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Haas Automation is the largest machine tool builder in the western world, manufacturing a complete line of CNC vertical machining centers, horizontal machining centers, CNC lathes, and rotary products.
Gene Haas founded Haas Automation, Inc., in 1983 to manufacture economical and reliable machine tools. The company entered the machine tool industry with the first-ever, fully automatic, programmable collet indexer – a device used to position parts for machining with very high accuracy. The patented Haas 5C collet indexer was a huge success, and over the next four years, the company expanded its product line to include a wide selection of fully programmable rotary tables, rotary indexers, and machine tool accessories.
In 1987, Haas Automation began developing its first vertical machining center (VMC), a machine designed to perform such machining operations as milling, drilling, tapping, and boring. This machine, the VF-1, was introduced at a cost that was competitive with machine tools from offshore manufacturers. Employing the latest equipment and procedures for close-tolerance manufacturing, the first VF-1 prototypes were completed in 1988 and introduced at the International Machine Tool Show (IMTS 88) in Chicago, Illinois.
At that time, industry scholars and members of the trade press were skeptical that an American-made machining center could be sold for less than $50,000. Haas not only delivered on the price, but delivered the product, as well, something other manufacturers often were unable to do. Today, the Haas VF-1 still sells for less than $50,000, and in most instances, a customer’s machine can be delivered within just a few weeks of the initial order.
To ensure accuracy, Haas manufactures all critical components in-house using dedicated state-of-the-art CNC machine tools. The company’s 1.1-million-square-foot facility makes extensive use the latest lean manufacturing methods and just-in-time production practices to streamline production capabilities and reduce costs. This, combined with highly trained teams for electronics and mechanical assembly, allows Haas to control quality, cost, reliability, and availability. The resulting savings and increased quality are passed on to the customer in the form of lower prices and better products.
Of the nearly 300 chip-making machine tools in the Haas machine shop, more than two-thirds are Haas machines – proof positive that the company believes in its own products. To increase production capacity and capability, new manufacturing equipment is added constantly, allowing Haas to produce more parts more efficiently, and further reduce the cost of Haas products to the end user.
Today, Haas manufactures four major product lines: vertical machining centers (VMCs), horizontal machining centers (HMCs), CNC lathes, and rotary tables, as well as a number of large five-axis and specialty machines. All Haas products are manufactured at the company’s expansive facility in Oxnard, California – the largest, most modern machine tool manufacturing operation in the United States.