End User: Techtronics Machine Works Ltd.
Techtronics Machine Works Ltd. is a precision machine and fabrication shop in Musquodoboit Harbour, NS, with a simple, but effective growth strategy: investment in technology.
Between 2006 and 2011, the shop has invested $1.5 million in capital assets and is currently planning another $0.5 million plant expansion initiated in June.
Formed in 1999 by Ron Marks, the ISO 9001:2008 shop specializes in prototyping, high production work and customized one-off jobs for the aerospace, defense, marine and communications industries. The 6000 sq ft shop will soon have another 2,400 sq ft when the current expansion for machining, fabricating and welding is complete.
Last July, Techtronics expanded its machining capabilities with the purchase of its first turn/mill machine, a Haas ST-20SSY, adding to its existing line of Haas CNC machines. Impressed with the performance of the multi-tasking concept of turning and milling in one machine, the company has ordered two additional Haas machines—the VF-5SS vertical machining centre and the ST-10 turning centre.
Working with a turn/mill machine was a first for Wes Roma, the CNC programmer and machine operator.
“The machine is quite interesting to work on; I’ve not worked with turn/mill machines before. It was fairly easy to integrate it into the shop and learn how to use it because all of CNC machines are Haas machines and have the same controls, which are user friendly.”
Roma says the machine is more rigid than other machines “and dependable as far as machining accuracies and finishes. It seems better built. Since turning and milling are done on one machine, part concentricity is accurate because the work is being done on the same axis and we don’t need to load the part onto another machine and do part set-up; it’s one set up and the part comes off the machine complete.”
The Haas ST-20SSY is equipped with high torque live tool milling capability with C and Y axes. The servo-driven C axis offers four axis capability. Y axis travel is 2.0 in. (50.8 mm) for off-centre milling, drilling and tapping. The hybrid turret on the Y axis accepts BOT and OD tools, as well as VDI 40 tools. The machine has a maximum capacity of 10 in. (254 mm) x 21 in. (533 mm) with a 31.75 in. (806 mm) swing. It is equipped with a 30 hp vector dual drive and 5000 rpm spindle. A 24-station hybrid turret and live tool milling capability is standard.