Machine tool builder Mazak Corporation completed the expansion of its National Service and Training Departments in Florence, Ky., recently, and all of its customer-training courses have been conducted in the modernized National Technology Center & Center for Multi-Tasking and Manufacturing Excellence since early January.
Mazak has eight technology centers in North America, each one creating a regional presence for equipment sales and service, and training and technical development for machine shops and manufacturers. The National Technology Center in Kentucky is the center of this effort: it opened in 1996 and it was doubled in size in 2006.
Together, Mazak’s Technology Centers are an important element of the company’s Optimum Plus service and support program. Each Technology Center gives manufacturers access to multi-tasking and five-axis machines, training courses and seminars, parts support, and other networking and manufacturing technologies.
Like most machine tool manufacturers, Mazak endured a decline in demand starting early in 2009, but since then the company has been increasing production at manufacturing operation in Northern Kentucky.
The current capacity expansion at Florence was announced in 2012. First, Mazak increased the size of its North American Parts Center and Spindle Repair Department. Today, it is able to stock over 52,000 part numbers — an inventory of spares estimated at more than $65 million.
Second stage ready
The expanded National Technology Center counts as the second stage of the modernization. The available space increased from 69,000 to 100,183 sq.ft., and the full length of the building runs now to 625 ft. It includes seven high-bay areas for testing and demonstrating Mazak’s manufacturing technology.
“The expanded National Technology Center will provide customers with significantly enhanced applications support and customer’s learning opportunities,” according to Mazak Corp. president Brian Papke. “We will also be able to demonstrate larger-size machines and automation systems to create increased opportunities for process and productivity solutions, including complete turnkey manufacturing systems.”
Mazak also added more office space to the Technology Center. The extra 18,750 sq.ft. includes six classrooms for customer training, with space for Mazak’s National Service Department and MAZATROL Control Support Group.
The third stage of expansion will increase Mazak’s manufacturing capacity to 200 machines per month, for various types of machines.
When all phases of expansion are complete, Mazak noted, it will have 800,000 sq.ft. of operations at the Kentucky campus.