Production Machining

JUL 2018

Production Machining - Your access to the precision machining industrial buyer.

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A Different Kind In the search for capital equipment that allows a shop to optimize its production to reflect the realities of today's manufacturing demands, there are many machine tool configurations from which to choose. One of those designs is called the Multicenter and has been developed to be a bridge of sorts between high-mix, flexible production and high volume, dedicated machining capability. Morphing Rotary Transfer To find out more about the concept behind the Multicenter, I talked with Maurizio Porta, second generation owner of Porta Solutions, based in Brescia, Italy. e company's North American headquarters is in Newington, Connecticut. Founded in 1958 by his father, Oscar, Mr. Porta's company started building specialty machine tools for various applica- tions and has seen the changes in dedicated versus flexible production requirements. "Originally, we manufactured rotary transfer machine tools," Mr. Porta says. "ese machines reflected a time when a machine was built to manufacture a part. e part was king, and creating dedicated tools designed to optimize its production was the name of the game." Traditionally in rotary transfer technology, a shop would get a job and then design a production system around the part. Some jobs might run virtually unchanged for years. As product life cycles have become shortened, dedicated A s anyone involved in metalworking manufacturing is acutely aware, the battle between dedicated machining technology and flexible machining technology continues to be waged in machine shops around the world. e influx of high mix and low volumes into metalworking manufacturing is unmistakable and, more than likely, unstoppable. It seems to permeate all aspects of machining operations. ese general terms—high mix, low volumes—are relative. To a mold shop, for example, a lot quantity of five might be considered "high volume." In a Tier-Two supplier, high volume might be considered 500,000 pieces or more. And relatively speaking, the Tier-Two supplier with 500,000 pieces may have adjusted its production from a previous 1,000,000 pieces based on the overall manufacturing trends of the past few decades. Today, that same "high volume" might be more like 5,000 pieces. :: The concept of the Multicenter is to use three horizontal machining center modules on a single platform, fed by a rotary table. It combines the production efficiency of rotary transfer machining with the flexibility of CNC HMCs. :: The Porta Multicenter is designed to bridge the production gap between high-mix and low-volume production and straight high volume, dedicated production. :: 33

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