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Most of us enjoy the benefits of multitasking: We can get multiple things done simultaneously, which saves time. So why not incorporate this process in our machine shops, especially when time is of the essence?
Multitask machining is the ability to perform various manufacturing operations unattended, without moving the part to other machines. With many multitasking machines, a single toolholder is used in place of the tool turret, allowing turning, milling, drilling, tapping, facing, grooving and threading operations in the main spindle followed by a hand-off of parts from the main spindle to a subspindle to complete backworking operations. The toolholder is serviced by an automatic toolchanger located outside the cutting zone. Untended operation takes over from there, with auto load/unload during machining operations.
According to Mazak Corp.’s Knowledge Center on MMS Online, the benefits of multitasking include a reduction of part cost, increased part accuracy, reduced floor space, increased throughput, production of parts on demand, fixture reduction, unattended operation, setup reduction, reduction of non-value added time, leadtime compression, increased safety for heavy workpieces, better monitoring of machine utilization and the ability to machine the part complete.
Could multitasking in your shop be the answer to some of your issues? Read more about the process at the Multitasking Knowledge Center. To help you identify the best level of technology for your operations, check out Five Levels of Multitasking.
For application articles involving multitasking machines, read “Multitasking Turning Center Enables Value-Added Service,” and “Multitasking Capabilities Help Shop Stay Ahead of Orders."