UK machinery expert inspects impressive range


A visit to Australia by the UK-based managing director of 600 Lathes and Pratt Burnerd, Mike Berry, affirmed that the 600 Group’s recently acquired FMT operation in Poland is making excellent progress.

Already the biggest manufacturer of turning machines in Europe, the Group recently acquired the large centre of excellence in Tarnow that will soon produce high-spec versions of its world-famous Colchester-Harrison lathes – which boast a pedigree that began in the 19th century.

Mr Berry was pleased to see 600 Machine Tools established in its new premises in the Seven Hills district of Sydney, and enjoyed visiting the company’s branches and some of their customers.

Always a keen advocate of the qualities and capabilities of the Alpha range of machines, Mr Berry was delighted by two recent installations – one in NSW and the other in Qld.

Mr Berry also inspected Griffiths Computerised Engineering (GCE) which has recently acquired an Alpha 1550 XS CNC.

The Adamstown company was formed in 1974 as R & F Griffiths by Ron Griffiths, father
of the current manager Andrew Griffiths.

“The new Alpha is capable of doing everything from one-off jobs to many components with the same accuracy and repeatability we have come to know from the Colchester brand,” Mr Andrew Griffiths said.

“The company’s first machines – a Mascot 1600, Pacific FT 2, and an Aboga radial drill – were purchased from 600 Machine Tools, starting a very long an close relationship that saw 15 machines from 600 installed in our workshops over the next 37 years,” he said.

Mr Berry was intrigued to hear that GCE is actively involved in the local community in a rather unusual way. It has just been awarded a contract to restore a huge coastal
gun that was used to fire on the Japanese subs when they attacked the City of Newcastle during WWII. The company was awarded this contract after successfully restoring Gun One several years earlier.

Mr Griffiths said he was very satisfied with the accuracy, flexibility, and reliability of the machines purchased from 600, and added: “With the success of our business, it goes without saying that, in GCE’s eyes, ‘The world turns on a Colchester lathe’.”

Mr Berry was shocked by the massive damage caused to the Queensland economy by the recent floods. However, he was surprised and delighted to see a customer in the Brisbane area taking delivery of another Alpha.

Servicing the marine industry for more than half a century, Bulimba-based Rogers & Lough (R&L) has just acquired a big Alpha 1800/XS/120 from 600 Machine Tools.

This machine was needed to enable the company to further expand its business in the servicing of commercial vessels, such as the fleet of fishing boats that catch Queensland’s noted prawns and other seafood delicacies.

R&L now has a second workshop, this time in the Brisbane Marine Industry Park, where it is able to offer deepwater berthing, and lifting of up to 600 tonnes.

The new machine is to be used for jobs requiring fine tolerances, such as propeller shafts, bearings, rudder-stocks, and other running sterngear of leisure craft and commercial vessels.

General manager Alan Lough, son of co-founder Lance Lough, said: “We now have 22 on the payroll, and are expanding to meet the needs of vessel owners along the East Coast. Some of our tradesmen have been with us 15 years, and are highly-skilled
operators of the machines from 600.”

Over the years, the company has bought two Mascot lathes, two Triumphs, two Alphas,
along with lathes from Clausing and TOS.

Training servicing and support have been provided by Wally Nujin and his team at the 600 Machine Tools branch in Brisbane.

The Alpha XS Manual/CNC range 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, the managing director of 600 Machine Tools, Sydney-based Cliff Purser said.

“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-to-medium sized batches, superb surface-finish and, most importantly of all, significantly lower component production costs.

600 Machine Tools
Ph: 02 9674 4738