the eight Hurco VMCs currently on the shop floor, three are fitted with an integrated Hurco H200 rotary table to provide a fourth CNC axis that can also be programmed conversationally, direct at the control.
     
    The more modern machines have controls equipped with Hurco's powerful, Windows-based WinMax software. Over 75 per cent of programs are prepared on the shop floor, rather than being downloaded from the CAD/CAD department, so the extra functionality of Winmax is proving particularly beneficial.
     
    Even some complex 3D cycles are generated conversationally using the software's Swept Surface function, whereby a 2D surface is defined and swept along a contour to create a 3D geometry in a single data block. In addition to saving time, the continuous tool path generates a smoother surface finish.
     
    Until the beginning of 2011, while efficient prismatic machining at Galway was firmly in place, the subcontractor was struggling with the turning element of some drawing packages. That was when the Hurco TMM8 CNC lathe was installed, with its capacity for producing components up to 256 mm diameter by 588 mm long.
     
    The lathe is also driven by WinMax software, so rapidity and flexibility of programming is now enjoyed in respect of mill-turned parts as well. According to Mr McKeon, the accuracy of the lathe is particularly impressive, quality is better, lead time is quicker, and as batch sizes are also low for turned parts, profitability is up.
     
    He explained that these benefits are particularly noticeable now that his operators have become more familiar with the lathe and are confident in exploiting the driven tooling. Floor-to-floor time for some of the more complicated components is 60 per cent shorter than when other lathes are used. An additional benefit of milling and drilling in-cycle on the TMM8 is that the machining centres are freed from performing these duties.
     
    A wide variety of materials is machined by Dawnlough, from titanium and stainless steel to aluminium and plastics. General drawing tolerance of ±10 microns is easily held and good surface finish is achieved, resulting in components with the all-important aesthetic look so important in the medical industry.

     

     

     

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    Pharma Tooling - Increases Flexibility with VMX64

    ​Cheltenham subcontractor, Pharma Tooling, (www.pharmatooling.co.uk) which until the middle of 2007 could prismatically machine parts up to 750 mm long in...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Aerospace, Medical, Conversational

    ​Cheltenham subcontractor, Pharma Tooling, (www.pharmatooling.co.uk) which until the middle of 2007 could prismatically machine parts up to 750 mm long in one clamping, has more than doubled its maximum component size capacity with the purchase of a new Hurco VMX64 vertical machining centre.  It was supplied with a rotary turntable and high-pressure coolant delivery through the BT40 spindle.


    Said owner and managing director, Phil Vines, “My plan is to grow the business and to do that, we have to be able to take on anything that comes through the door, 24 hours a day.
     
    “We can now machine bigger components within the Hurco’s working envelope of over 1,600 x 850 x 750 mm, and we also have the flexibility to produce smaller parts by setting up two or even three together on the table, using the 4th axis if required.
    “Additionally, the 18 kW high-torque spindle and availability of through-tool coolant means that we can efficiently cut stainless steels including Duplex, as well as other tough alloys, which we are doing increasingly for customers in the offshore and other industries.”
     
    Around one third of Pharma Tooling’s business is pharmaceutical-related.  Blister pack tooling is regular work, which involves machining a 1.6 metre long, aluminium bedway that joins the forming and sealing sections in the production line.  The bedway is now machined in one hit on the Hurco, rather than in two clampings as previously.
     
    Aerospace work accounts for another third of turnover and is currently a particular focus for Pharma Tooling, which was granted AS9001 approval during 2007.  The company is a member of the West of England Aerospace Forum and follows cGMP (current good manufacturing practice) guidelines throughout all stages of design and manufacture.
     
    The SBAC (Society of British Aerospace Companies) has recently trained the subcontractor’s 16 staff in lean manufacturing and capacity planning.  The company is aiming to become a signatory to SC21, which is designed to accelerate the competitiveness of the aerospace and defence industry by raising the performance of its supply chains.
     
    Most of the work put on the VMX64 so far has been either prototypes or small batches of 1- and 2-off.  Some dimensional tolerances, especially for medical and aerospace applications, are tight at ±0.05 mm, a level of accuracy that Renishaw component and tool probing helps to maintain.

    All jobs for the Hurco are programmed on the shop floor.  The ease and speed with which this is carried out using the proprietary Ultimax twin-screen control system was one of the principal reasons for Mr Vines selecting this machine tool manufacturer.  With small batch work, fast turnaround is of the essence to ensure profitability.  A 24-hour lead time from order to delivery is not unusual, particularly for pharmaceutical components.
    Luckily, Mr Vines was familiar with the benefits of Hurco machines and their Ultimax CNC system from his work at previous companies.  The VMX64 is the first machining centre that he has acquired since he bought the Cheltenham subcontract firm from administration in 2003.  There are eight pre-existing vertical and horizontal machining centres on site, all 4-axis models, which are programmed off-line, batch size on these smaller machines being typically 50-off.

     

    The capacity list also includes four CNC lathes and a new Robofil 300 wire EDM machine that was installed in 2007 at about the same time as the Hurco.

     

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    Formagrind - Electronics Sub-Contractor Expands to Beat Foreign Competition

    One British subcontractor fighting back against the threat from China, India and Eastern Europe is Formagrind (www.formagrind.com) based in Neath, South W...Read moreTags: Automotive, Medical, 3-Axis Mill, Conversational
    One British subcontractor fighting back against the threat from China, India and Eastern Europe is Formagrind (www.formagrind.com) based in Neath, South Wales.  Despite a tough period during 2002 and 2003 in the electronics industry that it predominantly serves, the company has carried on investing in an average of one Hurco vertical machining centres per year since the late 90s, and now has eight on the shop floor.
     
    Commented Formagrind's manager, Mike Couser, "Our customer base is unrecognisable compared with five years ago, showing how quickly we have had to adapt to stay in business.
     
    "We face a double threat – loss of work to overseas subcontractors as well as relocation of factories from South Wales to low-wage countries.  Five major electronic firms have announced plant closures in this area in the last few years, most recently Sony and Panasonic."
                   
    He explained that to keep production costs down, Formagrind concentrates on multi-manning the Hurco machines and minimising set-up times, allowing competitive prices to be quoted.  At the same time, over-reliance on one sector, that of making parts for printed circuit board assembly and wafer processing machines, has been cut back from 80 per cent of turnover to 35 per cent.  In its place, the company has won new contracts from the automotive and health care sectors, albeit still with the accent on electronic components for engine management systems and medical apparatus, for example.
     
    Driving down non-productive time has been crucial.  In this respect, the ease of shop floor programming on Hurco's proprietary control system has been helpful.  Mr Couser says that around half of all components are programmed on the shop floor, as the menu-driven CNC system is particularly user friendly and quick, taking the load off the company's CAD/CAM systems, which are reserved for programming more complex work.
     
    He continued, "The advantage of our Hurco VMCs is that we can produce long and short runs economically on them, giving us considerable flexibility and allowing us to offer quick turnaround to match our top quality and competitive prices.
     
    "For example, we currently devote two machines over two shifts to the manufacture of 20,000 components per month for one customer, whereas other machines frequently produce prototypes and small batches.
                                                                                                  
    "The reliability of the Hurco machines has also proved to be very good, so downtime does not eat into our profits."
     
    Serving customers in a wider variety of industries has dramatically expanded Formagrind's experience in machining different materials.  The majority of tools and fixtures produced in the early days were steel, whereas now the firm is routinely working with tungsten, titanium, ceramic, silicon carbide, silicon aluminium and exotics such as Kovar, Super Invar and other controlled expansion alloys.
     
    General tolerances are ± 10 microns, although ± 2 microns is routinely held for some applications.  Quality control is underpinned by CNC co-ordinate measuring and SPC software.  ISO 9001:2000 has been held since 1994.
     
    Recent examples of parts made by Formagrind on its Hurco VMCs include an electronics package for a GPS tracking satellite, machined from aluminium alloy in a two-hour cycle and then ground; and five-sided machining from solid round Super Invar of a microscope stage for nanotechnology, with subsequent wire erosion.
     

     

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    Caragh Tool & Die - Shop Floor Programming Saves Time

    ​A steady increase in subcontract work for the medical industry coupled with the trend towards greater component complexity has prompted Caragh Tool &...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, Conversational, 3-Axis Mill, Medical

    ​A steady increase in subcontract work for the medical industry coupled with the trend towards greater component complexity has prompted Caragh Tool & Die to invest in a fifth Hurco machining centre with 5-axis capability.  Off-line programming has also been installed to simulate the proprietary Ultimax twin-screen control system fitted to all of the machines.

     

    Founded in 1982, Caragh employs 80 people at a 2,300 sq m. facility in Galway, Ireland.  It provides consultancy and product design optimisation services followed by machining of prototypes and small batches up to production volumes.  Typical components find their way into transport refrigeration systems, semiconductor manufacturing plant and gas chromatography equipment.  Materials machined include titanium, stainless steel, aluminium and a range of plastics.
     
