Did you know that an ACU-RITE MILLPWR G2 control is in use by the USA Olympic Luge organization in Park City, Utah? Put into use last year, this G2 is helping in the process in making parts and components for the USA’s sleds used to fly down racing chutes all over the world!
“In our workshop, I make a lot of parts, that make the parts, that make the parts for our team sleds,” explained Jon Owen, Technical Director for the USA Luge Association (www.usaluge.org) in Utah. “I also make a lot of jigs and workholding pieces needed for our processes, as well as parts directly for the sleds. That’s the machining world.”
Owen has a special love for USA Luge, since prior to becoming a staff member for the USA Luge Association about 20 years ago, he himself was a member of the 1988 Olympic Team that competed in Calgary, Canada. “That was a thrilling experience,” said Owen. “Luge is a special sport; incredible precision is needed at all levels.”
And precision truly is the name of the game. “Racing is very precise, as is our equipment,” explained Owen who adds that his Utah facility operates a Luge track, handles training and equipment, as support to the national organization in Lake Placid, NY. “In USA Luge, we are timed to thousandths of a second. When you are talking thousandths of a second, thousandths of an inch matter too.
“So many of our parts need to be extremely precise, and while our donated Republic Lagun milling machine was working great in our workshop for the past few years, it was only manual. After further discussions, ACU-RITE donated a MILLPWR G2 control to add to it, and Republic Lagun generously retrofitted it for us last year. We so appreciate the help we receive from our sponsors. Without them, we couldn’t do all that we do.”
With the retrofitted machine control, Owen can now do more. “What I really like about this G2 is that, with it, I can very easily switch back and forth between manual work and some CNC. Once we got it in-house, it was quick to learn, as it is very intuitive with on-machine programming. I can now do complex mold work which requires 3D machining. Also, we can now do rapid prototyping in-house!
“One of my favorite features on the G2 is the ‘Teach’ feature. This eliminates head calculations and possible error, and speeds up the process. I use that a lot! All is working great!”