The Robots aren’t taking over, they’re just helping out.

Ten reasons for metal companies to invest in robot technology in 2018

Wouter van Halteren, the founder of HALTER CNC Automation, asks himself every day how machining companies can efficiently produce small and medium-sized series. HALTER CNC Automation develops standard plug-and-play loading robots, which automatically load CNC machines.

Automation is no longer a theme

“The automation of CNC machines is entering a new phase. The question is no longer whether to automate, but rather how companies are going to apply automation. It is just as it was in the nineteen-eighties when companies had to decide between conventional machines and CNC machines. The turning point meant that only CNC machines were sold. The same things are now going to happen with automation”, explained Wouter van Halteren.

Investigation: “The drawbacks are being overcome in continuously better ways thanks to clever solutions”

HALTER CNC Automation investigated the reasons for investing in robot technology. Wouter van Halteren gives a short explanation of the investigation: “We investigated the reasons metal companies have to invest in CNC automation and saw that the drawbacks are being overcome in continuously better ways thanks to clever standard solutions. Plug-and-play solutions mean that you no longer require a robot specialist that tackles that particular drawback. The uncertainty in supply chains is also no longer an issue. CNC loading robots can be adjusted quickly and easily and can be used for a wide variety of tasks. Loading robots are not linked to a specific product. It is also interesting to mention the changing view on automation. Companies sometimes see loading robots as an accessory for CNC machines, which should not cost the same as the machine itself. We see that an increasing number of companies are doing the sums: which investment must be made and what is the return?”
The investigation carried out by HALTER CNC Automation found metal companies invest in automation for the following reasons:
  • Lack of staff

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find the right staff. The influx of skilled craftsmen is not meeting the needs of machining companies, and this forces companies to look for alternatives.
  • Utilization of machine capacity

It is absolutely necessary to utilize a machine’s capacity to the fullest. Machines are becoming increasingly complex and more expensive and that investment must be recovered. Achieving more spindle hours makes the machine pay for itself more quickly. After all, CNC loading robots can be used outside of normal working hours.
  • The number of different CNC loading robots available

There are more than enough different CNC loading robots available to offer every company a suitable solution. The number of standard concepts has drastically increased. Standard concepts make investing in the automation of CNC machines a lot more interesting cost- wise.
  • No need for robot specialists

The automation of CNC machines has not only become more affordable but, also more user- friendly. It is no longer necessary to employ your own robot specialists. With the latest generation of loading robots, such as the HALTER LoadAssistant, it only takes a couple of minutes to configure the robot for a new series.
  • Plug-and-play and immediately a greater return

An increasing number of automation solutions are plug-and-play. The implementation process is short and the systems are immediately able to get a greater return from the CNC machines, which make the investment in the automation of CNC machines not only cheaper but, also more attractive.
  • Versatile loading robots

Loading robots can be configured quickly and easily and can be used for a wide variety of workpieces. It is no longer necessary to wait for a long-term contract to justify investing in a CNC loading robot. In the past, companies waited for a long-term contract which guaranteed that the investment in CNC automation would be cost-effective. The versatile nature of the current generation of loading robots means that companies have the freedom to invest in the automation of their CNC machines right now.
  • Financial institutions see the advantages of automation

Financial institutions are, by now, used to the concept of CNC automation. As a result, it is much easier for companies to finance the investment. More than that, financial institutions see the advantages of the automation of CNC machines and even encourage such investment. It is a good time to take advantage of these trends and developments.
  • The CNC loading robot is a friend, not a threat

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 1.28.10 PMEmployees no longer see the loading robot as a threat. The repetitive and heavy work is taken over by the robot so that the operator can concentrate on the work preparations. Plug-and-play solutions have played a crucial role in this development and the loading robot has become a welcome aid.
  • Willingness to invest in CNC automation

The return from investments is examined critically by machining companies. The investment amount is not the only aspect which is looked at. The profitability and the payback period also play a crucial role in the decision-making process. The automation of CNC machines has a short payback period thanks to the quick implementation, which increases the willingness to invest in CNC automation. The lack of competent staff is another practical aspect which influences the willingness to invest in CNC loading robots and automation.
  • Rather automate than expand

The investment in CNC machines results in greater returns. These days, an increasing number of companies are choosing to invest in automating their existing machines instead of buying new machines.

