How to defeat your competitors using CNC flexible machines instead of classic Machining Centers and Transfer machines

The machine tool category has a very long history, but if analyzed well it makes you understand how the evolution and the needs of the market have led, over the years, to continuous improvements and new categories of machines.

If we look back in time and start from the beginning, there was only one category of machine tools that dominated the world of production.

Then, as markets became more specialized, sub-categories of other machines were born.

If you are a production manager, a machine tool user, an engineer and have worked in the Manufacturing industry for a while, you may have noticed with your own eyes how many different machine tools were born.

Let’s move on from:

Lathes and milling machines to identify the type of processing,

Then go to:

CNC Machining Centers and CNC Transfer Machines to identify the type of production.

The Machining Centers in turn are divided into vertical and horizontal and represent flexibility in person.

However, they have the problem that they are not very productive and if you want to increase your productivity you have to buy many, and this results in an exponential increase in fixed costs.

Transfer machines on the other hand have been designed to deal with large production volumes, and are therefore developed to increase the productivity of a specific item.

However, they remain very rigid.  If the market changes (very common today), the Transfer machine dies there, because it is born for a specific purpose and cannot be adapted to new scenarios.

It is therefore clear that the more the market evolves, the more demanding it becomes, and the more you have to stay up-to-date and keep your fleet up to date.

This is to have the production department always efficient and ready to adapt to the market that comes.

After the Transfer machines and the Machining Centers the production market has undergone a new evolution, because being Super Productive or Super Flexible was not enough anymore.

The new challenge has become that of being able to adapt to the change and the context that your industry continues to require, which continues to change very quickly and frequently.

Therefore remaining rigid is no longer possible.

But, above all, the risk of developing a machine tool plant full of machining centers is very risky, because the company’s fixed costs increase dramatically.  Today it is no longer possible for you to bear too-high costs if you want to remain competitive, and if you want to combat the aggressions of your competitors.

At the beginning of 2000, we saw the first examples of machine tools trying to face the new market challenges, which were basically an extension of the Machining Centers (twin-spindle) and the Transfer Machines (flexible transfer).

But neither of the two models really manages to give the required results.

To satisfy this new market need, therefore, the Flexible Machines are born, which are the result of an obsessive and unbridled research into the correct relationship between productivity and flexibility.

A new category of machines is born, the flexible machines, and at this point we have 3 categories of machines:

  1. Machining Centers (too flexible and not productive)
  2. Transfer machines (too productive and not flexible)
  3. Flexible Machines (Flexible Production method)

Finding the right balance between “Automation and Productivity” is what you have to aim for today.  It is the key to business success.

But, obviously to do this you have to review your business model and understand clearly that old machine tools are not the answer to your needs.

The flexible machines are born for this, to help you finally give new life to your production department and to create new liquidity for your company.

Drive the wave of change to your production department

Many entrepreneurs, managers and production managers will not understand (or accept) this message.

They try to tackle “change” and new market challenges with the same machine tools of the past.

But using the exact same approach is a destructive strategy, because it means you’re standing still.

And do you know why?

There is a famous phrase that reads:

“If you want to achieve results that you’ve never achieved you must do things you’ve never done before”

Basically it is obvious that if you continue to always adopt the same strategy for your production you will continue to always get the same results, but today, as you well know, they are no longer enough.

You always get the same results, while the market on the contrary evolves and changes very quickly.

You keep doing the same things and your competitors start to understand that they have to change and update themselves, to evolve their production strategy.

It’s a game of speed, where you have to be the first to change your mindset and give your competitors a hard time, causing them to eat dust and becoming the benchmark of your industry.

The sooner you get better, it’s a game of speed and intuition.

Time is running tight and the margin of error is getting tighter.  In fact, the companies that are having success are those that are adapting better and are changing strategy quickly.

They ride the wave of change with a speed of intuition and a new production strategy.

In fact, I’ll tell you more.

Today if you always do the same things you do not get the same results, so go back !! You lose ground and enter the quicksand in which many companies have fallen and have declared bankruptcy in recent years.

It is no longer enough to adopt the same strategy to achieve the same results, because the market runs too fast and leaves you behind.

You have to adopt an extraordinary strategy and achieve extraordinary results that your competitors could never achieve.

CNC flexible machines – to become competitive

Returning to the discussion of the three categories of machine tools I have just told you that flexible machines are the latest concept to become competitive.

Today they are really giving extraordinary and exceptional results, but this is also due to years and years of experience and improvement of this model of machines.