    In 1998, a separate division called Caragh Meditech was formed to meet the highly specialised demands of the expanding medical device sector.  Now accounting for 45 per cent of turnover, its products include parts for ventilators, drug delivery systems, dental apparatus, ophthalmic and orthopedic surgical instruments, manufacturing tooling for various medical products and implantable devices such as stents.
     
    The latest machining centre, supplied through Hurco Europe's sales agent in Ireland, Michael Gannon, is a VMX30S 5-axis model fitted with twin rotary axis table, 15,000 rpm spindle and 24-station tool-changer.  Its normal mode of operation is with two linear axes and one rotary axis interpolated while the other two are fixed. 
     
    It was in the early 90s that the first Hurco was installed in the factory, a BMC30, which was chosen largely due to its twin-screen, graphics-based control system.  It lends itself to easy shop floor programming and is ideal for both experienced and less experienced operators, according to Caragh's engineering manager, Pat Ryan.
     
    He commented, "G-code programming may be better for high volume work or where the part contains complex surfaces, but for prototypes and short runs, conversational programming on the Ultimax is much quicker and more flexible for the majority of jobs. "Speed is of the essence, as set-up time is long compared with total machining time if there are only a few parts to produce, so lengthy programming procedures would reduce profitability."
     
    Shop floor programming is used for 85 per cent of jobs on the Hurco's at the Galway firm, even for producing components with complex contours.  The company's CAD/CAM system is used when complex 3D surfaces need machining and where the production of a DXF file, for download to the Ultimax control, is easier than direct conversational programming.
     
    As most of the Hurco machines and controls date back to the 90s, Caragh has opted for an Ultimax off-line programming station.  It uses the latest and most capable software that is better for tackling complicated jobs and provides more powerful 3D simulation of the cutting cycle.  Around 10 per cent of work is currently programmed off-line using the Ultimax software, and the resulting code runs on any of the machine / control combinations, even the earliest.

     

    "This backwards compatibility is one of the things we like about Hurco controls," said Mr Ryan.  "The machines have also proved to be very reliable during three-shift operation over the years."

     

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    DW Engineering - Standardised on Hurco Due to User Friendliness

    ​Since its formation in 2005, DW Engineering has expanded its Hamilton, South Lanarkshire contract machining business at an impressive rate. Its success i...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Aerospace, Energy Sector, Moldmaker, Medical, Conversational

    ​Since its formation in 2005, DW Engineering has expanded its Hamilton, South Lanarkshire contract machining business at an impressive rate. Its success is largely down to an ability and willingness to undertake anything from prototype work to large batch production for many different industries, and to offer machining expertise in a wide range of materials.

     

    A further reason for the company's rapid progress, according to owner, David Watt, is the exclusive use of Hurco vertical machining centres (VMCs) for prismatic metalcutting.  He said, "They allow fast, accurate shop floor programming as well as easy import of externally prepared data.  "The machines have been central to our ability to offer top quality work, quick turnaround and attractive prices.  "As a result, we gain most new business through recommendations from existing customers."

    Main sectors serviced are gas sensing, medical, aerospace (2nd tier supply) and oil/gas, for which injection moulds are machined for producing plastic components. The variety of materials machined is vast. Metals include stainless and mild steels, titanium, copper, bronze, brass and aluminium.
     
    In addition, a broad spectrum of plastics is cut, including PTFE, PEEK, Delrin, all grades of nylon and glass filled laminates. Considerable knowledge has been accrued in workholding, tooling and machining strategies for the often delicate materials.
     
    Accuracies routinely achieved are ± 0.1 mm but some gas sensing and aerospace parts have drawing tolerances down to ± 10 microns, which are easily held. The gas sensing components are used in anything from domestic boilers to laser-based drug testing equipment and airport scanners for explosives.
     
    Some contracts are exacting. A recent job won back from the Far East, due to poor accuracy machining carried out by a Chinese supplier, required an array of 750 aluminium gas sensor parts to be machined from aluminium plate. This particular job was supplied by the customer as a DXF file, which Hurco controls can import directly.  Each part has three fine-pitched, M3 x 0.25 mm tapped holes. The milling, drilling and tapping operations are carried out on a Hurco VM10  in a 7-hour cycle, after which the individual components are separated from the plate and transferred in batches to a Hurco VM1 for second and third operations. They involve clamping the parts 12 at a time in two fixtures for skimming and then drilling of a single cross hole in each component.
     
    DW Engineering also machines stainless steel screws and pins for this sensor assembly. Another contract for the same industry entails deep hole drilling two 300 mm long by 6.35 mm diameter holes through an aluminium billet. Each 47xD hole is machined in 12 minutes using a long-series carbide drill from ITC.
     
    Mr Watt's first experience of Hurco machines was operating a VMC and a knee mill in his father's subcontract business during the early 1990s. Both were equipped with the manufacturer's own Ultimax conversational control system, which is characterised by having two screens. One is used in touch mode for entering data via the drop-down menu buttons, while the other displays a graphic of the part as it is created, allowing most programming errors to be spotted immediately.
     
    It was this early exposure to the user-friendliness and power of the CNC system that encouraged Mr Watts to standardise on Hurco VMCs when he started his own company. First on-site were a BMC2416 VMC with nominal half-metre-cube capacity and two Hawk 5M mills. The VM1 with 4th axis was installed mid 2009, followed by the VM10 a year later.
     
    By this time, the control had become even more powerful due to the introduction of considerably expanded functionality and the adoption of the Windows operating system. The so-called WinMax software suite contains a feature called Swept Surface that is particularly useful to DW Engineering. It allows complex mould tool machining cycles with advanced cutting strategies to be generated in one conversational data block by sweeping a 2D surface over a contour.
     
    "It is unbelievably quick," confirmed Mr Watt, "and the continuous toolpath generates a very smooth surface finish."
    The facility is ideal for DW Engineering, as lately mouldmaking has increased to account for some 15 per cent of turnover, principally for a company in Aberdeen that supplies cable joints used on subsea control pods and camera mounts.  Each half of the aluminium injection mould spends two to three hours on one of the Hurcos, as very small step-overs are used when programming the ball nose milling cutters to perform the finishing passes. The end user's name and logo are sometimes engraved into the mould surface during the cycle using WinMax Lettering software.
     
    The quality of the moulds directly off the Hurcos is excellent, according to Mr Watt, who said that the mirror finish requires hardly any polishing. Each mould produces around 5,000-off plastic joints.  Programming is invariably done on the shop floor in WinMax due to its simplicity, although the subcontractor operates seats of AutoCAD and SolidWorks to handle customer files supplied in those native languages or in the IGES and STEP neutral data formats.

     

     

     

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    Avery Weigh-Tronix - Machines Will Pay for Themselives in Less than a Year

    ​The launch by Avery Weigh-Tronix of a new range of on-board weighing products based on digital load cells, designed to fit to the axles of commercial veh...Read moreTags: Conversational, 3-Axis Mill

    ​The launch by Avery Weigh-Tronix of a new range of on-board weighing products based on digital load cells, designed to fit to the axles of commercial vehicles to prevent them being overloaded, prompted a comprehensive review of the prismatic metalcutting equipment in use at the company’s Smethwick factory.

    The result has been the appearance on the shop floor during 2008 of three vertical machining centres from Hurco Europe, each fitted with the manufacturer’s proprietary, conversational control system.  Avery calculates that the machines will have paid for themselves in less than a year.

     

    Said Paul Bates, Production Engineering Manager, “We are ramping up production of the digital underbody weighing systems to 70 per month by the first quarter of 2009, and there are between four and six load cells per system each requiring a tough EN19T steel body to be machined.
     
    “In addition, we have to machine the aluminium bodies of the in-cab indicators, plus there are even newer weighing systems on the way for tipper and skip lorries.”
    The consequent sharp increase in prismatic metalcutting meant that Avery had to replace some of its older machining centres.  Either they were not big enough to produce the new components, or they were too slow in terms of the feeds and speeds to achieve the required production levels.  One machine was of the right size and had a high-speed spindle, but the torque was not sufficient to mill EN19T. 
     
    Continued Mr Bates, “Three years ago we had 10 machining centres on site with a variety of CNC systems – Fanuc, Heidenhain and in a couple of instances, the manufacturer’s own control.  “However, we have almost lost the G- and M-code skills needed to program these machines, added to which batch sizes have become smaller – typically 30 to 60 for larger components rising to 120-off for smaller parts.  So we need to be able to program and change over machines faster.
     
    “Due to our lack of conventional programming expertise, it took a long time to write the programs and they tended not to result in cutting cycles as efficient as they should have been.  Combined with the slowness of some of our older equipment, it had the effect of limiting production output.”
    He went on to explain that with the Max conversational control on the Hurco machining centres, programming is at least twice as fast and the resulting cycles are optimal.  Picking three components at random, not from the on-board weighing project, he said that their machining times on the Hurco VMX30, VM2 and VM1, compared with those on the machines formerly used, were down from 6.75 to 2 minutes, 8 to 4 minutes and 19 to 10 minutes.
     
