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  • Nic and Dean from JFR

    The creation of the Force American Made (FAM) machine shop at John Force Racing (JFR) is a story about turning tragedy into triumph.

    At 33, Eric Medlen was a rising star in the NHRA drag racing circuit, winner of six tour events, eight times a number one qualifier, he was a media favori...Read moreTags: 5-Axis, Automotive, Lathe, Mill Turn, Motorsports, UltiMotion

    At 33, Eric Medlen was a rising star in the NHRA drag racing circuit, winner of six tour events, eight times a number one qualifier, he was a media favorite for his running commentary, and a fan favorite for both his accessibility and his enthusiasm. Medlen’s path to drag racing wasn’t typical. As a high school rodeo champion and calf roping protégé to two-time PRCA World Champion Jerold Camarillo, he was planning to join Camarillo’s team when his dad, John Medlen, called with the job he had always dreamed of: working alongside him at John Force Racing.


    After eight years as a JFR crew member, Eric got the chance of a lifetime: team owner John Force chose Eric to replace JFR driver Tony Pedregon, who left JFR to form a new team with his brother at the end of the 2003 season. According to JFR, Eric said at the time, “My dad was my hero growing up and I always dreamed that we’d wind up racing together, but I never dreamed that I’d be driving and he’d be the crew chief on the same car, especially at a place like John Force Racing.”


     

    FAM manufactures tens of thousands of parts per year
    Eric Medlen | 1973 - 2007
    After just six seasons, Eric Medlen’s life was cut short in March of 2007 when he died from injuries sustained during a testing accident in Florida. The initial outpouring of grief after Eric’s death was quickly followed by a universal show of support that resulted in the creation of The Eric Medlen Project, the thrust of which was the design of a safer race car and the creation of a safer environment in which to compete.

     


    John Force
    threw his complete support behind the project by opening a state-of-the-art machine shop at the team’s newly built 180,000-square-foot facility in Brownsburg, Indiana. Eric’s father, John Medlen, became project manager of the Eric Medlen Project and worked with Ford Motor Company, the NHRA, SFI, chassis builder Murf McKinney and a host of others in an unprecedented display of cooperation.


    Ironically, John Force was the first driver to benefit from the initial changes that were made to the chassis as part of the Eric Medlen Project.  Although Force broke bones in his hands and feet when he crashed at Ennis, Texas, in September of 2007, he had no serious head or neck injuries.


    The improvements that made Force’s survival possible included a wider roll cage, extra padding within it, the switch from five-point to seven-point harnesses and a head-and-neck restraint system that limits side-to-side movement as well as front-to back.


    Fast forward to 2016, and the Force American Made employs 24 out of JFR’s approximately 100 employees.  The 7 machine shop employees operate the team’s 17 CNC machines, with the latest additions to the fleet being six Hurco CNC machines: a 3-axis VMX30i , a 5-axis VMX42SRTi, a 3-axis VMX6030i, TMX8MYSi mill turn slant-bed lathe, and two TMM8i slant-bed lathes with live tooling.


     

    FAM manufactures tens of thousands of parts per year
    Manifold Fuel Block Machined on Hurco VMX42SRTi
    FAM manufactures tens of thousands of parts per year that range from small consumable parts to super chargers, engine blocks and cylinder heads. Approximately 90% are 7075 and 7050 aluminum and the other 10% are Titanium Grade 9 (6AL4V).


    Dean "Guido" Antonelli, General Manager of Force American Made, said, 

    “When we evaluate machines to replace existing equipment, I am always looking to improve tolerances and spindle speed as well as expand the shop’s capabilities and find ways to increase efficiency. Our tolerances are in the ten-thousandths, which means accuracy and repeatability are critical when it comes to the CNC machines we select.”

     

    Antonelli said the Hurco CNC machines have outperformed his expectations. Antonelli and Nic Barnes, the Machine Shop Supervisor, said the benefits they appreciate the most from the new Hurco CNC machines are the surface finish quality, fast rapids, rigidity, accuracy, the robust technical specifications of the Hurco control, the swing-arm ATC design and tool capacity, and the productivity gains from adopting 5-sided machining for parts they used to manufacture on 3-axis machines.

     

    “We’re always looking to improve the quality and strength as well as the fit and the finish of the parts we make. With the Hurcos, the finish is like jewelry. I don’t even have to polish the parts,” said Barnes.

     

    The impressive surface finish quality is due to the motion control system Hurco invented. Named UltiMotion, the patented motion control system is software driven and consists of millions of algorithms working in the background to provide optimized look-ahead.


    Available on all Hurco 3-axis and 5-axis mills, the user doesn’t have to do anything to make UltiMotion work. While the technology is complex, there is no setup or configuration required. In addition to delivering superb surface finishes, UltiMotion also reduces cycle time by up to 35%, and sometimes more, because it minimizes machine jerk and evaluates the part geometry to calculate the optimal lookahead (up to 10,000 blocks).


    The team uses MasterCAM to create the majority of its part programs, which Barnes and Antonelli said is another advantage of selecting Hurco CNC machines. “We’ve always heard about the Hurco control being really good at conversational programming, but what we’ve found is that it’s true when they say it is the most flexible control in the industry. It processes G-code better than any of the machines we’ve had in the past,” said Antonelli. The technical specifications of the Hurco control that eliminate the hassle the FAM shop experienced in the past with other controls include a 2.7GHz Dual Core Processor, 4GB RAM Memory, and a 128GB Solid State Hard Drive, and up to 4,000 bps processing speed.

     

    “It’s a big deal,” Barnes said of the memory and speed with which the Hurco control loads part programs. “We have a flywheel part with two operations that we separated into two part programs because it would take 52 minutes just to load one operation before we got the Hurco. But now, with the Hurco control, it takes 10 seconds.”
    “And the memory is so great we can have multiple programs loaded instead of loading them one at a time,” said Barnes. The graphics display, called Advanced Verification Graphics, is another winning feature of the Hurco control, according to Barnes. “It just gives me peace of mind to know I can see the detail of what the tool is doing and know there aren’t any crashes. The display is really clear and offers different views on the DRO.”

     

    We have a flywheel part with two operations that we separated into two part programs because it would take 52 minutes just to load one operation before we got the Hurco. But now, with the Hurco control, it takes 10 seconds.
    Clutch Flywheel Pressure Plate Machined on Hurco VMX6030i

     

    However, the biggest advantage the team has seen in terms of productivity has been the decision to embrace 5-sided machining on 5-axis machines, a trend that is becoming the norm in shops of all sizes across the nation.

    “On our fuel distribution blocks, we went from six operations to two. With six ops, the part took a total of six hours and on the 5-axis machine it takes four hours,” said Barnes.

     

    Not only does the adoption of 5-sided save setup time since the machinist doesn’t need to manually flip parts and then fixture them again for each operation, machining time is decreased.

     

    “On the main cap, we went from 22.5 minutes of machine time on the 3-axis machine to just 16 minutes,”
    said Barnes.

     
    As the JFR manufacturing team looks to the future, they continue to honor the life of not only Eric Medlen but all drag racers who have lost their lives and challenge them to continuously evaluate ways to improve safety on the race track. Hurco is proud to be a part of such an important mission and a proud sponsor of John Force Racing.

    Click to watch the Video: Inside John Force Racing Machine Shop

    John Force Racing Machine Shop Video
    ​​
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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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    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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    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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    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.”

  • Why I Love Hurco icon

    TM6 Is Perfect for Prototyping and Short Run Production

    ​This is a submission from our "Why I Love Hurco" Sweepstakes. I want to win the TM6 lathe. I own a small start up company, Fundamentally Fast ...Read moreTags: Lathe

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

    I want to win the TM6 lathe. I own a small start up company, Fundamentally Fast LLC, that specializes in high-end aftermarket bicycle components, all made in the USA. My products make people on bikes go faster. Your products make people like me develop products faster, get to market faster, and turn inventory faster. A nice match indeed. 

    The TM6 is perfect for my budding company because it directly addresses my needs for a turning center:
    Prototyping  I design and machine all prototypes in-house. This reduces time to market and lets me iterate quickly to optimal designs. The conversational programming features of the Hurco WinMax control is ideally suited to get from idea to part quickly while maintaining the flexibility to make on-the-fly changes. The grooving and hole cycle blocks will radically simplify my programming and the Solid Model Verification Graphics will ensure I'm cutting what I intend.
    Short run production I have to keep my inventory turning and have the flexibility to stay ahead of my competitors. With 12 tools, 99 tool offsets, and an operator friendly size, the TM6 will let me changeover quickly to meet unpredictable demands. Furthermore, as demands increase I can use a bar-puller with confidence by checking machine condition on the UltiMonitor, to free me up while the TM6 is doing its job.
    Compact Size  My space is extremely constrained, so the small footprint of the TM6 will give me some room to grow in the future.
     
