POSTED ON 8/28/2023 – 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.