Multi-Tasking is the combining of part-manufacturing processes onto one machine that traditionally required multiple machines to accomplish. The ultimate goal is to turn, mill, drill, tap, bore, and finish the part in a single setup, what Mazak calls Done-In-One.
This may be the single most important innovation in manufacturing technology for any company seeking to become lean, efficient, and globally cost-competitive. The calculator assists engineers by comparing a multi-tasking machine tool performance and costs versus a cell of single-spindle machines.
What It Does and How It Works
While the calculator does not include initial machine cost or a depreciation schedule, it does automatically calculate processing time, costs per part, value-added time versus non-value-added time, and all comparison data in the bottom half of the main window as data is entered. It demonstrates the relationship of cost over a variety of volumes. As quantities drop, due to the nature of the work or JIT initiatives, multi-tasking becomes more competitive. This software allows numerous “what-if” scenarios to be plugged in to achieve optimal lot sizes.
Neil Desrosiers. senior programming manager at Mazak says the calculator was developed to provoke thought, not as a final justification tool. “After deciding that we needed to quantify the lean aspects of Multi-tasking, we quickly realized we had to keep these calculations simple,” he says. “We did, however, agree that we needed to include the items that had the greatest impact, particularly processing time and costs. The focus of this calculator is to show the benefits of Multi-tasking for small to medium lot sizes. What a small lot size constitutes will differ for each job shop. Enter typical job values for your shop and see the comparison.”
To perform a calculation, select the JOBS tab in the top half of the main window. Select the Job Quantity from the UP/Down control that you would like to simulate a comparison for. Next, input job information for the same number of rows in the jobs grid, including lot size, machine tool setup time in minutes, and others. Then select the Machine Quantity from the UP/Down control that you would like to simulate a comparison for. Next, input machine information for the same number of rows in the machine quantity grid, including load and unload time, direct costs, number of employees required to keep the job running, indirect costs, cycle time, and others.
“Users need to conduct a full in-depth analysis before deciding to purchase capital equipment,” Desrosiers explains. “If this calculator makes you stop and reconsider a Multi-tasking machine versus a cell, or a cell versus a multi-tasking machine, then it's done its job.”
What is Mazak Multi-Tasking?
Many machine tool providers realize manufacturers constantly need to produce more with less and offer a bewildering array of options and equipment they term multi-tasking. As the pioneer in this field, Mazak has designed, built, and delivered multi-tasking machines for more than 20 years that accomplish the following:
- Compress lead times - from days to hours
- Reduce lot sizes with no cost penalty - lots of one, or assembly kits
- Improve cash flow - higher frequency shipments
- Reduce part costs - fewer fixtures, tools, and far less labor
- Slash non value-added time - multiple setups, handling, and queue time
- Improve part accuracy - no tolerance build-up
- Reduce shop burden - fewer machine tools/space/utilities
- Run "lights-out" - increase cutting time, but not labor costs
- Increase throughput and profitability
With more than 90 equipment models and variations to choose from, a tremendous range of manufactured parts can greatly benefit from Multi-Task processing. However, that can make selection of the best machine and model a challenge. The Multi-Tasking Calculator can help determine what best fits a given application.