New Harrison Alpha Lathe helps to keep water on top
The never-ending 24/7 demand for reliable supply of water was a contributor to the choice of a new Harrison Alpha XS CNC combination lathe for the workshops of Goldenfields Water County Council.
The Council, based in in Temora, around 400 kilometres south of Sydney in the heart of the grain-growing area of New South Wales recently moved into its new purpose-built workshop, where it has installed a mixture of existing and newly-acquired equipment needed to build and maintain a huge network of reservoirs, pump stations and pipelines that deliver water to customers throughout the region.
Mechanical Co-ordinator, Shane Baldry, identified the need for a manual/CNC combination lathe, and worked together with the management team at Temora, along with engineers from 600 Machine Tools, to identify the right machine configuration to deal with the current and projected workload of the workshop.
“We had several long-serving machines in our former workshop,” he said, “and the construction of a new purpose-built facility was an appropriate time to evaluate what we were going to need in the future.”
Mr Baldry explained that the Council supplied water to customers in an area of more than 22,000 square kilometres, requiring a huge network of piping, along with hundreds of valves and actuators.
Additionally, there are many pumps – in five water supply sources – requiring maintenance, ranging from 10 to 400 litres per second.
In addition to Mr. Baldry, there are three fitters and two apprentices – soon to be three – all needing to use a lathe at various times. This makes flexibility absolutely essential, and the new machine needed to switch quickly from being a centre-lathe to full CNC.
“After studying the options, it was decided that the Harrison Alpha 1550XS would meet our requirements,” he said. The Alpha 1550XS chosen by Goldenfields has a swing-over bed of 554 mm, a 15 kW motor, spindle speeds up to 2000 rpm, and a spindle bore of 104 mm. The spindle nose is a D1-11 Camlock.
The XS CNC combination lathe range is designed for fast, high-quality repeatability, accuracy and surface finish to exacting toolroom accuracy standards (DIN 8605), which ultimately significantly reduces component production costs.
It was supplied by 600 Machine Tools, a member of the UK-based 600 Group, which comprises – among others – Harrison and Colchester lathes, a range of powerful machine tools from Clausing of the USA, Pratt Burnerd workholding systems, Gamet Bearings, and Tykma Electrox laser marking machines.
Sales manager, Sydney-based Steve Drummond, said: “The machine we have configured and supplied is a big lathe, with three metres between centres.
“However, despite the generous machining capacity and size of the Alpha, the latest Fanuc OiTD control ensures that operators can approach this machine with confidence, due to its ease of use and simplicity of operation.”
With regard to manual operation, he added: “Even if you haven’t used a lathe since your schooldays, you could walk up to an Alpha XS now and start cutting metal.”
The Alpha manual/CNC combination lathe range is the simplest flat-bed CNC lathe on the market. The range includes the 2-axis XS range and the NEW 3-axis XC range, with models covering swing-over bed lengths from 330 mm up to 1000 mm, and bed lengths of up to six metres.