- Customer Case Example 2017/11/29 UP
・“Automation × versatile machines” are the keys to flexible high-mix low-volume production and productivity growth.
・Making full use of new equipment and systems. Ideas for small improvements strengthen competitiveness.
・Just-in-time is the goal. Prompt and correct reply to delivery time inquiries and stock reduction.
“Automation × versatile machines” are the keys to flexible high-mix low-volume production and productivity growth.
Apart from automation systems, Akitani Iron Works also uses multiple cutting-edge 5-axis machines. One common usage of 5-axis machine is to perform under cuts of complex-shaped workpieces. However, such workpieces make only a small portion of Akitani Iron Works ’s daily work. What was the reason for Akitani Iron Works to invest in 5-axis machines?
President Masahiro Akitani sees the reason in the machine’s high versatility: “5-axis machines allow multiple ways of machining by using just one machine”. In other words, he regards 5-axis machines as the perfect solution for flexible high-mix low-volume production.
“When I visited Germany, it was common to use a 5-axis machine to produce different workpieces on the same day. This really surprised me”, President Akitani recalls. This experience was the reason for him to use 5-axis machines to manufacture different types and shapes of workpieces, and to link the machines to automation systems. By doing so, the company succeeded in dealing with different types of products and improving its productivity.
President Akitani has a clear opinion on the differences between Japan and Germany: “Japanese companies tend to assign each machine to a particular type of workpiece. In comparison, German manufacturers use the high versatility of their machines to produce any type of workpiece.”
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