Machine-tool builder Mazak Corp. reports it is investing $9 million in new machines at its lean manufacturing plant in Florence, KY. This follows a $3.5-million building expansion completed recently there.
Two new Versatech V-100N machines have been installed and put into operation, and two more will be installed soon. The four new V-100N machines are intended to replace six older V-100 models from Mazak’s FMS line, and much higher levels of productivity are anticipated according to the company.
The V-100N is a multiple surface 5-axis, double-column machining center for very large work pieces. Mazak explains that the machines’ spindle heads can be positioned to a vertical and horizontal location, and any angle in between, to achieve 40-70% increases in productivity, depending on the part being produced.
“Mazak really believes that for those who want to reap the benefits when the economy turns around, now is the time to invest in new technology,” stated Brian Papke, president of Mazak. “These machines not only represent new technology, but also a new approach to production. Through higher productivity and efficiency, we are truly moving to a production-on-demand model.”
Papke added that the expansion would create greater flexibility for Mazak in its effort to meet customers’ needed product configurations. “The old days of building to a forecast, accumulating inventory and then selling that inventory at reduced prices doesn’t work anymore,” Papke said. “We need to be fast, responsive to change and build to the customer’s order specifications. We now manufacture over 35 basic product models including the well-accepted NEXUS vertical and turning centers with multi-tasking capability.”