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Harrison Alpha XC combination CNC lathe
Harrison Alpha CNC combination lathe

There was a very good reason why so many workshop managers from all over Europe crowded the 600 UK stand at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

Even rival companies expressed admiration for the brilliant design of the XC model created by the 120-year old company’s resourceful team of engineers in Heckmondwike, Yorkshire.

Applications engineer at 600 UK, Trevor Matthews, said: "The XC is a new model that is based on the globally-popular Harrison Alpha XS CNC combination lathe.

Our customers around the world fed back to us that they wanted a full interpolating c-axis on the machine and, with the XC’s innovative design, that is exactly what we have provided."

Making its debut at MACH 2016, the XC range now incorporates driven tooling and full c-axis interpolation. This feature, a significant addition to the simple-to-operate CNC Alpha manual / CNC lathe, now allows operators to carry out secondary operations at the machine in one set-up.

Asia-Pacific managing director of 600 Machine Tools, Cliff Purser, said: "The new XC can conduct off-centre drilling and boring, hexagonal milling, and much more. What this remarkable combination CNC lathe gives workshops in Australia is the ability to perform secondary operations that usually require machining centres or expensive slant bed CNC turning centres.

He added: “The turret has eight stations, and all positions can be driven at up to 5000 rpm on some models. The VDI tooling set-up is based on the size of the machine and has either a 20 or 40 VDI configuration."

"We have previewed the Alpha XC lathe to customers and distributors throughout the country, and they have welcomed the availability of a flat-bed machine that can finish the parts in one-hit – at a price they can afford.”

Adding the c-axis, milling and drilling to the Harrison Alpha manual / CNC lathe range dramatically reduces the need for secondary operations. It means that 600 Machine Tools now offers a combination CNC lathe that genuinely increases productivity and slashes cost-per-component, especially on prototypes, one-offs, and small batches

The control unit on the machine is the renowned Fanuc 0i-TD system. Mr Purser explained: "As engineers will recognise, Harrison has its own Alpha programming system that is unique, and acclaimed by users worldwide.

“This is in addition to the Fanuc Manual Guide system that is fully conversational for the end-user, using pictorial guides along with the full G-Code CNC system – not forgetting manual operation – giving Alpha operators unrivalled programming options."

“Simply put, the new Harrison Alpha XC is the simplest CNC lathe to operate in the world,” he commented.

The machine that attracted crowds at MACH 2016 was an Alpha 1400XC with a 1250 mm centre distance, swing over bed of 400 mm, and a 55 mm through bore spindle.

However, a larger capacity model – the Alpha 1550 XC – is now available from Harrison, with a swing-over bed up to 550 mm and centre distances up to 3000 mm.

This powerful CNC lathe can be configured for milling, too, thereby eliminating any need to lift large and heavy workpieces to other machines for secondary operations.

This is true of other machines in the Alpha range, which includes the 1660 XS and 1760XS with beds of up to four metres, and the massive 2800XS with beds up to six metres.

The Alpha 1660XS is fitted with a high powered 18.5 kW motor, swing over bed of 660 mm, and 105 mm spindle bores, bringing true heavyweight turning performance to Alpha users.

These big machines have a one direction indexing c-axis, with a 0.1 degree of accuracy, they manage with ease such commonplace secondary operations as drilling holes and keyways in the flange of a six metre long workpiece, such as a prop-shaft.

Mr Purser said: “Now that the XC models in the Alpha range come with full c-axis, as found on many slant-bed CNC machines, workshops throughout Australia can increase throughput and achieve significantly higher productivity, while maintaining high levels of accuracy and repeatability.

“In some workshops, it will be possible to create more floorspace by dispensing with long-serving machines used for supplementary tasks. Research shows that there are very few flatbed machines in the marketplace with a fully-functioning c-axis, and the new capability of the XC range comes at a keen price that really does represent excellent value for money.”

Following the enthusiastic reception for the breakthrough Alpha XC design, especially from workshops in Germany, the 600 Group has created a short video, to discuss and demonstrate the capabilities and benefits of this combination CNC lathe, which can be seen above.

For further information, contact:

Mike Berry, 600 UK Managing Director
Philip Cullen, 600 Group Marketing Manager

Tel: +44 (0) 1924 415000