600 Lathes moves the manufacture of standard machines to China.
United Kingdom machine-tool builder The 600 Group (Leeds, U.K.) has concluded that building standard engine lathes (Mach.) See under Lathe.
a turning lathe in which the cutting tool has an automatic feed; - used chiefly for turning and boring metals, cutting screws, etc.
See also: Engine Lathe in Great Britain Great Britain, officially United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, constitutional monarchy (2005 est. pop. 60,441,000), 94,226 sq mi (244,044 sq km), on the British Isles, off W Europe. The country is often referred to simply as Britain. for export markets isn't economical. It's therefore entered into a commercial deal with the Dalian Machine Tool Group (Dalian, China) to build those turning machines for its division 600 Lathes.
Production at 600 Lathes' 250-employee Heckmondwike plant (Yorkshire, U.K.) now will concentrate on the T. S. Harrison 'electronic' (half-NC or combination) flatbed lathes and the Colchester Tornado tornado, dark, funnel-shaped cloud containing violently rotating air that develops below a heavy cumulonimbus cloud mass and extends toward the earth. The funnel twists about, rises and falls, and where it reaches the earth causes great destruction. multi-axis CNC (Computerized Numerical Control) See numerical control.
CNC - Collaborative Networked Communication production lathes, known in the U.S. market under the 'Storm' name.
This year, 600 Lathes will introduce its "sophisticated," high-performance, high-specification 'engine' lathes to the U.S. market. The aim, says chief executive of the 600 Group, Dr. Anthony Sweeten sweet·en
v. sweet·ened, sweet·en·ing, sweet·ens
1. To make sweet or sweeter by adding sugar, honey, saccharin, or another sweet substance.
2. To make more pleasant or agreeable. , "is to try to regain our market share in the U.S. as in the past." By sophistication so·phis·ti·cate
v. so·phis·ti·cat·ed, so·phis·ti·cat·ing, so·phis·ti·cates
1. To cause to become less natural, especially to make less naive and more worldly.
2. Sweeten refers to the provision of variable spindle spindle: see spinning.
A rotating shaft in a disk drive. In a fixed disk, the platters are attached to the spindle. In a removable disk, the spindle remains in the drive. Laptops use spindle designations to indicate the number of built-in drives. speed/constant surface cutting speed with "intelligent" digital read-out read·out or read-out
n. Computer Science
Presentation of data, usually in digital form, from calculations or storage.
Noun 1. systems as the standard lathe lathe (lāth), machine tool for holding and turning metal, wood, plastic, or other material against a cutting tool to form a cylindrical product or part. It also drills, bores, polishes, grinds, makes threads, and performs other operations. control package.
Sweeten says that the 600 Group (www.600group.com) had decided that building such standard engine lathes in the U.K. for export is no longer viable: "We cannot sell low-cost/low-tech machines at Western prices." So a deal has been drawn up with the Dalian Machine Tool group to address volume production of lathes. 600 Lathes controls design, technology, manufacturing and distribution rights. Under the arrangement, 600 Lathes buys and brings the engine lathes to the U.K. to "add value"--such as affixing control systems. This operation has just started, and the first Dalian-built machines were on the Heckmondwike shop floor in early April.
"We do not see the Chinese machine-tool builders as competition," according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Dr. Sweeten. "The Dalian machines are being produced exclusively for 600 Lathes. Eventually, the Chinese market will also want 'sophistication,' the next generation
Sweeten adds that 600 Group will be maintaining control over the new engine lathes' reputation. "We had to re-equip the Dalian factory," he says. "These engine lathes have to be 'world class,' and the Chinese want to develop skills and technology levels acceptable to the West."
The arrangement is not a "joint venture" but rather is structured entirely on a commercial basis: Dalian sells the engine lathes exclusively to 600 Lathes, and Dalian can only sell the machines into the Chinese market when 600 Lathes says so.
At Heckmondwike, the standard lathe production plant has gone. Now the plant has been re-organized and re-equipped to concentrate on building the Harrison electronic lathes and Colchester Tornado/Storm CNC turning centers. "We are saving jobs and putting resources into what we are good at," says Dr. Sweeten. "We have gone through the worst recession in machine tools and we do not need to borrow money--we have worked hard to keep our cash."
To put the financials into some perspective, Sweeten remarks that the last "good" year for 600 Lathes in the U.S. market was 1998. Demand later bottomed out at 38% of the 1998 demand level, and 2004/5 will see demand going up. Sales of the Storm and Harrison lathes are doing well, and more advanced models are on the way.
Consequently there will a change in the direction of the 600 Lathes' U.S. market, with a program of reviewing and re-educating the distributor network is now underway. "We have no plans to abandon existing distributorships," remarks Dr. Sweeten. "Only to strengthen the existing ones and add on new distribution. We will be making announcements at Eastec."
Advances on the way include the Harrison Multiturn 4000, one of a series of CNC flatbed lathes built up to 19 in. swing by 10 ft. between centers. They have the GE Fanuc Series Oi CNCs with manual guidance and on-board On board usually means to be traveling on some vehicle. For example, Baby On Board. Compare with overboard.
Metaphorically, the term on-board is often used to refer to some piece of technology that is integrated in a moving vehicle, for example:
cam, mechanical device for converting a rotating motion into a reciprocating, or back-and-forth, motion, or for changing a simple motion into a complex one. . These are coming through 600's U.S. operation, Clausing Industrial, (Kalamazoo, Mich.), which is selling large numbers into CNC shops at a "ball park" price of around $50,000.
Dr. Sweeten said that Clausing (www.clausing-industrial.com) is also doing very well on Storm sales. What will 600 Lathes show at EMO? Sweeten was not letting any secrets out, but suggestions of a flatbed CNC lathe with a milling spindle, a multi-turret Tornado/Storm, plus more developments in hard turning may be on the cards.
This reporter got the impression that the 600 Group's lathes activities are once more "going like a train." The Group may not yet in a position to divulge current financial performance--since it is in the period just before quarterly results are announced--but a financial improvement is in the cards.
From our European correspondent.