Change is the only constant in the world of manufacturing and machine tools.
The rise of new technologies and methods in CNC machine tools have radically changed how machining and manufacturing is performed. New machine design concepts and emerging CNC technologies have significantly raised the quality and throughput of factories around the world.
Indeed, it is now possible to integrate different types of machining processes into one process on a single machine.
Thanks to the continuous research and innovation by engineers in the field, manufacturing shop floors around the world can now implement tech-based innovations to expand their production capabilities and capacities.
Let us look at some of the emerging trends in manufacturing, and explore the possibilities offered by the latest CNC machine tools.
#1 Lower overall long-term costs of manufacturing (not just short-term savings)
With the widespread acceptance of productivity concepts like life cycle management, manufacturers should no longer just go for short-term gains.
While buying the cheapest machine tools may save you a pretty penny today, you could end-up paying more in the long-run. This could come in the form of longer manufacturing timelines, reworks and troubleshooting.
But what can a manufacturer like you do, given the unyielding competitive pressure to lower your costs?
The answer comes in looking at the long-term durability, precision and stability of your CNC machine tool.
Good quality machines can reduce your production set-up, lead time and trim material preparation. Top quality machines can also minimise part production costs and time, helping you to stay ahead of your competition.
Requiring less investment in operator training and machine servicing, they can also lower the costs incurred from the downtime from troubleshooting and repair.
#2 “High Mix – Low Volume” Production (suited for 5-Axis CNC Machines)
Today’s companies face intense pressure to manufacture parts at the lowest possible cost and fast. While doing so, they need to preserve the flexibility of their manufacturing process to adapt production for new parts and changing volumes.
The greater diversity of manufactured parts leads to the need for more “made-to-order” parts in smaller volumes. This is aligned to concepts like “lean manufacturing” where agility is valued.
To achieve higher productivity with lower unit costs, while maintaining machining and component flexibility and optimum manufacturing quality, you need machining solutions with multi-function capabilities.
This will allow you to serve the new generation of customers who prefer to place and repeat orders in smaller batch sizes to avoid unnecessary stocking.
Unlike standard machines, machines which offer multi-function solutions are preferred as they are much easier to change-over between jobs.
To meet your production needs in “High Mix – Low Volume” mode with quick turnarounds of various parts and required machine settings, consider Hwacheon’s 5-Axis Machining Center D2-5AX. It offers an unmatched solution with its ø600mm 2-Axis table, 4+1 to full 5-Axis and 4 selectable spindles (option).
#3 Greater part complexity (met by highly flexible multi-tasking machines)
With the growing sophistication of manufacturing technology and industry needs, companies in the automotive, aerospace, medical, and optical industries have exhibited an increasing need to manufacture complex parts.
While simpler 2 to maximum 3-Axis lathes were in demand in the past, the trend has now shifted to machines with Y-axis and sub-spindles. These more sophisticated machines are in demand due to the higher job complexities needed.
To meet growing demand from these industries, machine tool manufacturers are prompted to further innovate their research and machine tool building capabilities.
Thanks to the relentless efforts of research and development engineers and tool makers, multi-tasking and multi-axis CNC machine tools are now available to produce higher complex parts. By operating along multi-axes, such machines can improve productivity through the ability to carry out secondary operations in a single set up.
The recent development of Multiplex Machining allows manufacturers to enjoy high productivity, enhanced machining stability and reduced production costs. Such tools provide a combination of turning and milling operations.
An example of a machine tool capable of Multiple Machining can be seen in Hwacheon’s C1 / C2. Equipped with a Modern Automatic Tool Changer, it enables operators to make rapid responses during the machining of parts that require many tools.
This may be useful in the manufacturing of Motor Case/ RC Motor/ Titanium by providing full machining capability in a single chucking operation with 14 tools.
#4 Higher Quality Machine Tools (for higher tolerances and surface qualities)
Along with smaller lot sizes, industries such as mold & die and automotive are increasingly demanding for higher tolerances and surface qualities leading to an increased demand of higher quality machining centers.
While they may be cheaper from the start, lower priced machines are unable to match this demand for higher quality and sophistication.
Such high performing CNC machine tools include Hwacheon’s range of 5-Axis Machining Centers – the proven M2-5AX as well as the new M3-5AX and M4-5AX 5-Axis Machining Center which provides the highest precision, accuracy and surface finishes guaranteed by its gantry-designed structure.
Higher tolerances and surface qualities can be achieved with SIRIUS-UL+ Vertical Machining Center. The unique spindle, which is Hwacheon designed and built, ensures together with the solid machine structure the best for Mold & Die as well as high precision part manufacturing.
Universal Machining Centers like the VESTA Series can be used in a wide range of industries. They can machine complex production parts with angled surfaces and cavities; and are suitable for making aircraft and medical parts as well as contract manufacturing jobs.
#5 Smart Machining & Automation (which improve productivity and reduce errors)
Smart machining systems and automated manufacturing cells are increasingly needed to meet the demands in manufacturing. To meet demand even in low cost areas, automation solutions which are practical and cost effective are preferred.
Empowered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), smart machines can incorporate a string of tasks and processes into a single more efficient process. By doing so, they can achieve higher precision, produce superior quality parts at minimal production costs, and drastically reduce the need for manual interventions.
Here are some of the Smart Machining and Automation features that are specially developed by Hwacheon Machine Tools to meet the demands of our manufacturing customers:
- SMART Production & Automation
- Automated manufacturing cell (CUTEX-180 & SMART Steel)
- CUTEX 180BL-YSMC, manufacturing of “part series” by using Main & Sub-spindle operations
- Automatic loading and unloading of parts from part stacker
- Ability to handle turning, drilling, tapping as well as milling functions
- SMART STEEL & Automatic Part Changer, automated manufacturing of mold inserts, high accuracy parts in unmanned operations.
- SMART CORE, smarter solution for Mold Core / Sliders
- Parts made of Stainless Steel or Titanium