(A plea to the machinists of the world...please skip the next few paragraphs!)
For the rest of us...
The first thing you should know is that a vertical milling machine is sort of like a drill press -- which has the ability to move the spindle that holds the "tool bits" up and down -- while at the same time, moving the table which holds the chunk of steel being machined left, right, in, and out from the machine body. All of the movements can be done simultaneously and with precision measured in thousandths of an inch.
Where a drill press can drill holes, a vertical milling machine makes holes, slots, and grooves on flat, curved, and irregular surfaces by feeding the workpiece against a rotating tool bit containing a number of cutting edges. In other words, the milling machine can make any part needed to make any machine.
The second thing you should know is that instead of an operator changing tool bits, moving the spindle up and down, and moving the table left, right, in, and out, a computer does the work based on a program written by the operator, hence the moniker "Computer Numerical Control" (CNC).
The third thing you should know is the CNC vertical milling machine can make unlimited identical parts, discrete parts, or one-off variations of a part ("Hey, I need the same part but can you move the groove 1 inch to the left, widen it a bit, and add a flange with three mounting holes on the right?") and have it done in a fraction of the time it would take a machinist to do it on a drill press, lathe, and grinder.
The last thing is that Hurco Companies, Inc. of Indianapolis, IN, was founded in 1968. They have maintained the same mission since founding: providing innovative products, software and CNC controls to help customers maximize productivity through reduced setup time and multi-tasking on the shop floor.
Anderson Tooling's Jim R. and Justin R. are mechanical and electronic/automation experts. They are in the process of training Shawn R. in the same field. Jim and Justin have been Midwest Central members for years, but just started volunteering around Ghost Train time last year....and yes, they are brothers! The three of them finalized the installation of the SLV-40 and the smaller BMC-20 this past weekend.
Jim R. performing some diagnostics at the Hurco BMC-20's control station. The BMC-20 arrived a few months ago and needed some additional tweaking.
Shawn R (left) watches while Justin R. continues the checkout of the SLV-40.
An unencumbered view of the SLV-40.