When Hi-Spec Precision Engineering Ltd needed a new machine tool for its machine shop, the Rutland based company quickly opted for the heavy-duty Colchester Magnum centre lathe from 600 UK at MACH 2016.
Commenting upon the purchase, Managing Director, Mr Darren Grainger says: “The larger capacity end of the work we do, is also the lower quantity of our work. We have all the latest CNC machine tool technology, but with the Colchester Magnum centre lathe, we can just hop on the machine, do a quick turnaround job and get it out the door in the time that many CNC jobs would take to set.
The Colchester Magnum also has the largest diameter to length ratio of all our machines and it will also take the heaviest parts. There are some jobs that come through the door that have to go on the Magnum centre lathe as they wouldn’t fit on our other machines and we just couldn’t take these jobs on otherwise.”
“We originally had another machine in the place, but we weren’t happy with our purchase so we replaced it with the Magnum. After all, the Colchester and Harrison brands are the most reputable and longstanding machines out there. When buying the Magnum, we already had a number of 600 UK machines and we didn’t want to buy a Chinese product, as we had been down that route before.”
Referring to the machine specification, Mr Grainger continues: “Whilst I have gone for a machine with an 800mm swing over the 660mm variant, the bed is wider and the machine is heavier than any other machine in its class. For the Magnum, it was about having some confidence in the brand you were buying and I wanted to know that what I was getting was going to be suitable for what we wanted to do.
Everything on the lathe is heavy duty, right down to the tailstock and steadies. All the key features are 30-40% bigger and regarding the cost, the machine is more expensive than some variants, but this is all about the longevity and build quality of the Colchester Magnum. Our previous machine was a third of the cost but lasted 4 years and we kept it for 6, with the Colchester Magnum, I’m confident it would last about 30 years.”
With this version of the machine being 2 metres between centres, the Magnum arrived at the same time as the Harrison Alpha 1460XS CNC combination lathe, also from 600 UK.
The Alpha 1460XS was supplied with a tooling turret and this machine works in synergy with the Magnum. As Mr Grainger says: “Sometimes we’ll use the machines as a ‘mini-cell’ with both machines running different operations on the same job. The machines complement each other very well.
Everything on the two machines has been supplied by 600 UK with the chucks provided by Pratt Burnerd International. The workholding runs very precisely and efficiently with no issues whatsoever and that is what we want from our machine tools and the suppliers.”
The Colchester Magnum has centre distance capacities up to 6 metres in length and combined with spindle bore options up to 230mm and powerful 20kW spindle motors fitted as standard, the Magnum centre lathe is designed to be totally comfortable with any heavy metal turning requirement thrown at it, in such diverse industries as oil and gas, utilities and shipbuilding.
Paul Rushworth, 600 UK Sales Director said “As Darren can testify with his vast experience of Colchester and Harrison lathes, our machines have an outstanding reputation for high quality, reliable turning performance with outstanding service, requiring the absolute minimum of maintenance over their working life and our heavy duty Magnum centre lathe carries on that unique tradition.”
Youtube Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3ur5jS5WtU&t=207s