Published 16-06-2016



The never-ending 24/7 demand for reliable supply of water was a contributor to the choice of a new Alpha lathe for the workshops of Goldenfields Water County Council in Temora, about 400km south of Sydney in the heart of the grain-growing area of NSW.

The Council recently moved into its new purpose-built workshop, where it has installed a mixture of existing and newly-acquired equipment needed to build and maintain a huge network of reservoirs, pump stations and pipelines that deliver water to customers throughout the region.

Mechanical Co-ordinator, Shane Baldry, identified the need for a combination manual/CNC lathe, and worked together with the management team at Temora, along with engineers from 600 Machine Tools, to identify the right machine configuration to deal with the current and projected workload of the workshop.

“We had several long-serving machines in our former workshop,” he said, “and the construction of a new purpose-built facility was an appropriate time to evaluate what we were going to need in the future.”

Mr Baldry explained that the Council supplied water to customers in an area of more than 22,000 square kilometres, requiring a huge network of piping, along with hundreds of valves and actuators.

Additionally, there are many pumps – in five water supply sources – requiring maintenance, ranging from 10 litres per second to 400 l/s.

In addition to Mr Baldry, there are three fitters and two apprentices – soon to be three – all needing to use a lathe at various times. This makes flexibility absolutely essential, and the new machine needed to switch quickly from being a centre-lathe to full CNC.
“After studying the options, it was decided that the Harrison Alpha 1550XS would meet our requirements,” he said.

The Alpha 1550XS chosen by Goldenfields has a swing-over bed of 554 mm, a 15 kW motor, spindle speeds up to 2000 rpm, and a spindle bore of 104 mm. The spindle nose is a D1-11 Camlock.

The XS CNC combination lathe range is designed for fast, high-quality repeatability, accuracy and surface finish to exacting toolroom accuracy standards (DIN 8605), which ultimately significantly reduces component production costs.

It was supplied by 600 Machine Tools, a member of the UK-based 600 Group, which comprises – among others – Harrison and Colchester lathes, a range of powerful machine tools from Clausing of the USA, Pratt Burnerd workholding systems, Gamet Bearings, and Tykma Electrox laser marking machines.  
Sales manager, Sydney-based Steve Drummond, said: “The machine we have configured and supplied is a big lathe, with 3m between centres.

“However, despite the generous machining capacity and size of the Alpha, the latest Fanuc OiTD control ensures that operators can approach this machine with confidence, due to its ease of use and simplicity of operation.”

The Alpha manual/CNC combination lathe range is the simplest flat-bed CNC lathe on the market. The range includes the 2-axis XS range, with models covering swing-over bed, lengths from 330mm up to 1000mm, and bed lengths of up to 6m.

Current and prospective customers are now able to view on YouTube many video-presentations of Harrison, Colchester, Clausing, and other machine tools supplied exclusively by the 600 Group through its network in major cities throughout the country.

Asia-Pacific managing director of 600 Machine Tools, Sydney-based Cliff Purser said: “Our recently enhanced website now provides links to these presentations, and others are to be added as new models are launched by our 600 Group centre in Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire UK.”

Workshops in Australia have become familiar with the Clausing brand of machine tools in recent years, ahead of their counterparts in Europe and other major engineering centres throughout the world.

Workshop managers in Great Britain and Europe flocked to see this range of machines at the MACH 2016 at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham on the stand of the UK-based 600 Group – one of three biggest manufacturer of lathes in Europe.

The American brand Clausing based in, Michigan, used the show to officially launch its Clausing brand of machine tools in Europe. This included milling machines, radial drills, horizontal and vertical saws, automatic surface grinders, and large swing (made to measure) manual or CNC lathes.
“This range from the USA has proved popular in Europe, especially with customers who wanted a ‘one stop shop’ for high-precision, high-quality, and reliable machine tools – backed by the renowned service and support of the 600 Group,” Mr Purser said.

The availability of the extensive and versatile Clausing range means that 600 Machine Tools can supply entire workshops for industry, education, and military customers, along with its traditional machine tool and component brands including Colchester and Harrison lathes, and Pratt Burnerd work holding systems.
Pratt Burnerd International, a division of 600 UK, launched its chuck-force measurement Gripsafe Gripmeter at MACH 2016. This remarkable newcomer accurately measures and records chuck gripping-forces within seconds.

Suitable for use on all makes of chuck, it has been developed to help workshops comply with health and safety legislation, enabling them to ensure that their chucks remain fit for purpose.

The device quickly and effortlessly measures chuck gripping-force, ensuring safety and peace of mind for operators, trainees, and managers.

600 Machine Tools
Ph: 02 9674 4738



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