    Similar savings are achieved when machining the metric and Imperial, long and short versions of the new on-board weighing elements.  These are mainly produced on the VMX30, as it is equipped with a Hurco 4th-axis indexing unit that allows access to three sides of the component, enabling Op2 to be completed in one hit.  For Op 1, which involves machining on one side only, a steel billet is clamped in MicroLoc vices on the table in front of the indexer.
     
    Each time the door opens, a finished component is removed.  Total cycle times are 38 minutes for a short element and 48 minutes for the long version.  Part of the Hurco service included advice on the best indexable-insert and solid carbide tooling to use, which is partly responsible for the fast cycle times being achieved at Smethwick, not only on the Hurco machines but right across the shop floor.
     
    Looking at the bottom line, Avery is making enormous savings.  One component that the company was previously unable to machine used to cost £92.50 to have made outside, whereas in-house production cost is now £20.00.  A large amount of work for the new on-board weighing product range as well as 20 or so other parts, all of which were formerly subcontracted, are now produced on the Hurco machining centres.
     
    Investment in the three machines and tooling was just £102,000, as the VM1 was acquired from the previous owner in part exchange for another machine at Smethwick.  Mr Bates’ calculations indicate a saving in the first year of £111,000 through improved in-house productivity and reduced spend on subcontract services.  Therefore a six-figure saving will result for every additional year that the Hurco machines are in service.
     
    Tolerances on the steel weighing elements and aluminium indicator bodies are ± 0.15 mm and ± 0.025 mm respectively, so when it came to choosing the new machines, three makes of mid-range machining centre with conversational programming capability were researched.

    Hurco machines were selected due to their smaller footprint for the working envelope, heavier duty construction and most particularly, for the ease of use of the Max control.  Six Avery staff have been trained to write programs on the shop floor using the touch-screen navigation, drop-down menus, question and answer routines and scalable colour graphics, without recourse to any conventional programming methods. www.averyweigh-tronix.com

     

     

     

  • /en-us/why-hurco/success-stories/blog/Lists/Photos/VMX24HT_WinMax.jpg

    SFR Turning - Machinists Increased Productivity with Hurco

    ​"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...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Conversational

    "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

     
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    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.

     

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    Pelletizer Knives - Slashes Setup Times with Hurco

    ​“I have found that to compete in a global economy, I must have labor flexibility. That means all of my employees must be able to operate all of our princ...Read moreTags: Conversational, 3-Axis Mill

    “I have found that to compete in a global economy, I must have labor flexibility. That means all of my employees must be able to operate all of our principle machine tools. It eliminates bottlenecks for better product flow and keeps overhead to a minimum.”

    -Greg Messina
     

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    Pelletizer Knives is a small but global manufacturer in Houston, Texas. Founded in 1966, it specializes in making industrial process knives for the plastic and rubber industries. Its product line has over 90 distinct part designs with hundreds of variants for each of these based on material and abrasion resistance requirements. The result is a low lot size production environment with an emphasis on lean manufacturing and process quality.
    Almost all plastics used in the injection molding operations arrive as raw material in a pellet form. These pellets are created using giant extruders and a series of rotating knives that chop the material into pellets. The knives are the wear item and must meet exact standards to maximize life and maintain product quality.
    Pelletizer Knives’s determination to make its knives at the highest quality and the lowest cost has made it an industry leader. Pelletizer Knives sells to major petrochemical companies across 40 countries throughout the world. Fully integrated with heat treat, grinding and machining capabilities, Pelletizer Knives is uncompromising when it comes to controlling quality. 
    With only 22 shop employees, Pelletizer Knives must practice “lean” in all of its operations. One critical aspect for Pelletizer Knives is selecting and utilizing equipment that is not only productive but also easy to learn and use for all of its employees. This flexibility is a vital requirement that frees up bottlenecks that often occur during the production process. Choosing the right equipment keeps unit labor costs down, reduces work in process, minimizes and lead times. 
     
    The bottom line is that Pelletizer Knives’s prices are the same as they were 10 years ago.
     
    Hurco’s VMX42 Slashes Setup Times
    Pelletizer Knives’s first Hurco machining center was a BMC30 purchased in 1992. Its 15 HP 6,000 RPM spindle coupled with 30″ x 20″ travels met the basic needs for drilling and tapping on the blade blanks. 
     
    About six years ago, Greg Messina, VP of Operations, added the manual work switcher from SMW. It permitted part unload and load to occur outside the machining area and thus increased spindle up-time by 25 percent. While the open work area is acceptable for most of Pelletizer Knives’s applications, it cannot meet the needs when higher spindle speeds and machining enhancers (like coolant through the spindle) are required. 
     
    Pelletizer Knives researched its options and chose Hurco’s latest machining center, the VMX42 equipped with a Midaco automatic pallet changer. The combination of higher machining rates and the load/unload capabilities of the pallet changer has slashed unit cycle times by 60 percent. 
       
    Messina purchased the VMX42 because of the unique capabilities of Hurco’s integrated control, a true shop floor workstation. Because conversational programming is easy to learn and simple to operate, anyone in the shop can run the Hurco machines. This allows Pelletizer Knives to quickly respond to its customers needs even when their offline programmers or CNC only operators are not available.
       
    Pelletizer Knives builds all of their programs using Hurco’s unique conversational programming, which utilizes an easy to learn system with prompts to record all the data needed to create an efficient program. With the helpful drawing holder, the operator pulls up the correct program from memory, verifies it on the right-hand graphics screen, checks tool settings on the left-hand text screen, and makes adjustments as required. Then, the operator is ready for the next job. 
      
    In a typical operation, it would take an operator about 30 seconds to automatically unload and load fixtures on the VMX42’s pallet changer. He would then press a button and the changer would automatically cycle at the end of the machining cycles.
      
    Messina’s original plan was for the operator to run another nearby machine when he was finished with pallet load/unload. However, he found that the Hurco machining cycle time was so significantly reduced with the VMX42 that the operator is now a full time load/unloader.
       
    With 25HP and a 300PSI coolant thru the tool system, the VMX42 is very precise at the milling and drilling operations on the knife blank that is processed at RC 36-42. On the .200″ drilled hold, feed rates up to 20″/min are achieved.
     
    Summary
    Messina found that G-code only machines routinely created work-scheduling conflicts because workers could not be cross-trained easily. When Messina purchased his first Hurco machining center 12 years ago, he immediately saw the benefit of using Hurco’s conversational programming software on the integrated Hurco control. 

     

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    Precision Reflex - Hurco Control Increased Production + Cash Flow

    “The VM1 is perfect for our shop. It gives us the productivity of a machining center as our production volume grows without losing fast and easy programmi...Read moreTags: Conversational, 3-Axis Mill, Defense

    “The VM1 is perfect for our shop. It gives us the productivity of a machining center as our production volume grows without losing fast and easy programming and setup.”

    -Dave Dunlap, President
      

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    Precision Reflex manufactures telescopic sights for rifles and handguns. It’s a small shop with about 15 employees on a single shift. About 10 years ago, Precision Reflex entered CNC machining with a Hurco bed mill. The precision and repeatability that CNC gave its machining operations dramatically increased productivity and the ability to speed the growth of the business. As the business and lot size grew, Mr. Dunlap began searching for a machine that would increase his productivity.
     
    Hurco Mill Saves Time and Exceeds Shop Owner’s Expectations
    Although he took a close look at Hurco’s VMX product line and knew that a VMX machining center would meet the specifications he needed, Mr. Dunlap decided to purchase a competitor’s machine. However, after he installed the machine, he quickly learned that not all controls were equal. The competitor’s machine ran well, but the G-code based programming slowed down the entire operation. Mr. Dunlap did not want to hire a CNC only operator, so he learned G-code programming himself. While spending several months learning G-code, he realized that it would have only taken him two days to learn conversational programming on the integrated Hurco control. Even using an offline system didn’t save time because many jobs still needed editing in G-code and this had to be done at the machine. As a result, when Mr. Dunlap needed to get a job out quickly, he scheduled it on the manual tool change bed mill.
     
    When Hurco introduced its VM1 machining center, Mr. Dunlap found that the price was very competitive and the features met his shop’s needs, so he purchased it. With Hurco’s integrated control, programming and editing was much quicker and easier resulting in an increase in production and cash flow. The shop's costs were also down. Mr. Dunlap was also very pleased with the vise and tooling package he purchased from Hurco. He found the vises to be very precise, which has led him to order more for his other machines. Everything was packaged into an attractive lease, and it proved to be a profitable investment.

     

    Precision Reflex website


     

     

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    Ottenweller Co. - Hurco Control Is Easiest to Use in the Industry

    “It is so easy to train someone to drill, tap, or mill on the Hurco UltiMax® control with the English language programming.” —Mike Ottenweller, Owner   ...Read moreTags: Conversational, 3-Axis Mill, Custom Machinery

    “It is so easy to train someone to drill, tap, or mill on the Hurco UltiMax® control with the English language programming.”

