Yamazaki Mazak Corporation has announced the start of assembly operations at its latest production facility in Inabe City, Mie Prefecture, Japan. The company celebrated the completion of the initial construction phase of its sixth Japanese Mazak facility and 11th worldwide with an open house event attended by customers and distributors from across Japan.
While the final stage of construction is ongoing, the Inabe Plant has already begun producing new Variaxis Series five-axis machining centers and Versatech Series five-axis double-column machining centers. The facility also includes significant floor space devoted to performing test cuts for customers on these large machine tools. When the $176 million (¥20 billion) facility is finished, the 56 000m² production floor will take over operations from the current Seiko Plant in nearby Kuwana City, which will serve as a machining facility for the Inabe Plant.
The new plant has been opened to meet the increasing demand for large five-axis machine tools, specifically in the aerospace, construction and energy industries
The new Inabe facility includes many features essential to the manufacture of high-precision machine tools, including advanced Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) monitoring technology and environmental controls that prevent temperature changes beyond ±1ºC on the production floor. The current operations have already increased Yamazaki Mazak’s overall production capacity in Japan by 20 per cent, and the company plans to prioritise the expansion of its production floor to meet high levels of worldwide machine tool demand.
Like the company’s North American headquarters in Florence, Kentucky, the Inabe Plant will ultimately become a Mazak iSMART Factory™. A concept that represents the complete digital integration of factories with the use of state-of-the-art manufacturing technology, Mazak iSMART Factories leverage the MTConnect® open communications protocol and Smooth Technology process support software toward harvesting data from production floor machines, cells, devices and processes. In addition, Mazak iSMART Factories feature high degrees of automation, five-axis machines and multi-tasking technology, components that will eventually be a part of all Mazak factories worldwide.
Construction of the Inabe Plant began in 2016, with the first phase completed in February 2018. With the first phase completed, the production of large machine tools has been transferred to Inabe from the Minokamo Plant in the Gifu prefecture. In addition, by starting operations at the Inabe plant, overall production capacity in Japan has been increased by 20 per cent.
The company says the machine tool market is currently strong and further increases in production are planned, with the new plant ensuring the company’s ability to respond more effectively to the requirements of the domestic and overseas markets.
For more information contact Hi-Tech Machine Tools on TEL: 011 608 0088 or visit www.hitech.co.za