Strength in Numbers

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There was a time when many machine tool builders were very vertically integrated.

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There was a time when many machine tool builders were very vertically integrated. The reasons were many and included control of general manufacturing and proprietary manufacturing. However, as time has passed so has some of the luster of vertical integration. The sheer complexity of modern machine tool with its blending of mechanical and electronic technologies, not to mention automation accessories, cutting tools, workholding and handling, to name a few, demand that contemporary builders recognize the need to make what they know how best and let other specialists do the same in a vendor capacity. There is no shame in this, and the winner is the customer.

We’ve seen this in the recent past as more and more builders join with key suppliers, each of which brings a specific expertise to the party. The end game of these alliances is to provide the customer with best application processing concept these groups can collectively come up with. The hope, of course, is to win the order, but it’s also representative of a sea change in attitude regarding cooperation among builders and their many vendors to provide enhanced customer service.

To that end, Mazak recently announced its version of such cooperation under the banner of VIP (Value Inspired Partners) certification. Its first member is Sandvik Coromant U.S.A. with more members waiting in the wings.

Here is the announcement from Mazak:

Mazak has announced the launch of Value Inspired Partners (VIP), a new technology partnership program, which is designed to further support customers and provide them with total manufacturing solutions. Stemming from a constant commitment to American manufacturers, this new program represents an increased level of partnership with companies that manufacture equipment, software and accessories. To be VIP certified, companies must provide products and services that transcend traditional supplier relationships and regularly meet a set of qualification criteria.

Criteria for VIP certification include the minimum of the following:

• Be a recognized leader with unique, innovative and high quality products
• Provide extensive pre- and post-sales support
• Add value to customer processes and provide system solutions
• Maintain a culture of ethical business standards and practices

“Over the last decade, the rate of technological innovation has increased substantially across all types of manufacturing equipment and software,” says Brian Papke, president of Mazak Corporation. “To provide the best possible solutions to end users, manufacturers in any specific product category cannot operate in a vacuum. By establishing productive partnerships with producers of complementary technologies, we offer customers a more diverse array of technical expertise and achieve development of truly optimized solutions.”

Sandvik Coromant has been certified as the first member of the Mazak VIP program, and the selection process is ongoing for several other potential members.

“We are pleased to be the first member of the VIP initiative,” says John Israelsson, president of Sandvik Coromant U.S.A. “We will work with this new program to bring our customers a complete machining solution to the shop floor.”

Companies that qualify for the VIP program will work closely with Mazak, both in product development and in creating value-added training events and seminars for American manufacturers. VIP members will also benefit from cooperative marketing efforts when appropriate.