    —Mike Ottenweller, Owner
     

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    Mike Ottenweller is the grandson of Ed Ottenweller, the founder of Ottenweller Company in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Ed began the business in 1916 as a blacksmith shop that manufactured wagon hitches, steel tires for wooden wagon wheels, and forging repair and forge welding for local contractors and businesses. The business evolved over the next 30 years with the company manufacturing parts for International Harvester and General Electric in Fort Wayne.
     
    Key Hurco Advantage
    The machining department at Ottenweller provides a support function for their main effort in sheet metal and plate fabrication. The company needed a machine with more sophistication and efficiency then a standard knee mill. In the mid-80s, Ottenweller bought their first Hurco machining center. One of the main factors for buying the Hurco machining center was its easy-to-use UltiMax control, which allows the machinist to sequence all the value-added steps needed to machine a part. A machinist using the UltiMax control can reduce or eliminate dead time between steps of conventional CNC operation, resulting in significant savings. Also, machinists can skillfully use the system within days. The most recent Hurco machines at Ottenweller are two VMX50 machining centers with the easy to use UltiMax controls. “The VMX50 machining centers are very powerful and the coolant through the spindle helps with tool life and for flushing chips during a heavy drilling process,” says Mike Ottenweller.
     
    Summary
    Ottenweller and Hurco are in the third decade of their relationship. During this time, the increased power and accuracy of Hurco machining systems have been able to meet the challenge of machining Ottenweller’s more sophisticated and tighter tolerance work pieces. The common thread in this long relationship is the UltiMax control. Today, as it was in the mid-eighties, Hurco's control is the easiest to use in the industry.

     

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    North Carolina Foam Solutions - Hurco Mill Increases Productivity

    ​“When our business started to recover earlier this year we decided to invest in a labor saving Hurco machining center rather than hire back a machinist. ...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Conversational

    “When our business started to recover earlier this year we decided to invest in a labor saving Hurco machining center rather than hire back a machinist. We’ll pay for the Hurco in less than a year.”

    —Dennis Bost, Owner and Operator
     

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    North Carolina Foam Solutions has been in operation since 2000. The company provides support services, primarily repairing parts for foam rubber processors. Generally, foam processors use equipment that slices large foam “bricks” into useable sizes for furniture, automotive and other applications. These special purpose machines have a number of wear parts that North Carolina Foam Solutions makes on a repair basis.
     
    Hurco’s VM2 Eliminates Overhead to Increase Shop’s Productivity
    The proud owners of Hurco’s VM2 machining center reached their decision to buy it in an interesting way. In 2002, they had manual equipment and hired a machinist to help with the workload. However, they had to layoff the machinist and reduce their own work hours by more than 50 percent due to the business downturn the industry was facing. When business picked up again, they realized that the money spent on wages and benefits for the machinist over the past year would have paid for a new CNC machine. After researching the market, Hurco’s VM2 machining center proved to have the best features and value. In addition, Hurco’s easy-to-use control provided shop floor (conversational) programming. 

    While the VM2 machine’s 40" X-travel is quite generous, some of their parts require that the side doors be opened so that parts 8, 10 or 12 feet long can be handled. The large 46" x 20" work table with 40" x 18" travels gives the VM2 machining center a great work envelope. When coupled with a 20HP, 8,000-RPM spindle and 16-station ATC, the VM2 is perfect for the job shop looking for machining center productivity at an affordable price. The owners of North Carolina Foam Solutions have also been very pleased with the tooling package and vises they purchased from Hurco with the VM2. The vises are compact and precise. The tool holders cover a wide range of tooling and provide great flexibility.
     
    Summary
    The VM2 is used at North Carolina Foam Solutions for a variety of work. Many types of materials such as cast iron, tool steel and aluminum are processed. Because most parts are made to order (generally replacement parts are reverse engineered) the power of Hurco’s VM2 machining center with the integrated Hurco control to solve programming problems on the shop floor is a real asset.

     

  • /en-us/why-hurco/success-stories/blog/Lists/Photos/VM1WinMaxwithdimensions.jpg

    Lindsay Machine Works - Control Promotes Growth

    ​​In 1994, after working for several shops in the Kansas City area and serving his machinist apprenticeship in the U.S. Navy, Mike Lindsay founded Lindsay...Read moreTags: Conversational, Lathe, 3-Axis Mill, Custom Machinery

    ​​In 1994, after working for several shops in the Kansas City area and serving his machinist apprenticeship in the U.S. Navy, Mike Lindsay founded Lindsay Machine Works in Richmond, Missouri. His one-man shop grew to five and eventually outgrew their location. In 2002 he moved the business to nearby Independence, a suburb of Kansas City.

     

    Mike started his business with manual equipment, serving the general machining and repair needs of local businesses in the paper, food processing and agricultural industries. While Mike could meet the needs of his customers for simple repair work and very small runs, the inefficiencies and time requirements of his manual machines didn’t allow him to compete when quoting even small jobs of more than five or ten pieces.

    Key Hurco Advantage
    Recently, Hurco’s local distributor, Gage Machine Tool, convinced Mike that he needed to make the plunge into CNC and that the Hurco VM1 was the perfect vehicle. CNC was a big change for Mike. He didn’t even have a PC in the shop. But the local distributor promised and delivered on training and Mike was making parts in just a few days. After a month, profits began to soar. These days Mike would not even think of operating his shop without the Hurco vertical machining center. The VM1 made him very competitive and profitable.
     
    Lathes are also an integral part of Lindsay Machine Works. His huge swing manual lathe could handle very large shaft work, but he didn't have an efficient machine for smaller parts turning work and ended up passing on many business opportunities. Based on the success of his VM1, Mike purchased Hurco's new TM8 CNC slant-bed turning center and installed it next to the VM1, creating a CNC cell. Since Mike and his machinists were already familiar with the Hurco control, they were able to quickly get up to speed.  Should Lindsay Machine Works continue to expand, Mike knows that both new operators and experienced machinists can make the most of the TM8 which can be programmed via Hurco's conversational programming, G-Code and with offline CAM software. Even CAD programs can be imported to the control-- something that cannot be done on other turning centers.

     

    Summary
    Lindsay Machine Works depends on quick and reliable turn-around times to keep customers and develop new ones. The Hurco CNC cell, consisting of a VM1 VMC and the new TM8 CNC slant-bed turning center, is a vital part of their business today and in the future.

     

  • http://www.hurco.com/en-us/why-hurco/success-stories/blog/Lists/Photos/testimonials/_t/heart%20copy_png.jpg/hurco-single-screen-cnc-control.jpg

    Rigid + Reliable: "We Haven't had to Call a Tech Out Once"

    ​We have a 2006 Hurco VM1, and love the machine. It does not have the WinMax control, although it would be nice. Shop floor programming is still a breeze ...Read moreTags: Conversational, 3-Axis Mill

    ​We have a 2006 Hurco VM1, and love the machine. It does not have the WinMax control, although it would be nice. Shop floor programming is still a breeze with the conversational control!!!

    We have not used the NC side of the control once. The machine is very rigid, and has run very well over the years. We have not had to call a tech out once! We do not have a boring head for the machine, and haven't needed one! With a good carbide endmill, we have circle milled bearing bores without any trouble. We would have had to spend a lot more money on other brands to get the same features and quality!!

    Keep up the good work,
    Jerry Pruitt

  • /en-us/why-hurco/success-stories/blog/Lists/Photos/ColChucknoArm0058.jpg

    Bryco Machine - Hurco Lathe Cuts Programming Time

    Bryco Machine is a 20-year-old modern-day shop specializing in CNC turning. They've built a reputation as a world-class supplier of precision turned parts...Read moreTags: Lathe, Conversational, 3-Axis Mill, Defense, Medical

    Bryco Machine is a 20-year-old modern-day shop specializing in CNC turning. They've built a reputation as a world-class supplier of precision turned parts for industries including electronics, hydraulics, wireless communications, medical & dental, fluid powers, fiber optics and defense.

     

    In 2004, Bryon Bettinardi, owner of Bryco, decided he needed to expand his capabilities. More and more of his customers were insisting on short run and prototype work in conjunction with the high volume work he was already doing. Trying to do low volumes on his production machines with four to eight hour setup times was not productive but he didn't want to lose these opportunities.

     
    Bryon purchased a Hurco BMC30 for secondary operations about five years ago and found that not only was it fast and easy to program, it was also an excellent machine tool--productive, accurate, and reliable. When Hurco announced its new line of 2-axis lathes, it was just at the time Bryan needed to do something to solve his short run production problems.
    Hurco had the solution.
     
    Key Hurco Advantage
    As Bryon studied his short run work he realized it would benefit greatly from having two small lathes and purchased two Hurco TM6 CNC slant-bed lathes. One machine would be equipped with a bar feeder and run low to medium volume jobs using the same quality bar stock that was being used on his production machines. The other TM6 would be used as a chucker or with a bar puller for those jobs in which a bar feeder would not be utilized fully.

