Turning machine investments for better training

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Loyalist manufacturing program coordinator John Poste estimates that students receive approximately 25 per cent in-class theory and 75 per cent in-shop training.

“The in-shop training is where they really learn their skills because they take what they’ve learned in theory class and apply it, and sometimes it doesn’t work. If it doesn’t work, they need to use the information they learned in the class to troubleshoot and make a process work in the shop.”

The machine shop is relatively new, built two years ago as part of the college’s expansion. When it came to time to purchase new machines last year, Poste didn’t hesitate with the purchase of the four Clausing Harrison 13 M300 lathes.

“I’ve worked on these lathes for years and they’re reliable workhorses. When the money came up for me to buy more machines I said I’d buy the best machines I could find, the Harrison lathes.”

The machine shop houses manual and CNC machines, including a Haas SL10 turning machine, a Haas TN 1 milling machine, a Daewoo (now known as Doosan supplied by Ferric Technique) turning machine and a Hurco milling machine. It also is equipped with an EDM and a large Mitutoyo CMM. The latest purchases are four new Clausing Harrison 13 M300 lathes from UK builder Colchester Harrison 600 Group PLC, purchased from Canadian distributor Mitcham Machine Tools Ltd., Toronto.

Poste knew he wouldn’t have the same experience with these new lathes as his last experience with another brand.

“I purchased some machines from China and unfortunately the quality was very poor. I broke two split nut levers. I’ve really hammered that lever over the years on other lathes and it’s never broken. I also had problems with the gears and we had to rebuild them. I don’t have time to fix these machines because we have classes to run and papers to mark, so we end up having to do it on our own time.”

While the shop already housed some manual lathes prior to the purchase, Poste says he needed more of them.

“The lathe is the most basic tool in a machine shop. I’ve trained with some good people and one of them was a shipwright and these guys have to do everything. He said to me once ‘a lathe is the only machine you can make a machine on without the use of another machine’. We don’t have more than 20 students in a class and I don’t want them to share a machine; I want them to have their own machines to train on; that’s why we purchased the four lathes to add to our shop.”

The Clausing Harrison 13 M300 centre lathe is a full-function lathe capable of the entire range of turning operations. It features quick, safe and easy spindle speed selection using two push and turn controls. The machine runs quietly because of the twin vee-belt drive and induction-hardened and ground headstock gearing. A Camlock nose provides fast and simple change-over of the spindle workholding equipment. The machine is built to withstand tough machining environments. The combination of a box section cast iron bed and rigid steel base provides the integrated structure for strength and vibration dampening. Other key features include a gated third shaft lever with “No-Volt” relay to protect against restart, a rapid action foot controlled brake with an electrical disengagement, and a safety interlock “Wrap Around” chuck-guard. 

Loyalist College

Mitcham Machine Tools

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