Lights-Out Manufacturing Doesn’t Have to be Spooky

happy halloween
labor shortages got you spooked? lights-out manufacturing doesn’t have to be spooky

While the spooky season of hocus pocus and trick or treat culminates with Halloween, few things frighten fabrication job shops year-round more than unproductive downtime. The prospect of a ghosted workstation on the shop floor is frightful enough to haunt the productivity dreams of manufacturing executives everywhere.

Spooked by the ongoing labor shortages, shops that would have never considered an automation solution are exorcising their reluctant demons and embracing “lights-out” manufacturing processes to address head-less headcount challenges.

The growing marketplace pressure on fabrication shops to work faster, on a variety of small-batch jobs, with greater flexibility and shorter lead times is only going to magnify any issues manufacturers have with operations: from shortages to production performance, to dependability, to rising costs. A punch/laser multifunction machine may well be the answer. 

Murata Machinery has been a pioneer in fabrication technology for nearly a century. And this combination punch + laser base machine is yet another example of multifunction innovation and artistic product applications.

Watch the multi-function machine in action as it delivers Muratec’s holiday greeting for All Hallows Eve in laser-guided artistic splendor.

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As mentioned in a previous article, this punch/laser multifunction machine manufactures parts from raw materials to finished products with fewer processes, helping everyone work smarter with greater flexibility.  

Multifunction machines can help a typical fabrication shop save up to 50 percent on total production time because they eliminate work-in-progress (WIP) holding and the need to move parts from one machine to another.

With automated speed, you can better position jobs to avoid having parts sit on a pallet for a week before they go to the next process. Best practices include running similar parts together, planning for common materials and thicknesses to maximize output and minimize waste. 

Equipped with advanced technology to optimize cut, reliability, and productivity, our laser machines – including Muratec’s LS3015HL advanced hybrid laser have been engineered to deliver high speeds and high precision at lower operating costs.

LS3015HL advanced hybrid laser

Leveraging the high-speed precision of fiber laser cutting and the accurate forming and tapping performance synonymous with Muratec’s punch press technology, the LS3015HL is the first and only combination machine available today with fiber laser at its core.

With repeat accuracy of ±0.001 and a fast traverse speed of 6,692.9 ipm, it’s ideal for prototypes, large-volume runs, short-run stamping, sample parts production, and varied geometries. Its all-in-one design maximizes floor space, minimizes WIP materials, eliminates the need for secondary processes, and significantly increases throughput.

With several sizes and models available, Muratec’s laser cutting machines provide reliable, precise results for a wide variety of facilities and uses. And that’s no ghost story. 

Contact us today to learn about the LS3015HL or visit Muratec at FABTECH 2022, Nov. 8-10, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Booth B8415, to learn about our latest fabrication technology innovations.

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happy halloween

Combination Machines Reduce Time & Cost

ls3015fc-and- fn3015tl

With the uncertainty surrounding the workforce in the past year, it’s tempting to reduce headcount as the fastest and easiest way to minimize labor challenges, lower your costs, and maintain profitabilityBut you will lose good employees and forfeit the opportunity to ramp up production. 

To take your business (and employees) to the next level, choose a combination machine that improves your ability to retain valued employees, increase hours worked with less fatigue, retrain and backfill positions, and increase employee morale 

A combination, or multifunction machine, also gives you greater speed and flexibility to take on more materials and thicknesses, eliminating the inefficiency inherent in multi-process production. You can increase flexibility, improve productivity, build capacity to take on more jobs, and increase profitabilityand that will help you adapt to market changes and grow your business. 


Increase flexibility
 

Simply, multifunction machines, or punch/laser hybrid machinesmanufacture a part from raw material to finished product with fewer processes. Combining processes into one multifunction punch/laser machine can help everyone work smarter. And with greater flexibility.  

combination machines reduce time & cost murata machinery usa, inc.

