Haas machines in a class of their own at technology school


CNC machining technology is advancing year-on-year. To ensure future generations are familiar with such technology when they enter the employment marketplace, education establishments must keep pace. A case in point can be seen at LiS, situated at Leiden, approximately halfway between Amsterdam and Rotterdam. LiS is a vocational school that trains what it calls instrument-makers for research organisations, with particular links to the space industry. According to LiS, much of the research that is taking place in the Netherlands would be impossible without the technical knowledge, creativity and devices made by instrument-makers. With so much riding on the education of these important youngsters, a recent recommendation from a visitation committee advised LiS to introduce more CNC machining techniques into its curriculum. As a consequence, in November 2013, the LiS Engineering department installed three new Haas CNC milling machines: two Super Mini Mills and a VF1. Financing the investment proved a challenge, but not one beyond this forward-thinking vocational school. Aside from certain gifted funds from private individuals and foundations, LiS accrued the necessary capital by taking on high precision contract work for organisations such as ESTEC, the European Space Research and Technology Centre, which is located just 5km away at Noordwijk. LiS also undertakes contracts for Leiden-based Dutch Space (an EADS Astrium company), a supplier of sub-systems for the European space industry.