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US Manufacturing Skills Gap Rising: Makino Debuts the World’s First Talking & Thinking Machine Tools


“ATHENA” is a Voice-controlled Intelligent Assistant that can run a machine tool through voice-commands

Chicago, Illinois–(Newsfile Corp. – September 9, 2018) – Manufacturers both large and small are plagued with the same issue — a skills gap that has the very real potential of negatively impacting the industry’s growth and profitability. Why? President Trump’s trade agreements are expanding U.S. manufacturing. And according to Deloitte, an estimated 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled throughout the next decade due to baby-boomer retirements.

“ATHENA” is Key to Solving an Overwhelming Labor Crisis

“The labor issue is real, and U.S. manufacturers are living with it every day,” says Don Lane, CEO of Makino. “As an industry, we must work together on solving the problems being caused by the skills gap. I believe break-through technology like ‘ATHENA’ will revolutionize manufacturing by making it easier to both learn about and use a machine tool, as well as to efficiently operate one on a day-to-day basis.”

Designed to run an EDM or CNC machine, “ATHENA’s” new voice-interoperability and intelligent-learning technology help owners reduce training requirements by providing new operators with their voice-enabled digital assistant. This allows them to move more quickly and safely from the classroom to the factory floor. Also, by increasing the sheer number of operators, seasoned employees will have more freedom to move easily from one machine to another as needed. But that’s not all. The state-of-the-art digital intelligence behind this controller technology enables the actual machine to continue learning the more a controller interacts with it. Thus, increasing its value every day.

A Revolution in Manufacturing

“ATHENA” can report machine status, control all machine tool operations, coach the operator on standard procedures or operations; and calculate helpful information that would otherwise not be readily available to the operator. In short, “ATHENA” helps owners remain competitive in a turbulent time by helping them to work smarter and increase production.

“ATHENA’s” World Debut

“ATHENA” will be unveiled on a Makino a61nx 5-axis CNC machine at the International Manufacturing Technology Show, being held at McCormick Place in Chicago, September 10-15. Makino will also be launching several new multi-axis machines in which “ATHENA” technology will be available as an additional feature. “ATHENA” will work on both new and legacy Makino EDM and machine tools.

Media Contact:

Kara Valz

Phone: 513-316-7374

Related Links

Makino Website