Carmakers are adopting “agile” manufacturing principles in an effort to achieve product variety in style and volume and doing so, within shortest possible changeover times to minimize the response time to demanding customers.
For the manufacturing floor, agility means to be ultra-flexible in tooling and automation. Cycle-time reduction, fast through-put, high machine uptime, minimum machining passes, predictable machining results and the first part - good part principle are at the core of it all. In addition, machining processes have to be adaptable to transferlines and CNC-cells, or a combination thereof and if possible, reusable for new projects to assure a short and economical pipeline to the next generation of products.
Several new, advanced machining processes in metalcutting embrace “agility” and integrate its manufacturing principle. They complete the technology chain of machine tool - toolholding - cutting tool, to form “agile” processes.