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Mazak Expands into Swiss-Style Machining

Oct. 28, 2021
The CNC machine builder is offering a new option for high-precision turning of parts, addressing a market segment that has emerged over the past decade.

Mazak Corp. introduced a new series of Swiss-style machines this week, expanding on its well-known portfolio of multi-tasking machine tools and acknowledging manufacturers’ growing demand for machine tools capable of producing high volumes of high-precision parts. The new SYNCREX machines were displayed for the first time at Mazak’s Discover 2021 event – a four-day program of seminars, presentations, and technology exhibits at Mazak’s Florence, Kentucky, manufacturing campus.

"Now shops can count on Mazak quality to expand their productivity into new areas and applications," according to Dan Janka, president of Mazak Corp.

In his remarks on the new series introduction, Janka indicated that the addition of a Swiss-style machine series had been in consideration and development for about a decade at Mazak, as demand emerged for smaller parts with high-precision characteristics. The demand is found especially in job shops, though it includes manufacturing activities across many different industries, including aerospace and automotive manufacturing, consumer electronics, energy markets and medical manufacturing, among others.

Mazak’s roll-out of the SYNCREX machines will initially be focused in its Midwest region, followed by the Northeast, Southeast, North Central, and West Coast regions.

Like all Mazak machines, the SYNCREX series is produced in Kentucky, for distribution worldwide. A new building for SYNCREX assembly and testing is being completed at the Kentucky campus, to be opened in summer 2022.

Swiss-style turning machines produce precision parts typified by a high length-to-diameter ratio; the label is a reference to the type of machining associated with small, high-precision parts for timepieces and jewelry. The machines are configured to feed stock through a guide bushing, so that the OD turning tool cuts the stock near to the bushing where the material is supported – and thus longer workpieces can be produced with precision.

Mazak’s SYNCREX series currently consists of two variants, for 20-mm and 25-mm turning. Two more models are set to be introduced in 2022, for 32-mm and 38-mm turning. Seven-, eight-, and nine-axis designs are offered, all of which feature a collet plus single-motor ball spline drive to enhance accuracy and reduce material waste. A 10,000-rpm spindle and a variable vibrating system ensure stable and repeatable turning.

SYNCREX machines accommodate a maximum of 35 tools in a standard configuration: 22 static and 13 live. An automated tool setter checks, measures and sets up tools to optimize the process, which reduces set-up times.

A high-rigidity base casting promotes stability and reduces vibration and thermal distortion, which promotes longer tool life, higher-quality parts and better surface finishes.

A twin-screen system with built-in AutoDesk software helps to accelerate part set-up and production.

The control for SYNCREX machines is performed by Mazak’s new MAZATROL SmoothSt CNC, with its Swiss Setup Assist (MSSA) for quick job setups, and Mazak Turning Chip Control (MTCC) functionality. Its PLC functions include tool touch-off, part cut-off, retract point, and start position. MAZATROL SmoothSt also allows for synchronous control, rigid tapping with all spindles, and cross and front simultaneous machining.

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