Monthly Archives: July 2008

Creating a Head on a CNC

At Hurco’s open house July 25, 2008, the Today’s Machining World staff interviewed Hurco technical supervisor Paul Gray, who demonstrated how to a use a VMX42SR vertical machining center to create this bust of a head.

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Self-reliant Retirement Philosophy

A recent survey from Charles Schwab, showed that a growing number of young American workers believe that the government is not going to take care of them in retirement. According to Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment Strategist at Charles Schwab, resources that people have historically counted on for retirement such as employers, inheritance and the government, are less reliable in today’s economy. This has caused more people to pay close attention to their personal money management and educate themselves about investment strategies.


Question of the day: Are you scared about your quality of life after you retire?

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Auction Blog: Hardinge Cleaning House

Go Industry is handling an online sale expiring July 24, for Hardinge Corporation.

Hardinge appears to be cleaning house up in Canada at the site of their former distributor in Ontario, Darbert Machinery of Mississauga. Hardinge has opted to handle the distribution of its products in Canada themselves.

In Elmira the company is selling three CNC Swiss type lathes, a 25mm and two 16mm new in the mid 1990s. Hardinge brought in a private label Tsugami Swiss type for a few years but never made the commitment to go into the sliding headstocks in a big way. Had they made the push at that time, with their broad distribution, Hardinge might be a player today in an active part of the CNC world. One of many blown opportunities of the Pat Ervin regime in Elmira.

Rick Simons has recently taken the reins at Hardinge. This auction is a small reminder to the machining community in North America that the game is changing for the old builder.

Question: Do you think it’s too late for Hardinge to develope its own CNC Swiss?

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Potential of a new machine — A coffeemaker

As Starbucks scrambles to regain footing in today’s cut-throat coffee war by refocusing on its roots – its coffee – it will soon be wheeling out a secret weapon. A new coffee maker called the Clover has been invented, which supposedly puts all other coffee makers to shame. The $11,000 machine allows the user to program three key brewing variables: dose, water temperature, and brew time. After the coffee steeps, a piston mechanism extracts the liquid from spent beans, resulting in a fresh cup in less than a minute.

Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz fell in love with the machine, and in March 2008, Starbucks announced the acquisition of the Coffee Equipment Company — the Seattle-based startup that manufactures Clovers in a converted trolley shed. By the end of 2008, there will be 80 machines installed in upscale urban markets thoughout the U.S. The 250 machines already at independent cafés can still remain in use but the Buck refuses to sell anymore Clovers to anyone outside of its own chain.

Sadly, when Wired Magazine writer Mathew Honan sampled a cup of the Clover’s coffee at a Starbucks store in Seattle, made with a normal Starbucks blend, served in a paper cup, he couldn’t tell the difference from the regular cup.

I guess a great machine can only do so much with mediocre material.


Question of the day: Do you drink Starbucks coffee? Why or why not?

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Rick Simons Back at Hardinge

Hardinge Inc. has made a significant change in management bringing in Rick Simons as CEO, a veteran of the company who had left to go to Carpenter Technology
for three years before coming back ultimately to replace Pat Ervin.

Hardinge stock has been on a long plunge over the last year. Simons appears to be a popular change from the old regime. Under Ervin, Hardinge focused on developing its worldwide business and had acquired prestigious Swiss brands like Kellenberger and Tschudin, but the North American machine tool business had decayed from the Haas onslaught on the less expensive end of the market and Japanese and Korean builders on the upscale side.

The Hardinge machine tool brand has been lost in the blizzard of brands and marketing. Simons has the advantage of knowing the cast of players in Elmira N.Y. and the insight from spending three years in Hardinge exile.

Since Simons has taken the reins, the stock has bounced like a yoyo, hitting a low of $11 and then quickly jumping up to $17. Could this indicate interest by an acquirer? With the cheap dollar, you never know.