 

 

 

Featured product: A tried-and-true punch press with laser technology, the Muratec MF3048HL Punch Laser Combination offers all the benefits of a 30-ton turret punch press with an integrated fiber laser, in one fast, reliable machine. 

 


For high-volume
 and long runs, the machine can be set up to super-nestsaving materials and satisfying multiple customers at once. With the advantages of a punch press and fiber laser integrated together, you can produce a far wider range of projects, with less investment in special tools: prototyping, one-offs, smaller batches, different style geometries, and streamlining processes most efficiently in one integrated machine.  

The flexibility of a multifunction machine ripples to the rest of the shop. You eliminate the need to free up three machines to process a single order, and instead fully maximize them for what they do best while freeing up staff to keep work flowing.

combination machines reduce time & cost murata machinery usa, inc.

What would you do with the two operators you “saved”? A savvy shop manager retainand retrains them. Improved flexibility from multifunction automation means that, as your fabrication shop grows, you can re-purpose people to relieve downstream bottlenecks like welding, paint, or press brake, making your shop’s workflow more streamlined. 

combination machines reduce time & cost murata machinery usa, inc.

 

 

 

Featured product: Built on the backbone of a laser, the Muratec LS3015HL Hybrid Laser multifunction machine automates fiber laser cutting, forming, and tapping in a single production center. Material doesn’t move during the laser process, so tolerances of .0004” are held even at high cutting rates 

 

Improve productivity 

A multifunction machine can both make the same part in less time (productivity) and increase your volume (throughput). 

Punch/laser multifunction machines are inherently more efficient than multiple stand-alones because they eliminate WIP holding and the need to move parts from one machine to another. With automated speed, you can better position jobs to avoid having parts sit on a pallet for a week before they go to the next process. Best practices include running similar parts together, planning for common materials and thicknesses to maximize output and minimize waste. 

An HVAC manufacturing customer, using the Muratec LS3015HL Hybrid Laser, saw a 67% reduction in processing time compared to using separate machines for laser, transfer, and tapping. They also eliminated intermediate product movement, reduced overall WIP inventory and tapping machine workload, and freed up valuable employees to work on other jobs. 

Now, look at process improvement from the human angle: With less manual material handling, employees no longer experience the fatigue of taking heavy parts off one machinmultiple times and loading them onto anotherThere’s less downtime for people to recover. And, there’s a huge safety benefit from reducing demanding, repetitive, physical work. You will also see reductions in human errors and misalignment that can happen when a part is shifted from machine to machine. 

As your productivity risesyou now have a machine that can run with minimal oversight for days at a time. You can start adding more shifts, and actually grow your workforce when the time is right. Need a rock-star scheduler? This is your chance to take experienced operators with excellent skills and move them up.

Shorten lead times and take on more jobs 

Multifunction machines can help a typical fabrication shop save up to 50% on total production time. Managed wisely, this time savings contributes to the overall health of your business and employees.  

Here are some examples from actual customers: 

  • An industrial machinery maker installed the Muratec LS3015HL Hybrid Laser, and the number of parts produced daily doubled from what they did with a stand-alone laser. The Muratec machine runs, nonstop, ten hours a day, seven days a week, producing 600 pieces in one ten-hour run, versus 300. A major bottleneck was eliminated, balanced with second-stage processing on the press brakes.
  • A heavy equipment job shop chose the Muratec LS3015HL Hybrid Laser to streamline its process from five steps (material stockerunloading materialslaserchamfertappingto three (laser, chamfer, tapping)They saw aamazing 76% reduction in processing time, from 21 min. 40 sec., to 5 min. 11 sec. 

What would you do with the time you saved? Increase speed to market for your customers. Take on more jobs and outsource less work. With a multifunction machine, shops can in-source work on the laser, and do it faster, more reliably, and in half the time. The faster you can move, the quicker you’ll be able to adapt to the market and bring in more business. 

Being ready for the next thing is what ultimately keeps your shop in business and growing.

