Decked out in dazzling blue, a new WFT 15 R finds a good home in one of the most populous and richest regions in Italy, Lombardy, despite the fact they tried to kill Charles IV.

April 4, 2018  
(Duomo di Milano, photo provided by Chris Yunker under CC BY 2.0, https://www.flickr.com/photos/chris-yunker/47598527)

(Duomo di Milano, photo provided by Chris Yunker under CC BY 2.0, https://www.flickr.com/photos/chris-yunker/47598527)

Here at FERMAT, we’ll let bygones be bygones.  Especially when it comes to Medieval intrigue and warfare.  However, our bookworm historians on the factory floor might raise an eyebrow that we’re shipping our machines to the fair lands south of the Alps, the wealthy industrial, commercial, and cultural lands young Charles IV was delegated by his ‘old man,’ John of Luxembourg, King of Bohemia, to bring under control.

John of Luxembourg, King of Bohemia, on one of his many chivalrous adventures.

John of Luxembourg, King of Bohemia, on one of his many chivalrous adventures.

John, the eldest son of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII and his wife Margaret of Brabant, was building a power base in Northern Italy in fine feudal fashion; but, he was ever on the move, clashing in tournaments, crusading, battling kings, and engaging in brutal warfare.  He couldn’t be in two places at once, and since he had a young, handsome, strapping 15-year-old Czech son, with the suave nickname “Charles,” he put him in charge of the campaign in 1331.

Azzone Visconti, ruler of Milan, who ordered the poisoning of Charles at an Augustinian monastery in Pavia in 1331.

Azzone Visconti, ruler of Milan, who ordered the poisoning of Charles at an Augustinian monastery in Pavia in 1331.

On Easter Sunday, on his third day after his arrival in Pavia, Charles, lucky enough to be pious at the right moment by not eating before mass at the Augustinian monastery, avoided the assassin’s poison sent to flavor his food by the ruler of Milan, Azzone Visconti, a consummate enemy who absolutely loathed the Luxembourgs.  Things were off to a good start.

A year later, in 1332, as Charles relates in Chapter 5 of his autobiography Vita Caroli:

…(T)he rulers of Milan, Verona, Ferrara, and Mantua, gathered a powerful army and occupied the lands before our city of Modena. After devastating the countryside of Modena and Reggio for six weeks, they retreated and laid siege to the nearby castle of San Felice in the territory of Modena.  And when they had stood there a long time, the besieged negotiated the surrender of the castle should no help arrive within a month, that is by Saint Catherine’s Day.

Having been advised of the situation, Charles and his army broke camp in Parma and set forth for the castle, arriving on Saint Catherine’s Day.  A pitched battle ensues:

With 1,200 knights and 6,000 foot soldiers, around two o’clock in the afternoon, we clashed with the enemy of equal size or greater.  The battle lasted from two o’clock until after sundown.  On both sides, almost all the steeds under their knights were killed, and many other horses, too. We were nearly defeated.  Even the steed on which I sat was killed.  Having picked ourselves up, we stood and looked around, seeing that we are almost overpowered, and we nearly fell into despair.

But, like all good stories, there’s an unexpected, dramatic turn of events.  The enemy’s knees buckle, and they grow faint-hearted.  They turn with their standards and retreat.  The Mantuans are first to hightail it out of there, and the withdrawal becomes a rout:

And thus, by God’s grace, we conquered our enemies, capturing 800 knights and killing 5,000 foot soldiers, and liberating the castle of San Felice.  In this battle, I and 200 other brave men were knighted.  The following day, we returned with great joy to Modena with booty and plunder, and captives.[1]

Cleric, Knight, Workman--Medieval society… much like modern society.

Cleric, Knight, Workman–Medieval society… much like modern society.

So, Charles IV, the second most famous Czech after the fictional character Jára Cimrman, nearly met an early demise in his father’s military campaigns in Northern Italy in 1331-1333.  Even the outrageous attempt to poison him on Easter Sunday by the nefarious ruler of Milan has been overlooked by FERMAT, which is sending a freshly-minted WFT 15 R table-type horizontal boring mill built on linear guideways in the hope of enhancing friendship, goodwill, and healthy commerce between erstwhile antagonists.

L’Officina Meccanica Sorte Luigi

Officiana meccanica Sorte Luigi

FERMAT’s Italian friends, Sorte Luigi, visited Brno on 16 March 2018 for the pre-acceptance of the stylish new machine.

FERMAT machine tool manufacturer_horinzotal boring mills_stepless universal automatic milling head

Officina Meccanica Sorte Luigi occupies an area of ​​5,000 m2. The operating plant is structured in a single building of 2,000 m2 and is equipped with 3 overhead cranes with a capacity of 5 to 30 tons. Since 2001, Sorte Luigi provides high-precision machining mainly in the following sectors: machine tools; machinery for polymer and derivative treatments; plants, carpentry and various structures ; oil & gas; and, gear boxes.

The company has recently expanded operations, having built a new hall in which FERMAT’s WFT 15 R will take up residence.

FERMAT machine tool manufacturer_table type horizontal boring mill_WFT 150 R_spindle diameter 150 mm with ram

Sorte Luigi

Machine Specifications of FERMAT’s new, azure blue WFT 15 R

This beautiful sky-blue model is built on linear guideways for all 3 axes:  X axis is 6 meters, Y axis is 3.5 meters, and Z axis is 2.5 meters.  It has a 2.5 x 3-meter CNC rotary table that can hold up to 25 metric tons.  It sports a spindle diameter is 150 mm, spindle travel of 730 mm, and powerful ram stroke of 700 mm for cutting and machining deep into the center of huge workpieces iron and steel.

FERMAT machinery_metalwork_milling_machining_automatic milling head

It’s also outfitted with FERMAT’s own stepless universal automatic milling head, and a KUKA robotic tool changer for swift, deft tool exchange of 105 tools, always at the ready.

Please visit, http://www.fermatmachinery.com/products, for information on the different FERMAT machine tools and accessories that can improve your manufacturing business. Also, try to Build Your Own machine using our on-line configurator found on our homepage, http://www.fermatmachinery.com/. Should you have any enquiries, please send us an e-mail: export@fermatmachinery.com, or for the U.S. market, e-mail Lucas Precision, a FERMAT Group company: sales@lucasprecision.com, or call toll-free: 1-800-336-1262, or telephone in the U.S.: (216) 451-5588, or send us a fax (216) 451-5174.


[1]  (Source: Karel IV Vlastní životopis, autor překladu neznámý, Praha: Jan Laichter, 1911, Národní knihovna České republiky Signatura: I 074909 http://www.digitalniknihovna.cz/mzk/view/uuid:baf60a60-3286-11e3-a5bb-005056827e52?page=uuid:30555b00-7141-11e3-a698-5ef3fc9bb22f)