Entry to advanced: A machinist’s career growth via ACU-RITE

entry to advancedEducation and training are essential and unending in the world of manufacturing. Whether just beginning training or being a seasoned machinist, it’s crucial to keep skills up-to-date and to adapt to advancing manufacturing technologies.

With the right training and tools, manufacturers can unlock the ability to run more advanced machines and achieve greater success in their field. The ACU-RITE product catalog allows learners to grow into and layer on more advanced features as they master the basics.

Richard Brown, Machine Tool Instructor at Horry-Georgetown Technical College, shared his perspective on progressive product training at the college:

“The program actually takes you from the foundational skills all the way through completion of programming CNC” … “Here we feel like you need the foundational skills so that if something goes wrong with the program, you know how to adjust it. ACU-RITE is good to teach on because it gives the student, right in their face, what’s happening as they’re moving the dials. Once they get that, you no longer see them watching the dials. You see them just watching the screen and they know exactly where it’s at when they’re cutting the parts.”

You can support a machinist’s career path, from entry-level to advanced, by pairing the trainee with various products in the ACU-RITE catalog. Let’s step through the sample progressive product training below.

Entry-Level: Manual Input Systems

One of the first steps in manufacturing education is gaining experience with manual machine tools. This entry-level exposure allows individuals to learn the fundamentals of machining, including tool selection, work holding, and toolpath creation. 

For trainees newer to manufacturing, ACU-RITE offers a range of entry-level manual input systems that are ideal for shop classes, production environments, and small shops. The DRO100, DRO203, DRO300, and droPWR are digital readout systems that allow users to quickly and accurately measure workpiece dimensions. The TURNPWR and MILLPWRG2 systems are CNC retrofit packages that can be added to existing manual machine tools to enable CNC capabilities. By mastering these manual input systems first, trainees will establish a foundational understanding of basic machine functions. 

Garret Parker, Department Head of Computer-Integrated Machining at Randolph Community College, shared his experience using ACU-RITE controls in his classroom:

“The ACU-RITE control is a perfect match for students. The layout of the control is very user-friendly. The students can quickly go to the control for the first time, understand how the control works, what it’s supposed to do, and they can very quickly pick up and write a simple program to be able to produce a part.”

Intermediate: Interactive Conversational Programming for Three-Axis Machining

As you gain experience with manual machine tools, you unlock your ability to run more advanced machines.

Beyond the basics, the MILLPWRG2 and TURNPWR are excellent systems for intermediate users who want to upgrade their milling or turning machine. With interactive conversational programming, MILLPWRG2 and TURNPWR allow users to easily create toolpaths without needing advanced programming skills. These systems are also compatible with the Bridge Adapter, which allows for a seamless transition to HEIDENHAIN controls.

Advanced: Complex Tool Paths and Automated Processes

Simply put, more technology typically translates to more training.

For advanced machinists, HEIDENHAIN controls are the future of manufacturing technology, offering an outstanding user experience and putting new possibilities at their fingertips. These CNC controls are intuitive, task-focused, and customizable. ACU-RITE and HEIDENHAIN offer a range of systems that allow users to upgrade their manual machine tools to enable CNC capabilities.

Next Steps for Educators

If you are an educator, we invite you to tour the ACU-RITE Technology Education Center located in Schaumburg, IL. Our product experts can guide you through the progressive product training technologies to equip your training center. 

We also encourage you to take advantage of our School Discount Program, offering deep discounts on select controls and DROs to schools with precision metalworking and vocational programs. 

Today, ACU-RITE has partnerships with many educational facilities throughout the United States. Brandon Hasdeldon, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs/Dean of Horry-Georgetown, shared:

“Our partnership with ACU-RITE developed as we got into building these advanced manufacturing centers. ACU-RITE is an industry standard. The liability, the longevity, the accuracy of the systems are definitely there.” 

Next Steps for Trainees

If you are interested in training on any of the products or topics showcased above, the ACU-RITE Technology Education Center offers in-person and virtual training programs yearlong. You can view the 2023 Training Calendar here, and sign-up for upcoming classes here

To submit any additional questions regarding ACU-RITE’s progressive product training or School Discount Program, you can contact HCTraining@heidenhain.com.