Increase profitability 

Making parts in half the time? Reducing waste? Repurposing good employees? Of course, you’re going to see better profits. The bottom-line goal for you is to reduce the cost of your manufacturing cell, so that when you process parts your overhead is lower, and you capture larger margins. Multifunction machines always deliver on this goal. But ultimately, evaluating the investment and projecting profitability is very specific to your process and your business. 

If you’re adding a multifunction machine and already have a laser and a turret press punch, you’ll add capacity and be better able to put the right parts across the right table. If you’re using the multifunction to add a machine where you currently don’t have production, you’ll be adding significant capabilities and opening up new opportunities. 

If you only have a laser and decide to add a turret-based multifunction machine, like the Muratec LS3015HLyou’ll be adding forming, deburring, tapping, and laser all in one, fast, highly productive automated machine. If you only have a turret, adding a machine like the Muratec MF3048HL gives you the added value of using the integrated fiber laser to process large holes and curvatures into outer perimeters of parts, lasering and forming in one machine and reducing WIP downtime. 

Regardless of your situation and challenges in your fabrication shop, you’ll see greater precision and less downtime when you add a multifunction machine. Problems with either can be quite costly, affecting your ability to deliver on time and reputation for quality and speed to market. 

 There are numerous, competing multifunction machines for you to choose from, and it’s important to choose the right partner to help you look at the big picture. One that helps you identify all of the factors that will drive success—including labor. A partner who tailors the solution to your process, commits to supporting you long-term, and gives you responsive service you can depend on. This approach will help you realize the most benefit from your investment.

For more information about Muratec multifunction machines, go to:
Fabrication Machinery 

 

 

combination machines reduce time & cost murata machinery usa, inc.

Partner with us and get it right.

The Murata Group offers proven, world-class automation to increase productivity and protect margins across your facility. We bring decades of experience to help you maximize your return on investment. Our Muratec brand is known for fabrication equipment that has automation at its core, with bullet-proof quality and reliability. Contact us for a collaborative discussion with our experts on available options, customization, and our integration process.

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Jeff Tyl is North American Sales Manager for Fabrication Products of Murata Machinery, USAAn expert in the manufacturing business, including on the fabrication shop floor, Tyl has over twelve years of experience managing fabrication opportunities for OEMs and structural steel projects throughout the southeastern United States. From laser shops to railcar manufacturers, he has a long history and vast knowledge of fabrication technology. Feel free to contact Jeff at jeff.tyl@muratec.-usa.com with your questions about using multifunction machines to grow your fabrication business and maintain a knowledgeable workforce.

Murata Machinery USA Presents at FABTECH 2022

Integrated Automation Solutions Designed for Manufacturers to Automate, Integrate, and Facilitate Lights-Out Production.  

Also introduces an efficiency-enhancing, industry-first live tool twin spindle, front-facing turning center with Y-axis  #m2048ts-s   #a4-agv   #mwr120g    #fabtech2022   #muratecmeansmore

murata machinery usa presents at fabtech 2022 murata machinery usa, inc.
murata machinery usa presents at fabtech 2022 murata machinery usa, inc.

Charlotte, NC – (Oct. 18, 2022) – Murata Machinery USA, Inc. (Muratec), a pioneer in sheet metal fabrication machinery and a world-class leader in automation, announces its attendance at FABTECH 2022, Nov. 8-10, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

At Booth B8415, Murata Machinery will showcase its integrated automation, from multi-function fabrication machines, turning centers, and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) that enable “lights-out” operations for machine and job shops.

“For manufacturers of all sizes competing for dwindling manpower resources, Muratec is eager to demonstrate how our reliable and productive automation solutions deliver more parts on the dock at the end of the day,” said Jeff Kalmbach, general manager, machine tools division, Murata Machinery.

Muratec will also demonstrate the highest level of integration with its 22-ton, spring-style punch press (M2048TS-S) paired with a robotic load/unload system (RL1212) and an automated guided vehicle (A4-AGV) that delivers raw materials to and from the system, showing shop owners how to minimize manual handling and repurpose labor.

