The Five Levels of Multitasking
18. April 2013
When it comes to multitasking equipment, one size by no means fits all. Yes, very sophisticated machines can process extremely complex parts in a single setup. But it may be that a somewhat simpler machine can provide a more cost-effective solution for your needs. It all really depends on the complexity of the parts.
Mazak helps shops sort it out in their Multitasking Knowledge Center here on MMS Online. According to this machine tool builder most associated with concept, there are five levels of multitasking (explained here) ranging from turning centers with live tooling to truly multi-process platforms that turn, mill, grind, hone, cut gears and more. In this section of the Knowledge Center, each level is explained both in terms of the equipment configurations and the parts they can produce.
In the Why Multitasking section, the fundamental benefits of combining multiple processes in a single setup are discussed, with more specific arguments for larger companies and OEMS as well as for job shops. There is also a section on what multitasking can mean for North American manufacturing.
But if you really prefer to focus on the parts, go to the multitasking parts examples section. The gallery of parts links to pages showing how multitasking technology dramatically improved part processing outcomes for each part.