With an aggressive plan in place, Mazak Corporation has announced it will invest $8.5 million in new manufacturing technology for its Florence, Kentucky, Mazak iSmart Factory operations. The investment encompasses the installation of a new state-of-the-art manufacturing cell with fully automated storage and retrieval system, six of Mazak’s most advanced machine tools and several Mazak SMOOTH Technologies – all of which will allow the company to satisfy growing customer demand and provide the shortest possible turnaround times.
With an expected completion date of late 2019, the new cell will entail two HCN 6800 and three HCN 8800 Machining Centers and an INTEGREX e-1250V Multi-Tasking Machine and one MAZATEC Smart Manufacturing System (SMS). The machine tools all feature MAZATROL SmoothG control technology that is expected to help further increase part production speed by as much as 30 percent.
“Mazak continuously invests in its North American operations, which have grown and advanced into a sophisticated and extremely productive Mazak iSmart Factory,” said Dan Janka, president of Mazak Corp. “At the heart of that forward-thinking concept are plant-wide connectivity, automation and optimized production flow that allow us to significantly increase machine utilization, shorten throughput times, eliminate non-value-added operations and process parts more efficiently.”
In line with the latest Mazak iSmart Factory concept, the new cell in Kentucky will incorporate Mazak’s SmartBox for process monitoring and optimization. Mazak will also use this new cell setup to demonstrate to customers the effectiveness of the company’s SMOOTH Technology digital manufacturing solutions – such as Smooth Spindle Health Monitoring – that contribute significantly to increased productivity and maximized machine utilization.
On the automation side of the Kentucky iSmart Factory investment, a new fully automated MAZATEC Smart Manufacturing System (SMS) for both machine pallet and raw material stocking will supply the six new machine tools for continuous production. The MAZATEC SMS will also provide more storage capacity in the same amount of floor space as well as additional room for future cell expansions.
The new manufacturing cell, with four load/unload stations, will combine the three different models of machines, three different size work pallets and one new raw material/stocker system all in one cell. It also will include a tool transportation system that services all the machines with tooling. Mazak’s Smooth Tool Management will oversee the system’s operations as well as access tooling information via Cloud-based data that can then download into toolholder RFID chips.
According to Janka, all the technology involved in this factory investment is the same as that available to Mazak’s customers. “As always, it has been our practice to first use any newly developed Mazak manufacturing technology in our own operations before ever offering it to customers. We would never offer customers technology that we ourselves wouldn’t be willing to use in our own operations,” he said. “And the new technology as part of this investment is testament to that practice.”