There was a time when a machine tool supplier could serve a local market sufficiently by having machines for sale in that region and having technicians available to service them. That much isn’t enough anymore, says SNK America—at least in the industries that this machine tool supplier targets. Manufacturing staffs are now so lean that it is no longer common for a manufacturer to have sufficient in-house engineering personnel to develop and prove out new processes. The machine tool supplier needs to be able to provide this engineering work for the customer as a complement to the machine. SNK, like various metalworking equipment suppliers, has responded to this development by expanding its commitment to the market to include a tech center. More than a showroom, a tech center is a live, fully staffed machining area in which customer parts are machined and processes are developed and improved in partnership with people from the customer facility. SNK is debuting its newly opened Mount Prospect, Illinois tech center with an open house on October 2-3.
The video above illustrates one of the machine demos that will be seen at the event. For the sake of filming the cut without coolant, the workpiece here is steel. The actual demo cut will be a 1-inch wide slotting pass at a 2-inch depth of cut in titanium, using a HN80D-Ti horizontal machining center from Niigata (an SNK Machine Tool Group company).