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How Industry 4.0 and automation are changing our machinery

   Jul 27, 2018
Credit : GMI Post

As technology continues to play a major role in advancing most areas of our everyday lives, it is also transforming the manufacturing industry. Industry 4.0 is a name for the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies and is commonly referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

For instance, producers of intricate medical devices and high-precision parts used in aviation and aerospace demand more complex and precise machines to make those components.

From its Additive Manufacturing Center in St. Paul, Matsuura Machinery USA showcases its pioneering LUMEX series of precision machinery.

Japanese manufacturers are no stranger to the rigors of meeting the accuracy and precision of their customers’ manufacturing processes. For Matsuura Machinery USA, a subsidiary of Japan–based Matsuura Machinery Corp., the United States has remained a worthwhile, fulfilling market since the company’s inception more than five years ago.

Matsuura continues to invest heavily in R&D to satisfy the global requirement for high reliability, sustained accuracy and guaranteed performance, which further strengthens its position in the U.S. market.

Known in its industry for its high-precision and high-accuracy five-axis pallet pool machines, Matsuura expanded its customer base and answered aftermarket demand for a smaller five-axis platform by developing a more cost-effective line of these machines. Featuring the same hand–built quality, high speed and sustained precision without the prohibitive price tag, the two newest machines in the MX series provides productive, versatile and affordable unmanned five-axis production.

“With the traditional manufacturing business model transforming, we must be quick to acknowledge and respond to these new competitive challenges,” said President Craig St. John, who cited the company’s contribution to helping small businesses produce more and compete better on the global stage.

“Preserving the integrity of the production process with less human supervision, companies are becoming increasingly automated. While employment numbers may have trended down, manufacturing output in the United States is up since our machines are more efficient, completing complex tasks and delivering superior cost efficiencies,” added St. John.

Earlier this year, the company launched the LUMEX series, Matsuura’s next generation of machine tools, a Hybrid Additive Metal 3D printer, which allow designers and manufacturers to create their own products with greater autonomy and flexibility.

The machines produce integrated core and cavity sets — replacing the need for a toolmaker

to fit inserts into a multi-piece complex assembly. This same machine will also run unattended reducing the typical activity of moving a component from machine to machine or department to department to complete all the required operations. Our one-machine/one-process approach reduces manufacturing time by up to 50 percent.

Confident of the success of this groundbreaking product line, Matsuura USA recently expanded its North America headquarters with the addition of a 38,000-square-foot laboratory and demonstration facility called, The Matsuura Machinery USA Lumex Additive Manufacturing Center.

“At Matsuura USA, we have successfully established our U.S. infrastructure that provides

service and support through our extensive distribution network. In addition to our significant market share in five-axis machines, the Matsuura Machinery USA Lumex Additive Manufacturing Center will operate both as a showroom and as a development center — a place where we will work on developing new powders and new hybrid technologies to serve our customer base,” St. John said.

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