Product Spotlight


In order to compete in today's global economy, manufacturers face fierce pressures to reduce costs and increase throughput while enhancing the quality of the parts they produce. The Makino Machining Complex (MMC2) flexible manufacturing system is designed to help manufacturers meet these demands while enabling the flexibility to adapt quickly to a constantly shifting production schedule.

The MMC2 is a modular, automated material handling system that links Makino horizontal machining centers, pallet loaders and operators. A servo-controlled, rail-guided vehicle (RGV) transports material to and from machines, with little, if any, operator intervention. Each system is completely flexible and can be designed to fit a manufacturer's facility using standard components. This modular flexibility in layout design allows for ease of future expansion.

Users of the MMC2 frequently report spindle utilization rates of up to 95 percent, leading to dramatic increases in production without adding staff or equipment. The MMC2 system permits users to virtually eliminate part setup time, reducing non-value-added time in their machining operations. By providing a constant flow of parts to the machining centers, the system can run for extended periods unattended, including overnight and on weekends.


The MMC2 is designed and constructed to be as robust and reliable as the machining centers that it automates.

The system's RGV is supported by a floor rail and upper-guide rail for enhanced stability and simultaneous, high-speed movement. Data from the RGV controller is transferred via optical communications for instantaneous commands while an overhead bus bar provides a safe and reliable power supply.

The MMC2's work-setting stations (WSS) provide easy access for operators to load and unload parts either by hand or crane. The WSS features 180-degree pivoting doors to save space and prevent a cluttered work area. The MMC2 can also be equipped with optional workpiece washing guns, tilting WSS and automatic doors.

The system's pallet stockers can be customized to manufacturers' production demands, including capacity and pallet dimensions depending on the size of the applicable machining centers utilized in the cell. The pallet stocker can be built with one, two or three levels for high-volume production requirements. Larger pallet loads may be limited to two levels.

All components of the MMC2 are capable of supporting maximum workpiece diameters, heights and loads of up to 1900mm (74.8 inches), 1500mm (59.1 inches) and 3000mm (118.1 inches), respectively.


The MMC2 includes state-of-the-art cell control software, Makino Advanced System—A5 (MAS-A5), capable of maximizing production output while effectively monitoring multi-machine production requirements. This Windows-based software solution is designed to handle a wide variety of parts and production requirements. It provides flexible production management while monitoring and scheduling production resources within the MMC2 cell.

The MAS-A5 main PC hard drive stores and manages all NC programs for optimum machine utilization, including NC programs that exceed CNC memory.

In addition to NC programming, tool data, both in and out of the machines, can be accessed and modified from the MAS-A5 user interface. A variety of tooling and part information file formats are supported and can be displayed to assist with part loading/ unloading and tool-setting operations. A Tool-Life Predict function enables the MAS-A5 to gather tool-life data per NC program. It informs the operator of how long a tool is used in each NC program execution and how many spare tools are required in order to finish the current NC program. The MAS-A5 schedules work only for machines that meet tool life and availability requirements for the desired process sequence. Interfacing with a tool pre-setter also reduces errors by automatically capturing tool offset data, which can be transferred from the pre-setter to the MAS-A5 system control.

The MAS-A5 maintains all processing steps required to complete a part. The system automatically schedules work-setting and machining operations according to the defined part process sequences, recognizing material and machine availability. Intermediate work-setting operations can be included in a process sequence to allow for setup changes. For more complex processing requirements, the MAS-A5 enables multiple jobs to be assigned for each machining process.

With the MAS-A5, there is no limit to the number of fixtures and associated process sequences and offsets that can be logically assigned to an individual pallet. Using material availability and user-assigned priorities, the software automatically allocates work to each fixture.

The MAS-A5 manages and schedules production orders for each part defined and lets the operator set a production start date and due date. Work can be scheduled dynamically using priorities set for pallets, process sequences and production orders as well as multiple other methods. System priorities can be easily reassigned to meet changes in schedule or demand. The MAS-A5 also includes a production order capacity check that evaluates all orders and part quantities required and necessary cycle times. In addition, it provides a chart that displays system capacity on a daily basis.

A number of built-in reports are included with the cell controller such as production data, tool data, results, alarm history and utilization. Alarm notifications can be configured to be automatically generated and sent via email. Custom report writing is also available.

The MAS-A5 is also utilized on Makino's MMC-R robot automated fixture plate distribution system. It can be installed as an upgrade to existing Makino Model A2, Model B2, Model A3 and Model C systems.