The Revolution Blog

‘Tis the season for bigger, better wheels

Tuesday, Nov 21, 2023

Christmas has come a little early to Hamilton, now that we have two brand new, state-of-the-art vertical lathes that are poised to power productivity, lessen lead times and catapult our commitment to delivering the largest heavy-duty wheels on the planet. Part of the Puma V Series from Ellison Technologies, these new twins represent Hamilton’s latest capex since our machining center.

Just before the new machines’ arrival, our Operations Manager escorted the oldest of our Okuma LU-45s out to the pasture with shotgun in tow (Actually, we moved it to another building, and we’ll keep it for emergencies. lol). The old Okuma dog was replaced by the new vertical twins that function more like the majority of our other cellular work cells that incorporate one-piece flow and integrates other manufacturing operations. These new machines live side by side as one “cell” and purr like kittens even under the most intense cutting conditions. The vertical lathe on the left side has two axis and can perform at 3x the cut speed of our old Okuma while the high productivity vertical turning center on the right side can handle all our high-precision live tooling and milling needs. We are thrilled to have this new asset in our operation.

How does this make our lives—and, more importantly, yours—all the merrier?

  • Three words: Big wheels fast.These colossal kitties can machine more diverse wheels up to 25 inches in diameter.
  • Shorter lead times.Thanks to features that minimize downtime like improved chip removal to prevent clogs and an automatic tool changer, Hamilton parts can be made faster—including our standard wheels—so we can get you what you need quicker. Also, we can now machine 100% of our Ultra Maxi Duty Caster series in house (as opposed to 80% previously).
  • Better quality.Ultra-precision tooling and milling means more accurate parts.
  • Less Labor.The ability of the new lathes to work in tandem simultaneously will reduce our labor needs by an estimated 40 percent.
  • Smaller footprint.At a mere 9-3/8 ft wide each, these vertical lathes free up floor space in the shop for additional future expansion.

Oh, and fun fact: It takes 17,000 lines of code to program these lathes to run correctly.

But that’s the elves’ work.

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