Production Machining

JUL 2018

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

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MACHINING CENTERS meters. We calculate that three typical HMCs, with attendant automation, would take up 240 square meters." e Multicenter, when compared with three stand-alone HMCs, consumes 50 percent less energy, according to Mr. Porta. He cites consumption figures of 51 kWh for the Multicenter versus 120 kWh for three machining centers, with equivalent production. ese rates are justified by the reduction of redundant accessories, he says. For example, the machining centers drive three automation systems, three chip conveyors and three pallet changers. Moreover, there is more maintenance associated with three versus one platform. Two Target Customers According to Mr. Porta, the Multicenter has two target customers. As the company was built on high volume, special machinery, the Multicenter is designed to be a volume production center. "Some of our customers dedicate the Multicenter to a single part, such as a special machine," Mr. Porta says. "ese shops are manufacturing automotive quantities in the range of 700,000 to 1,000,000 parts per year in some cases. e inherent advan- tages of the three machining centers in one platform—cost reduction from less floor space, less energy and less labor—still apply in these applications." Where the Multicenter differs from its special machine ancestry, is its ability to be cost competitive in lower volume applications. "Some of our customers use the Multicenter to fulfill production orders that are not high volume, but rather high mix," Mr. Porta says. For this second target group, batches from 500 to 5,000 are typical. ese shops are generally not making parts for inventory, but rather fulfilling "spot" orders. ese shops tend to use the capacity of the Multicenter to respond to orders as they come in. e machines in these job shops are tooled for flexible production rather than dedicated production. Quick-Change Workholding e structure of the Multicenter is quite different from an HMC. e machine base is a weldment that Mr. Porta describes as a closed-box struc- ture. Inside the box, a four-station rotary table carries the machining pallets. e box has three walls with a machining center module on each of the walls with its own set of linear guideways. e fourth wall is open for 36 PRODUCTION MACHINING :: JULY 2018

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