    Looking forward to working on a Hurco in the near future!
     
    Cheers,
     
    Josh Coaplen
    Fundamentally Fast, LLC
    Asheville, NC 28803

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    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.

     

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    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.“

     ​

     

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    Diamond Light Source - Hurco Cut Cycle Times by up to 60 Per Cent

    ​A workshop servicing one of the UK's leading scientific research facilities, the Diamond Light Source synchrotron near Didcot, has installed new machine ...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Lathe

    ​A workshop servicing one of the UK's leading scientific research facilities, the Diamond Light Source synchrotron near Didcot, has installed new machine tools from Hurco that cut cycle times by up to 60 per cent.

     
    The Diamond synchrotron produces intense light beams from infrared to X-ray that are sent down experimental stations called beamlines and used for scientific research.  Diamond is used to investigate the structure and properties of materials for a variety of applications including designing new and better drugs, improving engineering components such as aero engine fan blades, and studying archaeological artefacts like those from the Mary Rose.
     
    Supplied in April 2010, the first Hurco VM20 machining center was followed by another a year later, this time a 4-axis machine with a rotary table, at which time a Hurco TM8 CNC lathe was also delivered.
     
    This led to increased spindle speeds able to deploy small cutters more efficiently and higher torque for heavy milling at reasonable feed rates. Working volume has also been made available to accommodate some larger parts that are currently needed for the synchrotron beamlines.
     
    Martin Small, a senior mechanical technician at Diamond, said, "The new Hurco machining centres are very versatile, as the 10,000 rpm spindle allows us to use small cutters effectively.
     
    "For example, we drill arrays of 0.3 mm diameter holes to within four microns positional tolerance on the Hurcos to produce calibration grids.
     
    "Encoder magnet blocks need slot milling to leave a 0.8 mm wall thickness and require drilling and tapping of 1.6 mm diameter holes.
     
    "At the other end of the scale, we recently used a 63 mm diameter face mill to rough out much bigger parts taking up virtually the full metre by half-metre table area of the VM20s."
     
    On all of the new machine tools, productive use is made of solid carbide and indexable-insert tools, because optimum parameters can now be programmed. In addition to increasing feeds and speeds, the Hurco machines also allow finer milled and turned surface finishes to be achieved, down to 3.2 microns Ra in some instances.
     
    Bob Greening, an assembly technician in the workshop, commented, "We program the Hurco machining centres and lathe on the shop floor using the manufacturer's own Max control.
     
    "Its Windows-based conversational software, WinMax, is easy to use as it assists in creating cutting cycles, some of them quite complex, using drop-down menus and touch-screen icons.
     
    "Another advantage is the ability to input DXF files from our CAD department directly into the Max CNC, which then generates the program automatically without the need for any dimensions to be input."
     
    Versatility of the Hurco equipment extends to the variety of materials machined at Diamond, which includes aluminium, copper, zirconium-copper, stainless steel, Inconel, PEEK and ceramic glass.
     
    Mr Small concluded, "We have been impressed with this supplier's machines, which have proved very productive and reliable, as well as being good value for money.
     
    "Hurco's service has also been good throughout, from the original demonstrations through delivery, installation and subsequent service back-up.
     
    "The telephone helpline has been especially good, with prompt answers given to any queries we have had, so that there is minimal downtime."

     

     

     

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    S & E Engineering - Zero to Seven CNC Machines in Two Years

    There can be few companies that have embraced CNC machining so quickly and enthusiastically as S&E Engineering.  The family-run subcontractor installe...Read moreTags: Lathe, 3-Axis Mill, Energy Sector

    There can be few companies that have embraced CNC machining so quickly and enthusiastically as S&E Engineering.  The family-run subcontractor installed its first computer-controlled machine tool in 2005 and by January 2007 had invested in four vertical machining centres and three CNC lathes – all from Hurco.

