Haas Automation has reported that its recent HaasTec open house was a complete success, attracting nearly 3300 attendees to the company’s headquarters and manufacturing facility in Oxnard, California. The 4-day event drew visitors from the U.S., Canada, and around the world, with attendees from 48 countries, including China, India, Korea, Latin America, the Middle East, and many European countries. In addition, more than 330 students – from regional high schools, colleges, and universities – attended the event.

Held March 17th – 20th, HaasTec included machine demonstrations, extensive tours of Haas Automation’s 1-million-square-foot facility, a catered lunch, and 38 exhibitor booths with representatives from major CAD/CAM, tooling, and workholding manufacturers. As an added bonus, the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet that Kurt Busch drove to victory at Martinsville last year was on display, courtesy of Stewart-Haas Racing.

Kurt Busch himself made an appearance at HaasTec Thursday – for an autograph session, and a private Q&A meeting with around 100 lucky attendees – before heading to Fontana for the weekend’s race at California Speedway.

Visitors to HaasTec often arrived in large groups, accompanied by representatives from their local Haas Factory Outlet (HFO). More than 50 HFOs worldwide arranged trips to the event to personally show customers and potential customers what goes into making a Haas.

There were 20 machines on display and running demos at HaasTec, including the new UMC-750SS super-speed universal machining center. Also on hand were the massive ST-55 large-through-bore turning center, the new DM-1 Drill/Mill Center, a wide array of Haas VMCs, and a Haas horizontal with pallet pool system. Attendees also got to see more than 200 Haas machines in action on the factory floor, making parts for more Haas machines. Of the 298 chip-making machines in the Haas factory, 70% are Haas machines.

In addition to the CNC machines, a number of Haas rotary products were also on display, including the new TRT100 high-speed dual-axis rotary table. With a maximum speed of 1000° per second on both axes, the TRT100 provides high-speed, accurate, 3+2 positioning for machining small complex parts. The unit’s compact size and light weight make the TRT100 the perfect dual-axis solution for small machining centers.

Providing visitors with a historical perspective, HaasTec also included a display of the company’s very first VMC – machine No. 1, fitted with an early Haas rotary table – alongside its modern-day equivalent. Today’s VF-1 still sells for less than the machine’s 1988 introductory price of $49,900, proving that Haas is the industry leader in machine tool value.

HaasTec 2015 received rave reviews from visitors and vendors alike. The leadership team of San Diego-based Workshops for Warriors, along with a handful of students and graduates of the school, made the trip to Oxnard to attend the show and see the facility first-hand. “I was in complete awe of the factory,” said retired USN master chief Derek Beecher, a Workshops for Warriors graduate. “When we toured the facility and walked in on a catwalk overlooking the floor, my jaw dropped.” Current Workshops for Warriors student John McMurrin echoed the statement, “It was so impressive. I had never been to a manufacturing facility of that scale.”

“The organisation, planning, preparation and attention to details were superb,” said John Hosmon of Refresh Your Memory. “This was as much a mini-IMTS to us as it was an Open House to the Haas organisation. We were able to work with end-user groups from around the world, and we were also able to spend quality time educating Haas dealers from all corners of the globe. Everyone was happy and thrilled to see how their Haas machines are built, and the care that goes into every detail of production.”

“This was a great event,” said Autodesk’s Joe Bailey, “and we are very appreciative of being given the opportunity to attend and exhibit. HaasTec gave us a great opportunity to have our customers come and look at the complete line of Haas products, as we would like nothing more than to have our customers buy more Haas machines! Also, it was an excellent opportunity to deepen our relationship with folks from Haas Automation and the Haas HFO family.”

“We were very glad we attended this year,” said Bryan Jacobs of CGTech. “Overall, we found it to be very productive, and were able to meet with many existing customers, prospects, and HFOs. Our national sales manager Jim Huddy, who was also staffing the booth, was able to connect with a prospect that he’s been trying to reach for almost a decade. This event was valuable in that many of the people visiting were actual decision makers. We spoke with many executives and managers who can actually spend money.”

“We had a great show and appreciated being invited to participate in the event,” said Luke Swift of SwiftCARB. “Overall, I thought it was a fantastic show, and we really enjoyed the hospitality from all of the Haas staff. We would like to continue to participate in future HaasTec shows, and I have been recommending to colleagues that they look into participating in the next HaasTec show. Thanks again for the invite, and we look forward to future shows.”

“First and foremost, thank you for allowing us to be part of HaasTec 2015,” said Mathew Evans of 5th Axis. “We were very pleased with the event. It was great to meet and speak with all of the different Haas employees from all over the globe. This event was a great opportunity for us to gain feedback from both the Applications and Sales staff, as well as the end-users, on how well our product has worked for them, and what changes they would like to see. This information is invaluable for us, and is often difficult to track down, so it was great to be able to speak with everyone at the same time. It was also awesome to see some of the new products that Haas has in the works, and how we can build our tooling around these new machines. We will definitely be attending in 2017.”

By all accounts, HaasTec 2015 was an overwhelming success, providing attendees an opportunity to see first hand what goes into making a Haas machine, and why Haas Automation is America’s leading machine tool builder.