At the beginning it was not like that.

The journey has been long and tortuous, and many tests have been carried out before being able to find what was necessary to get to the machine tools revolutionizing the world of production today.

Initially, the Flexible Machines were presented with a rotating table, typical of the Transfer, where for each station there was a sort of 3-axis Machining Center with a 6-tool Revolver (turret) that gave the machine flexibility.

These machines were the first step towards the new category that was about to be born.

Then of course the experience gained over the years has led to the development of increasingly perfected and cutting-edge models, which today are the perfect expression of “competitiveness” for all those who want to make the leap in quality and give their department of production that deserves.

Leave your competitors behind, and develop an unbeatable production strategy

In 2005 the world of machine tools had an epoch-making turn.

The manufacturers of Transfer machines and Machining Centers have continued to produce the old models of machine tools, even though it was evident that the market demanded something new.

It was clear to everyone that trying to face the new market challenges with old strategies and old business models was not going anywhere.

We too, when we were still builders of Transfer machines in the 90s, introduced our first flexible production machines.

However, as said before, they were built only to order and with different characteristics from time to time to follow the customer.

Practically they were flexible transfer machines, of special production, with one different from the other, and therefore all prototypes.

As I always say, flexible transfers do not exist, they are technological adaptations and have no reason to exist.

2005 was the turning point.

We have established the characteristics that most embraced the various customer demands collected for years, and condensed them into a new and standard machine, with the mentality of building it in series as Machining Centers, and no longer a special, flexible machine with Transfer assembly logic.

Basically we understood that to achieve different results we had to embrace a new strategy, otherwise the results would remain the same.

So I developed the Flexible Production method, a methodology with totally new concepts, redone from scratch, to develop a new business model that could truly tackle the new market challenges.

A method that could help machine tool users make the leap in quality and finally find the right balance between “Automation and Productivity”.

The result? I razed the competition.

“Ok Maurizio, but why are you telling me this?”

I’m telling you this to give you a concrete and real example of how the change of strategy, with a new business model and a new method is the key to winning against the competition.

That’s why my competitors gave up!!

And you can get this result too, but unlike me you have a great advantage on your side.

You can get all this right now and quickly and easily, because all the mistakes you would end up making have already been done by me.

It’s since 2005 that I made mistake after mistake to create a method that can help your production department to achieve extraordinary results.

And now you can access this technology without having to commit all the mistakes I’ve already made for you.

You can take possession of a fantastic methodology, which brings with it years and years of study, commitment, errors and sacrifices.

It’s fantastic, is it not?

The machine that is missing from your production department

If you want to give the final turn to your machine tool factory, then you have to start thinking seriously about Flexible Machines.

The only machine tools that can guarantee the perfect balance between flexibility and productivity for your production department, and can help you earn more.

This is because they help you cut your production costs, and help you have more profit margins.

The flexible machine leader of the category ‘par excellence’ is the Multicenter, which is what you see in the picture.

The machine that is truly changing the world of production and that represents the maximum expression of the Production Flexibility method.

(The Production Flexibility method is based on the basic concepts of Lean Manufacturing, which are adapted to the world of machine tool users)

Today the Multicenter production is launching multiples of 6 machines, several times a year with an absolute focus on standard technical features and the best basic machine cost of the category (499.000 Euro) with deliveries in 3 or 4 months.

Producing machines in series has many advantages.

It also has some disadvantages, in fact if it does not fit in the technical characteristics that Multicenter proposes based on years of experience, it can not be modified to satisfy you.

A tough but courageous choice to build reliable and competitive mass-produced machines.

If you fall into certain requirements there is no discussion, the Multicenter defeats all alternatives!

What are the features and requirements by which Multicenter wins easily?

  • Produce small-medium batches (from 500 to 5,000 pieces)
  • Do not produce extra for stock, but only the quantity sold
  • Production changes in 15 minutes
  • 3 spindles always engaged, with ‘free’ loading and unloading time.

On the contrary, if you have very few quantities to produce or, on the contrary, millions of pieces, the Multicenter is not for you.

Do you also want to become a leader in your industry and dominate against the competition, making a positive boom in your production department?

Then adopt a new strategy, a new business model and a new methodology.

The Flexible Production method welcomes you !!

If you want to go deeper on the topic of “Flexible Production”


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My book, dedicated to users of machine tools that want to make the leap in quality, is waiting for you !!!

To your results!

Maurizio Porta