    Summary
    With easy-to-use conversational programming and powerful verification graphics, programming and setup time is down to under an hour between jobs. The operator of the Hurco TM6 appreciates the quick set up times and the unique verification graphics that allow him to see the cuts made on the control before they are actually made. This feature has significantly reduced programming times by two to three hours and he believes machine stoppages will soon be a thing of the past. Secondary operations are done on the Hurco BMC30. Bryon Bettinardi has also been very pleased with the investment. The Hurco lathes are producing high quality, accurate parts with close to the same efficiency as his production machines. With the fast turn around times now possible via his Hurco CNC milling and turning cell, short run jobs are now a new profit center for Bryco Machine.
     
  • BPR/RICO Equipment - I Just Had to Have the Hurco Control

    BPR/RICO Equipment - I Just Had to Have the Hurco Control

    ​“I didn’t buy the Hurco because of the machine. It was fine, but there were many brands with similar specifications. I just had to have the Hurco control...Read moreTags: Conversational, 3-Axis Mill

    ​“I didn’t buy the Hurco because of the machine. It was fine, but there were many brands with similar specifications. I just had to have the Hurco control.”

    -- John Carpenter, Shop Manager, BPR/RICO Equipment
     
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    BPR/RICO designs and manufactures a wide range of custom material handling equipment. Over the years, they have found they can best serve their industrial customers by offering unique custom designs to solve specific handling problems. This high engineering intensity coupled with demands by customers for fast delivery at the lowest possible cost places extreme pressure on the manufacturing group to respond to lower and lower lot sizes and yet still reduce unit cost. That meant that attacking set-up time in all its aspects had become an absolute priority. 
     
    When it came time to look for their first vertical machining center, RICO found that over twenty different brands could meet their needs in terms of working cube, HP, rapids, spindle speed, etc. John Carpenter, machine shop manager, realized that the key to his decision was selecting the machining center with the best ‘operator to control’ interface. The control had to be easy to learn and use yet have ‘power’ to handle a wide variety of machining operations. When Hurco could demonstrate that it could dramatically reduce the time required to create programs, edit existing programs (an absolute necessity for company that builds customs from a basic design), set-up parts and tools, and easily fit into the skills set of the operators on the shop floor, John knew that his vision could be realized. The purchase of the Hurco BMC 4020 has been a critical operational improvement for RICO.

     

    Key Hurco Advantage
    Hurco solved the problem that frustrated RICO. Every job was the same but different. In the design of its equipment, the basic components were very similar for a given product. The problem was that each order had some element of customization. Holes in a different location, length different, etc. On conventional CNCs, each of these changes required a new program and then edits to finally get it to run. With Hurco UltiMax control programming, altering existing programs is incredibly simple. Just display the part on the graphics screen and ‘point’ at the feature, a hole for example, that needs to be changed. The control automatically goes to the data block that controls that feature and the edit can be made. For new parts, RICO just programs right at the machine. John has found that the Ultimax control’s concurrent programming feature lets him create new programs as other parts are being run.  RICO now is fully capable of meeting its customer’s needs for customized products on time and under budget. As fast as the engineers can design it, the RICO shop is ready to build it.
     
    Summary
    The proof is in the productivity. Before the Hurco, only two or three jobs could be programmed, set-up and run in a single shift day. Now six to eight jobs are processed routinely. The reduction is work-in process and lead times have more than paid for the modest extra investment to purchase the Hurco. RICO avoided having to expand overhead with an off-line CAM department. All programs are done on the shop floor. As John Carpenter, Shop manager, realized after an UltiMax control demo – “ I have to have that control.”

     

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    Bobby Grace Putters - Hurco Brings Winning Touch to the Green

    ​"When I am out on the tour talking with the pros, they want service. With my Hurco back at the shop, I can respond to their wishes almost immediatel...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Conversational

    ​"When I am out on the tour talking with the pros, they want service. With my Hurco back at the shop, I can respond to their wishes almost immediately. If we agree with a change on Tuesday, they're puttin' for a bird on Thursday."

    -- Bobby Grace, Founder

     

     
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    Bobby Grace Putters designs and manufactures advanced golf equipment using the latest CNC machining technology from Hurco. After great success milling putters in the mid 1990s, Bobby Grace sold his first product line to Cobra®. In 2003, Bobby developed a new and innovative concept in putter design that could be patented and brought to the market.
       
    Drawing from his experience with his milled putter designs, Bobby found that if he created a putter with a deep body and placed a heavy “mass” at the end of that body away from the face he could create a high moment of inertia with the putter. With this high moment of inertia, the putter has a much larger “sweet” spot, delivers straight putts, and is extremely stable. The MOI or “Moment of Inertia” Amazing Grace putter was born. 
       
    Bobby had used Hurcos in his first operation during the 1990s. He found the fast and easy-to-use programming of Hurco’s control to be ideal for his innovative operations with constantly changing product lines. He was able to expand his workforce as the business grew because the Hurco machines were easy to operate, versatile and productive.
     
    Key Hurco Advantage: The VM1 Machining Center
    When he started his new operation in 2003, Bobby was looking for a bed mill as a low-cost investment. After he saw Hurco’s VM1 at a local show, he realized that he could get machining center performance and productivity without sacrificing fast programming and setup for a price not much more than a bed mill. Given his previous experience with Hurco, his decision was easy.
       
    Hurco’s VM machining center hit the mark for the versatility Bobby Grace Putters needed. It’s X-Y-Z axis travels at 26″ (660mm) x 14″ (356mm) x 18″ (457mm), packaged on a 6,000 lb. frame that only takes up 36 sq. ft., made it a perfect fit for his operations. Coupled with its 15 HP 8,000 RPM spindle, 700 IPM rapids and 16-station swing arm ATC, the VM1 was ideal for the challenges Bobby’s machinists face. 
       
    The VM1 machines used at Bobby Grace Putters are equipped with electronic probes. As an example of an operation in Bobby’s shop, a manual pallet shuttle is used to load the blanks for machining. Before the start of the operation, the probe checks the alignment of the blank and corrects the program coordinates for part skew. The result is faster setup and higher quality parts while requiring less operator skill.
     
    Summary
    Hurco’s VM machining center is used for prototype development and to provide customization for various clients, touring professionals and companies.
       
    Bobby markets his revolutionary putters in two ways. First, he sells a large volume of his putters through an international distribution system. However, many professional golfers on the pro tour demand custom putters. While on tour, many golfers routinely e-mail or fax changes to Bobby Grace Putters. This is where the unmatched capabilities of the VM1 and the Hurco control come into play. After making these custom alterations to his putter design, Bobby sends the custom putter in one or two days to his customers. Bobby’s competitors take weeks to make custom designs. 
       
    Many companies provide custom Bobby Grace putters as gifts or incentives. Hurco’s DXF file transfer allows the machinists at Bobby Grace Putters to download customer logos to create custom putters in hours, not weeks. 
       
    Using Hurco’s productive and versatile Hurco VM general purpose CNC machining centers and easy-to-use control technology, Bobby Grace Putters will provide amateur and professional golfers worldwide the best chance to sink that long shot!

     

     

     

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    A & A Tool and Die - Our Hurco Is Easy to Learn and Easy to Run

    ​“I had to upgrade to CNC to remain competitive but I wanted a machine that would be easy to learn and easy to run. Hurco’s VM mills fit my needs perfectl...Read moreTags: Conversational, 3-Axis Mill, Aerospace

    “I had to upgrade to CNC to remain competitive but I wanted a machine that would be easy to learn and easy to run. Hurco’s VM mills fit my needs perfectly.”

     
    —Art Cherkezian, President
     
     
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    A & A Tool and Die is a small two-man tool shop that has been operating for more than 20 years. It specializes in producing parts for various aerospace divisions that have both metal forming and machining requirements. Until recently, Mr. Cherkezian could meet part requirements using traditional manual mills and lathes. However, due to lower costs and increased demand for part accuracy, Mr. Cherkezian realized that he needed to invest in CNC equipment. He could not afford to hire CNC operators, so he and his assistant had to be able to run the machine themselves. Therefore, he needed a machine with an easy-to-use control.
     
    Hurco’s VM1 Helps Small Shop Meet Customer Demands
    After viewing Hurco’s VM1 machining center at WESTEC, Mr. Cherkezian was convinced that a Hurco machine would be the right investment. He found that the control was intuitive and easy to learn; yet it could be programmed to do all the machining operations he required. In addition, the small footprint saved valuable floor space in his 3,000 square foot shop. The VM1 is a true vertical machining center due to its 16-station tool changer, which saves valuable time over manual tool changes. The 8,000 RPM spindle can handle the wide variety of material A & A must process. Finally, both Mr. Cherkezian and his assistant were making parts in less than a week.

     

    Summary
    The Hurco VM1 provided A & A Tool and Die with greater capability and improved performance. Quality and customer responsiveness have improved dramatically. The VM1 has performance features and easy-to-use controls at a very competitive price. The purchase of Hurco’s VM1 machining center has been a success for A & A Tool and Die.

