Platforms such as multi-spindles and rotary transfer machines remain well-suited for high-volume production but are now more accommodating to smaller batch sizes.
Rotary transfer basics
Multi-station rotary transfer machines move parts installed on an indexing vertical or horizontal table from machining station to station as shown in this video from Hydromat.
Vertical-turret transfer machines
Gnutti offers transfer machines featuring tool stations on either side of a vertical turret with part transfer from one side to the other. Having two independent chucks for each station is said to make it possible to better split the operations without having limits on backworking operations.
One way that rotary transfer machines such as Mikron’s MultiX are able to be more flexible is integrating zero-point workholding to enable repeatable positioning and fast changeovers.