In this article, I discuss the ins and outs of the two main bed designs for CNC lathe machines: 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. 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!