Sponsoring a sprint-car is a win-win deal for Shelton Machinery and tooling manufacturer-Techniks.
Motor plates and bird cages are two of the sprint-car parts Andy Hurtubise runs as demos in Shelton Machinery's showroom.
As part of his applicationsengineering job at Shelton Machinery in Fishers, Ind., Andy Hurtubise runs part demonstrations on Mazak machine tools in the company's showroom. But instead of the typical demo parts that usually have no real purpose and that customers often take home as paper weights, Hurtubise showcases machine capabilities by manufacturing usable components for the Kent Christian sprint car, which Shelton sponsors.
Shelton sells and services Mazaks, along with toolholders from Techniks, located in Indianapolis and also a Kent Christian sprint-car sponsor. When machining race-car parts, Hurtubise often relies on Techniks CAT-40 ER collet chucks with special Power Coat nuts. These, he says, hold tools tight and rigid for better surface finishes and long tool life.
Demo runs are short (typically 6 to 12 pieces), involving a variety of cutters, and the ER chucks make for fast toolchanges and short setup times. The precision-ground chucks deliver maximum accuracy with 0.0001-in. runout measured from the tool taper to collet pocket. Techniks balances these holders to 18,000 rpm and provides lab-inspection reports with every one.
In Shelton's showroom on a Variaxis 630-5X 5-axis Mazak machine, Hurtubise machines such parts as motor plates, wheel pressure plates, and what is referred to as bird cages. Sprint-car motors mount to motor plates, which are made from magnesium to reduce weight and maintain strength — sprint cars pack 800-hp motors and weight just 1,200 lb.
Racing is in Hurtubise's family's blood. His father Jim raced with the likes of A.J. Foyt and broke the Indianapolis Speedway track record in 1960 as a rookie. While Andy has also raced sprint cars, his son Daniel at age 6 currently dominates in quarter-midget sprint-car racing, which is what the wheel pressure plates are for. These plates, made of titanium, keep wheel bolts from digging into and damaging the car's aluminum wheels.
Hurtubise also makes bird cages for his son's racer and plans to cut larger versions from solid billets for the Kent Christian car using the Mazak 5-axis and Techniks tooling. A sprint car's brakes, radius rods, and shocks mount to these bird cages.