     

    Martin Sanderson started the Scunthorpe company in 1988 with a £10,000 bank loan, at which time he had a mortgage and a family to support.  The first month’s turnover was £48, which focussed his mind on swiftly increasing the level and profitability of his business.  This he did, and by 2005 he owned an impressive array of manually operated machines including large horizontal and vertical borers, three centre lathes, one of which can turn parts up to four metres long, and a number of smaller machines.

     

    There has always been an emphasis at S&E Engineering on machining of larger workpieces, which sets the subcontractor apart from many of its competitors.  Once he started to invest in CNC machines, Mr Sanderson decided to maintain his capability to provide large-capacity milling by installing two Hurco VMX64s, which have working volumes of 1,625 x 860 x 760 mm and can accommodate nearly three tonnes on the tables.  Two smaller VMX42s provide 1,066 x 610 x 610 mm machining capacity for components weighing up to 1,360 kg.
     
    There were compelling reasons for S&E Engineering to invest in CNC machine tools.  Potential customers were saying that they would not allow non-CNC plant to be used to machine their parts.  Some work for which the subcontractor was asked to quote could not practically be produced on a manual machine to the required tolerances.  Then one customer supplying repair equipment to the offshore industry suggested that more work would be forthcoming if a machining centre were to be installed, although there was no guarantee.
     
    Mr Sanderson duly bought the first VMX42, which rapidly reached capacity based on his firm’s 7.00 am to 5.00 pm shift pattern.  So it has been with all of the other Hurco machining centres, which have hardly stopped from the time they were installed.  Where possible the machining centres, particularly the larger models, are left unattended to cut a part into an evening ghost shift.
     
    The second CNC machine on site was one of the lathes – a 254 mm chuck model designated TM10 – followed by another identical machine and a smaller 203 mm-chuck TM8.  The idea was to migrate the benefits that resulted from the first machining centre across to the turning department, in the first instance for batch production of steel components.

    Martin Sanderson’s brother, Jamie, is responsible for running the turning cell and despite having had no previous programming experience, was conversant with generating programs using the Hurco Max controls after just two days’ training.  Previously, his time was spent looking after one manual lathe.
     
    Commented machine shop manager, Jim Swan, brother-in-law to the Sandersons, “We routinely hold tolerances of 20 microns on all of our Hurco machines and the 100th part off is exactly the same as the first – a degree of accuracy and repeatability that is not possible using manual machine tools.
     
    “The other major benefit is that labour cost per machine is around one third of what it used to be for a given output, so we have been able to freeze the prices we charge customers to compete more effectively in a global marketplace and still make a profit.”

    All programs are input on the shop floor using Hurco’s conversational Ultimax or Max control systems, which S&E Engineering staff find easy to use and ideal for small batch work and even one-offs, as are frequently ordered by customers working in sub-sea and highway maintenance.  In this connection, bearing in mind that the company is new to CNC, Hurco’s telephone back-up has been very helpful when the occasional programming problem has been encountered.

     

    The decision to opt for Hurco machines hinged on the capability of the controls, coupled with the high residual value of the equipment, as confirmed by the firm that provided the finance, Hitachi Capital.  Martin Sanderson intends to keep the CNC lathes and machining centres for five years before part exchanging what will be relatively lightly used machines for new models.  On that basis, he will enjoy three and a half years of ‘free’ use of the lathes after they have been amortised and at least two years’ machining centre operation after the finance periods have ended.

     

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    Bartlett Engineering LTD - Programming Is 20% Faster

    ​Whether it is a difficult-to-machine Hastelloy component for a petrochemical customer, or a heavy cast iron part for a full-size replica of a steam-drive...Read moreTags: Lathe, 3-Axis Mill, Energy Sector

    ​Whether it is a difficult-to-machine Hastelloy component for a petrochemical customer, or a heavy cast iron part for a full-size replica of a steam-driven crane engine, subcontractor Richard Scourfield and his wife, Kay, invariably produce them on their Hurco machining centre and lathes.  Their company, Bartlett Engineering, is in Tenby on the Pembrokeshire peninsula, half an hour’s drive from one of Europe’s largest oil and gas ports, Milford Haven, where two terminals are currently being built for liquefied natural gas.

     

    Petrochemical work accounts for 75 per cent of Bartlett’s turnover when the industry is prospering, as it is at present.  A lot of high-grade stainless steel is machined as well as a mix of other materials including boiler plate.  Some of the alloys are difficult to machine, not only the tough, nickel-based materials and stainless steel but also other ferrous alloys such as EN26W steel hardened to 350 BH (Brinell hardness).
     
