Excavating Solutions wins Hurco competiton

October 09, 2014 - 07:00pm
Philip Paull, of Noblesville, Ind., owner of Excavating Solutions won a Hurco VMX42i CNC mill at the Chipmaker Challenge Championship that was held at the Hurco IMTS booth in Chicago September 9.

Philip Paull, owner of Noblesville, Ind.-based Excavating Solutions, won the Hurco Chipmaker Challenge Championship at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago. The prize package includes a new Hurco CNC mill worth over $100,000, a tooling package from Sandvik Coromant Co., and $10,000 of Hurco credit that can be used for training or machine options.

A lifelong excavator, Paull started his new business out of necessity when the housing market crashed in 2008. With idle equipment sitting in his lot and very little work scheduled, he decided to dedicate himself to developing technology to make the process of excavating more efficient.

The result was the IDigBest, a control system for excavating equipment. "The system is visually appealing and loaded with one-touch convenient functions to tackle any project," Paull explained. "The hook provides an operator the confidence and ability to pull grade, perfectly, whenever it is required."

The Chipmaker Challenge, which was loosely modeled on the television show Shark Tank, began in July with an application period that was open to startups and companies that had been in business 5 years or less. Paull was one of seven finalists whose application earned him a chance to compete at championship held at the IMTS Hurco booth. The finalists pitched their business plan to the panel of judges and answered their questions. There were four judges at the event who evaluated the finalists, with the fifth judge being the online vote. More than 10,000 votes were cast with the winner of the online vote being Jason Merrell of Wolfpack Motorsports, Newport Beach, Calif., an off-road racing team that began manufacturing parts to retrofit its vehicles for disabled veterans. However, the online vote alone wasn't enough to win the title.

The judges provided their first, second, and third place picks, and each one was given 25, 10, and 5 points respectively. The other finalists were Jordan Hill of Middle Coast Custom, Union Grove, Wis.; Wade Moore of Moore Engineering, Bridgeport, Conn.; Ben Noordhoek of On Time Machining, Grandville, Mich.; Richard O'Neal, Zel Technologies, Winter Park, Fla.; and Dakota Sodergren, DKS Machining, Olympia, Wash.

"Hurco sponsored the Chipmaker Challenge to bring attention to manufacturing entrepreneurs, and we thought the idea of 'reality TV meets CNC' might resonate with young people," said Maggie Smith, marketing director of Hurco.

"We are very appreciative of all of the participants who took the time to finish the rigorous application process," she continued. "We based the initial application and essay guidelines on business planning basics in hopes it would benefit the applicants in their entrepreneurial ventures even if they didn't make it to the championship in Chicago. Additionally, we are thankful we had such a uniquely qualified panel of judges to help us [Art Haase, of Vincennes University; Robbie Buhl, former IndyCar driver and team owner, and founder of Racing for Kids; Jim Hubbard, SCORE consultant from Valparaiso, Ind.; Eric Zaluski, owner of ProspectTrax; and advisory judge Gabe Draper, owner of Draper Manufacturing.] All of our judges dedicated an immense amount of time reviewing the applications and preparing for the live event in Chicago."

Related Glossary Terms

  • computer numerical control ( CNC)

    computer numerical control ( CNC)

    Microprocessor-based controller dedicated to a machine tool that permits the creation or modification of parts. Programmed numerical control activates the machine’s servos and spindle drives and controls the various machining operations. See DNC, direct numerical control; NC, numerical control.

  • milling machine ( mill)

    milling machine ( mill)

    Runs endmills and arbor-mounted milling cutters. Features include a head with a spindle that drives the cutters; a column, knee and table that provide motion in the three Cartesian axes; and a base that supports the components and houses the cutting-fluid pump and reservoir. The work is mounted on the table and fed into the rotating cutter or endmill to accomplish the milling steps; vertical milling machines also feed endmills into the work by means of a spindle-mounted quill. Models range from small manual machines to big bed-type and duplex mills. All take one of three basic forms: vertical, horizontal or convertible horizontal/vertical. Vertical machines may be knee-type (the table is mounted on a knee that can be elevated) or bed-type (the table is securely supported and only moves horizontally). In general, horizontal machines are bigger and more powerful, while vertical machines are lighter but more versatile and easier to set up and operate.


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