As machinists we apply our skill, knowledge and experience to produce the best looking and most accurate parts that we can. We take a great deal of pride in the products that we produce, and we want others to see that pride in the finished product. But what do we do when we aren’t getting the results that we want? When dimensionally the parts meet blueprint specifications, but the surface finish and overall appearance is less than desirable? When this happens we need to go back the basics and ensure that we are using the best machining practices that we know to be correct.
CNC Machining Blog
Tags: Aerospace & Defense, history of machining, 5-Axis Machining, Milling, Manufacturing Industry Insights, Mill Tooling, Turning, Lathe Tooling, Tool & Die, Mold Making, Prototype Machining, High Speed Machining
In the last article we discussed the questions that you should be asking yourself when buying a CNC lathe, and we discussed some of the common terminology associated with CNC turning. In this article I would like to build on the topic of purchasing considerations, and want to discuss the ins and outs of the two main bed designs – the true slant bed and the flatbed “flying wedge” configurations.
When purchasing a CNC lathe, there are several questions that you need to ask yourself before you begin the process. Some of these questions will be quite obvious: How much axis travel do I need? What size chuck should I look for? How many tool stations are on the turret? What is the spindle bore size? Etc... However, there are other specifications that are just as important, but not always so obvious: What is the maximum swing distance that my work will require? What is the maximum turning diameter necessary for my family of parts? What kind of spindle horsepower and torque will my type of work consume? The first set of questions above is relatively easy to answer, but the second group requires a better understanding of lathes in general.
There are several things to keep in mind when you are in the market for a new 5-axis machining center. To be successful, you must make sure that the machine will fit all of your needs, not just your current one. Often times the purchase of a 5-axis machine is driven by a particular job or part, and sometimes shops fail to consider the other work they could run on the machine. Remember, size does matter.
If you're a regular reader, you're up to speed about the interview I conducted with Mr. Roch, co-founder of Hurco (you can scroll down to this week's video and skip the recap of Parts 1 and 2).
Last week, I posted Part 1 of our History of Hurco video series, where we learned about all of the events—good and bad—that led Mr. Roch to start a business with his boss at the time, Ed Humston. Mr. Roch ended up working in sales for Ed Humston who owned E.L. Humston Company when he quit his job as an industrial engineer at EMPCO in protest of the company president’s, who he believed was making a number of missteps—and his father owned 30 percent of the company, which made the situation even more awkward.
When we hear the term "High Speed Machining" (HSM), most people associate it with mold making, but what people fail to realize is that this technology is being used effectively by shops of every kind to positively impact the bottom line...and isn't that what everyone wants???
I couldn't let the month of October end without acknowledging our 45th birthday...it was October of 1968 when Mr. Roch asked Mr. Humston if he wanted to start a shop. Hurco co-founder, Gerald V. Roch, inventor of CNC and conversational progamming, sat down with me so I could document our company's founding…and he didn't "sugarcoat" it. He talked about failed product launches, financial challenges, and the times he feared the company would fold. During the coming weeks, we will post different parts of the interview with Mr. Roch. To skip the blog article and go straight to the video, scroll to the bottom!