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Putting its own technology to work

One of the impressive displays of the technology that Mazak Optonics provides is the way it used its own equipment in the construction of its Phoenix Laboratory in Minokamo, Japan.

The underground facility is topped by a gleaming pyramid built of glass supported by steel beams and channels.

The beams and channels were created with the company’s own laser cutting equipment, and the architectural result is nothing short of a work of art.

The beams and the frames for the windows that comprise the pyramidal reception area are cut with a variety of angles that fit precisely. The fit is a tribute to the precision provided by the company’s machinery.

The construction model was based on the company’s breakthrough technology for space frame and support column design through the use of multi-axis laser cutting of hollow tubular structures.

The company’s own solid-model FG CAM and SPACE CAM software creates the 3D CNC code and its FabriGear and SpaceGear-U44 3D tube and pipe laser-cutting machines produce patented space frame and support column technology that features interlocking tubes that assemble without castings or spheres.

The first building that used this concept was Mazak’s 47,000 ft2 (4375 m2) World Technology Center that was built in Nagoya, Japan, and opened in 2006.

The construction lead time for truss and support column design, fabrication, assembly, welding, and erection was onefourth that of conventional space frames for that building, and the benefits from the construction process included increased building strength, end-to-end building squareness of +/- 0.080 in., the use of less skilled labor for the assembly and welding process, and less at-site erection labor. Furthermore, by using closed-face round pipe members rather than open-face section members, Mazak was able to reduce the raw material content from 400 tons to 300 tons with no sacrifice in strength.

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