Hot Topics at IMTS (Part 2)
Ira Busman 10.05.2016
Welcome to Part 2 of our four-part series “Hot Topics at IMTS”, a recap of some of Okuma’s major headlines from the 2016 show.
Check out the photo in this blog and you’ll see two machine tool spindles on display: one filthy dirty, from a crashed machine tool, and another looking bright, shiny and new. These were from the “Before & After” demonstration in our IMTS 2016 booth, which showed a complete spindle transformation, from utter destruction to fully functioning. Why did we show this? We want folks to be aware of service programs from Okuma and our distributors that can get you up and running quickly, without having to wait for repair services.
Parts…Pronto! (And Less Expensive Too)
When you need to replace a part on your machine tool, it can be tempting to go to a third party supplier. However there are many compelling advantages to Okuma’s OEM Certified spare parts that must be considered. With third party replacement parts, tolerances and specs may not be as strict, they may have a shorter life span, and it may take longer to receive your order. Okuma’s Certified Exchange Parts program is designed to maintain the high-performance you’ve come to expect from your Okuma machine tool, and to provide a speedy and cost-effective spare parts solution.
The Mechanical Exchange Division takes care of major mechanical components such as spindles and CAM boxes. The CNC Exchange Division provides electrical repair parts for Okuma-designed CNC control components such as drives, boards and control panels. In both programs, we provide replacement parts immediately, before your broken part is fixed. This means no waiting while you send in your part for repairs (which can take up to two or three weeks), and reduces costly downtime. Repaired units provided through the Exchange program typically sell for 50% of the cost of new.
A Smash Success
We also conducted a survey in our booth and this was a huge success because we collected about 1,000 responses. This survey will give us insights about what today’s machine tool users are looking for – what they NEED – in terms of service offerings. Of course the fact that we gave away commemorative IMTS Okuma hats to the survey respondents might have helped our success a little…but we also saw that shop owners and operators really enjoy talking about their business. During these conversations we made sure these users (and we see more new Okuma users join our ranks every day) are aware of the significant advantages of buying parts and service from their OEM provider.
This year’s IMTS proved to be another good example of how we can nearly “do the impossible” when partnering with our distributors. For 2016 our booth was quite ambitious. It included an MCR-BIII double column machining center that normally takes about four weeks to install, plus five other models that are very large and require similar amounts of assembly time. Problem is, we only had about 8 to 12 days to do our set up!
Knowing this would be a challenge, we put out a call to our distributors well before the show. And boy, did they step up. They sent us 12 technicians who worked onsite with us for a couple weeks before the show opened. That’s a lot of expense in terms of travel and not having employees on the job doing paid work for customers, but our distributors helped us make it all happen. In total, Okuma and our distributors rallied 5,300 man-hours (almost 3 man-years) in 8 days to construct the booth. It was amazing to see it all come together. All of our machines got built in about 20% of the normal time required, and we had a lot to proudly demonstrate for IMTS, where attendees love to see superstars like these machines. This is a great example of the kind of support you get from Okuma. Folks who can move mountains.
Ira Busman is Vice President of Customer Service, Okuma America Corporation.