Hurco North America > WHY HURCO > CASE STUDIES > Hurco Success Stories
Case Studies & Testimonials of Hurco Customers.
December 05
Out with the old ... (Story by Cutting Tool Engineering)

Just because a piece of equipment functions doesn’t mean a shop should keep using it. Mast Motorsports realized that a couple machine tools at its Walled Lake, Mich., facility had become technologically obsolete and, therefore, needed to be replaced. The Nacogdoches, Texas-headquartered company manufactures automotive components, such as cylinder heads, intake manifolds and induction systems, for street performance and racing. Mast primarily machines aluminum and plastic.

 

After researching suitable replacement machines from Hurco North America at a trade show and considering similar offerings from other machine tool builders, Mast purchased two Hurco 5-axis CNC milling machines: a VMX60SRTi and a VMX42SWi. “The best replacement was the configuration Hurco had to offer,” said Cary Chouinard, director of manufacturing at Mast.

 

According to Indianapolis-based Hurco, the machines are configured to use a swivel head with either an A- or C-style rotary table. The rotary table measures 66"×26" (1,676.4mm × 660.4mm) and enhances versatility because it can provide extra table space for secondary operations or 3-axis work.

 

Chouinard also appreciates that the milling machines’ controls allow additional work to be performed at the machines. “The whole manual for operating the machine and everything that you want to know is right at the controller,” he said.

 

In addition, programming the machines isn’t a challenge. “Whether you’re using G and M codes or manually programming them, it’s very simple,” Chouinard said.

 

Compared to Mast’s outdated equipment, the Hurco machines are almost twice as fast, according to Chouinard. He added that Mast has been able to decrease machining time while reducing the step-over and producing more consistent and higher-quality parts. “The cost savings have been huge,” Chouinard said.

 

Although the quickness of the machines enables aggressive cutting, Chouinard noted the machines, which have a peak spindle motor horsepower of 48 hp (36.5kW) at 2,900 rpm, are quiet enough so that he can hear what is happening throughout the 7,500-sq.-ft. shop.

 

“It’s more advantageous for us to run with one line of machines,” Chouinard said, “so we’re trying to go with all Hurco equipment here.”

 

Read the full story from Cutting Tool Engineering here


Watch The Video From IMTS 2016

November 14
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 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
​​
June 08
Aerodyne Precision Machining - 5 Axis Machining is a game changer for Surf City shop

Aerodyne Precision Machining Inc. (APM) incorporated thirty years ago in Southern California’s Surf City, Huntington Beach, California. What started out as a home based company in Raymond Krispel’s garage has grown into a 20,000 sq.ft. manufacturing facility with 32 employees and well over a dozen CNC milling and turning centers.

 

APM is one of the larger Hurco shops in Southern California, and just made the jump to 5 axis machining three years ago. “We’ve been dealing with Machinery Sales for a couple years,” explains Eric. “Garry Frost, his sales staff and service team do a great job supporting the Hurco product line, but it took us a while to finally pull the trigger on our first 5 axis.” After seeing it run at an open house, APM ordered a Hurco VMX42U. It is a 24hp machine with 40 tools and Hurco’s integrated trunnion table. “Combined setup and training was less than two weeks,” adds Ben. “We were cutting chips on actual jobs before the training crew even left.” APM discovered that the 5 axis not only changed the way they machined parts, but also how they looked at jobs. “We are taking a part that used to have 8 operations and now only two at most,” explains Eric. “Besides the time savings we have seen a huge bump in overall accuracy.

 

Aerodyne Precision Machining (APM) credits Hurco and its extensive product line as being an integral part of their success. APM has been a Hurco customer for many years, but just purchased their first 5-axis CNC machine three years ago after seeing a cutting demonstration at Machinery Sales Company’s open house. With their new Hurco 5-axis machining center, APM reduced the number of operations on just one part from 8 to 2. The programmers all love the Hurco control, specifically the user friendly quality, and say the Hurco control is one of the biggest selling points of the machines.

Aerodyne Precision Machining
1.) Eric is a self proclaimed Hurco enthusiast and feels the Hurco controls are some of the most user friendly in the business.
2.) Simple jobs are made easier by being able to program on the machine. Ben finds the conversational to be very useful.
3.) APM has 11 Hurco milling centers including three 5-axis machines.
4.) Hurco’s integrated trunnion table makes 5-axis machining quick and accurate.

Read the full article by Sean Buur published in the March 2016 issue of CNC West Magazine

Photos by Sean Buur & Aerodyne

May 01
Hurco Conversational CNC Machine Helps Moldmaker Bridge the Skills Gap

Concept Molds in Michigan says the investment in the Hurco VMX42i CNC machine has lowered their costs anywhere from $3,000 to $9,000 per mold. The main advantage of the Hurco CNC machines has been the flexibility of the control that features intuitive conversational programming, but also has industry standard NC. “These are very charismatic machines,” says Concept Mold’s General Manager. Favorite features include the high accuracy of the Hurco CNC machines, the repeatability, ease of programming with conversational, and the interrupt cycle.

 

What can a company do when it has a healthy flow of work running through its facility but a lack of skilled workers to complete it all in an efficient, cost-effective manner? This moldmaker found the solution in two Hurco VMX 42i CNC mills with conversational programming capability.

 

Read the full article Case Study From: MoldMaking Technology, Cynthia Kustush , Senior Editor from MoldMaking Technology

Images courtesy of Concept Molds Inc.

May 14
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 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.

