It's time to begin relabeling "Factory of the Future" as "Potential for the Present." As evidence, consider the technological capabilities already emerging in today's machine tools.
One example is the strategic benefits of a "green" machining strategy at Ford Motor Co.'s Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights, Mich. By implementing machine tools incorporating Minimum Quantity Lubrication (MQL), the plant improves part quality and cuts piece-processing cost, says Jim Braun, vice president, product development and standardization, MAG Industrial Automation Systems.
Ford reports that nearly dry MQL machining slices seven figures from initial system cost for unneeded coolant tanks and high pressure supply systems, reduces operating costs, and improves plant air quality. More importantly, the part quality level achieved with MQL is equal to or better than comparable wet machining operations.
Source: Industry Week
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