(Bellingham, MA) When Van-Wal’s original Hardinge CHNC lathes finally met the end of their life cycle (some 30 years after installation) company owner John van der Wal had a major dilemma. For the better part of two decades John relied on these machines to produce some of the most demanding part accuracies in his shop. Hardinge halted CHNC manufacturing in the early 2000’s out of their Elmira, NY facility. By popular demand in 2009 Hardinge once again began manufacturing the SUPER-PRECISION® QUEST CHNC and Van-Wal immediately purchased two as a direct replacement for their original CHNC machines. Now almost one year later John plans on replacing another two original CHNC machines with the QUEST-CHNC 42’s.
“As an owner of eight original Hardinge CHNC's I am very impressed with the new QUEST CHNC. Everyone in the industry knows that these machines are bullet proof and with the enhanced features such as the Servo Turret Index Motor and Linear Guides, these machines are even better than the original design, says Van der Wal.” The new QUEST CHNC machine includes 172% more X-axis travel, 18% & 57% faster X and Z-axis traverse rates respectively with 30% less floor space.
Interchangeable Top plate
As a traditional job shop Van-Wal Machine has many small components to service industries including medical, aerospace, computer, air & fluid pumps and more. The unique interchangeable top plate allows Van-Wal to quickly swap out fully tooled top plates in minutes to have the next family of parts ready to produce. “We have 8 different tooled up top plates that are swapped out daily to produce the required parts for that day. The changeover time from job to job is incredible especially when you realize the SUPER-PRECISION® accuracy these machines maintain day in and day out, van der Wal comments.” One big plus for CHNC users is their current tooling is compatible with the NEW Hardinge CHNC models making new tooling investments minimal.
Positioned for Success
With the investment in Hardinge’s CHNC machines Van Wal is positioned to continue supplying the most accurate parts in the industry. With accuracies of .20 micron (8-micro-inch) Part Surface Finish, .000015” Part Roundness and .0002” Total Variation on Diameter the Hardinge CHNC will allow Van Wal to continue to quote and produce high-precision components that will be the future of American manufacturing. When you look at other machines that hold these type of tolerances the investment is minimal. With the unique features and specifications previously discussed, the QUEST CHNC is a great complement to swiss machining operations for a much smaller price tag.
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