The type of metalworking machine tool is very diverse, depending on the technology used.
They can be regrouped according to different criteria: the direction of major axis, the purpose of use, the degree of automation, the number of spindles, the type of automation and much more.
There are many technical solutions to obtain a specific shape from a piece of metal.
The most common procedures are:
Cut a pattern from a sheet of metal for instance. The technology used includes cutting tools, laser, or jet of high pressure water.
Sculpt a metallic block by removing material by process like drilling, milling, or electrochemical discharge
To shape the piece by bending or stamping
We can also apply a combination of techniques to obtain a single piece of metal.
If you add to this a high level of customisation and variety regarding workpiece size and material, level of automation, speed or performance level, you will realise machine tools are indeed a very heterogenous group of products.
The machine tool sector is a supplier of many European and international manufacturing industries and requirements are very different depending on the application. As a result, machine tool are rarely mass-produced, and, in most situations, their basic design changes to match customers’ specific requirements in terms of workpiece geometry or production performances. In a nutshell, machine tool are highly customized products.
Besides the services of maintenance, repair and on-site training of operators, machine tool builders now offer solutions that make use of the digital revolution and that build upon new business models. Examples of services that machine tool builders offer to customers are predictive maintenance and condition monitoring.