When I first saw this, I said, “Why?”
Why do we need a CNC version of a cast Systema part, which works perfectly well as it is?
Chatting to Bismarck from HAO I discovered a few things.
First, the acquisition of OEM Systema parts can be challenging for some. Fair enough. I buy my OEM parts from Tackleberry, who deals direct with Systema – so it’s not a dilemma I’ve ever experienced.
The other things I discovered were a bit more interesting. The CNC machine in the pics is new and this manufacturing test is part of HAO’s acceptance criteria for the new machine.
What I like about this is that HAO doesn’t rely on third parties for their creations. They control production themselves. That’s how they can set and maintain their quality at such great heights. It also means that they aren’t resting on their laurels and are pushing their manufacturing capabilities in new directions – with expensive new machinery.
And yet, and yet…a CNC hop chamber. Why bother? Why not just cast it like the OEM?
Well, here’s the thing. HAO looked at the PTW hops on the market and concluded that Systema’s was the highest quality. Nothing new there and most people know it’s best to stick with the OEM.
However, what they also found was that as well made as the Systema OEM hop is, it’s not perfect. It’s not cast with the same precision that can be obtained from a state of the art CNC lathe. And guess who has one of those state of the art CNC lathes…
So what are the gains? Well, until these things are tested it’s theoretical right now. It’s all about tolerances and turbulence. But if I tell you that HAO’s other expertise is in making hi-tech valves, it’s little wonder that they are using Dassault Solidworks fluid modelling software to get a handle on making the PTW hop better.
Oh – and note the detail in the roof of the chamber. Most manufactures miss this, but it’s there for a reason: