Harrop Engineering is setting lights-out manufacturing benchmarks with their Mazak Variaxis i-700 combined with a Mazak Multi Pallet Pool (MPP). The combination offers high-speed pallet transfer and extended unmanned lights-out running.
Brendan Brown, Harrop’s Manufacturing Engineer in front of their Mazak Variaxis i-700 and Mazak Multi Pallet Pool.
Harrop’s MPP was the very first in Australia and they have achieved up to and over 600 machining hours per month in the short time since their system was commissioned in mid 2020. That is an average of at least 20 machining hours per day, achieved during Victoria’s strict COVID-19 lockdowns.
They are confidently working towards achieving a full 24 machining hours per day. Brendan Brown, Harrop’s Manufacturing Engineer commented: “We are working in more and more of our high turn-over components. Soon we’ll be able to start scheduling 24/7 and loading the jobs as they come in with no set-ups. We are also adjusting our planning to load the machine to run through the night on multiple jobs not just 1 job at a time then changing to the next job once one is finished.”
Heath Moore, Harrop’s General Manager added: “Mazak are key contributors to our renowned manufacturing capabilities and growth, providing world class machining equipment to provide the flexibility and agility that Harrop needs to meet customer needs.”
The Mazak Variaxis i-700 features DONE-IN-ONE processing of complex 5-Axis workpieces up to Ø730 mm. It is designed for multi-surface machining delivering reduced in-process time, high accuracy and unrivalled machine ergonomics.
The Mazak Multi Pallet Pool has an economic footprint and is controlled using the SmoothX CNC on the Mazak Variaxis i-700, which is equipped with Mazak’s Smooth MPP software application. The standard MPP stocker includes 6 pallets, but can be expanded at a later date up to 18 pallets to deliver increased production capacity.
The idle hours in this graph highlighted the potential for planning/scheduling adjustments to achieve 24 hours per day machining time.