The Reasons to Upgrade to a Wickman Multi-Spindle

July 5, 2016 - 1:54pm -- Noah Graff

Thinking of rebuilding your 6-spindle Acmes or New Britains? You ought to consider upgrading to a 6-spindle Wickman multi-spindle screw machine instead.

I.         The Wickman multi-spindle screw machine has superior accuracy to that of the ACME or New Britain machine.

On a Wickman it is not necessary to bore in-line attachments and end tool-slide holders to fit each individual machine. This means you can move attachments from one Wickman machine to another of the same size range and start making quality parts right away.

II.        The Wickman costs less to tool than an ACME or New Britain.

The Wickman requires no cams to change.  You adjust the throw of the machine by simply loosening two bolts and adjusting the ratio of the rise that you need.

By not having to buy cams for a Wickman, the cost savings can be significant. The comparison below demonstrates the considerable cost savings for not requiring cam replacement on a Wickman.

1-5/8" RB-6 ACME                                    1-3/4" -6 Wickman

Set End Tool slide Cams $680.00            No Cost

Set 6th Pos. Cams $370.00                      No Cost

Set 1st Pos. Cams $370.00                      No Cost

Set 2nd Pos. Cams $280.00                     No Cost

Set 3rd Pos. Cams $295.00                     No Cost

Set 4th Pos. Cams $295.00                     No Cost

Set 5th Pos. Cams $280.00                     No Cost

Set Upper Accelerated Cams $535.00     No Cost

Set 4” Feed Out Cams $610.00               No Cost

Total Cam Cost: $3,715.00                     $0.00

Also, storing the considerable supply of necessary cams for ACMES will decrease the manufacturing space in your shop, which could cost you more money.


III.      The Wickman machine is easier and faster to set up than an ACME or New Britain.

To install all of the cams listed above, it is necessary to remove 52 allen bolts for a completely new set up. Don’t believe it?  Count the bolts.  Don’t forget to count the four bolts on the cross slide covers and the two bolts on the cross slide split nuts.  Compare that to just 13 bolts on the Wickman that only need to be loosened, adjusted, and retightened.

Also, keep in mind all of the hand cranking necessary on the Acme to get the bolts in the position to be removed.  Hand cranking to adjust the throw ratio is not necessary on the Wickman multi-spindle.  Estimate a conservative time savings of 80% to set your slide and attachment cam throws on an ACME or New Britain multi-spindle.


IV.  The Wickman multi-spindle is much easier to maintain than an ACME GRIDLEY or New Britain

The Achilles heel of the Acme and New Britain multi-spindles is the bronze bushings that are mounted on the machines' end tool-slides or turrets.  As time goes on, the carrier stem and end tool-slide bushings wear on ACMEs and New Britains.  To repair the worn carrier stem, the entire carrier has to be removed from the machine.  The carrier stem has to be ground, and the end tool-slide has to be bored and bushed to fit the new stem diameter.  In addition to the downtime waiting for your carrier to be returned while it is being ground (4-6 weeks typically), you have to pay the cost of freight both ways to the three or four companies in the United States who provide the service.  You also have to purchase new end tool-slide holders and attachment hangers, which you will then have rebore to fit your reassembled machine.  

None of this process is necessary on Wickman multi-spindle because the machine's bushings in the end tool-slide are steel, as well as carrier stem. The Wickman's end tool- slide rides back and forth steel-on-steel with metered lubrication, so the bushings will not wear.  When it’s time to replace the spindle bearings on a Wickman that’s all you have to do.  No carrier to be ground; no tool-slide holders to be bored; no waiting for the carrier to be returned. 

A Wickman multi-spindle screw machine will save you significant time, money, and headaches. It could be time for an upgrade.


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