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Stimulus Plan for Manufacturing

The stimulus package for business will be kicking in this fall in a big way as companies and individuals figure out if they are making money for the year, and make the calculation that if Uncle Sam is giving money away they might as well catch it in their basket. The doubling of the expensing provision to $250,000 means that a small business could buy a couple of A-20 Citizens and get a fat $75,000 discount thanks to Uncle.

This could be a rollicking fourth quarter for machine tool builders if they position themselves with appropriate financing packages for buyers who know a good thing when they see it.

Permac (video below), a PMPA member from Burnsville, Minnesota, is one firm that is taking advantage of the Bush Stimulus.

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Auction of the week: Allen-Bradley Aftermath

Allen-Bradley’s auction online on July 10 (see auction of the week: June 25), was a good example of the axiom that if the buyers are disinterested in a machine they will ignore it at almost any price, but if it’s something hard to find, the bidders will extend themselves even in a stinko market.

The multi spindle National Acmes, though they were in nice shape and well equipped, virtually died. The 1” RAN6 machines with threading and pickoff brought from $2,500 to $6,500 plus a 16 percent buyer’s fee. The 7/16” RA6, went begging, most not even reaching the $1,000 reserve price except one that fetched $6,300.

The exception on the Acmes were the two 3/4” RA8 machines. Eight spindles are still in demand and the 3/4” is rare on the market. The machines were nicely equipped with threading and pickoff. One machine had been in a crack-up recently and had a bent spindle. It brought $31,000 plus the 16 percent buyer’s fee. Another one hit $42,000.

When you hat you hot, when you not you not. Amen.

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A Liesure Precision Instrument

Today we inform you of a new, innovative, precision instrument which can help you when you’re off the job – the Rossa Monza Spider putter from Taylor Made.

“Even when we purposely misfired putts, our second shots were gimmes. And when we found ourselves putting from the fringe and downhill, the Spider’s soft touch and pinpoint accuracy were the very definition of clutch,” recounts the Wired magazine’s product reviewer, Daniel Dumas. “Taylor Made claims the clubface is so well-balanced that shots hit off the toe or heel end up closer to the cup than with any of its competitors.”

Dumas remarks that the club’s key strength is that “the insert provides soft yet responsive feel at contact. Movable weights + adjustable center of gravity = laser-guided shots and lower scores.”

He criticized that the “supersize clubhead can be distracting. Adjusting center of gravity can be a lengthy process.”

The retail price from Taylor Made is $200.


Rossa Monza Spider Putter

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Auction Ambush!

Sometimes an auctioneer obtains a deal and then gets ambushed. That appears to have happened to both Cincinnati Industrial and Great American Group of California who both ended up with Davenport deals at the same time.

Cincinnati Industrial has the Southco auction, which is a collection of fastener and screw machine equipment which Southco deemed surplus as they move manufacturing to the Far East and other domestic locations. The Southco machinery is not hooked up. It is sitting in a huge warehouse near the Philly airport with cleaning equipment pushed next to the threaders and secondary equipment.

The Great American deal is a liquidation of 20 Davenports from AMETEK Inc., of which are in the 1990s. They are asking $30,000 each for the newest machines. All of the Davenports are 9/16” capacity.

With 42 Davenport screw machines coming on to the market at the same time, neither party is likely in the mood to party.

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GM Attempts to Bridge Two Car Cultures

As GM’s car sales steadily decline in the U.S., its Buick brand has become one of the most coveted China. Buick recently debuted its new Invicta show car, the expected replacement for the LaCrosse model, whose purpose is to appeal to both U.S. and Chinese consumers, bridging the gap between the two markets. It features luxurious interior features valued by Chinese drivers, such as gadgets, computers and backseat roominess, but also addresses the preferences of American drivers for bold, exterior styling. It was designed in seven months, just in time for the Beijing Auto Show. Buick cars sharing many of the features on the show car are supposed to be in production next year.  

Source: The Wall Steet Journal

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