We are often asked, “Just how large of a retrofit can be done in my plant?”. Well, the pictures below show the conversion of a Manual Bullard Vertical Lathe with an 86″ diameter spindle.
Admittedly, this is a costly and time consuming retrofit, but the end result is a very productive machine; and for a small fraction of buying new.
We Start with a Good Machine
When Bullard built this machine in 1976 it was a "mean" machine. With an 86" spindle and over 65" of Z travel it had a terrific work capacity. And even after 30 years of service, the ways were still in great shape.
The problem was in the hydraulic axis drives and clumsy and limited (by today's standards) travel settings.
And Then We Make it Better
Our solution was to initially remove only one tool column from the machine to provide design data for the new Ball Screw replacements and AC servo motor mounts.
That way, during the lengthy mechanical fabrication time, the machine continued to provide service with the remaining tool column.
New Mechanical and Electrical Components
Total On-Site Assembly
With Proper Wiring
A New Lease on Life
The final result. A dual head Vertical Lathe CNC package. Each tool column is now an independent CNC lathe with true IPR feed control. Both Left and Right tools can be operated simultaneously, or either side can be parked and "shut-down" when not needed. Graphic tool path plotting on the CNC screen prior to actual cutting increases operator confidence and reduces set-up time.