Cycle Time Study - Hurco Ultimotion

One of the huge advantages of a Hurco is the architecture used in the control system. Not just the fact that the control is a full PC, but the way it is integrated into the control hardware. The servo’s, drive’s, amplifiers and all the components that make up the “motion control” are what would be called the “architecture.” On a Hurco it results in faster cycle times by around 30%. They print that directly into the brochures and on the quotes. They stand by it. I usually guarantee 20% knowing that I will beat it. Even though it is something well documented with plenty of YouTube videos to back it up, its hard to understand how. If its the same g-code on both machines and you do not change anything, use the same tools, how is it faster?

I was delighted with the chance to put the numbers to the test when the head of Hurco Engineering approached Gage Machine Tool with a cycle time study. They needed a customer with a new Haas VF2 to run a specific set of programs with no alterations for a comparison to a Hurco. I happened to have a customer close by that had a new Haas VF2SS and figured that would be a perfect fit. You can see a below what the part program looks like out of Hypermill. Hurco Germany had been tasked with making a set of programs for machining the sample part. The study was actually being done for a large potential customer in India. (programs are in metric)

hypermill program image.jpg

The way that Ultimotion works on the Hurco can be thought of as driving a sports car down a country road. The road curves up and down and around hills and you can only see so far ahead. You wish you could take the road at the posted limit of 60 MPH but you have to slow down for the curves otherwise your off the road and into a ditch. This is the way motion control works on every g-code CNC on the planet. Its called block look ahead. The control can only see so far in front of it and has to react as quickly as possible for the curves. The Hurco however has “infinite” block look ahead. Before the first tool is even cutting the control has read the entire program and knows the track better than Dale Earnhardt. On a g-code machine it has to slow down just a touch to make that curve, this does not happen on a Hurco. The graphic below shows how Ultimotion improves on a standard move from one location to another and can hit full rapids with a slight arc move. The graphic is drawn to exaggerate the arc and show how it is above the retract plane. There are simply fewer times that the machine has to stop and start. (6 versus 3)

Ultimotion Drilling Cycle Graphic.jpg

This becomes obvious when you look at the differences in cycle time below as compared on the Haas VF2SS and a Hurco VMX24.

Program 1 (21% reduction)

Haas: 49 min 59 sec
Hurco: 39 min 27 sec

Program 2 (7% reduction)

Haas: 1 min 35 sec
Hurco: 1 min 28 sec

Program 3 (39% reduction)

Haas: 41 min 41 sec
Hurco: 25 min 33 sec

Program 4
Was not needed

Program 5 (49% reduction)

Haas: 1 hour 14 min 59 sec
Hurco: 38 min 15 sec

Program 6 (40% reduction)

Haas: 2 hours 1 min 7 sec
Hurco: 1 hour 12 min 28 sec

The more complicated the geometry and the longer the cycle time is has some impact but that is not the whole story. By a percentage it would be better to look at it as a curve where you almost reach 50% reduction in cycle time. The geometry itself plays a role in how much time you save. If you think back to that country road it starts to make since.

A simple part that has a 3 minute cycle time on a g-code machine would see a small reduction in time on the Hurco, perhaps down to 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Maybe that’s trivial for a 5 part run? True, I’ll give you that. But if you can save say 15 seconds of run time or more on every single part you run for the whole year with out any effort on your part, what’s that add up to? Let’s look at some numbers since we are all numbers guys really.

15 seconds   X   1000 parts  =  15000 seconds  = 250 minutes  =  4.17 hours

I know you run more that 1000 parts a year on one machine but I’m being conservative. If we run the numbers again with something more like what a typical job shop run they would look like this;

6.5 hours of up time on a CNC Mill per day
5 minute average cycle time (IF this sounds slow or fast for your parts then change it)
78 parts per day
220 days of operation per year
17,160 parts in a year.

So that sounds high? How about we cut that in half for the sake of the argument. I don’t know about you but if my machine was only running 3.25 hours a day I would fire someone (and I have).

So that puts us at 8,580 parts a year off the machine.

If we stick to the 20% faster cycle time that’s a whole minute saved. On a Hurco it would be 4 minutes instead of 5 minutes. Run the equation again;

60 seconds   X   8,580 parts  =  514,800 seconds  = 8,580 minutes  =  143 hours

If you shop rate is 80/hr (seems kinda low) then you just saved $11,440 worth of production costs on all your parts. Even if you are just running the machine 3.25 hours a day. You can do the math and figure out how much you save if you run your machines all day across two shifts, three.

