Mazak Corporation (Florence, KY) has acquired MegaStir (Provo, UT), a supplier of friction stir welding (FSW) tools and technology. With this acquisition, they continue to expand and build upon their HYBRID Multi-Tasking Machine Technology, as the new Mazak MegaStir will provide further system advancements and evolve into an FSW technology center. A resident FSW machine in Provo, as well as in other Mazak Technology Centers, will provide customers with the potential for real manufacturing solutions in a Done-in-One capacity.
FSW is a solid-sate joining process that uses frictional heat and forging pressure to create full-penetration, defect-free welded joints with greater strength than conventional welding methods. The process utilizes a non-consumable tool to join two metal plates without melting the workpiece. Commonly considered a forging process, FSW is well-suited for joining alloys with low melting points, including aluminum, copper and brass, among others. Since 2002, MegaStir has been a leader with improved FSW tool material innovation and applications designed for endurance and quality welding that consistently produce top quality, high strength welds in a single pass.
Through several key developmental collaborations and now this acquisition, Mazak continues to pioneer their HYBRID Multi-Tasking concept that extends beyond the combination of additive and subtractive processes to also include others such as FSW capabilities for complete part processing on one machine tool platform and often in one setup.
The companies first collaborated on the development of the VTC-800 FSW vertical 5-axis machining center and recently introduced the VTC-300C FSW at the IMTS 2018 show in Chicago that features Mazatrol SmoothG CNC, a powerful 40-taper spindle, full traveling-column design and a fixed table for the machining of extremely long and heavy workpieces (or multiple work-holding fixtures). The FSW package adds friction stir welding capability to the spindle via a unique tool holder and includes closed-loop FSW process control as well as FSW programming software that enhances the speed and capability of the process.
“Our goal is to continuously explore and develop new technologies, processes and product innovation that will keep our customers productive, competitive and profitable,” said Dan Janka, the president of Mazak Corporation, referring to this acquisition as a testament to their commitment to furthering multi-tasking technology. “Our various FSW machines are perfect examples of that.” Dale Fleck will head up operations as the general manager of the new Mazak MegaStir. He said that all those at MegaStir are extremely thrilled to now be part of the new team: “Together we will advance FSW applications, not only within the oil and gas industry sector, but also into other new and dynamic high-tech segments as well.”
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