Here, Bruno Schmitter
(left) discusses the new machine concept with an attendee.
According to Hydromat's president and CEO, Bruno Schmitter, "The idea for the Icon was conceived about 2 years ago.
I looked at the marketplace for a productive and flexible multi-spindle machining center, and when I could not find any viable offerings, I decided to build the Icon
to fill that void in the market."
, a new division within Hydromat
, was formed to focus on offering a new twist on the rotary transfer concept with the Icon
6-250 flexible machining center.
But don't mistake this machine for a highly dedicated, inflexible transfer line.
"The design intent for this machine is to provide a multi-spindle, horizontal and vertical machining center based on proven concepts and components," Mr. Schmitter
"Except for tooling, in most cases the machine's flexible design does not need to be re-configured for each machining application.
Further, flexibility comes from the use of Fanuc standard programming, standard tooling, and fixturing that is typical of any horizontal machining center.
"The niche for the Icon
is production work from 500 pieces-plus in all manufacturing segments," Mr. Schmitter
formed a staff to put his
vision into action.
"An engineering team was created who looked at various solutions to accomplish the requirements and specifications," he
The new design team was tasked with creating a plan that left little, or no, wasted floor space.
The result is a design that can open up areas that otherwise would be gobbled up by a multi-machine system.
The four machining stations are enveloped by a self-supporting machine base and frame weldment constructed of 50-mm thick steel plates that some may describe as 'overkill.' "The machine frame is a solid weldment engineered and optimized with finite element analysis software to provide an accurate and solid structure for the machining units," Mr. Schmitter
initial market research concluded that undersized coolant systems were a source of some issues for those shops doing quantity jobs.
The new machine was designed with production runs in mind.
is confident that his
machine will fill a particular gap.
"The market has helped itself with single-spindle stand-alone solutions, but in many cases, a higher production throughput is required to be competitive in the world market.
We believe the Icon
is able to deliver this need," he