Our old milling machine has been in the training workshop for more than 40 years. It has always done its job and lots of apprentices have used it for milling, even though it hasn’t been the latest model for a number of years now. We decided to continue using it until it suffered some kind of technical defect.
As the machine became technically outdated and the costs of repair became too high, it was decided that the training workshop needed a new milling machine. It should have approximately the same dimensions as the old one and be suitable for the tests made by industrial mechanics, mechatronics engineers, and process engineers. As a result, a conventional milling machine from the Austrian company Emco was selected.
When, after a long waiting time, the delivery date was eventually fixed. Everyone was delighted, and we made the initial preparations. The new milling machine was to arrive between 9:00 and 9:30, so we had enough time before this to remove our old faithful milling machine. In order to move this, we needed hydraulic jacks and castor trolleys, including one with a pole to steer it. We gathered these the day before so that we, the second year industrial mechanics apprentices, and the first year mechatronics engineering apprentices, could start promptly on the following day.
Problems with the transport of the Emco milling machine
The milling machines in the training workshop are fixed to plates using screws so that they stay in place when in use. Armin Holzinger, our mechanics trainer, lent us his support and supervised our attempts at making the machine transportable. We decided to lift it up using hydraulic jacks. First we positioned them on both sides, but we soon found out that the milling machine wobbled too much, so we positioned them at the front and rear. We placed wood underneath until the machine was at the right height. We could then place the castor trolleys underneath and lower the machine onto them.
We had to take the old milling machine into the stamping shop on to the loading ramp so it could be scrapped. So we set off.
There were a few hindrances such as doors, slight inclines and uneven floors in the stamping shop. The floor there consists of metal plates with recesses. As a result, the milling machine slipped on the rear castor trolley. A stamping shop employee was to help us move it onto the ramp, so he got a fork lift truck and two pieces of wood. Together we took the machine to the ramp, placed it on the two pieces of wood and then, finally, the first part of our task was finished.
Everything has a hook – except the new milling machine
A short time later the new milling machine was delivered. It stood on the floor in front of the ramp in the stamping shop where the lorries normally are. We were given the task of unpacking it so it could be lifted onto the ramp with an overhead crane. After the packaging had been removed we saw the new machine for the first time. It was painted red and white and was not particularly large, but perfect for what we needed.
Then we noticed that the new milling machine did not have a hook to enable us to lift it with the crane, just holes for shafts. So we got hold of two shafts in order to transport the machine using the fork lift truck. First it was lifted onto the ramp and then driven to the training workshop on a smaller fork lift. The employees in the stamping shop were very kind and lifted the machine into place. Nevertheless, it was still standing at an angle. Then we thought about how we could get it into the correct position. Finally the fork lift driver managed to move the milling machine into exactly the position required by our apprentices and we then fixed it to the floor.
Here’s to the next 40 years!
In the end, we were pleased that everything went well and the new milling machine was in the right place. We hope that this one will also stay in the training workshop for at least 40 years, and that lots apprentices, will use it for milling.