With our worldwide headquarters located in the Racing Capital of the World, motorsports is just part of who we are. We have countless customers who supply parts to race teams. Recently, race teams have seen the advantage of manufacturing their own parts and have invested in Hurco CNC machines to gain a competitive edge.
Hurco is a proud sponsor of John Force Racing. By any measure, John Force Racing’s domination of Funny Car drag racing over the last quarter century is unparalleled. Closing the 2018 season, JFR drivers all finished inside the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top 10 for the 33rd time in the team’s 34-year history.
The creation of the Force American Made (FAM) machine shop at John Force Racing (JFR) is a story about turning tragedy into triumph. (Read full story here).
Force American Made employs 24 out of JFR’s approximately 100 employees. The seven 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 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).
When the then Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing team moved to their new headquarters in the heart of Speedway, Indiana, the idea of expanding their machining capabilities became viable. Hurco has been a proud sponsor of the team ever since. In 2014, Ed Carpenter joined the team and in 2016 the team was renamed Ed Carpenter Racing when Sarah Fisher decided to devote all of her time to the karting facility/restaurant she and her husband built in Speedway.
The lead machinist at Ed Carpenter Racing had years of machining experience on manual machines, but hadn’t used CNC machines. The Hurco control’s conversational programming made the transition easy because it uses machinist’s language and steps the user through the process.
Currently, ECR has a VMX42i mill and a TMX8i lathe at their Hurco Machine Shop. Robbie Ott, ECR lead machinist, says the accuracy and surface finish have improved dramatically since the team started using Hurco CNC machines. While the overall interface and intuitive conversational programming is the most dramatic advantage to the Hurco machines for Robbie, he says the control’s new AdaptiPath feature is his favorite because it speeds up the entire process and significantly extends tool life.
AdaptiPath is a conversational feature that uses the same technology found in high-end CAM systems to improve metal removal rates, reduce cycle time, and extend tool life. AdaptiPath creates a smooth tool path motion, controls chip load, provides constant tool engagement, and also includes rest machining. With rest machining, larger diameters tools can be used to efficiently remove material, followed by a rest machining pass that uses a smaller cutter to access the areas of the feature that the larger tool couldn’t access. Cycle times is significantly reduces due to the efficient material removal, especially for pocketing.
Hurco is a proud sponsor of Innovators West, the Salina, Kansas, race team that brought home two IHRA Pro Stock wins in 2014. The first 2014 win was at the IHRA Spring Nationals where Innovator’s West owner and driver Brad Waddle defeated Kevin Bealko in the final with with a email@example.com to Bealko's firstname.lastname@example.org. The team’s best time for the weekend was email@example.com, a new career best 1/4 mile time. The Memphis International Raceway was the location of Innovators West second Pro Stock win at the IHRA World Finals where Brad’s best time for the weekend was a new career best: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Innovator’s West manufactures high-quality SFI 18.1 certified harmonic dampers for street and race vehicles on their Hurco CNC machines: two TM12 lathes; two VM10 mills, one VMX64 mill, and TMX8MYS mill turn lathe.
The mill turn lathe has significantly improved productivity, according to Brad Waddle. “In one operation we went from a 7.5 inch x 1.5 inch piece of 6061T6 aluminum bar,” said Waddle. “This multiaxis machine with live tooling is able to perform the same processes that previously took three lathe operations and one mill operation - plus we are now able to engrave the numbers in the OD of the case. This new Hurco machine has allowed us to go from raw material to a finished part without the need for multiple machines and multiple operators. The operator can load the material, hit ‘go,’ and go back to running another machine. The machine runs nearly unattended for 8+ hours a day.”