    A component produced from the latter material in medium size batches on one of two Hurco TM10 lathes is a washer that requires a 30 mm diameter, indexable-insert drill rotating at 800 rpm to be fed at 80 m/min down the centre of the bar.  The steel is hardened to 380 BH in the process.  A Hurco sales engineer who happened to be present on one occasion when machining started jumped out of his chair when he heard the sound for the first time.  Even he had not seen such a rigorous machining operation carried out on one of their lathes.

    It was agreed during that visit that Bartlett is probably the heaviest user of Hurco machines in the whole of the UK.  The lathes are constantly pulling 80 per cent of available power and 22,000 components have been produced by the two TM10s in the last 12 months.
     
    One is a bar-fed model for producing components up to 75 mm diameter, while the other is used as a chucker for parts up to 254 mm (10 inches) diameter.  Installed in June 2007 and January 2008 respectively, they have an 18.7 kW spindle with a maximum torque of 312 Nm and through-coolant.
     
    Mr Scourfield, who served a 5-year apprenticeship at the former Central Electricity Generating Board, has been turning parts since he was 11 years old.  He says that Hurco’s CNC lathes are 12 times more productive than the manually operated lathes that Bartlett has used since the company started in 1966.  He has one word to describe the TM10s: “excellent”.
     
    The company moved into CNC as recently as 2005 by purchasing entry-level lathes and machining centres from another supplier.  It was a good introduction, but Mr Scourfield soon found that he needed higher power for the type of work that Bartlett traditionally receives.
     
    This was true not only of turning but also of prismatic machining, so a Hurco VMX60 vertical machining centre with 1524 x 660 x 610 mm travels and 24-position tool magazine was installed in September 2007.
     
    One of the first components to be machined was larger than the X-axis, so after suitable safety measures had been put in place, the side door was opened to allow the 2.5 metre long part to protrude so that it could be clamped on the table.  The job involved milling slots in the steel cross members, which were sawn from a 203 x 133 mm H-beam.  They formed part of a 20 metre underframe chassis that Bartlett was fabricating for the Isle of Wight Railway.

    Another early component that was longer than the VMX60’s width was a superheater element for a boiler.  Made from 220 mm diameter seamless carbon steel pipe, the two metre long element contained rows of holes that had been machined manually at Tenby for some years, production time being around 24 hours.  Cycle time on the Hurco is just nine hours.
     
    Half of the contracts received by Bartlett require reverse engineering, such as replacement parts for petrochemical plant that has been manufactured overseas.  Measurements taken from component samples are used to create drawings from which the CNC machines are programmed by manual data input on the shop floor.
    All of the subcontractor’s programming is done this way, as finding staff  in Pembrokeshire with G- and M-code skills is very difficult.
     
    What Mr Scourfield and his operators particularly like about the Hurco machines is the proprietary conversational control system.  He says it is easy to produce machining cycles using the Windows interface and touch screen commands, and as programming is so quick, it is ideal for Bartlett’s one-offs and small batch runs.  The company has no need at all for off-line programming.
     
    Whereas Windows software was available on Hurco lathes from the time that they were introduced, this was not the case with the machining centres.  Following the launch last year of the updated Windows-based software, Winmax, the control on Bartlett’s VMX60 has been upgraded, with significant benefits. According to Mr Scourfield, programming is simplified and 20 per cent quicker using the Windows interface, and 3D colour graphics are improved.  Advances in data smoothing have increased contouring speeds and there are many additional features that will be useful for future jobs, such as the ability to select the quality of surface finish.
     
    In June this year, a Hurco H320 – the largest in the company’s range of rotary tables – was added to the VMX60.  Conversational 4th-axis programming is standard on all WinMax controls, meaning that Bartlett was able to start programming rotary parts immediately, with only a couple of hours’ additional instruction.
     
    Mr Scourfield concluded, “We pride ourselves on machining parts that no-one else can or wants to produce, but we are only able to do that if our machines are of top quality and back-up is reliable."
     
    “Our location in west Wales is perfect for ports and refineries, but relatively inaccessible for machine tool vendors.  When we installed the first Hurco lathe, we were promised prompt service and that is exactly what we have received on the few occasions we have needed to call the supplier out.”

