The company’s European Manufacturing Plant has been based in Worcester for over 30 years and produces over 1,000 units across 40 different ranges each year.
Mazak’s Worcester site is also home to its renowned European Technology Centre (ETC). One of 11 located around Europe, the 2,500m2 facility is able to house 24 different machine tools and really sits at the heart of Mazak’s UK customer offering. While the COVID-19 pandemic prevented Mazak from holding large scale events in 2020, the ETC – which is fully COVID-secure – remained open for personalised visits for large parts of last year and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Potential visitors are able to book a slot online and review the most up-to-date machines at their convenience.
Given the disruption caused by COVID-19, Mazak’s main priority this year is to help its customers return to pre-pandemic levels of productivity as soon as possible.
A recent survey sent to all Mazak UK customers revealed the importance of automation systems, with the main incentives to adopt this technology being to become more competitive (37%) and increasing the un-manned or lights-out capability (33%). To meet this demand for automation, Mazak will be unveiling a number of solutions throughout 2021.
One machine tool which already forms part of Mazak’s range of automation-ready solutions is the UK-made CV5-500, a fully simultaneous 5-axis machining centre with the smallest footprint. Developed to help machine tool users transition from vertical machining operations into simultaneous 5-axis work, the CV5-500 can be easily integrated with a variety of automation solutions due to the addition of a side-loading door, robot interface and hydraulic and pneumatic fixture interface options.
In addition to promoting the adoption of automation, Mazak will also be furthering its customer support across the practical application of both artificial intelligence and digital twin technology, via its next generation of MAZATROL Smooth CNC controls: SmoothAi.
SmoothAi’s artificial intelligence capabilities enable the machine to learn from a variety of information sources, including the operator, previous cutting processes and environmental data input, to continually improve performance – ultimately delivering a reduction in cycle time, cutting surface improvement, ease of operation and automation integration.
The new control also has digital twinning capability in the form of MAZATROL Twins, which creates a digital replica of the machine through the control. SmoothCAM Ai or a third party CADCAM digital twin can then be utilised to ensure the offline programme works on the machine.
Finally, throughout 2021 Mazak will also bring to market the latest developments in its outstandingly successful INTEGREX i-series. The new INTEGREX i-H range of multi-tasking machines will combine the advanced manufacturing capabilities of Mazak’s DONE-IN-ONE philosophy with a host of new features including a flat front and rear-mounted tool magazine for easy integration with automation systems to maximise the range’s multi-tasking capabilities. As well as boosting end-user productivity, the efficiencies achieved by the new i-H series can significantly cut running costs and ultimately contribute to a tangible reduction of CO2 consumption throughout the supply chain.