With an aggressive plan in place, Mazak Corporation (Florence, KY) will invest $8.5 million in new manufacturing technology for their iSmart Factory operations in Florence. This investment includes the installation of a new state-of-the-art manufacturing cell with fully automated storage and retrieval system, six of their most advanced machine tools, and several Smooth technologies – all of which will allow them 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). These machine tools all feature Mazatrol SmoothG control technology that is expected to help further increase part production speed by as much as 30 percent.
“Our company continuously invests in its North American operations, which have grown and advanced into a sophisticated and extremely productive iSmart Factory,” noted Dan Janka, the company president. “At the heart of this forward-thinking concept is plant-wide connectivity, automation and optimized production flow that allows us to significantly increase machine utilization, shorten throughput times, eliminate no non-value-added operations and process parts more efficiently.”
In line with their latest iSmart Factory concept, the new cell in Kentucky will incorporate SmartBox for process monitoring and optimization. This new cell setup will be used to demonstrate to customers the effectiveness of Smooth technology digital manufacturing systems – such as Smooth Spindle Health Monitoring – that contribute significantly to increased productivity and maximized machine utilization. On the automation side of this investment, a new, fully automated Mazatec SMS for both machine pallet and raw material stocking will supply the six new machine tools for continuous production and provide more storage capacity in the same amount of floor space, as well as additional room for future cell expansions.
With four load/unload stations, the new manufacturing cell will combine three different models of machines, three different size work pallets and one new raw material/stocker system, all in one system. It also will include a tool transportation system that services all of the machines with tooling. 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 of this technology is the same as that available to their customers. “It has always been our practice to first use any of our newly developed manufacturing technology in our own operations before ever offering it outside,” he said. “We would never offer technology that we ourselves wouldn’t be willing to use in our own operations. And this new technology is testament to that practice.”
Snow Wins Resistance Welding Award
Tom Snow, chairman of T. J. Snow Co. (Chattanooga, TN) was recognized with the Elihu Thomson Resistance Welding Award at Fabtech 2021, held in Chicago in September.
Hexagon to Build Ecosystem to Help Overcome Challenges in Additive Manufacturing
Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has announced its plan to build a flexible, open additive manufacturing (AM) ecosystem to help overcome complexities in 3D-printing processes and to support customers in building their product development and manufacturing workflows.
GE Additive and Wichita State Team Up to Help Adoption of Metal Additive Manufacturing by DoD
GE Additive and Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding as the cornerstone of a new, collaborative effort aimed at supporting the U.S. Department of Defense‘s accelerated adoption of metal additive manufacturing technology.