     

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    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.

     

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    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.
     
  • 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

  • Lanese Part

    Lanese Tool Shaves Days Off of Jobs

    ​“I had worked some with Hurco mills in the past,” notes Lanese. “I wasn’t even aware that Hurco was producing a lathe, but I had a chance to see one at a...Read moreTags: Lathe

    “I had worked some with Hurco mills in the past,” notes Lanese. “I wasn’t even aware that Hurco was producing a lathe, but I had a chance to see one at a trade show in Dayton. I ended up making the purchase in early December and the machine was installed just a few weeks later.”

    --
    Mark Lanese

    Lanese Quality Tool of Centerville, Ohio is a start-up shop owned by Mark Lanese. For the past few years, Mark has been producing parts using bed mills and lathes for customers in various industries including robotics, printing equipment, automotive, aerospace and motor manufacturing.

    Key Hurco Advantage

    Since many of his customers are relying on 
    lean manufacturing demands, Mark’s livelihood depends on precision and quick turnover. The poor productivity of his existing two-axis flat bed lathe with a manual four-position tool post was making it hard to compete as cycle times were simply too slow. These factors led to his decision to purchase a new Hurco TM8 slant-bed CNC turning center.

    Mark was able to pick up on the easy-to-learn 
    conversational programming the first day and was producing parts the next. Now he’s regularly running jobs with 100-500 piece quantities and he’s saving days (not just hours) of production time on single jobs.

    The level of automation in the 
    TM8 slant bed lathe with full auto turret has significantly reduced his cycle times and has freed up Mark to work on other jobs or generate new ones.  In just his third job, Mark was significantly reducing cycle times. A 20-piece job would have normally required programming and reprogramming. Also, Mark would have stayed with the machine through the entire process to make sure the cuts were consistent on each piece and to change tools or fix broken pieces. With the Hurco, Mark spent twenty minutes programming and each piece took just three minutes to complete. There was no need to tweak the program. With the older lathes, programming might be the same, but each piece would take 10-15 minutes to complete and he’d have to closely inspect each piece for variations.

    Summary

    Another job showcases the capabilities of the 
    Hurco TM8. This particular part requires multiple inside diameters, two grooves, and five different outside diameters using 304 stainless bar stock with a total run of 250 pieces. Using his existing flat-bed lathe, the cycle time was 40 minutes for each piece since every tool change was manual. The total job time was 150 hours. Using the new Hurco TM8, the job took 40 minutes to program and just 8 minutes to process each part — a grand total of 33 hours. The TM8 saved Mark nearly five days of machining time — time that can be spent working on other projects.

  • Murray Mold - Machinist

    Murray Mold & Die - Intuitive Control Was Easy to Learn

    ​Murray Mold and Die is a job shop in Murray, Kentucky, serving western Kentucky and Tennessee. The twelve person tool and job shop has worked with both C...Read moreTags: Lathe

    ​Murray Mold and Die is a job shop in Murray, Kentucky, serving western Kentucky and Tennessee. The twelve person tool and job shop has worked with both CNC milling and turning machines from other machine manufacturers, including a Japanese CNC turning center with an 8" chuck and live tooling. Murray Mold & Die understands what they need in a lathe to be competitive.

    In September of 2004, Jerry Duncan, who owns the shop, attended the IMTS show in Chicago and had a chance to see the new Hurco CNC slant-bed turning centers up close. He realized that he needed to expand his shop to stay competitive, but he didn't like the rising cost of machines from manufacturers that he had purchased from in the past. Although he had never purchased a Hurco machine, he liked what he saw in the new Hurco TM Series and decided to place an order for a TM8.

    Key Hurco Advantage

    Casey is Murray Mold & Tool's resident lathe expert.  He’s been using their existing turning center for several years and quickly noticed that the Hurco TM8 was different. After just a month of using the TM8, he was very pleased with the performance and the results.  In particular, Casey likes the verification graphics on the control. Being able to see the cuts graphically-- before they are made--leaves no reason to make expensive and time consuming mistakes or “trial runs” on real stock. This feature alone saves both money and time. The part accuracies and cycle times are exactly what he would expect from any high-end CNC slantbed turning center. While most of the programming for milling operations at Murray Mold & Tool is done offline with CAM software, they are currently not using CAM for turning. Casey has been delighted at just how easy it was to learn the intuitive Hurco control.