The M2048TS-S features a servo-electric punch drive system and the latest ram drive design for maximum reliability and rigidity. With this technology, the single frame turret punch press (TPP) empowers high production speeds, energy-efficient operation, reduced maintenance costs, and is automation-ready. Showcasing what humanizing automation at the core means, FABTECH attendees will experience how robotic loading and unloading systems automate, integrate, and facilitate efficient production with no human interaction.

Muratec will also reveal its first-of-its-kind MWR120G multi-tasking CNC turning center that blends processing capability in a compact body with front-facing twin spindles equipped with an industry-leading live tool Y-axis function designed for a total production environment in a single machine. Its integrated robotic gantry loader enables unmanned workpiece handling for all-in-one processing of complex shapes from raw to finished parts, maximizing efficiency without changeovers or the need for secondary operations. When paired with a Universal Robot bin-picking robot, also fed by an A4-AGV, for unattended production, the MWR120G delivers unparalleled flexibility, accuracy, and quality to provide an automated solution to headcount challenges.

“It’s never been more important for manufacturers of all sizes to embrace automation to remain competitive. Automation is no longer a matter of ‘if” but ‘when’ for fabricators and job shops,” said Murata Machinery USA’s Jeff Tyl, North American Fabrication & Aftermarket Sales Manager. “When FABTECH attendees visit the Muratec booth, we hope they’ll take away new insights about how an integrated automation solution can maximize machine productivity with minimum human intervention required.”

Nearly a century ago, Muratec invented the TPP, and now it is taking it to the next level by fabricating inventive and artistic applications. FABTECH attendees will experience Muratec in motion as the M2048TS-S mass produces a “MuraTruck” – punched, etched, and formed from a single piece of sheet metal into a functioning model truck and business card holder – to be assembled on the trade show floor.

At industry trade shows, Muratec is known for its custom gifting and at FABTECH, attendees who pre-register will receive a free, limited, custom fabricated MuraDesk set, personally engraved on-site in Booth B8415.  Private meetings and demonstrations of the integrated automation systems on the trade show floor are being pre-booked.

Displaying what automation at the core means at FABTECH, attendees will experience how Muratec means more system integrations to help manufacturers understand how they can make it, move it, store it, and service it across their entire supply chain.

For more information about Muratec at FABTECH 2022, visit www.muratec-usa.com/fabtech-2022.

About Murata Machinery USA, Inc.

Murata Machinery USA, Inc. is a subsidiary of Murata Machinery Ltd., a pioneer and world leader in high-speed, automated turning and fabrication, logistics & material handling automation, clean factory automation, and textile machinery. Established in 1935, Murata is the sole manufacturer of Muratec brand machinery and systems that supports North American manufacturing and logistics companies across regional and global supply chains, accelerating their competitive edge through integrated automation. Manufacturing for half a century with thousands of installations worldwide and first-to-market innovations, Muratec is trusted by leading global brands and suppliers including Ford, Fastenal, Boeing, Linamar, Coke and more. Each solution uses time-tested technology and is customized to meet customers exact needs with flexibility and personalized support provided for the life of the system. For more information, visit https://www.muratec-usa.com/.

Muratec’s Fabrication demonstrates Reliability by Design

CHARLOTTE, NC — Murata Machinery’s Fabrication Division will feature three machines under its Muratec brand. — the LS3015FC Fiber Laser, the Motorum M3058TG with FS3015 Cell Loader— that exemplify the company’s “Reliability By Design” approach to accurate and durable construction. The Muratec LS3015FC Fiber Laser will be introduced at FABTECH 2015 and is one of the most precise cutting machines in the world. Its proprietary technology integrates hardware and software, creating a high level of quality, reliability and productivity, with unsurpassed precision. Muratec’s user-friendly Fanuc 31-iLB CNC control platform stores up to 1,000 programs on a solid-state drive that can be backed up and expanded through USB and compact flash ports. Laser-processing parameters are pre-loaded on the machine and a Windows®-embedded file system provides easy backup and familiar data manipulation. Feature-rich operator guides and multiple built-in features also enhance the operation experience.