     

  • /en-us/why-hurco/success-stories/blog/Lists/Photos/VM1_WinMax.jpg

    VAN-AM Tool and Engineering - Conversational Control and G-Code Working Together

    ​“I bought my Hurco VM1 to improve the efficiency of my tool room. Then I found that it saved my bacon with a critical customer when I used a feature I di...Read moreTags: Conversational

    ​“I bought my Hurco VM1 to improve the efficiency of my tool room. Then I found that it saved my bacon with a critical customer when I used a feature I didn’t think I needed.”


    -- Ivan Russell
     
     
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    VAN-AM Tool and Engineering is an integrated, full service contract metal stamping plant. It meets the needs of a wide range of Midwest customers. While VAN-AM had purchased a few CNC machines in the past, it always found that programming and editing were very time consuming and inefficient for many of its die component operations. Therefore, Ivan Russell, President, maintained a number of manual and 2-axis knee mills for much of his machining.

     

    Feature on Hurco’s VM1 Exceeds Customer’s Expectations
    When Ivan’s local Hurco distributor, Dirk Gage, of Gage Machine Tool, discussed Ivan’s operations with him, Dirk was convinced that Hurco’s VM1 machining center would be a profitable investment for Ivan. He arranged a demonstration of Hurco’s UltiMax control for Ivan and his toolmakers. They were impressed with how fast print data could be converted into a program and edited to produce a stamping die detail. Ivan also wanted to make sure that the Hurco conversational control could handle off-line generated g-code programs for the form dies that were also an important part of his business. When shown that the control can handle both types of format with equal ease, he placed an order.
        Dirk spent a couple of days training Ivan’s toolmakers and within a week they were programming and using the VM1 machining center. A form die for a motorcycle headlamp was one of the first parts that was run on the VM1. The contour was generated off-line and downloaded to the control and its 1 Gig hard drive. The pre-hardened steel was cut with no problem, and in this case, sent to the customer for press tryout. For some reason, a misfeed occurred and caused a mark on the die surface. It needed immediate repair. Ivan took the die back to the shop and found that the original program was still on the control’s hard-drive. A re-cut was done overnight and was delivered to the customer the next day. Ivan never thought he would need to store programs for future use and did not think the standard hard drive was important. After that experience, he won’t buy a machine tool without one.
     
    Summary

    Hurco’s VM1 machining center equipped with the powerful Max control is easy to learn, easy to use, and very efficient at cutting tools. The VM1 was a perfect fit for Ivan’s needs. His manual and 2- axis mills now see little use and will be sold. Since Ivan Russell purchased Hurco’s VM1, all of VAN-AM’s die details have been produced on it. The VM1 has saved the company valuable time by allowing Ivan’s toolmakers to produce dies 40 to 50 percent quicker than with its previous milling operations. 

     

  • VMXw_Per0115

    Western Carolina Tool and Mold - Hurcos Are Flexible + Easy to Use

    “When we formed our business five years ago, we knew that we needed flexible and easy to use equipment. The Hurco’s really fit the bill.”  Woody Scott, Pr...Read moreTags: Conversational, NC, 3-Axis Mill
    “When we formed our business five years ago, we knew that we needed flexible and easy to use equipment. The Hurco’s really fit the bill.”  Woody Scott, President, Western Carolina Tool and Mold
     
    Formed five years ago by 5 mold makers, Western Carolina has grown into a 10 man shop that specializes in molds for the textile and consumer goods business. Using advanced EDM equipment, a wide range of molds are produced to fine tolerances and demanding time schedules. The key to making their electrodes are two Hurco Machining Centers.The Hurco machines provide the accuracy, flexibility, and ease of use that is key to their operations. The high quality molds that Western produces demands intricateand very accurate electrodes. The Hurco’s consistency delivers on all counts.
     
    The Hurcos are fully capable of machining both graphite for electrodes and tool steel as needed. With large RAM and hard drive in the control, Western can download very complex surface geometries with speed and precision. Yet the control is simple enough to program that about 50% of their electrodes can be programmed right at the machine. That increases flexibility and shortens lead times.
     
    Finally, it was very important that the machine control be easy to learn and use. To meet the demands of their customers, Western wanted to avoid operator specialization if possible. Especially with the machining centers, they wanted all of their shop employees to be able to set-up and run the Hurcos. They can and it has become a key element to their operations. 
     
    Key Hurco Advantage
    Western Carolina elected to purchase Hurco machining centers equipped with the single screen control. While it programs exactly like the traditional twin-screen control, it differs by only displaying either the text or graphics screen at any one time. It is easy to switch between them and thus the full functionality of the control remains.
     
    The mix of programs at Western Carolina is split about 50-50 between programs created at the machine on the shop floor. And those created off-line. In both cases because of the use of small tools, run time tends to be long. This is why the single screen control made sense. There is no loss in performance or capability with the Single Screen control, yet they save money on the initial purchase price. When coupled with network compatibility, the Hurcos are an integral part of the operation.
     
    Summary
    Western Carolina has been steadily growing their business over the past five years. They are in the process of building a new facility that will increase their capacity about 50%. Working with a core group of skilled individuals has created a base for customer satisfaction that keeps Western Carolina unique. And their Hurcos are a key part of their success.
     
     
  • icon for Why I Love Hurco

    The Precision Edge Machine: "Decision To Buy Hurco Was a No-Brainer"

    ​The following submission was received as part of our Why I Love Hurco Sweepstakes.   ​Dear Hurco,The Precision Edge Machine (TPEM) would really benefit...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Conversational, Lathe, Great Service

    ​The following submission was received as part of our Why I Love Hurco Sweepstakes.

     

    Dear Hurco,
    The Precision Edge Machine (TPEM) would really benefit from the TM6 Lathe sweepstakes.  We are a small shop and we owe much of our success to Hurco.  TPEM started in a 650 sq./ft. two-car garage.  Crammed into that garage were a CNC turning center and a manual tool room lathe.  It wasn’t long before I had to add milling capability.

     

    The Beginning: Our First Hurco
    My first Hurco was a 1993 KM3P CNC knee Mill.  I bought it to mainly do second milling operations to turned parts. I was amazed how capable a machine of that size was and how easy to program it was.  Fast forward one year.  Business was really beginning to take off!  What started out a turning-only shop was quickly becoming a Milling shop.  My customers were really impressed with the milled parts they were receiving in small quantities and orders for 50 or more parts were very common.  That was a problem.  The KM3P did not have a tool changer.  I was the tool changer!  There simply wasn’t enough time in the day for me to do anything else but babysit that machine.  It was time for a change.
    After shopping for countless hours and weighing everything, I ordered a brand new Hurco VM10.  Even though it was a huge decision, I have never looked back.

    The added speed and capacity the VM10 offered absolutely skyrocketed sales.  It increased sales so much that it forced me to move into a bigger building six months later! The Precision Edge Machine moved into its current location and we have just under 5,000 sq./ft.  I was able to hire a full-time employee and bought two used turning centers one month after moving in, all because the VM10 was so efficient at doing fast 2nd milling operations!

     

    Success Leads to Our Second Hurco
    Fast forward again eight months. It was clear that we had to add more CNC milling capacity because the VM10 was so backlogged with work.  The decision to buy another Hurco was a no brainer.   The employee that I had hired eight months prior had no previous CNC programming experience.  In eight months that employee learned how to program, setup and run with little supervision.  That is a testament to the power of the WinMax control!  We added a Hurco VM20 with the H160 4th axis.  The VM20 was the perfect size machine for our larger machined products and the 4th axis eliminates the need to fixture parts for complicated side profile machining.  The ability to download the programs into the VM20 that we proved out on the VM10 has saved us so much time and money!  I wish we had that same ability on our turning centers.

     


    Looking to Hurco for Turning
    Our turning centers are not Hurco’s yet!  They program via g-code and an expensive external CAM system.  The setup process is slow and cumbersome because all three turning centers are different brands with different controls.  The time savings we’ve realized with the controls being the same on our mills is pronounced and I only wish we could be as productive with our turning centers.  With the Mills we are able to program right at the control but with the Turning centers we have to program everything with the CAM system and download the program into the Turning centers via Rs232 cables.  We spend so much time editing code by hand because the posts are not 100% correct.  The lack of conversational programming in our turning department is killing our productivity. 

     

    Success for the Future
    Hurco has been instrumental with the success of our business.  I can say without any doubt that we would not be the shop we are today without the support of Hurco.  As time goes on we will hopefully be able to replace our turning centers with Hurco’s.  The TM6 lathe would be a perfect addition to our shop.  I’m sure that once in place, Hurco turning centers would increase our productivity, probably to the point that we would have wished that we would have made the switch years earlier!  Sadly, we are just are not in the position to be able to make that switch yet.  Our fingers are crossed that we may win this sweepstakes to take our company to the next level!