If you want a personal demonstration of how this works you can download the g-code program yourself and run it on your machine. See the cycle time you get and then come look at it on a Hurco. You can do that at one of our showrooms or at one of our customers. Just give a call or send us an email.


Why Automate? How hard is it to actually do?

This is by far the easiest “machine” you will ever setup aside from a bench grinder. With a co-bot on your floor you can be setup and running your first automated cell in under an hour. Moving it from machine to machine for separate “tending” operations will take even less. Better yet, it costs less than one years pay for a guy who will, take long breaks, vape in front of your building and spend time on his phone arguing with someone instead of loading and unloading parts. ON TOP of that, it will work three shifts a day and never call in sick. What it will do, is text you automatically if does get stuck, and ask YOU to get it back to work. Do you have an employee that will do that??

Proudly Made in the USA


Select models of Hurco CNC machines are made in the USA with globally sourced components. At our facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, the VMX42i and VMX6030i are fully assembled by Hurco employees. The build team hand scrapes machined surfaces; grinds mounting and surface plates; aligns castings, ball screws, mechanical housings, rails, and tool changes; drills and taps assembly and mounting holes. Additionally, the Indy build team completes a comprehensive inspection and certification process for each machine.

Check it out on Hurco's website.



5 Big reasons to buys a Hurco

What are the main reasons you buy any machine? Do you buy the same type of machine as what you already have? Do you buy what your father always bought? Why do I keep buying those same crappy chips for Cinco de Mayo? Sometimes you need to step outside of the box you made for yourself and really questions why your doing what your doing. A better way may save you a ton of money, and make for a better Cinco de Mayo.  (I swear thats how you spell it, but I am reading it may-o)

Advanced Class - Fixture Plate Design 101

Last week we held our first ever online training course. That sounds really stupid, it's 2018, where the hell have we been since like 2005? Anyway, we got our first one in the can. It went really well with a total of 9 attendees by the time we got finished. There were a few guys who couldn't make it on but that's okay! Because we have it right here for everyone to watch, and re-watch. We would love to hear your feedback on the class either here, on youtube or just send us an email directly.

Most Loved CNC Control

Survey done by CNC CookBook, a website that receives 4 million visitors a year.

Survey done by CNC CookBook, a website that receives 4 million visitors a year.

Excerpt directly from there website. Results above.

CNC Control Customer Satisfaction: 2017

As in 2016, respondents were asked to report their Customer Satisfaction towards their control with the following responses:

  1. It Rocks! (Scored as 1.0)
  2. Works Fine (Scored as 0.0)
  3. Not Very Happy (Scored as -1)

A perfect score would therefore be 1.0, meaning every respondent said, “It Rocks!”

Customer Satisfaction Award, Pro Category: Hurco

Hurco ran away with it compared to the other controls, scoring 0.67.  In essence, that means 2/3’s of Hurco respondents said their control rocks.  I haven’t had the pleasure of using a Hurco control, but I know they have a lot of awesome features, especially in the area of Conversational CNC. One user remarked, “Extremely quick on-machine programming, especially for helix and thread mill operations.”

Accordingly, we’re awarding Hurco our Gold Customer Satisfaction Seal for 2017:


Find out more about the survey on

2017 goes out with a BANG!

The all new BX40Ui

The all new BX40Ui

Hurco has several machine "Specials" running for the next couple of weeks. Usually Hurco ships the last machines of the year by December 15th! So time is running out to get a new machine on your floor by year end. There are only a few machines of each of these models available. The following specials are running on a few select models. If there is a model you are looking for and do not see it, give us a call!

VM10HSi - 20,000 RPM Spindle, now $89,995.00
VMX24HSi - 18,000 RPM Spindle, now $108,495.00
VM10i - Max 5 Control - now, $57,995.00
VM20i - Max 5 Control - now, $74,295.00
VMX42SWi - CTS, Max 5 - now, $220,995.00
TMX8i - Max 5 Control - now, $92,995.00
TMM10i - Live Tooling Lathe with Tailstock, Presetter, Parts Catcher, now $117,195.00

Call or email Gage Machine Tool today to get your year-end deal!