Yamazaki Mazak headquarters in Aichi, Japan, recently announced its new Mazak iSMART Factory concept. Mazak will eventually designate all ten of its manufacturing operations as iSMART Factories, the first being the Oguchi factory in Japan and now the North American factory in Florence, KY.
The Mazak iSMART Factory uses 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 iSMART Factory, the MTConnect open communications protocol works with process support software and provides connectivity and the capability to monitor then harvest data from all the different production floor machines, cells, devices and processes.
Through PCs and portable electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets, both management and manufacturing access the same real-time manufacturing data to improve overall productivity efficiency and responsiveness to customer/market changes.
"For Mazak, iSMART Factory is a vision – the complete digital integration of the factory with state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, automation and advanced manufacturing practices," said Brian Papke, president of Mazak Corporation. "The name establishes a philosophy – a credo of sorts for Mazak that is unique to our operations but symbolizes our commitment toward the ultimate smart factory. While the name is new, our U.S. factory has long demonstrated a commitment to growth and technological advancement, with a critical part of that strategy being such factors as plant-wide connectivity, automation and optimized production flow. At Mazak, benefits have and continue to be significant increases in machine utilization, shorter throughput times, elimination of non-value added operations, Production-On-Demand capability and more efficient part machining.”