Taking advantage of the relaxation of COVID restrictions over the summer, Hurco Europe was one of the first machine tool businesses to schedule an autumn open house exhibition, which took place on 6th and 7th October.
“It was great to welcome everyone back to our facility,” said managing director David Waghorn. “Nothing can substitute for meeting people face to face. As efficient as Teams and Zoom calls are, they really can’t replace standing in front of a machine and watching it cut metal.”
It would appear that the Hurco customer community agreed. Visitor numbers and pre-registrations were the best to date at the new demonstration facility, which opened in 2019. In excess of 100 people from more than 60 companies attended over the two days.
The show marked the launch of the new VM ONE, a super-compact entry-level machining centre that replaces the VM5i. It is small enough to fit through a two-metre high doorway, as well as having plenty of power and increased travels.
On show also for the first time in the UK was the BX60i portal machine that maintains dynamic stability and accuracy despite having large X and Y axis travels. It is ideal for manufacturing large mould tools, press tools or aerospace components.
Interest was generated by two automation solutions. Many engineering businesses are looking at ways of maximising operator productivity in order to remain competitive.
Anticipating a shortage of skilled workers in the future, there were many discussions regarding the suitability of the various automation possibilities. The Hurco ProCobot Profeeder and Erowa Robot Compact 80 on show offer different benefits, depending upon application. This type of event is ideal for comparing options and formulating plans.
Mr Waghorn added: “A track and trace questionnaire was completed by all visitors and masks and hand sanitisers were available, but otherwise it felt like a completely normal open house.
"It has given us confidence to begin planning our traditional Christmas event, which will take place on 7th and 8th December. It will include our customary supplier's village, allowing visitors to meet up to 15 suppliers of services and ancillary equipment associated with their machine tool.”
Anticipating that normal operating conditions will have returned by 2022, Hurco has already started planning the layout of its stands at MACH and Southern Manufacturing next year.
Additionally, the company has begun a recruitment drive to add engineers to the service team ahead of planned product releases.