This industry’s first multi-tasking machine is a solution to labor shortages
Welcome to Thomas Insights – every day we post the latest news and analysis to keep our readers up to date with what’s happening in the industry. Sign up here to get the day’s top stories straight to your inbox.
This article is sponsored by Murata Machinery USA, a leading manufacturer of industrial automation solutions for manufacturing, machining, and material handling.
As businesses of all sizes continue to face labor shortages, manufacturers across North America are turning to automated machinery to fill the labor gap. Murata Machinery USA’s new MWR120G helps businesses increase productivity and improve efficiency. This all-in-one multitasking CNC turning center is an industry first, combining processing capability with forward-facing twin spindles, live tooling and Y-axis functionality.
“The MWR120 is an all-new product premiering in North America at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in September 2022,” reveals Ken Brewer, Murata Machinery’s North America Sales and Distribution Manager. .
“The MWR120 features built-in automation that helps alleviate labor shortages and solves the challenge of finding qualified operators to operate the machines,” says Jeff Kalmbach, General Manager, Machine Tools Division. at Murata Machinery. “The MWR120’s Y-axis capability allows for multitasking and the ability to complete complex parts in a single setup without change.”
“Our machines are fully automated to the core, so when you choose a Muratec machine, you are effectively buying a work shop in a box,” says Christine Spiegel, Director of Strategic Marketing at Murata Machinery.
As a leading provider of world-class automated solutions, Murata Machinery helps manufacturers stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing business environment. As the exclusive manufacturer of the Muratec brand, the company offers a range of parts, machinery and complete integrated systems to suit your specific installation or industry. With the new MWR120, Murata Machinery supports the “manufacturing of the future” by providing a high degree of freedom and a high production rate.
Thomas Insights (TI): How have customers reacted to the MWR120?
Jeff Kalmbach (JK): Once our existing customers in the automotive and medical industries heard about our MWR120G, they purchased the machine without seeing it before the official launch here in the United States. These customers know our machines. With the added ability to complete parts in one operation, the Y-axis travel of +/- 60mm and driven tooling, these customers have invested in purchasing the new machine. They have seen the reliability and productivity of our current machines and understand the benefits and value they will see with the addition of the Y axis to their dual spindle machines.
TI: What is the biggest question you anticipate about the new MWR120?
Ken Brewer (KB): Since it’s so new, the most common question we anticipate is “Why the MWR120G?” You can place a part in this machine and it will produce a complete part at a very high production rate. With the addition of the Y axis, you don’t need to transfer a part to another machine for finishing, enabling a total production environment with a very high throughput rate.
Christine Spiegel (CS): The MWR120G is a premier multi-tasking CNC turning center that combines processing capability in a compact body with forward-facing twin spindles equipped with Y-axis function. By combining Y-axis and tooling function live, this machine accelerates extreme multitasking of complex shapes, from raw material to finished product, without changes or the need for secondary operations.
TI: What trends are you seeing in your industry and what are you doing to stay ahead?
CS: We know that finding, training and retaining the workforce is difficult for manufacturers. Companies are trying to reallocate their internal workforce without having to hire more staff. With an integrated robotic gantry loader, the MWR120 is the ideal machine for unmanned parts handling production to maximize productivity. Our machines also offer ease of maintenance. Many workshops are looking for machines that are easy to use, easy to maintain and easy to access.
Another big trend shift we’re seeing is electric vehicles (EVs). Many work shops in the automotive space focus on the internal combustion engine, but now that the electric vehicle market is growing, our machines are built with flexibility for this transition.
TI: What sets Murata Machinery USA apart from the competition?
JK: Murata Machinery USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of our parent company, Murata Machinery Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan. Our headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina provides service and support to North American manufacturers. Our ability to personally serve customers in many different industries, especially those focused on automation, sets us apart from our competitors. All Muratec products are standardized with automation, and we can solve customer problems with the products we offer or customize a machine to meet their needs.
CS: As a full-service provider, we can manufacture, move, store, retrieve, sort and service it throughout the supply chain. When I say we can make it happen, that’s where our turning centers and manufacturing capabilities come in. When I say we can move it, store it, and retrieve it, that’s referring to our logistics and our automation. We also have a national service team based in the United States, which means we can service systems for life anywhere in North America. We have over a million dollars worth of parts in the USA that can be shipped within 24-48 hours.
JK: For us, automation isn’t an afterthought, it’s what we do. You see and hear a lot about automation being added later once a machine has hit the production floor, but for us automation is at the heart of what we do. We provide these solutions from the start, integrated directly into our products.
TI: What is not well known about Murata Machinery that you would like to highlight for our readers?
JK: We are the world leader in automated turning. Many commodity manufacturers build good quality lathes, but we are the market leader in automated lathes. In return, we are constantly developing new ideas, new machines and new concepts to strengthen this effort.
CS: We strive to help people understand why buying machines with automation built into the core rather than adding aftermarket robots can save store owners time, money and space. Our machines load, feed and unload parts on one machine rather than having to purchase something external, ultimately delivering more parts to the dock at the end of the day.
We will be at IMTS 2022 in Chicago and invite attendees to see Muratec in Motion at the show. The show runs September 12-17 at McCormick Place, booth #338844. This is our North American premiere of the MWR120G. We’ll have nine live demos featuring machine integrations, daily MuraTalks, and custom, crafted MuraDesk sets engraved personally for those who pre-register.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Murata Machinery USA