Hurco’s conversational programming software WinMax is significantly improving production in the machine shop of Schivo Group in Waterford on the south coast of Ireland. Recently two Hurco VMX30t vertical machining centres (VMCs) have been added to the subcontract machine shop and compared with a VMX42 installed in 2004, the latest machines are 50 per cent more productive, due to the increased functionality the WinMax software.

The earlier model, which complemented manual-tool-change mills on site, was equipped with touch probing to speed workpiece set-up and boost productivity. It added machining capacity and high metal removal capability for manufacturing mainly medical devices and instruments in batches of typically 10 to 50.

Jack Lyng, technical director of Schivo Precision, said the success of the VMX42 prompted the purchase of the new machining centres. Now, the programming software in the proprietary Ultimax twin-screen control has been upgraded to Windows-based WinMax, which is considerably more capable and speeds conversational programming.

Schivo programmer, Conrad Nolte reports that having WinMax has increased production output by speeding the cycles. What previously took 30 minutes to machine now takes, say, 20 minutes – a massive difference over a large batch.

Operators have now rewritten most of the old Hurco programs using the new software to speed the cycles on the VMX30t machines, while the VMX42 has been retrofitted with WinMax to gain productivity benefits.