With an automated system, one weak link can stop the complete system. If the machine tool is not reliable, customers are not realizing the full benefits of the automation. This is where having the right partner makes a significant difference.
As a single-source provider for automated machining systems, Makino develops the machine options and the machining process to support the automated systems. Makino will provide the machining process to support an automated system, whether that is material handling or process automation. With an intimate knowledge of the machine’s operation and close working relationship with the machine option engineering group, the machining process can be designed to work seamlessly with the automation.
Makino takes pride in its ability to provide turnkey automation solutions. With a group dedicated to providing the machine tending automation, Makino’s automation systems are tightly integrated with the machining centers, making the support, recovery, and updates to the complete automated machining system simpler than if the system was developed with the involvement of several different companies. As a result, it’s unnecessary to work between different entities to solve the challenges encountered with an automated system.
The availability of Makino’s engineering services plays a meaningful role in differentiating its offering from other machine tool and automation providers as well. Unfortunately, bringing on new projects often requires a significant amount of engineering time, which can put a strain on internal resources, especially within lean operations. Makino helps address this by offering its expertise including fully engineered processes that take a project from the print to a finished part coming off the machine.
The engineering service goes beyond designing the automation process to fine-tuning operations. For instance, everyone benefits from quicker cycle times, which is one reason why Makino also takes cycle times seriously. Based on current tooling technology, there is a limit to how fast you can actually cut. Assuming everyone is using the latest technology, the only thing left is the non-cut-time pallet changes, tool changes, or any machine motions to move from feature to feature.
Makino is focused on continuously improving its control software and m-codes that minimize non-cut time and maximize cut time. Some of the benefits include process design such as optimizing fixture setups or looking at the number of parts machined in one cycle. The real benefit of focusing on cycle times only intensifies as volumes increase. Specifically, when a manufacturer is producing 1 million-plus parts per year, a 2% change in cycle time is significant.
Simply put, Makino machining centers are built for reliable operation in a production environment including an array of features that increase the reliability and operation of the machine to maintain an efficient/optimized 24-hour, 7-day operation.