  • G&H

    G&H Tool & Die - Tool & Die Shop Grows With a Hurco Lathe

    ​ Bill Hutchison, owner of G&H Tool & Die in Union City, Tennessee, has been growing his tooling and job shop business for about 20 years. While ...Read moreTags: Lathe, 3-Axis Mill

    Bill Hutchison, owner of G&H Tool & Die in Union City, Tennessee, has been growing his tooling and job shop business for about 20 years. While they still operate a few legacy Hurco knee mills, they had not purchased a new Hurco machining center in a number of years and were purchasing machines from other manufacturers. This all changed about two years ago when they purchased a VM2 on the recommendation of one of their machinists.

    Key Hurco Advantage

    The price and productivity was so great that a second one was purchased two months later and was followed up by a
    VMX42 to complement an existing 80” machining center from another manufacturer. Their experience with Hurco’s knee mills and current VMC’s led them to consider the new TM Series of CNC slant-bed turning centers when their need for a lathe arose. Much of the work that G&H does is shaft work for a number of local industries. Therefore, the TM10 was chosen for it’s size—a 10-inch chuck and 14 inch maximum cut diameter. The TM10 was exactly what G&H was looking for.

    Summary

    The primary operator of the new
    Hurco lathe has 15 years experience with turning, most of which have been spent on manual lathes and small flatbed lathes. Kearney Machinery, the local Hurco distributor, provided installation and training. Within the first week the operator was utilizing the easy-to-use conversational programming unique to Hurco turning centers and machining centers. He finds the control to be very straightforward and easy to learn and sees no problems in gaining mastery of it. The Hurco TM10 has quickly become an integral part of their operation because it is reliable, easy to use and profitable—just what a shop needs.​

  • Dean Krager - Ferris State

    Ferris State University - Hurco Control Is Advantageous for Teaching

    "The integrated Hurco control and its inherent flexibility is advantageous for teaching." - Dean Krager, Associate Professor, Ferris State Univ...Read moreTags: 3-Axis Mill, Lathe

    "The integrated Hurco control and its inherent flexibility is advantageous for teaching."

    dean_krager_Ferris-State-award-web.jpg

    - Dean Krager, Associate Professor, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan, USA

     

    The Manufacturing Technology faculty at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich., understands the importance of relevant technology and the value of applied education to maximize students’ future success in advanced manufacturing. Since the program’s origination in 1956, the school has earned a reputation for offering classes that ensure students develop a solid technical foundation through applied experiences, including the use of precision manufacturing operations.

    When FSU needed some new machines to keep students competitive, they came to Hurco. FSU and Hurco had worked together in earlier years, but a renewed relationship was established in 2005. The partnership between academia and corporate America has proven to enhance the educational experience of students. VM10_CC.jpg



    FSU opted for three 3-axis machining centers from the general purpose VM Series and two general purpose turning centers from the TM Series. The efficient design of the VM10 machines yields a small footprint with an extraordinarily large work cube. From top to bottom, the VM mills are manufactured to be rigid and reliable. The TM6 and TM8 turning centers are true slant-bed lathes, which is not common for turning centers that are so compact, and the single-piece bed casting provides excellent control of cutting forces.

    According to Dean Krager, Associate Professor of the Manufacturing Technology program at FSU, the integrated Hurco control and its inherent flexibility is advantageous for teaching. The control’s flexibility affords students enhanced learning options because they can learn numerous programming methods, including G-code, both online and offline conversational programming, and CAM. Also, with the Hurco DXF Transfer feature, 2D CAD files can easily be imported and ready to run in minutes.

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    Hurco is proud to be a part of the process of educating the next generation of advanced manufacturing professionals through its numerous initiatives that expose students to state-of-the-art technology and real world experiences that are vital for success. Krager says Hurco’s sophisticated machine tools are just one element of support Hurco provides.

    “The exposure Hurco offers FSU students puts Hurco’s corporate support at a different level,” says Krager. Hurco has repeatedly sponsored FSU students to attend the International Manufacturing Technology Show and actually gives them the chance to demonstrate machines at the booth. “This kind of experience really gives students a head start. It catapults their career and complements the applied learning method we use in the Manufacturing Technology program. That’s just the kind of company Hurco is. They always go the extra mile,” says Krager.