 

April 09
RP Tooling Reduces Cycle Time with Hurco

​An article in Engieering Capacity features Hurco customer RP Tooling, a company focused on toolmaking with 50% of their parts being used for vehicles such as the Range Rover Sport, Audi R8 Etron, F-Type Jaguar and the Ford Ranger. The other half of RP Toolings molds could be components anything from medical equipment to lawn mowers to boilers. 


RP Tooling's owner says that a new feature in the Hurco software on the latest machines, called Ultimotion, reduces cycle times by up to 30 per cent. UltiMotion was invented by Hurco and includes software-based look-ahead, which uses an advanced algorithm within WinMax to evaluate the component geometry and motion profile of the cutting cycle to optimise and smooth the tool paths. 


The company finds UltiMotion especially beneficial when profiling complex features, reducing manufacturing costs and allowing more competitive prices to be quoted. So great are the advantages that all of RP Tooling’s Hurco controls will be updated this year with the new software.


RP Tooling currently has 11 Hurco 3-axis machining centers and one Hurco 5-axis machining center.


Read the full article.​

Image copyright © Mercator Media 2015

October 08
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 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.​

August 30
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-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/

August 12
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 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.




August 08
Zigler Machine & Metal Works - Shop Owner Takes Control of His Future


When John Zigler told people he was starting his own machine shop, they didn't exactly encourage him to take the leap into entrepreneurship. "The manufacturing field was in an economic downturn and no one could believe I wanted to start my own business. But ever since shop class in high school, I had a dream of one day having my own shop," explains Zigler.

 

The industry was in the midst of the worst downturn ever recorded and shops were closing daily. Zigler says he focused on his dream for the future rather than the dismal reality of the present. "My desire to own my own shop outweighed the 'what was' from 'what could be'...my biggest motivation was the desire my wife and I had to control our future,” explains Zigler.

 

John had worked at several machine shops. But in addition to manufacturing experience, he got some important life experience in figuring out what was most important to him personally..."I gained knowledge of what I did and didn't want for my life. What I did want was to be treated respectfully and fairly with a possibility for future growth."



Today, Zigler’s Machine & Metal Works in Dixon, Illinois, has 13 employees in addition to John and his family (his wife is the office manager and his eldest son runs the CNC lathe area), and a full-service machine shop that is fully equipped with four CNC mills, three CNC lathes, two manual mills, welding equipment, fabricating equipment, band saws, and Delcam CAD/CAM software. Zigler’s straightforward philosophy guides the company: treat people fairly, develop good relationships with your customers, and pay good help well.



Zigler attributes his company’s success to building strong relationships with customers and investing in the right manufacturing technology. “I think we have been able to retain our customers because we machine quality products with quick turn-around times. We’ve been able to continue growing and being profitable because we stay current with cutting-edge technology, which allows us to be efficient and profitable in a low-volume environment.”


When deciding which machine tools to buy, Zigler faced the challenges many shops experience—he needed to deliver high quality parts at low volumes, which meant he needed to find a way to reduce setup and programming time. His solution was the Hurco line of machine tools. “We needed to meet high quality performance with fast set-up and programming capability. Buying into the Hurco family offers us room to grow because they are continually expanding the product line. All of their machine tools have the Hurco  control with conversational programming, which is the solution we needed to reduce programming time,” says Zigler.

Zigler says 50 pieces is a large run for his shop, which means time spent on setup and programming cuts into a part’s profit margin because there are multiple setups each day. On the shop floor, he has five Hurco mills (two BMC30s, a VMX50, and two VMX24s) and two lathes (TM6 and TM8) in addition to other brands of mills and lathes. While Zigler’s Machine & Metal Works manufactures a wide range of parts, their core business is manufacturing machine components for industries such as mining, automotive, equipment automation, and aerospace/defense.

 


“We machine all sorts of steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass, magnesium and plastic, with magnesium being the most challenging due to its flammability,” says Zigler. He and his employees say the Hurco integrated control is key to the shop’s success. “Hurco’s conversational control is so easy to use.  We have six Hurco machines in-house and our operators are able to go from one machine to the other without having to remember or re-learn a different programming language,” says Zigler.

 

 


One of his favorite control features is the Tool & Material Library because it saves time and eliminates redundancy. “It’s like your cell phone—you don’t need to remember everybody’s number, you can just press one button. The Tool & Material Library is the same thing. I press a button that says aluminum and I don’t have to enter the information for the tool. It saves me three or four keystrokes each time on every page of that program. When I’m getting into a particular job, I might need to fine tune it. Instead of stopping, going back to review, I just press one button, and it updates the entire program,” explains Zigler.
The Hurco VMX24 is by far his favorite machine. “When machining similar types of parts, our VMX24 shines the most.  With the windows-based editing functions, we can copy and paste program language quickly and accurately.  Along with the higher RPM, feed rates, rapiding feeds, the Tool & Material Library improvements, and tool change speed, we are able to be more efficient,” says Zigler.


Beyond the control technology and the rigid machine tools, Zigler says the culture at Hurco is important to him. “I’ve noticed that the people I dealt with back when I started my shop are still there, which I think indicates the company is well run. If a company is turning over a lot of employees, I wonder if things aren’t being managed properly or they aren’t treating their employees well,” says Zigler. 

 


Zigler’s philosophy mirrors Hurco’s approach to business. When a customer invests in a Hurco machine tool, Hurco is invested in the success of that business. We are honored that a company like Zigler’s Machine has made Hurco their machine tool of choice.

www.ZiglersMachine.com 

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