“The Motorum M3058TG, FS3015 cell loader, and LS3015FC fiber laser are perfect examples of what we mean when talk about Reliability By Design.  Murata is building more than just reliable machines — we’re also building businesses and peace of mind. Customers don’t want a machine that has to be repaired or replaced after only working well for a short period of time. They need machines that are made right, and made to last; machines that are just as reliable after 10 years as they are on day one. That’s “Reliability By Design”

The Motorum M3058TG is driven by a resourceful blend of speed and power with a new 33-ton, servo-driven ram. It combines large turrets for greater on-demand tool availability, with indexable multi-tools for ultimate flexibility. The Murata Intelligent Control Operations interface enhances machine production time by minimizing the operator’s required setup time. It also provides assistance for tool changes, turret load monitoring, scheduling, tool maintenance, and other features that maximize machine green-light time.
The FS3015 Cell Loader of Muratec’s FS Series of proven material handling systems with more than 200 installations worldwide. This economical load/unload system can increase the production of a single stand-alone punch press by 100%. The raw material table and finished product table are loaded and unloaded by fork truck or overhead crane at the front of the system. Same-side loading and unloading frees up the operator side for maintenance and manual operation. Muratec’s FS Series cell loaders are popular for their compact design, quieter system operation, multiple-stack operation that caters to non-standard parts and the latest FMS dedicated controller technology.

Murata Machinery USA, Inc. is a subsidiary of Murata Machinery Ltd., Kyoto, Japan and is comprised of four divisions — Machine Tools, made up of Turning and Fabrication Divisions, Logistics and Automation, Clean Factory Automation and Textiles. From its headquarters in Charlotte, NC, Murata Machinery USA, Inc.’s Fabrication Division specializes in applications, service and sales of turret punch presses, fiber lasers and automation for those machines. The Muratec dealer network throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico also distributes and services the complete line of Muratec turret punch presses, automated stockers, loaders, and sorting equipment.

muratec's fabrication demonstrates reliability by design murata machinery usa, inc.
muratec's fabrication demonstrates reliability by design murata machinery usa, inc.

FOR MORE DETAILS, CONTACT
Murata Machinery USA, Inc., Fabrication Division,
2120 Queen City Drive, Charlotte, NC 28208
704-875-9280 • Fax: 704-392-6541

Industry-First Machine at IMTS 2022

Murata Machinery USA to debut an Industry-First Twin Spindle, Front-Facing Turning Center with Y-axis and Innovative iFLiPP® Automated Loader at IMTS 2022

industry-first machine at imts 2022 murata machinery usa, inc.

Charlotte, NC (September 7, 2022) Murata Machinery USA, Inc. (Muratec), Show cases an Industry-First Machine at IMTS 2022 as a pioneer in machining and a worldclass leader in automation, announces its participation in the 2022 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), Sept. 1217, at McCormick Place in Chicago. Murata Machinery will unveil its new Muratec
MWR120G, an innovative multitasking machine with Yaxis functionality, and its upgraded MW35 with iFLiPP
technology, an automated loader designed to meet manufacturers’ continuing need for reliable, flexible turning machines that solve productivity challenges.


At Booth #338844, South Building, Level 3, Muratec will unveil this firstofitskind MWR120G during a
press event on Sept. 12 at 11:00 a.m. in the company’s booth with a live demonstration. This automated
horizontal lathe is the next generation of the wellknown MW series machines with an integrated robotic gantry
loader that blends processing capability in a compact body with frontfacing twin spindles, live tooling, and Y
axis. The machine’s integrated robotic gantry loader enables unmanned workpiece handling for allinone
processing of complex shapes from raw to finished parts for maximizing efficiency without changeovers or the
need for secondary operations.