For more information on robotic load and unload systems to fit any machine tool please contact us


Compact Turning Center

This is the Toyoda-Takisawa NEX-105 high-performance turning center.  Although it takes up very little floor space, it is a very productive little machine.  It comes standard with a 6″ Chuck, 1.7″ Bar Capacity and can turn up to a 6.7″ Diameter Part.  The spindle turns at 6,000 rpm and has 10 HP to cut hard materials with ease.  The base structure is a one-piece casting with Linear Roller Bearing Guideways, and in total weighs almost 6,ooo lbs.  If this kind of machine interests you come by our


place, we have one on the floor for you to see.  By the way, it’s under $50k and comes standard with a 12 Station ATC, Chip Conveyor,  and a Parts Catcher.


50th Anniversary Celebration

In 1968, Mr. Roch and E.L. Humston formed Hurco to design products that would make job shops more productive, efficient, and profitable. Today, we are able to continue that mission due to a foundation of continuous innovation that was set 50 years ago. Along the way, loyal customers, industry partners, dedicated employees, and many forward-thinking leaders exhibited the grit and fortitude necessary for us to succeed.
Please join us March 6th as we honor the accomplishments of the past 50 years and celebrate a future that is bright!

Solid Models into Solid Parts

After years of research at the HURCO Center of Machining Technology Advancement in Indianapolis, Indiana, they are releasing a huge advancement for solid model and 3D DXF users.  The HURCO control is now capable of importing a solid model or a 3D DXF and then creating a conversational program from that model.  All it takes is a couple of clicks on the feature you want to machine, tell the machine what tool you want to use, and then hit the green button.  Please watch the video for an actual demo.

Kärcher North America

Foothills congratulates Kärcher North Americas R&D lab on their acquisition of a new HURCO VM10i!

Kärcher North America is the leading manufacturer of commercial, industrial and consumer cleaning equipment in North America. They are one of the largest subsidiaries of the Kärcher Group with over 1,150 employees in seven locations (including four manufacturing facilities). In North America, Kärcher is producing and distributing products and services under the brands Kärcher, Windsor Kärcher Group, Landa Kärcher Group, Hotsy, Water Maze, Spraymart, Cuda Kärcher Group, and Shark.

A world leader in the production of hot and cold water pressure washers, Kärcher North America’s extensive line includes over 100 different industrial and commercial pressure washers. Their commercial and industrial grade, floor-cleaning equipment features innovative cleaning solutions. Kärcher North America’s wash-water treatment and dry ice cleaning systems provide unique cleaning alternatives in a variety of applications.

Stoney Neal, happily learning how to probe!



Foothills Machinery Sales is happy to introduce Cole E. Young, Owner/Engineer of Long Pines Design in Centennial Colorado and congratulate him on his journey into entrepreneurship and the acquisition of a new HURCO VM10i.  Cole graduated from Montana State University in 2009 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology.  After graduation he and his wife, also an engineer, relocated to Denver where he began his career.  Over the next eight years Cole gained experience in product design, development, machining, and various other manufacturing skills, along with the leadership skills needed to give him the confidence and wherewithal to venture out on his own.

Please check out his website at:

Please also subscribe to his YouTube channel at:



Sneak Preview

Toyoda/Takisawa has announced the release of the MX-800 High Production Turning Center.  It will have two identical spindles with 2.5″ Bar Capacity and Twin 30 Station Y-Axis Turrets.  This combination will allow you to use hundreds of tool combinations for complex parts and quick change over times.   Artboard 1