Machines that Make Machines

I recently got another look at the facilities of a machine tool builder. It was a good reminder of what's involved in bringing the machines together.

Columns From: 5/17/2012 Production Machining, ,

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Chris Felix

Because variations in cutting range, tool capacity, tolerance capabilities, and so on have a direct effect on a shop’s day-to-day operations and the ability to deliver on the demands of customers, shop personnel make it a point to be familiar with their own machines as well as additional equipment that they may purchase down the road. They know the machines inside and out.

But what many in the shop don’t get to see is the process of building these machines. As an editor, I am fortunate to get into the machine tool builders’ facilities from time to time to see some of the ways this equipment is brought together. Last month I travelled to South Korea with Hyundai Wia for a look at the company’s production facility as well as two of its suppliers. It was a cool opportunity to see machine tools being used to make more machine tools.

More than just a turning shop, each facility included forming and fabricating, stamping and milling operations as well. I also got to see the work environment of a different culture, which has some interesting differences to what I’m used to.

As part of the trip, we spent a day at the SIMTOS manufacturing technology show as well, where 700 exhibitors from 35 countries were spread among five product pavilions to display their latest equipment offerings. Hyundai Wia had a strong presence at the show with 29 machines, including several new models for turning, milling and multitasking operations. One machine that caught my eye was the LM1800TTSY twin-spindle multitasking CNC turning center with upper and lower turrets and available Y and C axes.

To read more about my trip, see my MMS blog entry posted shortly after my return home.

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