Whether or not shops want to admit it, automation is the path forward for manufacturing. As skilled labor shortages continue to plague our industry and consumer demand surges, automation is necessary to increase the output of existing workforces and expanding production capacity to meet customer needs. Additionally, automation ensures process consistency, improves quality, can enhance safety, helps lower overall costs and reduces the risk of scrap.
However, mention automation to some shops and they think it’s an expansive systems intended only for high-volume production environments. Nothing is further from the truth.
Automation, as it pertains to part machining operations, comes in various sizes, forms and configurations, and most, if not all, provide the speed and flexibility to adapt to any production application, including job shop work and high-mix/low-volume scenarios. Those configurations range from two-pallet changing and multi-tasking machine capabilities to simple barfeeders and gantry loaders to robots, cobots and full palletized systems.
For immediate increases in productivity, Mazak-integrated bar feeders are a basic form of automation. They help shops maximize material utilization and ensure the highest levels of throughput and quality from turning machine operations.
Gantry loaders, designed by Mazak, provide fast loading and unloading for high-volume manufacturing, while also delivering more versatility, flexibility and productivity for chuck and shaft work through various variety loading stations and robotic hand options. The systems are easy to install and operate, and as such are a quick, turnkey solution for immediate production increases.
On the automated palletized system side, Mazak’s Multi-Pallet Pool (MPP) System is a compact multiple pallet stocker design ideal for manufacturers who require basic automation to increase productivity and/or have limited floor space that prevents installation of a system with a horizontal pallet stocker.
As a full palletized system, our widely popular PALLETECH Automated System brings high levels of flexibility and efficiency to high-mix, low-volume production as well as high-volume operations. Fully compatible with our range of horizontal machining centers and Multi-Tasking machines for large parts, PALLETECH is available in single, double and triple-level pallet stocker configurations. Because of its modular, pre-engineered construction, PALLETECH easily expands along with your growing production needs.
An advanced alternative to traditional production, articulated robots provide automation for one or multiple machines as well as part transfers to peripheral operations. Mazak collaborative robot systems, such as the CC-10 and CC-16 Cobot System models, offer a cost-effective machine loading and unloading solution.
Regardless of automation type, Mazak engineers all its machines for easy automation integration, and to ensure manufacturers match the right automation to the application at hand, Mazak Automation Systems provides customers a comprehensive range of scalable automation solutions, whether standard or custom. Through our team of in-house automation experts, we design and develop automation solutions for your new Mazak machine as well as retrofit a solution to your existing equipment.
With Mazak Automation Systems, you gain a single-source provider for all your automation needs from consultation and system design to engineering and installation. Working with one point of contact for all your automation needs save you time and money. And, because we maintain relationships with a wide range of trusted automation partners, we provide you a wider range of reliable and effective automation options.
We are our own customer. The Mazak iSmart Factory in Florence, Kentucky, brings automation together with digital connectivity and skilled professionals to produce our machines. In addition to paving the path forward for you, we walk it with you.