History of Lucas

Quality and Service from the Horizontal Boring Mill Specialist

From the very beginning, Lucas has provided quality service as a horizontal boring mill specialist. We focused on the quality of our products while maintaining unparalleled status in their field. While keeping up with the latest innovations in technology, we have managed to be steadfast and loyal to traditions for 89 proud years of manufacturing.

Lucas Machine has produced over 5700 horizontal boring, milling and drilling machines of approximately 40 separate models in addition to various presses, multi-spindle drills, conventional milling machines and other miscellaneous machinery. In the production of our equipment, we strive to continue our long-standing commitment to excellence by offering the highest quality rebuilding, remanufacturing and retrofitting of horizontal boring mills in the machine tool industry.

Today we are pleased to present the new era of horizontal boring mill production in our history. Thanks to cooperation with the Fermat Group, a highly recognized European company, we have revived our operations once again. Our two companies have joined forces to produce only the finest of the newest European technology combined with American craftsmanship. We are convinced that focus on modern design and smart production solutions allows Lucas, a Fermat Group Company, to satisfy every customer’s needs.

1900 The Emergence of Lucas Machine Tool Company

Henry M. Lucas organized the Lucas Machine Tool Company with George C. Lucas and Frank Yost as his partners and they soon began production of the world famous Lucas Boring Mill at the original factory on East 99th Street in Cleveland, Ohio. 

1901 Producing of the First Machine

First machine (Model #1) was shipped in and ran to a production of 351 machines. His background was as an apprentice of the Warner & Swasey Co., working his way up to their Chief Draftsman. Mr. Lucas made machine tool history by designing and building the original of the now familiar 'Lucas Type' Horizontal Boring, Milling and Drilling machine. This was the first commercially available machine with a fixed-height worktable and was equipped for simultaneous adjustment of both the counterweighted machine head and the tailblock or Backrest. These innovations greatly improved both the accuracy of the boring operation and the 'set-up' of the work. They also permitted the machine bed to be manufactured with a heavily ribbed, deep box construction that was substantially more rigid than other boring machines of that era.

1938 The Difficult Decade.

The owners sold a partial interest in the Lucas Machine Company to a local financial institution that was originally called McDonald & Sons and later became known as the McDonald Investment Corporation.  On January 30, 1942, the U.S. Government took over the direct management of Lucas Machine because of the production needs of World War II.  After the war effort, the company until November 1, 1945, when it was finally sold 'outright' to the McDonald Investment Corporation. On November 1, 1947, Lucas Machine moved its operations to its new factory at 12302 Kirby Avenue as a result of freeway construction. In 1948 Lucas Machine was purchased by the New Britain Machine Company of New Britain, Connecticut.

1950 - Producing of Two Immensely Successful New Models 41B and A 42B.

In fact, most people who think of a Lucas are thinking of a model 41B or a 42B. The 41B was produced from 1950 until 1979 and had a total production of 820 machines. The 42B was made from 1950 to 1980 and had a total production of 1088 machines! The model 41B and 42B were the first of a long line of Lucas machines that were equipped with Numerical Control. Lucas began production of the first 'tape controlled' Lucas machines in 1956 and was one of the early entrants into the field of Numerically Controlled machine tools.  A vertical spindle profile milling machine was developed to make use of this technology, and 32 units were produced, the first shipped in 1965.

1968 The Lucas Machine Division of Litton Industrial Automation Systems.

Litton Industries of Beverly Hills, California purchased Lucas from the New Britain Machine Company and the company soon became known as The Lucas Machine Division of Litton Industrial Automation Systems.

1972 Production of Two New Models with Variable-Speed Electronic Drive Systems for Use with Modern CNC Controls.

Lucas began production of two new models of machines that were a significant departure from what had gone before. The model 30T and 40T series machines were the first Lucas models that were specifically manufactured for operation with variable-speed electronic drive systems for use with modern CNC controls.

1984 Lucas Machine Begins Construction of a Flexible Manufacturing System.

This was to be a total factory automation system comprising not only state-of-the-art CNC controlled machines but also was to include fully-automated 'guided' vehicles to carry tooling and materials to the machines, automatic part and tooling inspection and automated part wash-down, all under the control of a central, master computer system to control part flow, tooling flow and scheduling of all machining operations. Sadly, while the prototype system was made fully operational within the Lucas factory, no systems were ever shipped to customers.  Within the environment of difficult economic times and disappearing domestic machine tool builders, the Lucas Machine Division of Litton Industrial Automation Systems Inc. was officially closed by Litton Industries on February 28, 1990.

1990 The Emergence of  Lucas Precision

The assets of the Lucas Machine Division were sold by Litton Industries to a Cleveland-area group of private investors and a new company called Lucas Precision was born as a limited partnership. Lucas Precision was conceived as a supplier of repair parts, field service, rebuilding, retrofitting and other general 'support' services for the large installed base of existing Lucas machines.  Lucas Precision, L.P. purchased the Natco-Carlton company of Richmond, Indiana in 2010, consolidating the operations in the Cleveland location and has continued with repair parts, service and rebuilding of the radial drills and multi-spindle drilling machines.

2010 Cooperation with Fermat Group Company, Czech Republic

Discussions with the Fermat Group and a visit to the Czech Republic by management, developed a relationship that led to Lucas becoming the exclusive importing agent in the United States, and the first Fermat boring mill presented by Lucas at the 2010 IMTS. Lucas Precision established a solid sales and service organization for the Fermat products in the United States over the next three years.

2014 From Lucas Precision to Lucas, A Fermat Group Company

Fermat Group decided to purchase Lucas Precision as part of their global ambition to build and grow the Fermat products worldwide. Fermat’s permanent presence in the United States is very beneficial for prospective customers. Sales, service, and spare part availability are an integral part of our customer service efforts, and Lucas, a Fermat Group Company strives for excellence in this arena. Lucas is continually expanding our in house operations of spindle rebuilds and used machinery sales in addition to our introduction of the Fermat brand to the U.S. We are currently looking for exceptional sales, service, and support teams throughout the country to help represent the Fermat brand.

2015 Lucas-5 - The New Model of Horizontal Boring Mill with Short Delivery Time and Fixed Price.

Lucas, a Fermat Group company presented up-to-date model of Horizontal Boring Mill with rotary table - Lucas 5.  This model is a standardized type of a horizontal boring mill designed especially for US market. Lucas 5 features the newest technology together with time-proven design and high quality components.


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