Date Added: Dec 2009
By combining multiple machining operations such as milling and turning in a single machine, multiple-function machine tools reduce the number of setups required to process parts. Saving a considerable amount of time in the overall process, it also reduces positioning errors possible in multiple setups. One machine is able to do the work of multiple, separate machines. The cost comparison of multiple simpler machines, each with an operator, to a multifunction machine can be highly positive in favor of the more advanced machine. This paper discusses ways to address some of the key challenges in programming and utilizing complex multi-function machines with the latest CAM and simulation software.