    Sincerely,
    Matthew Smith
    The Precision Edge Machine

  • icon Why I Love Hurco

    Pelco Tool & Mold: "Our Hurco VMCs Keep Us Competitive"

    ​"The motto in our job shop is 'fast and right'. We can’t sell wrong, and there’s no profit in slow.Our 3 Hurco vertical machines keep us competitive...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Conversational

    ​"The motto in our job shop is 'fast and right'. We can’t sell wrong, and there’s no profit in slow.
    Our 3 Hurco vertical machines keep us competitive.  Programming at the control is quick and logical.  The conversational menus approach machining the way a toolmaker thinks. 

    Milling, drilling, DXF are fast without any mystery. Part setup is no problem with the moveable jog box, and tool changes are fast. Our machines have tool probe, which eliminates redundant cut and measure time. Our VMX42 has an A-B axis, allowing us to work on 5 sides of a work piece. 

    Many 3D shapes and contours are simplified with Hurco 3D Mold and Surfaces. Dual screen graphics provide 4 view verification and fast navigation through lengthy programs. For the creative toolmaker Hurco features let you expand your creativity not restrict it.

    It’s hard to beat 'Fast and Right”'

    Robert Moll
    Pelco Tool and Mold

     

     

  • icon Why I Love Hurco

    Vintage Airplane Hobbyist Turns His Passion into a Business

    This is an email we received as part of the "What Do You Like Best About Hurco" campaign. "I recently started my business machining and fa...Read moreTags: Conversational

    This is an email we received as part of the "What Do You Like Best About Hurco" campaign.

    "I recently started my business machining and fabricating hard to procure parts for vintage airplanes and warbirds.  I am a self taught machinist who started out making parts on my manual mill and lathe.  Supplying these one off parts for airplanes such as Beechcraft Staggerwings, Lockheed Electras, and others seemed like a good fit for the conversational programming on the Hurco. 

     


    The Hurco VM20 was my introduction to CNC machining.  I had concerns about stepping over into the world of CNC.  The only knowledge that I had was what I read in the books at night.  It was tough to justify such a large purchase (not knowing if I could handle it) but was comforted with Hurco’s conversational programming.  The conversational programming simplified machining the parts and gave me some time learn more about G-code.  I spoke with several shops to learn what the pros and cons were with their machines.  I finally decided to go with Hurco after speaking with a friend who purchased a new Hurco and was having troubles with it.  I spoke with him about the customer support he received and he was very pleased.  Although he went through these growing pains, the support he received and the actions taken to resolve the issue were what I was looking for.  This was the support I needed going into something new.

    The machine continues to do well for me and I look forward to adding a fourth axis someday.  Machining and fabricating parts for these rare airplanes has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding things I have done." 

    Best regards,
    Tim Ryan
    Infinity Metalworks, Inc.
    InfinityMetalworksInc@gmail.com


     

     

     

     

  • EMM Machine Shop

    EMM Precision - Hurco 5-Axis: "Everybody Loves It"

    Because of Hurco’s track record of developing technology that increases productivity and for manufacturing rigid machines that last, EMM Precision purchas...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, Conversational, Aerospace, Defense

    Because of Hurco’s track record of developing technology that increases productivity and for manufacturing rigid machines that last, EMM Precision purchased a Hurco 5-axis VM10U. Keith Dalpe, vice president, says the machine was purchased specifically for a new contract that EMM Precision won for a military part. Regarding the VM10U 5-axis machining center, Keith says, “Everybody loves it. It’s just unbelievable what this machine does.

    “With the VM10U, we went from 9 operations to 2 on this military part. We save 40 minutes per piece in cycle time alone and easily save an hour and 10 minutes total. Maybe even more important to our bottom line is the fact that the operator is running two other machines while the VM10U is making chips,” Keith Dalpe, VP, EMM Precision, Conway NH.
    The learning curve on the 5-axis VM10U proved to be just as minimal as the other Hurco machines EMM Precision has (1 VMX60- 3-axis machining center; 3 VM10 3-axis machining centers; 1 VM10P 3-axis production machining center, and 1 TMM8 multi-tasking lathe with live tooling).
    “We had a job with multiple sides and our operator was already running the job on the VM10U when the trainer came for the training session. We do the entire job with conversational on the control right at the machine,” says Keith.
    “Another advantage when you go from doing a part on a 3-axis machine to 5-axis is that you have less handling and you lessen the opportunity for error. The VM10U is right on the money. It was well worth the investment and the accuracy is phenomenal,” continues Keith, adding that the Hurco machine tools are built to withstand the stress EMM Precision puts on them with so many jobs to run.
    “We put these Hurcos through the paces. They’re tooled to the max and we don’t baby them. We run the VM10U 24/7,” says Keith.

     

  • 5-Axis Part - Gregor

    Gregor Technologies - Hurco Makes Small Lots Profitable

    ​“I bought my first Hurco 17 years ago because I wanted to have a lean, fast turnaround, customer-focused business. After recently installing my 13th Hurc...Read moreTags: Automotive, Aerospace, 3-Axis Mill, Conversational


    “I bought my first Hurco 17 years ago because I wanted to have a lean, fast turnaround, customer-focused business. After recently installing my 13th Hurco, ‘lean’ is a way of life at Gregor Technology.”

    - John Gregorich, Vice President
     


    Hurco helps firm go lean from the beginning
     

    John Gregorich founded Gregor Technology in 1985 and built the business by providing fast turn-around of small-lot quantities for his customers. He needed a machine that could be programmed on the shop floor because he didn’t want the overhead or have the time that a 
    CAD/CAM system can require. When he saw a Hurco control demonstration at a local machine tool show years ago, he bought his first Hurco – a 3HP knee mill. He was producing parts within two days and providing the kind of fast turn-around service that has become his operational trademark today. 
        Gregor is now a 30-man, custom contract, job shop serving New England. It specializes in small lot, just–in-time operations for a variety of customers in the specialty auto parts, aerospace and electronics industries. Gregor has continued to grow, even in this recent downturn, by focusing on customer service. “You want it when?” is not a joke at Gregor Technology. 
        By managing materials from suppliers and focusing on shop floor operations with machine operators, Gregor routinely ships orders in two or three days from receipt of the formal order. The payoff is more business from customers who are cutting back on the number of their suppliers to increase cash flow. This is critical to a small firm’s ability to grow. 
        The latest Hurco addition is the VM1 machining center. Formally introduced at IMTS 2002, the 
    VM1 is specifically designed for shops looking for the efficiencies of a machining center with excellent operating specifications packaged to occupy a minimum of floor space. 
        “The 
    VM1 is a real winner,” said John. “It is perfect for many of the small parts that Gregor Technology works with every day. When coupled with Hurco’s new MAX® conversational control with a color LCD display, all of our machinists want a chance to run the VM1.”

    The Hurco Lean Manufacturing Solution 

    John has a 20,000 sq. ft. facility, 13 Hurco machines and a growing list of loyal customers. The Hurco machines that John uses have allowed him to operate with low overhead and direct processing of jobs on the shop floor. “Lean manufacturing”, the latest trend in manufacturing, is old hat at Gregor Technology. The Hurco integrated control, software and machine system make programming, editing, and set-up fast and efficient, keeping costs down and cash flow up — two very powerful factors for success in today’s fiercely competitive environment. 
        While several local shops have failed in the recent downturn, Gregor is expanding. Training operators on Hurco machines is fast and easy, so John can take advantage of opportunities as they arise. That keeps customers happy and coming back for Gregor’s special brand of service. 
    Gregor is growing and successful because John organized his business from the start to be a lean, efficient producer of small-lot machined parts. Hurco machines are the perfect solution for this concept.

     

     

     

  • AML Porocoat Protector

    DePuy Orthopaedics - Hurco Control Increases Productivity for Medical Manufacturer

    ​"I don't know of any other machine where you can pull down the file and a half-hour later have a form. You can be mediocre in math, mediocre in geom...Read moreTags: Conversational, 3-Axis Mill

    "I don't know of any other machine where you can pull down the file and a half-hour later have a form. You can be mediocre in math, mediocre in geometry, and make a good product in no time." Jon Heckman, Tool Room Supervisor, DePuy Orthopaedics 

     

    With 31 years of experience in the tool room at DePuy Orthopaedics, Jon Heckman knows machining. As the tool room supervisor for the past 15 years, he knows the importance of efficiency and how to run a lean operation.

    DePuy Orthopaedics, based in Warsaw, Indiana, is a leader in the orthopaedic medical device industry. Because DePuy designs and manufactures orthopaedic implants that end up inside patients, the implants can't be touched during the manufacturing process—that's where Jon Heckman's group comes in. Fixturing has to replicate the product, which means the tolerances are tight and the prints don't exist, Jon explains. Whether it's a knee or hip implant, Jon's team of 12 must figure out the best way to transport the implants from point A to point B during the manufacturing process and machine the fixtures that protect the implants from being touched during transport.

    Hurco Advantage
    "We're a cost efficiency center," says Jon. "People don't want to put money into fixtures. It's imperative that we be effective from the top down." For maximum efficiency, Jon relies on the Hurco 
    VMX line of machining centers. More specifically, Jon says he is impressed with the control's shop floor programming (called Hurco conversational). The Hurco control enables his expert machinists to get their job done faster due to its user-friendly design and intuitive software. "I can't say enough great things about the Hurco," says Jon. "I don't know any other machine where you can pull down the file and a half-hour later have a form. You can be mediocre in math, mediocre in geometry, and make a good product in no time."

