Mazak Corporation today announced that it will significantly expand the company’s North American manufacturing plant in Florence, Kentucky. This expansion will allow for increased production and support of new and additional Mazak machine models in Kentucky, and increase the facility’s potential production capacity to 200 machines per month to meet surging customer demands. Completion of the expansion is set for the Fall of 2013, and Mazak will host a special commemoration event at that time.
Coinciding with the growth of its production facility, Mazak is bolstering its customer service and support offerings with expansions to its National Technology Center & Center for Multi-Tasking and Manufacturing Excellence and North American Parts Center. Combined, the three significant expansions will add over 200,000 square-feet to Mazak’s Kentucky manufacturing campus, increasing its total floor space to 800,000 square-feet and positioning it as one of the largest machine tool factories in the country.
Mazak continuously invests in its North American operations and has expanded its Kentucky campus 15 times since the plant opened in 1974, each time increasing production capacity. The 2012 expansions will allow Mazak to quickly and effectively fulfill customers’ evolving needs for advanced machine tool technology and applications support as U.S. manufacturing continues to grow in the energy, aerospace, construction and agriculture equipment, automotive and medical industries. Additionally, Mazak will further increase capacity to export machines worldwide.
“The late chairman and CEO of Yamazaki Mazak Corporation Teruyuki (Terry) Yamazaki had the foresight to manufacture machine tools in the United States to gain an innate understanding of its manufacturing culture and to support the industry in the best possible way,” said Brian Papke, president of Mazak Corporation. “And from the day the company opened its doors in Kentucky, Mazak has continued that dedication to the support of U.S. manufacturing not only through our highly productive and advanced machine tool technology, but also through our unmatched apprenticeship and training programs to help build a stronger highly skilled U.S. workforce.”
As one stage of the manufacturing facility expansion, existing shop production offices currently housed within the plant will move to a new added area, which will create a spacious center aisle within the manufacturing building. The larger floor space will allow for the installation of new additional manufacturing equipment, including a highly advanced manufacturing cell that is unique to the industry and produced exclusively by Mazak.
The new cell will incorporate Mazak’s modular PALLETECH system, which allows dissimilar machine tools to be integrated into the same manufacturing cell. To produce whole families of components for Mazak’s new larger machine models, the cell will include a Kentucky-built Mazak ORBITEC 20 model Large Part Machining Center, two Mazak Horizontal Center Nexus Machining Centers and a full 5-axis INTEGREX e-1060V Vertical Machining Center.
Expansion of Applications Support
The National Technology Center is the hub for Mazak’s eight Regional Technology Centers and, as such, enhances Mazak’s customer support capabilities throughout North America. The National Technology Center, which opened in 1996 and was doubled in size as the result of a 2006 expansion, will now grow from 69,000 to 100,183 square feet. Included will be the addition of seven new high bay areas, a second story to its office section and additional square footage for its technology demonstration area. The new office area provides for six new dedicated customer-training rooms and space for the company’s National Service Department.
Increase in Parts Support
Mazak’s expansion of its North American Parts Center will increase that facility’s storage capacity by 25 percent. Two new fully automated vertical lift module storage systems will boost small parts capacity by 5,600 parts, and Mazak is replacing an existing rack system with a new one that will provide 286 more pallets of large part storage. In total, the expansion will allow the Mazak Parts Center to stock over 50,000 unique part numbers – one of the industry’s largest inventories of spare parts – valued at more than $65 million and available for immediate same-day delivery for 97 percent of all orders.
“Mazak’s original goal for the U.S. manufacturing campus was to allow us to be completely integrated into the market and, as a result, better serve manufacturers,” said Papke. “We have maintained our commitment to this goal over the years, which is evident in the sustained growth and expansion of our facilities. As are our customers, we remain committed to continuous improvement, and providing them with the resources they need as business evolves.”