24 Years, 125,000 CNCs

Feb. 9, 2012
Haas marks milestone shipment for its U.S.-built machining centers
The latest Haas CNC VF-1 vertical machining center has 20 × 16 × 20 in. travels (508 × 406 × 508 mm); 40 taper; 30-hp (22.4-kW) vector drive; 8,100 rpm, inline direct-drive, 20-station carousel tool changer; 1,000 ipm (25.4 m/min) rapids; 1 MB program memory; a 15-in. color LCD monitor; USB port; memory lock keyswitch; rigid tapping, and a 55-gallon (208-liter) flood coolant system.

California-based Haas Automation Inc. built its reputation by developing high-quality machine tools, building them domestically, and delivering them affordably. When it introduced its VF-1 vertical machining center in 1988 it was available for just under $50,000 — “a price unheard of at the time,” Haas said recently.

Recently, Haas reported it has produced the 125,000th Haas CNC machine tool, a 2012 VF-1 vertical machining center that will be delivered to a shop in The Philippines.

In addition to vertical machining centers, Haas Automation designs and builds horizontal machining centers, CNC lathes, and rotary products. It also has various specialty machines available, including 5-axis machining centers, moldmaking machining centers, toolroom machines, and gantry routers.

All Haas products are built in the company’s 1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Southern California, and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets (HFOs) that provide the industry’s best sales, service and support.

While the original VF-1 was the model that launched the Haas legacy nearly 25 years ago, the new edition is a far more technically advanced design that demonstrates how far Haas Automation has progressed. The original machine featured 20 × 16 × 20 in. travels, a 7.5-hp (peak) spindle motor, speeds up to 5,000 rpm, brush-style servomotors on all axes, 480-ipm rapids, and a 16-tool ATC. Its Haas CNC control had 128 K of program memory, and a maximum processing speed of 20 blocks per second. Additional options were essentially non-existent.

Haas said the current VF-1 “is easily 10 times the machine as its 1988 namesake.” It still has travels of 20 × 16 × 20 in., but now it offers a 30-hp (peak) spindle with a high-performance vector drive, speeds to 8,100 rpm standard, brushless servos on all axes, 1,000-ipm rapids, and a 20-tool ATC. The current Haas CNC control offers 1 MB of program memory (eight times more than in 1988) and provides processing speeds up to 1,000 blocks per second (or 50 times faster than in 1988.)

Numerous high-productivity options are available for these base-model details, Haas stated.

The machine builder made a particular point about the value of its new machine: the first Haas VF-1 had a suggested retail price of $49,900 (equivalent to $94,880 now, adjusted for inflation), while the 2012 VF-1 lists for $45,995 (about $24,190 in 1988 dollars.)

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)

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