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when boats are selling. Our FMS has been a very useful tool for customers in these high-volume situations.” Hansel added that “it’s pretty common for people who run just five or six different part numbers to put them on a linear pallet system. That’s because you have a lot of redundancy in such a system. Horizontals typically have large tool magazines that allow you to put redundant tools in the magazine to run longer shifts. If the tool breaks or wears out, you can just go to the next one.” On the other hand, the folks at Liebherr (Saline, MI) pointed out that pallet- handling cells are most cost effective when the cycle time for all the parts on a given pallet totals over five minutes. Otherwise you’d waste time waiting for the vehicle to switch out the pallet. To give you some sense of how popular these systems have become, Einberger said Makino has installed 575 of its linear pallet systems in the last 20 years in North America alone.


Not Just for Horizontals


Traditionally, linear pallet systems generally connected horizontal machin- ing centers, because “a horizontal machine almost always comes with a pallet changer,” explains Baldizzi of Doosan. “You always have a second pallet out in a load station area that—in a stand-alone setting—the operator uses to load and unload parts while the machine is running. That’s a benefit in an FMS because the crane can load and unload off of the load station area without interrupting the machining cycle. A typical vertical machining center doesn’t have that, nor do most five-axis machines, though manufactur- ers like Doosan are now equipping five-axis machines with pallet changers that can be hooked up to an FMS.” Besides mixing types of machining centers, it’s also possible to integrate


other functions into an FMS. You can also integrate machines from different builders, though in that case you might be better off working with an “agnostic” automation company like Fastems: “We can have a Brand X machine for a roughing


M4000 Efficiency across all generations.


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M4000 is the universal system for all users who want to have as many options as possible when milling. The M4000 range can master all machining tasks with our most efficient indexable insert powered by Tiger·tec®


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milling cutter, high-feed cutter, chamfer milling cutter, or T-slot milling cutter, the square system indexable inserts can be used across the entire M4000 range. Save time and money, and invest in the future. As the Walter Green seal shows: The M4000 is fully CO2


compensated – from raw material to manufacturing to storage.


www.walter-tools.com/us


August 2017 | AdvancedManufacturing.org 71


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