Mazak Corp. (Florence, KY) continues its steady advance toward the complete factory digitization of all its manufacturing operations with the recent transformation of its Oguchi, Japan, facility into yet another Mazak iSMART Factory. The Oguchi plant now joins Mazak’s iSMART Factory in Florence, Kentucky, as the first two in the company’s plan to eventually designate all ten of its manufacturing operations as Mazak iSMART Factories. The next-generation iSMART Factory represents Mazak’s all-encompassing manufacturing vision and global branding initiative. These next-generation factories use advanced manufacturing cells and systems together with full digital integration to achieve free-flow data sharing in terms of process control and operation monitoring. In the Mazak iSMART Factory, the MTConnect open communications protocol works with process support software and provides connectivity and the capability to monitor and then harvest data from all the different production floor machines, cells, devices and processes.
“There is little doubt in the industry that MTConnect will soon be the standard worldwide and the foundation of tomorrow’s digitized manufacturing operations,” said Brian Papke, chairman of Mazak. “At Mazak, we’ve experienced double-digit increases in productivity and machine utilization in each facility immediately after the implementation of digital process monitoring through MTConnect and our SmartBox technology.” For the Oguchi Mazak iSMART Factory, the MTConnect open protocol allows the plant to use its own in-house cyber monitoring software. This software then works conjunction with Mazak’s Smooth Monitoring software so the plant can monitor operations and optimize production efficiency. With its Mazak iSMART Factories, Mazak continues to position itself at the forefront of factory digitization. At its Florence, Kentucky, facility, Mazak produces over 100 models of turning centers, Multi-Tasking machines, and vertical machining centers. Relative to that, the company will make further announcements concerning its ongoing digitization initiative at this year’s EMO Hanover 2017 show, September 18-23 in Hanover, Germany.