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Machine Tool Museum and Machine Shop Gets Heidenhain Donations

A Northeastern U.S. museum is getting a pair of old and new machine tools added to its collection thanks to a donation from Schaumburg, Ill. Based Heidenhain, manufacturer of precision measurement and control equipment.

This summer The American Precision Museum (www.americanprecision.org) received a 1980s Bridgeport 9x48 Series One mill and a new Acu-Rite MILLPWR 3 control, a Heidenhain product.

The museum is located in Windsor, Vt. within the 1846 Robbins & Lawrence Armory where the concept of interchangeable parts was borne. It gives visitors a look into the history of early machines and their impact on society. Besides the largest collection of static historic machine tools in the nation, APM also houses a Working Machine Shop section where now nine pieces of equipment are demonstrated.

“This new huge variable speed machine given to us by Heidenhain (www.heidenhain.com) is a game-changer for us,” said Ann Lawless, APM executive director. “This significant addition helps us showcase the old with the new.” The machines were delivered to APM this summer along with Heidenhain Product Specialist Danny Vitullo, who dedicated a week in July to setup and training the summer interns, local high school students primarily from the River Valley Technical Center (RVTC).  RVTC (Springfield, VT) is in its fourth year of partnering with the museum.

APM’s Working Machine Shop houses equipment ranging from a 1890s hand-operated shaper to a 1990s 3-axis table-top CNC mill for light machines, says Chris Gray, instructor of the RVTC’s Mechanical Design and Innovation Program,  “Thanks to Danny’s work, the Bridgeport operates like a brand new machine.  It’s a real pleasure to operate a vertical mill where everything is tight and really accurate.  The students have worked through the tutorials included in the Acu-Rite control manual and now easily run several of those parts.”

Rick Korte, president of Heidenhain Corporation, added, “We enthusiastically support the efforts of APM and are proud to be members of such a significant and historically strong representation of precise manufacturing and the Industrial Revolution. The many technological advancements we enjoy today are due to the development of machine tools of yesterday, and there’s no end in sight.  Our donation to this museum helps showcase just one more aspect.” 

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