Yamazaki Mazak Corp. announced plans to build a new manufacturing plant in Japan where it will implement the automated and data-networked manufacturing concept it first outlined in 2014. The new plant at Inabe City, about 230 miles southwest of Tokyo in Mie Prefecture, is budgeted at ¥20 billion ($176.5 million), the machine tool builder announced. It said the 56,000-m2 operation would be in production by 2019.
Yamazaki Mazak’s extensive catalog of Mazak brand machine tools includes turning centers, multi-tasking machines, and vertical CNC machines, as well as machine control technologies.
The group did not indicate what product lines would be manufactured at the new plant.
The Inabe City plant will be a greenfield version of Mazak’s iSMART Factory concept, which uses advanced manufacturing cells and production systems to maximize productivity and flexibility, and “free-flow data sharing” with machine and process control monitoring. The goal is to optimize manufacturing by coordinating all available technology, information, and resources, in line with the theories projected as the industrial Internet of Things (IoT).
The Mazak Corp. manufacturing plant in Florence, Ky., which has been expanded and extensively updated over the past decade, is the primary example of the iSMART Factory concept. Along with the automation systems and manufacturing technologies installed there, the plant uses the MTConnect® open communications protocol to link machines, work cells, individual devices, and discrete processes, and to collect process and product data from each one.
In addition to the Florence operation, Yamazaki Mazak’s Oguchi plant in Japan will be fully outfitted as an iSMART Factory by the end of this year. The group’s eventual goal is not only to have individual plants fully networked but to have the all of its plants sharing production and performance data, again, according to the IoT model.
Noting that the Inabe City plant’s 56,000 m2 production space will be available for manufacturing larger machine tools, and with the iSMART Factory functions in place, Yamazaki Mazak said the new plant would increase its productivity by more than 50%.
Once the new plant is built, manufacturing programs will be transferred in stages from the Yamazaki Mazak plant at Seiko, also in Mie Prefecture.