At its busy open house in High Wycombe during December 2016 and in the immediate aftermath, Hurco Europe took orders for 12 vertical machining centres to the value of £800,000. The company welcomed 70 engineers from 50 manufacturing companies from the OEM and subcontracting sectors during the two-day show.
The event cemented a solid start to the current financial year, beginning 1st November, since when over 70 orders have been booked, double the number compared with the same period last year.
Managing director David Waghorn said, “trading was quiet in the run-up to Brexit, but business has picked up strongly since late summer and it looks set to continue into 2017. Our 2015/16 turnover was just short of £20 million, the fifth successive year it has been very close to that figure.
“We launched our new, entry-level VM5i machining centre in September and sold 10 before our open house, which helped to boost turnover in both financial years.
“The proportion of new companies buying Hurco equipment in 2015/16 was just over 40 percent, similar to the last five years, which is the reason we have been able to sustain our business growth.”
A further explanation for the near-record level of trading last year was the sale of five German-built Roeders 5-axis machining centres with automation into the UK and Ireland under a sole agency agreement. Virtually all models in the Roeders machining centre range can be equipped with jig grinding at 90,000 rpm. The option is creating considerable interest presently in the motorsport and automotive sectors.
Sales of Hurco’s own 5-axis machining centres are also holding up well, with the VMX42SRTi and VMX60SRTi B-axis models with flush rotary table proving most popular, although trunnion-type configurations are preferred for some applications.
Hurco’s large, high-value DCX bridge-type machining centres have contributed well to the bottom line. Mr Waghorn advised that a 5-axis variant of the DCX32 is currently being installed and announced that a DCX62 with 6.2 metre X-axis is now available, built to order. There are over 20 DCX-series machines operational in the UK.
Another factor that raised turnover in 2016 was a propensity for customers to enhance their machine specification with, for example, extra rotary axes, higher spindle speeds, full swarf management, through-tool coolant and probing for parts and tools.
Hurco has been selling machining centres for the whole year with its latest MAX 5 control system, which has proved highly popular. Running the latest WinMAX 10 software, it is ideal for conversational programming of 5-sided and 4th axis rotary cutting cycles, but also handles all of the latest ISNC codes required to run simultaneous 5-axis programs.
Unlike previously, a customer can take delivery of a VM-series machining centre with a single-screen MAX control and upgrade it later to a twin-screen version with the addition of a hinged, 19-inch LCD screen, as supplied with VMX- and DCX-series machines. The operator can then view an image of the part as the cycle is being built up conversationally or monitor a machining process while the next job is being programmed.
Products and services from a larger number of partner companies than ever were promoted at the open house. They included workholding equipment suppliers 1st MTA and Roemheld, probing systems firm Renishaw, tooling suppliers Horn, Kyocera SGS, Dormer Pramet, Gewefa and Coventry Engineering, tool presetter company Zoller, CNC bar feed firm Hydrafeed, filtration equipment specialist Filtermist, CADCAM solution providers Autodesk, Edgecam and Open Mind, Erowa automation system agent REM Systems, Anotronic with its new River 3 EDM drill, Finance For Industry and Cromwell, a supplier of cutting tools, abrasives and power tools as well as products for factory maintenance and repair.