A Simple Approach to Machine Tool Selection

With countless 5-axis and multi-tasking machines with advanced capabilities on the market today, it can be overwhelming when trying to choose the best solution for your operations. After all, you don’t want to overspend on unnecessary functions or under invest in technology that could make you more profitable in the long run.

You want a machine that offers the highest possible performance for your exact needs at the lowest possible operating and downtime costs — what we refer to as the best cost of ownership. 

When trying to identify the manufacturing system that’s going to make you the most competitive and profitable, you should start by considering how different 5-axis and multi-taking platforms might play into your current needs and future business growth. 

Here are some points to ponder: 

  • How complex are your parts? Simultaneous 5-axis and multi-tasking machines can both process complex parts. However, with the addition of turning, multi-tasking machines can go the extra mile.  
  • Is floorspace an issue in your facility? Multi-tasking machines, which combine milling and turning operations, can reduce the amount of equipment on your shop floor.  
  • Do you need to decrease your cycle times? Multi-tasking machines combine milling and turning operations, which results in fewer setups and shorter cycle times.  
  • Is maximum part precision critical to your operations? Simultaneous 5-axis and multi-tasking machines both provide high accuracy performance. Multi-tasking, however, eliminates the inaccuracies that can occur when moving parts across multiple stations.   
  • Do you require periodic access to your workpiece? A single-table machine provides the easiest possible access to a workpiece during the machining process. 
  • Are you producing large volumes of parts? A machine with pallet-changing capabilities will increase your spindle utilization and overall productivity. 

Is completely automated manufacturing a goal for your business? A machine with a  pre-engineered palletized manufacturing system, such as PALLETECH, can run 24/7 without the need to add night or weekend shifts. 

After you’ve had time to reflect on some of these points, the next step is to find a machine tool builder that has a variety of high-performance machine tools configurations to choose as well as the best engineering and resources available. Well, if you are reading this blog, you’re at the right place.  

We offer the most advanced and comprehensive selection of 5-axis and Multi-Tasking machines on the market – all of which are backed by the industry’s most comprehensive customer support network. In fact, nowhere else will you find manufacturing equipment that offers the best return on your investment. 

However, because we are still at a point where identifying the most appropriate level of Mazak manufacturing technology for your needs requires further investigation, we invite you to check out our Four Quadrant Machine Tool Selection Guide

If you see a solution that piques your interest, don’t hesitate to contact your local Mazak representative or visit the Mazak Technology Center nearest you to further explore your options in today’s competitive manufacturing landscape. You can also see live machining demonstrations on many of the machines that are part of the Four Quadrants at DISCOVER 2015, October 27-29 and November 3-5.

About Mazak Corporation

Mazak Corporation is a leader in the design and manufacture of productive machine tool solutions. Committed to being a partner to customers with innovative technology, its world-class facility in Florence, Kentucky, produces over 100 models of turning centers, Multi-Tasking machines and vertical machining centers, including 5- axis models. Continuously investing in manufacturing technology allows the Kentucky Mazak iSMART Factory™ to be the most advanced and efficient in the industry, providing high-quality and reliable products through its “Production-On-Demand” practice. Mazak maintains eight Technology Centers across North America to provide local hands-on applications, service and sales support to customers. For more information on Mazak's products and solutions, visit www.mazakusa.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.