More than 2,000 manufacturers from across North America attended Mazak Corp.’s Discover 2019 event held Nov. 5-7 and 12-13 at the company’s North American manufacturing headquarters in Florence, Kentucky. The event featured over 30 live machine tool demonstrations, and Mazak unveiled for the first time in North America several productivity-enhancing technologies such as its new Mazatrol SmoothAi control, as well as a new mixed reality training and service support system.
The company also showcased some of its investments in its Florence manufacturing campus, including a sneak preview of the latest improvements to its Mazak iSmart Factory and a new spindle rebuild facility in the campus’ South Building.
Developed with automation in mind, Mazak’s new SmoothAi control includes artificial intelligence-driven machining functions such as Smooth robot cell controller and Smooth robot teaching assist that make it easier to integrate a wide range of digital technologies into part-production operations. Featuring graphical user interface enhancements, an optional second monitor and operation panel enhancements to support other new Smooth Technology solutions, including Smooth Ai Spindle, Solid Mazatrol and Ai Thermal Shield, the SmoothAi CNC also incorporates new products like Smooth CAM Ai, Mazatrol Twins software and Smooth Project Manager.
Also garnering much attention at the event, Mazak’s Mixed Reality Training and new remote service modalities are expected to revolutionize training, service and maintenance with powerful display technology. The system takes virtual objects from VR and overlays them in the real world with an AR approach, enabling risk-free training and new possibilities for machine service and maintenance.
On the machine tool side, many of the advanced machines under power and cutting parts during Discover 2019 included those paired with automation solutions such as articulating robots and palletized part loading/unloading systems. Other machine tool innovations included Mazak’s Hybrid multitasking series of machines, which add technologies such as 3D metal printing with hot wire deposition and using force to join metals with friction stir welding to conventional machine tools.
Looking back at the success of the Discover More With Mazak series of events in 2019, Dan Janka, president of Mazak Corp., commented, “Our customers have come to rely on the these events to keep up with the latest manufacturing advancements and strategies, which is why Mazak Discover continues to hold the distinction as the industry’s largest privately held manufacturing technology and education event in North America.”
In keeping with the event’s educational focus and stemming from Mazak’s various technical collaborations, the company welcomed several of the manufacturing industry’s leading minds as keynote speakers during Discover 2019. Presentations from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of Cincinnati, Lockheed Martin, GE Aviation, Cisco Systems, Fanuc America, AMT -The Association For Manufacturing Technology and others addressed industry-critical topics including automation, workforce development, Hybrid multitasking, digitally connected factories and cybersecurity.
As part of the event, Mazak opened the doors of its Mazak iSmart Factory for tours, during which attendees experienced the company’s latest investments in its own manufacturing operations, including a new completely automated manufacturing cell currently being installed and the initial stages of the entirely new Spindle Rebuild facility. This new state-of-the-art facility will provide efficient and high-quality OEM-factory-certified spindle rebuild services and will further improve Mazak’s ability to quickly deliver spindles and reduce customer downtime.
In line with the Mazak iSmart Factory concept, the new automated manufacturing cell spotlighted the effectiveness of Mazak’s Smooth Technology digital manufacturing solutions, including its new Smooth Spindle Health Monitoring, that contribute significantly to increased productivity and maximized machine utilization. The new manufacturing cell features Mazak’s Mazatec Smart Manufacturing System (SMS) for both machine pallet and raw material stocking and six of Mazak’s most advanced machine tools and also incorporates the Mazak SmartBox IIoT technology for process monitoring and optimization.
Related Glossary Terms
- computer numerical control ( CNC)
computer numerical control ( CNC)
Microprocessor-based controller dedicated to a machine tool that permits the creation or modification of parts. Programmed numerical control activates the machine’s servos and spindle drives and controls the various machining operations. See DNC, direct numerical control; NC, numerical control.
- computer-aided manufacturing ( CAM)
computer-aided manufacturing ( CAM)
Use of computers to control machining and manufacturing processes.