600 Machines looks to the future

Aware of the future need for a new generation of engineers and tradesmen in the fast-growing region of Darling Downs in Queensland, Dalby State High School secured a Federal government grant to establish a Trade Training Centre.

Clearly, equipment was needed that was affordable and used current technology.

Of course it would also have to be suitable to teach teenagers and, above all, had to be
safe to operate.

And teachers at the high school were well aware that the skills taught had to be relevant
to industry needs.

So the teachers consulted with local manufacturers and engineering companies – potential student employers – for advice.

Their suggestions were then incorporated into the school’s purchasing program.

“In many respects, our workshops are a mirror image of local industry, with the same machines and ancillary equipment,” says Head Engineering Teacher Bruce Burt.

The pupils, aged between 15 and 17, could learn skills that could lead to a job in industry after leaving school, which would assist in combating a local skills shortage.

“In part, our youngsters are striving to produce identical components to those being manufactured locally by experienced craftsmen – and succeeding,” says Mr Burt.

The school’s Trade Training Centre has been designed and equipped to comply with current industry specifications.

For its machine tool requirements, the school turned to 600 Machine Tools, which has a branch in Brisbane with staff experienced in specifying and supplying the right type of machines, along with training, and a maintenance program.

Machines selected include a CNC-equipped Colchester-Harrison Alpha 1350 XS lathe, and four Liouy-Hsing LA 430 x 1100 precision lathes capable of heavy-duty turning.

In addition to the training program, senior pupils can also gain work experience at local

“For example, the companies involved with the Centre have from one to five ‘trainees’ on the workshop floor for five days, says Mr Burt. “Each pupil either follows a component through all states of its manufacture, or is ‘apprenticed’ to a senior tradesman to polish specific skills.

“When the pupils have finished their course at the Centre, they will be placed to complete Certificate II in Engineering and Manufacturing Technology, and be workplace-ready.”

The 600 Group’s machines are noted for their high build-quality, accuracy, reliability, excellent L10 (expected) life, and value for money.

In Australia, 600 Machine Tools has a sound reputation with company owners and workshop managers throughout industry for the quality of its machines, and exemplary
service and training programs.

The machines selected for the Dalby Training Centre have been installed and commissioned.

Engineer Peter Griffin, from 600 Machines Brisbane branch has assisted in the training for operation of the machines and the programming of CNC controllers.

Machine tools specialist at the branch, Steve Bagley, said: “The establishment of a trade school will be good for the area, providing a steady flow of well-trained young people who can either become an apprentice in local industry or continue their studies to obtain an engineering-related degree at university.”

“The young people trained on machines provided by 600 Machinery will become the new blood required by the harvesting, processing, manufacturing, and engineering industries of the region.”

Managing director of 600 Machine Tools, Sydney-based Cliff Purser, was delighted with the outcome.

The Alpha XS Manual/CNC range was the ideal choice for the centre, he said.

“It is available in five versions with a choice of various ‘swing over bed’ and ‘distance
between centres’ dimensions for optimum versatility in a wealth of turning applications.

“Fast, easy set-up times and simple operation in all modes are the keys to the Alpha XS Series’ continuing success. These very affordable machines benefit from the ultra-high speed 21i TB CNC control.

“These virtues are added to high-quality repeatability and accuracy for turning small-tomedium sized batches, superb surface-finish and, most importantly of all, significantly lower component production costs.

“For teachers and pupils in Australia’s trade schools and other educational establishments, the versatile and reliable Alpha XS is fast becoming the benchmark for lathes in its class.”

600 Machine Tools
Ph: 02 9674 4738