“IMTS is the premier event for manufacturing business professionals. We know that labor shortages remain an
ongoing industry problem. We also know that trade shows like IMTS are an ideal setting for problems to meet
solutions,” said Jeff Kalmbach, general manager, machine tools division, Murata Machinery. “For manufacturers
needing automated turning systems that reduce idle times, optimize efficiencies, increase productivity, and
alleviate workforce demands, this new machine is the solution.”


Muratec will also demonstrate its highspeed MW35 twin spindle turning machine with an innovative iFLiPP
pick and place loader that automates part feeding. A single operator can quickly load raw materials and keep
multiple machines running for continuous operation and mass production. By upgrading the MW35 with the
Integrated Fast Loading Pick ‘n Place (iFLiPP) loader, its automated loading orientation feeds the workpiece into
its swing arm either head leading or head trailing in 1.9 seconds, eliminating changeovers and machine
downtime, delivering more parts at the end of the day.


For attendees looking for innovative inspiration to sharpen their competitive edge, Muratec will host an
educational series of MuraTalks held daily by industry thought leaders at the company’s booth. Attendees
will learn the importance of integrating automation and utilizing the newest advances in manufacturing to increase
productivity while enjoying a complimentary lunch. Seating is limited and can be
prereserved in advance.

Also, attendees can further their knowledge by attending Muratec’s Automation, Not If, But When. conference
seminar presented by Jeff Tyl, North American Fabrication & Aftermarket Sales Manager. “Automation is no
longer a bonus; it’s a requirement for manufacturers to remain competitive,” said Tyl. “As part of one of the
world’s leading machine tool manufacturers, I’ve learned that the level of automation that shops choose to
automate dictates the degree of integration amongst their machining or turning processes.”

Private meetings and demonstrations of the MWR120G, MW35 with iFLiPP, and nine other systems on the trade

show floor are being prebooked now. Attendees are encouraged to preregister for their Pints & Pegs reception
and
prereserve a limited, custom fabricated MuraDesk set, personally engraved in Booth #338844, South
Building, Level 3.


Displaying what automation at the core means at IMTS, attendees will experience Muratec in Motion. Company
experts will demonstrate various system integrations to help manufacturers understand how they can make it,
move it, store it, and service it across their entire supply chain.


For more information about Muratec at IMTS 2022, visit https://www.muratecusa.com/imtsprebook.



About Murata Machinery USA, Inc.


Murata Machinery USA, Inc. is a subsidiary of Murata Machinery Ltd., a pioneer and world leader in highspeed,
automated turning and fabrication, logistics & material handling automation, clean factory automation, and textile
machinery. Established in 1935, Murata is the sole manufacturer of Muratec brand machinery and systems that supports
North American manufacturing and logistics companies across regional and global supply chains, accelerating their
competitive edge through integrated automation. Manufacturing for half a century with thousands of installations
worldwide and firsttomarket innovations, Muratec is trusted by leading global brands and suppliers including Ford,
Fastenal, Boeing, Linamar, Coke and more. Each solution uses timetested technology and is customized to meet
customers exact needs with flexibility and personalized support provided for the life of the system.

For more information, visit https://www.muratecusa.com

 
 

Case Study: Midwest Express

Automotive companies that manufacture using just-in-time processes depend on their parts arriving when scheduled and ready for production. Any delays can cause significant problems that can ripple throughout the entire plant.

Midwest Express, an 3PL that serves automotive manufacturers, has a 213,000-square-foot distribution center in East Liberty, Ohio. It receives parts from suppliers all over the world and then feeds them to four assembly plants and two drivetrain facilities.

Midwest Express reached out to DMW&H, warehouse consulting and systems integration company, to find a solution to these key con-cerns. Midwest Express had worked with DMW&H previously on another project and had confidence in its solutions. After exploring a number of options, the Muratec FX Quad AS/RS was selected.

The results of the move to automation have been impressive. The AS/RS stores parts in 18,000 locations, yet occupies a footprint of only 10,600 square feet. In replacing the previous manual picking areas, the new system freed up 35,000 square feet of space in the building for other operations. As provided by DMW&H