ERLANGER, KY-MAG Industrial Automation Systems, a machine tool and factory automation company, has announced adjustments to its product portfolio, production sites, sales and technical support network to improve its competitive position in the vertical machining center (VMC) segment.

Continuing its investments in new products and manufacturing solutions, MAG will be developing larger, two- and three-meter models of recently introduced VMC product lines, aiming for introduction of the machines to the global market at the EMO machine tool show in Milan, Italy, in October 2009.

"We expect these new three- and five-axis vertical machining centers to be well received by the aerospace, mold and die, energy and other industry segments, which are well positioned to weather the current economic situation," says Mark Logan, vice president of business development and marketing for MAG Americas. "In the first quarter our Chatsworth, CA, facility will increase production of VMC's, including those equipped with the new Infimatic control systems, to shorten delivery times in this increasingly competitive global market segment.”

To improve its ability to adjust build rates to meet changing demand, MAG is planning to ultimately combine manufacturing of VMC's with related product lines currently produced at its Fond du Lac, WI, facility. "Our Fond du Lac plant has consistently achieved unprecedented productivity and quality by utilizing advanced forecasting, demand management, Six Sigma and similar strategies," says Logan. "In addition, its recently enlarged machine shop is the production center for major components of our product lines. This transition will take place throughout 2009, and we expect our distributors and customers to realize significant competitive advantages."

The Chatsworth, CA, facility will become the base of MAG’s sales, service and technical support for the western U.S. market, with more than 60 people assigned to the region. "We will expand the inventory and staff to support the entire MAG product range, as well as MAG Fadal machines and Infimatic controls," says Logan. The sales and distribution network for MAG Fadal products will continue under the management of MAG Vice President Jerry McCarty.

In addition, MAG Americas will expand its North American sales and support network to serve distributors and customers. The extensive network of 26 MAG regional managers covering the NAFTA countries is responsible for technical support and management of distributors for all MAG products. MAG distributors provide sales and service for MAG Fadal vertical machining centers, and sales representation for the full portfolio of MAG machinery and systems, productivity solutions, tooling and engineering services.