When manufacturers invest in new machines they rely on their machine tool suppliers for technical support. And as machining technologies continue to evolve, that technical support becomes even more important. It’s the reason why many machine tool suppliers invest heavily in training for their staff.
“You can never have enough training,” says Ray Buxton, general manager of Mazak Corp. Canada, Cambridge, ON. “Mazak manufactures more than 300 different models and we have to do our best to keep up with new technologies that we bring into the market each year.”
That’s why the company held its third annual training session in mid-December for its technical support staff–application engineers and service technicians. More than 25 employees from across the country attended the two-day event to receive refresher courses on basics such as ball screw and bearing reinstallations, as well as controls diagnostics and technical training on automated programming for multi-tasking machines.
Indeed, Buxton says multi-tasking is “very strong” in Canada, but he is also seeing “more automation and pallet-based systems being sold in aerospace manufacturing; that’s a big area of growth.”
Like their customers, machine tool suppliers are looking to improve efficiencies and one way that Mazak is doing that is by investing in cross training between application engineers and service technicians.
“We need to use our manpower more effectively and we’re driving efficiencies and therefore the uptime for the customer,” adds Buxton.
Mazak has in place one of the industry’s largest and most extensive training and support infrastructures. Mazak Canada alone maintains a support staff of 40 technicians–23 in-house service technicians/applications engineers combined with another 17 technicians from Mazak distributors and third party service providers–to form what the company claims is the largest such service organization of any manufacturer in Canada.