    Jon says the controls on the Hurco VMX24 and VMX30 machines make the most out of any machinist and eliminate the bottlenecks and expense of investing in CAD/CAM seats. "The Hurco is simplistic to the point that it makes anybody productive—anybody. And that's rare…it's rare to have a machine tool that is that user friendly," says Jon. His group uses the lines and arcs part of the programming software often and appreciates the AutoCalculation feature that eliminates time-consuming data entry and the hassle of trigging out the part.

    Although his group mainly cuts plastic and brass, Jon's first experience with Hurco was cutting 17-4 stainless. "One thing that impressed me about the Hurco early on is the way they are built. They are built beefy," says Jon. Another group in DePuy that relies on Hurco machining centers is Prototyping Services. Led by Bill Sellers, this team of eight people meets the challenge of taking the part from rapid prototyping and figuring out the best way to manufacture it. "We're like a job shop within these walls. Our goal is manufacturability of the part," says Bill.

    Summary

    "In here it’s especially critical that we are able to get up to speed quickly. We don't always have prints, we run one shift, and have about 800 projects a year," explains Bill. With his group, the Rigid Tapping and 
    DXF transfer on their Hurco VMX24 and VMX30 machines are especially popular. At DePuy, employees are motivated to do their best because their work helps restore people’s joy of motion.  At Hurco, we are proud to play a part in the process of this life-changing work.​

  • TGM

    TGM Ltd - DCX32 Expands Capabilities for Aerospace Contractor

    ​"Having the large-capacity DCX allows us the opportunity to pitch for a lot of new business up to 3.2 meters by 2.1 meters that we could not have pr...Read moreTags: Dual Column, Aerospace, 3-Axis Mill, Conversational, NC, Great Service

    "Having the large-capacity DCX allows us the opportunity to pitch for a lot of new business up to 3.2 meters by 2.1 meters that we could not have previously undertaken."
    -Steve Holmes, Director, TGM, Preston, Lancashire, United Kingdom

     

    TGM, an aerospace subcontractor in Preston, England, doubled its Y-axis capacity on the shop floor when the company invested in the Hurco DCX32 machining center with a work envelope of 3.2 meters (126 inches) by 2.1 meters (82.7 inches) by 920 millimeters (36.2 inches). With the DCX32, TGM can machine larger airframe components or fixture multiple parts for more efficient production.

    Nearly half of the components that TGM machines are made from titanium, including wing and fuselage parts, such as longerons for BAE Systems’ Eurofighter Typhoon. The remainder of throughput is aluminum. TGM also does a lot of Airbus wing work in both materials, such as leading and trailing edges as well as main details for delivery to the OEM’s Broughton factory via Tier 1 suppliers.

    The latest Boeing 737-600 has a backswept wing tip, which TGM manufactures, that yields significantly improved fuel efficiency because of the superior aerodynamics. Boeing has decided to retrofit similar wing tips to its entire fleet of 767s currently in service.

    Hurco DCX32Steve Holmes, a director at TGM who joined shortly after its formation in 1998, says, “We see a bright future for the aerospace sector despite the downturn over the past 18 months. Having the large-capacity [Hurco] DCX allows us the opportunity to pitch for a lot of new business up to 3.2 meters by 2.1 meters that we could not have undertaken previously.” Optimism has translated into significant investment recently at the Preston facility, which has doubled in size to 16,000 sq ft. A new factory unit houses the DCX32, which has a twin-column, bridge-type construction that allows the large Y-axis travel without loss of rigidity. A 60 kW spindle mounted in a vertical ram gives ample cutting power and torque for machining titanium. A 40-station, swing-arm toolchanger keeps the carousel clear of swarf and maximizes the work envelope. Before TGM purchased the DCX32, their largest machine was a Hurco VMX84 vertical machining center, which was installed in October 2009, and has travels of 84 x 34 x 30 inches. A total of 10 Hurco machining centers now constitute a majority of TGM’s machining capacity.

    Holmes says TGM chose Hurco when they decided to expand into large size machining centers because they have experienced a decade of prompt service and reliable production using smaller Hurco equipment. In particular, Holmes cites the proprietary, integrated Hurco control system that runs the latest WinMax® Windows®-based software. The control has a 40GB hard-drive with 2GB RAM and high-speed contouring capability. Approximately 40% of the programs, even complex 2D jobs, are written quickly and easily on the shop floor at TGM’s Preston facility using the control’s conversational programming. The time savings allows TGM to respond promptly to urgent jobs, particularly AOG (aircraft on ground) requests. The remaining 60% of programs are prepared off-line using MasterCam. Whether the customer provides a digital file or a drawing of an older component, a 3D IGES file or a 2D DXF file can be prepared quickly and downloaded directly to the control on any of the Hurco machines for immediate use.

  • Gregor Technologies Machine Shop

    Gregor Technologies - Hurco Technology Promotes 25% AGR

    ​ “We truly believe the key to providing quality products is to invest in technology and our employees.” How does a company sustain an average growth r...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, Mill Turn, Conversational

    “We truly believe the key to providing quality products is to invest in technology and our employees.”


    How does a company sustain an average growth rate of 25 percent during the economic ups and downs of the last 22 years? For Gregor Technologies*, a Torrington, Connecticut contract manufacturer that offers a full machine shop, sheet metal fabrication, contract assembly, and design and engineering services,  the formula for growth is straightforward: the right machines + the right employees + continual customer responsiveness = sustained growth.
     
    John and Janice Gregorich started Gregor Technologies in 1989 when John bought his first Hurco—a KMP3 knee mill. Twenty-two years later, Gregor Technologies employs nearly 60 people, has 31 Hurco machine tools, and occupies a 70,000 square foot building. Their success is based on being responsive to their customers while investing in technology that maximizes the shop’s productivity so each job is profitable. When it comes to machine tool technology, Gregor Technologies relies on Hurco.
     
    “I bought my first Hurco because I wanted to have a lean, fast turnaround, customer-focused business,” says John Gregorich. Gregor Technologies is the perfect example of a shop that embraces technology and uses it to be more productive. In turn, they become more profitable. But the Gregor Technologies owners have a healthy skepticism of new technology. “We want to know the benefits and understand the learning curve,” says John Gregorich.
     
    This pragmatic approach led Gregor Technologies to Hurco. While attending a regional manufacturing show, John took a print of a straightforward part to each CNC mill vendor and asked each one to program the part and dry cycle it. Most vendors took 15-20 minutes to program the part and nearly all of them used a CAD/CAM system, which equaled more overhead in John’s mind. Once John arrived at the Brooks Machinery booth, he watched the Hurco distributor program the part in just 5 minutes on the Hurco mill.

    Gregor-Technologies-Part.jpgAs Gregor Technologies has grown, the company’s investment in Hurco machine tools has grown.  John bought that first Hurco KM3P knee mill in 1989, followed by a BMC30M, and now the Hurco lineup at Gregor Technologies includes a wide range of CNC machining centers and turning centers, including eight VM1 vertical machining centers, several machines from the performance VMX Series, several TM turning centers, and the newest additions, six 5-axis VM10U machining centers and two 5-axis VTXU machining centers.
    This investment in the Hurco VM10U 5-axis machining centers is another example of John and Janice Gregorich’s commitment to invest in relevant technology to meet their customers’ needs more efficiently. Because Gregor Technologies is dedicated to the belief that they are actually an extension of their customers’ companies, they continually work to meet aggressive delivery schedules, cost containment and quality “Dock to Stock” programs of their customers who must succeed in the competitive world of scientific instruments, aerospace, fluid control systems, and homeland security. To exceed their customers’ expectations, Gregor Technologies has used Hurco technology and specialized production software as the building blocks to continually improve and identify efficiencies.

    Some shops look at a 5-axis/5-sided machine as too complicated or think the technology is too expensive for the jobs they’re doing. John again approached this investment pragmatically. Because the Hurco control powered with WinMax software is truly easy to learn and easy to use, it only took John two hours to program his part on the VM10U and start making chips. “The five-sided software is great. It’s very simple to use. Once I used the Transform Part Zero feature, everything else fell into place quickly,” says John. “On our 3-axis machines, we had 6 setups. Now I do the same part on our new VM10U and we only have two setups,” says Gregorich.
     
     
    At Hurco, these collaborative relationships with customers like John and Janice Gregorich foster innovation and drive the Hurco team to develop more technology that helps customers be more productive, more profitable, and grow their businesses. In turn, Hurco grows with their customers. Gregor Technologies shares the same philosophy and is dedicated to investing in the best technology to continually help their customers succeed. In turn, Gregor Technologies continues to succeed.
     
    Says John Gregorich, “We would not be the company we are today if it wasn’t for Hurco.”
     
    *Gregor Technologies was recently acquired by Metals USA