Thousands of North American manufacturers attended T3 – Tomorrow’s Technology Today, a Discover Mazak 2011 event. As a uniquely formatted event, T3 took place over the course of two weeks, allowing manufacturers to experience the absolute latest in machine tool technology and innovation in an intimate, interactive environment. Held at Mazak’s Florence, Kentucky campus, T3 was the largest, most comprehensive manufacturing technology solutions event ever held by a private company in the manufacturing industry.
For T3 attendees, advanced machine tool technology was one of the main attractions. Mazak debuted and demonstrated over 30 new machines, including models from Japan and several designed and built at the Kentucky plant, including the QUICK TURN NEXUS 450 MY Multi-Tasking CNC Turning Center, VERTICAL CENTER SMART 530C Vertical Machining Center, the ORBITEC 20 Machining Center and the new VERTICAL CENTER NEXUS – COMPACT Vertical Machining Center, which is designed for medical industry work.
Machine models from Japan debuting in the United States at T3 included the new VARIAXIS i-Series of 5-axis Multi-Tasking Machining Centers and the FJV 60/80 High-Precision Vertical Machining Center. Mazak also debuted the new, linear motor-driven Y-axis SUPER VELOCITY CENTER 2000L/200-II for long and large parts such as those often found in the aerospace industry. The HORIZONTAL CENTER NEXUS 6800-II featuring a hard metal machining package and the INTEGREX i-630V for gear cutting capability were also demonstrated.
Many of the new machines at T3 are additions to Mazak’s Five Levels of Multi-Tasking, which represent the most comprehensive lineup of Multi-Tasking technology in the world and one that addresses all industry segments. At T3, Mazak displayed 15 machine models from its Five Levels of Multi-Tasking – four machine models from Level One, two models from Level Two, two models from Level Three, four models from Level Four and one machine model from Level Five.
Level One machines, which typically offer a single turning spindle and drum-style turret with rotating tool capability for processing minimally complex workpieces, were the QUICK TURN SMART 250, SLANT TURN NEXUS 550M, and the MEGA TURN NEXUS 900M. Level Two machines add Y-axis functionality for off-center machining operations and Done-In-One machining using twin spindles/milling turret or twin spindles/twin turrets. Level Two machines displayed at T3 included the QUICK TURN NEXUS 250 MSY, 350 MY and 450 MY, along with the HYPER QUADREX 200 MSY and 450M and the MULTIPLEX 6200Y-II.
Independent milling spindle headstocks with B-axis indexing, as well as Y-axis travels and tool storage magazines, characterize Level Three of Mazak’s Five Levels of Multi-Tasking. In the Level Three category at T3, Mazak demonstrated the INTEGREX j-200 and j-400.
With an emphasis on automation and processing large or highly complex workpieces, Level Four encompasses full, simultaneous 5-axis machining. Machines showcased from this level included the INTEGREX i-150, i-200 ST and i-400 ST machine models, as well as the INTEGREX e-420H-S II and INTEGREX e-670H II.
The addition of specialized machining tasks, such as gear cutting, honing and grinding, transform a Level Four Multi-Tasking machine into a Level Five Ultra-Tasking machine that processes even the most demanding and complex parts complete in single setups. The Level Five Ultra-Tasking machine at T3 was the INTEGREX i-630V.
Machines demonstrated from all five Multi-Tasking levels, along with Mazak’s Multi-Tasking Machine Selector Tool interactive experience, offered T3 attendees an effective way to determine the best multi-tasking technology for meeting their specific application and process needs.
Additionally, Mazak premiered its new MAZATROL MATRIX 2 CNC control, which is designed to maximize 5-axis machining performance. MATRIX 2 provides increased processing speeds and functionality that together result in shorter part cycle times and vastly superior surface finishes.
Another unique aspect of T3 was the participation of each of Mazak’s Value Inspired Partners (VIP) that demonstrated their latest manufacturing innovations and shared with customers the ways in which their collaboration with Mazak results in more highly productive solutions for manufacturers. Each VIP conducted a technical seminar in The Learning Center at the National Technology Center and Center for Multi-Tasking and Manufacturing Excellence – a facility focused on education and training.
Additionally, technical specialists from Mazak’s VIP partners were stationed at the various Points Of Action near machine tool cutting demonstrations. Both Mazak technicians and technical specialists from the VIP partners answered attendee questions, offered valuable part processing advice and explained the technology being demonstrated.
T3 attendees also took part in the first public tours of Mazak’s recently expanded manufacturing floor. Those on the tours experienced the latest results of Mazak’s continuous investment in its U.S. manufacturing operations, which has included expanding the Kentucky facility’s manufacturing floor space and making significant technology upgrades. These continuous expansions and upgrades, coupled with Mazak’s Production-On-Demand approach to manufacturing, allow the company to quickly introduce new, innovative products into the market and continue to be highly competitive.
Factory floor expansions have entailed the installation of an additional 5-axis 10-meter double-column Mazak VERSATECH V-140N machining center for increasing large-size part production capabilities. Mazak also installed three Mazak Optonics OPTIPLEX 3015 laser fabrication centers in an FMS that improves the processing of sheet metal machine components. And a new paint system for large and heavy sheet metal parts, as well as new spindle repair/rebuild areas, were added.
For more information, visit: www.mazakt3.com