The Magic of MazakPublished Monday 6th April 2020As you would expect from such a high-tech manufacturing operation as the one to be found at McGeoch’s headquarters in Birmingham, UK, drilling, grinding, milling, tapping, threading and turning are all standard everyday processes but recent investment has allowed the introduction of 4th and 5th axis machining centers, significantly increasing the versatility of our manufacturing process. So much so that now, after detailed programming by our highly-experienced operators, a block of aluminium or stainless steel can be loaded into one of our machines and minutes later, a complex bespoke component can be complete and ready for final inspection.Nowadays the majority of the state-of-the-art machines which stand side-by-side on our shop floor are manufactured by the Japanese Yamazaki Mazak Corporation.Yamazaki Mazak was established in 1919 and in nearly a century of operation they have made a significant contribution to the development of the machine tool industry as a leading global company. Yamazaki Mazak manufactures not only advanced machine tools such as multi-tasking centers, CNC turning centers, machining centers and laser processing machines but also automation systems with the concept of ‘done in one’ to support global manufacturing by providing exceptional productivity and versatility. The company began the establishment of overseas facilities in 1974 and today, Yamazaki Mazak has five manufacturing plants in the China, Singapore, the UK and USA. Through this global network, Yamazaki Mazak has been supplying high quality before and after-sales service and support developing strong relationships with customers all over the world.The latest machine to grace the McGeoch shop floor is a Mazak Vertical Travelling Column Machining Centre with 5th axis configuration provide the ultimate platform for today’s challenging and diverse range of manufacturing applications.Based on a dual load configuration, the machine benefits from a compact footprint, as well as a long X-axis stroke and 2,300 mm fixed table. Also featured is a 12,000 rpm spindle and rapid traverse rates of 42 m/min in the X, Y and Z axes. A 15.6” touchscreen runs on Sinumerki Operate 4.7 and features a built-in keyboard with USB and ethernet interfaces. A number of intelligent operations underpin the CNC, including ShopMill, which automatically compiles machining step programs to enable multiple clamping operations with fewer tool changes. A built-in maintenance planner is also included.Offering over 20 languages, the control can be programmed to send SMS messages to operators, machine setters, or service and maintenance technicians, providing alerts for tool life, availability of blanks and upcoming maintenance schedules. Importantly, the control is also able to provide automatic feedback on a range of machine diagnostics.
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