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Machining Centers or Transfer Machines for High Volume Work?

Few would consider a machining center to be an overly “dedicated” piece of equipment.

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Few would consider a machining center to be an overly “dedicated” piece of equipment. But in high-volume applications, a machining center may be just that. Using a group of machining centers to run high-volume parts actually “dedicates” considerable floor space and a significant amount of employee involvement.

Meanwhile, modern transfer machines now provide much of the benefit that historically has been the key reason for using machining centers. That is, they provide the flexibility to reconfigure for different jobs as needed. This transfer machine is an example. When it comes to choosing the right equipment for high-volume work, the old assumption—that a transfer machine only makes sense when the job is fixed and certain—might need to be re-examined.

Question: Do you run any jobs at quantities of 1 million or more per year? If you could spec the right equipment for that job today, what would you choose? E-mail your reply.