The machine tool manufacturing plant in Florence Ky is the primary example of the Mazakrsquos iSMART Factory concept

Mazak Building IoT-Ready Manufacturing Plant in Japan

March 3, 2016
Machine tool manufacturer’s iSMART Factory concept will maximize productivity, connectivity, performance Globally optimized manufacturing program Free-flow data sharing $176.5 million project set for 2019

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).

Yamazaki Mazak’s 56,000 m2 Inabe City plant southwest of Tokyo will begin producing machine tools in 2019.

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.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)

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