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Dr Eng Masahiko Mori

President

DMG Mori Co Ltd

DIGITALISATION Unmanned manufacturing operation is in demand

Apr 16, 2019

….says Dr Eng Masahiko Mori, President, DMG Mori Co Ltd, in an interview with Shekhar Jitkar, where he talks about the key growth drivers for his company, the focus areas for 2019, the progress of digitalisation and the trends in global manufacturing. Excerpts…

How has the cooperation between DMG and Mori Seiki evolved over the years? What do you think about the role of different industry sectors as part of your global footprint?

The year 2019 marks the 10th anniversary since the start of the cooperation between DMG and Mori Seiki. DMG Mori Co, former Mori Seiki Co Ltd, had competitive advantages in turning centres, mill-turn machines, automation solutions, and in-house production of key components such as, spindles. On the other hand, DMG Mori AG, former Gildemeister AG, had a strong presence in 5-axis machines, as well as laser and ultrasonic machining technologies. Both companies brought in their unique strengths and have been deepening the degree of business integration.

By joining forces of designers from both Japan and Germany, DMG Mori has also explored new technology fields such as, software, measurement, and sensing. Our extensive product line-up and worldwide sales and service network fulfil a wide range of customers’ needs in all the regions and industries. DMG Mori’s customer base includes more than 1,50,000 companies from a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, die & mould, general machinery, energy, medical, and semiconductor industries. DMG Mori’s global customer support system consists of 5,000 sales and service specialists at 157 locations in 42 countries.

Can you highlight the key drivers for the growth of your company?

The start of business collaboration between DMG and Mori Seiki in 2009 is the most important milestone of our corporate history. Integration of both companies made it possible to deliver excellent products from 14 factories in Japan, Germany, Poland, Italy, USA, China, and Russia. No other machine tool manufacturer has a comparable product line-up. Moreover, the integration brings the worldwide customers closer to us, as 300 machine tool and software designers, 1,500 application engineers, and 5,000 sales and service specialists at 157 locations in 42 countries provide direct after-sales support to users of our machines.

What would be the big strategy/plan that you will be pursuing in 2019, aimed at creating a big business impact?

Our focus areas in 2019 include:

  • 5-axis machines representing DMG Mori AG’s competitive edge; turn-key solutions with DMG Mori Co’s automation line-up; connectivity and digital factory

  • Additive manufacturing: Widening the customer base by 2 solutions – powder-bed and powder-nozzle methods

  • Sensing and measurement technologies for highly accurate and complex machining; optimised machining by software and AI (artificial intelligence); replacement of special purpose machines by universal machines

  • More training opportunities for our customers and employees. In other words, stronger support for worldwide customers to fully utilise DMG Mori’s machines.

How is the progress of digitalisation in your company? Would you like to highlight any other technology advances that will have a maximum traction in the next two years?

In 2018, DMG Mori launched WERKBLiQ, a new web-based after-sales solution for production control. WERKBLiQ can manage all the information related to production control and maintenance of all the machines at customers’ factories.

DMG Mori Messenger is a software solution to monitor machines’ status. Customers can check the real-time information of their machines online anytime and from anywhere. This opens doors for all-time remote monitoring from smartphones and PCs. In case of an emergency, such as, a machine-down caused by unexpected troubles, DMG Mori’s service centre can access the status information to offer a prompt support to minimise machine downtime

CELOS is DMG Mori’s Human Machine Interface. CELOS connects machine tools and internal systems to make production plans of each machine, monitor production progress, and manage schedules at one-stop. Additionally, DMG Mori provides a membership service — CELOS Club for customers in Japan and USA. The members’ benefits include software upgrading for continuous productivity improvement, extended warranty service, and reduction of production downtime through machines’ availability monitoring.

What has changed the most in the state of global manufacturing, according to you?

Today, many customers are interested in unmanned manufacturing operations during both night-time and day-time shifts and flexible high-mix low-volume production. At the same time, they face a common challenge to overcome a lack of skilled human resources. Against this background, 5-axis machining centres and automation solutions are appealing as replacement for their old machines.

Another remarkable trend is space-saving of factory floors. An increasing number of customers want to replace several special purpose machines by a universal machine, or multiple conventional machines by a single 5-axis machine. We expect that this trend will continue. By 2030, 80% of ordered machines will be delivered with automation solutions. Automation will increase the need for 24/7 machine monitoring to check if the machining program is executed as planned. Therefore, it will generate higher demand for measurement and digitalisation.

Which are the areas, according to you, where your company can carve out a niche for itself? Any diversification plans in the future?

DMG Mori can provide tailor-made products, solutions and services to customers worldwide by our industry experts in each of the following areas — automotive, aerospace, die & mould, and medical. Among others, we see a great potential in the medical industry. In aging societies like Japan, the demand for medical devices such as, artificial bones, joints, and implants will continue to grow. It will further increase the needs for machine tools to produce such devices. Since many years, DMG Mori has been providing optimised medical solutions to customers from Europe and North America. Now, we would like to serve customers from other regions as well.

Can you share with us your expansion plans for the Indian market, long-term and short-term?

This year, we will start production of vertical machining centres at our partner’s factory in India to catch up with the growing demand in the market. In addition, we will produce 10 units of horizontal machining centres dedicated to the Indian market every month at our production plant in Tianjin, China. India is no doubt one of the most important markets for DMG Mori. We see a great deal of growth potential in India’s machine tool market.

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  • Dr Masahiko Mori has been the President and Representative Director of DMG Mori Co Ltd and a Member of the Supervisory Board at DMG Mori AG. His previous titles include Manager of Planning Administration Office, Director of International Unit, Managing Director and Senior Managing Director in the Company. He has also served as President of Mori Seiki USA Inc and Vice President of the Japan Machine Tool Builders Association (JMTBA).

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