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Scotchman Industries continues to grow

The brains and spindle part of the newest Mazak Palletech Horizontal Machining Cell wait behind a member of the transportation crew as the machine’s second section is being unwrapped.

It's been more than a year, early October, 2005, when Scotchman Industries started using its first Mazak Palletech Horizontal Machining Cell.

On March 26, 2007, the ironworker manufacturing company in Philip received delivery of a second such machine.

The two computerized systems for manufacturing parts for hydrolic ironworkers will operate separately from each other. Each system is capable of completing all programmed operations independently of constant human intervention.

When the first million-dollar-plus Mazak came in, Scotchman President Jerry Kroetch said, "The idea is that we load it with raw steel just before we go home for the evening, then we reload it the next morning."

Though they are separate, the two cells will both "talk" to an independent pallet delivery system. The pallet controller is a computerized scheduler that uses a rail car to direct pallets of raw material. Now, instead of regulating 12, it will have to control 28 pallets in order to continually supply the two machines.

"It will be interesting," said Jerry Rislov, Scotchman Industries vice-president of operations.

The new machine cell should be up and going in about two weeks.

The two Mazaks and the pallet controller have the capability of running 24 hours a day completely unmanned. The controller is hooked up to a phone system and will contact human operators, even in the middle of the night, if something is needed or a potential problem is detected. Each cell requires only three employees to oversee its operation.

"Eventually, in about four or five months, the computer system itself should be accessible in the employee operators' homes so they can diagnose any problems without having to come to the plant in the middle of the night," said controller Jason Rhodes. "The people might not even have to leave their homes to fix most problems."