A Natural Business Evolution

Brian Papke, president of Mazak Corporation

Let me be the first to officially welcome you to our new blog "Mazak TALK." I thought it only fitting that I make the first entry.

I'd like to start off by saying that we are extremely excited to see that business has picked up and continues to gain momentum for our customers and U.S. manufacturing as a whole. The time is truly ripe for opportunities in manufacturing in the United States. And while it was a tough couple of years leading up to this point, I believe that such trying times really bring out the strength, ingenuity and fortitude of all of us involved in manufacturing

I know that here at Mazak, changes - good or bad - in the economy and in manufacturing are often the catalyst for what I term "the natural evolution of business." For example, Mazak started out building commercially viable machine tools for a wide variety of customers, and we continue to do so. But now, more than ever, our customers are striving to further improve productivity so that they can fulfill current orders and continue to compete in a tough global marketplace.

It's just this type of customer need that contributes to the natural evolution of Mazak's business, one that has us now developing solutions that go beyond the sale of a machine.

Boosting competitiveness for today's manufacturers might simply entail an added accessory or some type of new tooling. But experience has shown that the best solution is, in many instances, adapting machine tool technology developed for particular types of parts or for specific industries.

A perfect example is Mazak's ORBITEC 20 for large part machining, a machine tool technology that we adapted and evolved into one designed to increase the production of our customers in the oil and gas industries manufacturing valves and other large components. Another is the VERTICAL CENTER NEXUS - COMPACT, which provides medical manufacturing shops high-performance, high-speed 5-axis machining capabilities on a space-saving machine that meets the needs of Lean Manufacturing initiatives. And you can expect to see more of this part-specific/industry-specific technology being developed by Mazak in the future, with a lot of it being designed and built right here in the United States at our Kentucky plant.

In this day and age, you can't survive by simply re-arranging a shop floor full of old equipment. You have to naturally evolve with technology and your business environment.

Consider Multi-Tasking machines. They are so much more efficient than the technology of the past. And what's amazing is that the newer Multi-Tasking machines are even more efficient and productive than their older generation counterparts. We currently offer 5 Levels of Multitasking so that those customers requiring simple turning and milling or those wanting full 5 axis contouring capabilities both have machines matched to their specific manufacturing needs.

Productivity increases by leaps and bounds from one machine generation to the next. These increases have been quite substantial in recent years, and we see them continuing at an even more rapid pace.

However, the natural evolution of business has involved more than just machine tool technology at Mazak. Our own manufacturing has, and continues to, naturally evolve coinciding with needs of our customers and U.S. manufacturing.

We've been manufacturing in the United States since 1974, and with our customers' future needs always in mind, we've made, and continue to make, major investments in our Kentucky manufacturing plant, even when times were tough.

We added 50,000 sq-ft to the plant and several new manufacturing systems that not only speed production, but also allow us to produce additional machine models. Plus over the years, we've evolved and refined our Production-On-Demand manufacturing systems to the point where we are able to produce over 100 different machine models, and make them available to you at leadtimes shorter than ever before.

Additionally, as our business naturally evolves, so too does our focus on service and support. Like our machine tools, we are continually developing and improving our Technology Center concept focused on providing customers with local access to the knowledge and guidance for streamlining their manufacturing processes and increasing production.

A large portion of the initiatives and investments in this area has been to shape the focus of our Technology Centers into resources that target those industry segments that are important to our customers. And we are stocking these facilities with the talents and knowledge base of people with expertise in those specific industry segments - such as oil and gas, medical and aerospace - and their coinciding manufacturing requirements.

As we continue to evolve, the kinds of events Mazak hosts are also evolving. These events have grown beyond just showing the latest technology into ones that are educational and application focused. All the Discover Mazak events at our various state-of-the-art Regional Technology Centers continue to reflect our long-term commitment to our customers and the industries they serve.

And with 2012 being an IMTS year, we at Mazak welcome you to visit our booth S-8300 at the show. While there, you will truly "Discover More With Mazak."

In closing, I'd like to leave you with this thought. Manufacturing is definitely driving today's economy, and every time there is change, there are opportunities to evolve and improve. We'll continue to evolve and improve here at Mazak and help our customers do the same.

About Mazak Corporation

Mazak Corporation is a leader in the design and manufacture of productive machine tool solutions. Committed to being a partner to customers with innovative technology, its world-class facility in Florence, Kentucky, produces over 100 models of turning centers, Multi-Tasking machines and vertical machining centers, including 5- axis models. Continuously investing in manufacturing technology allows the Kentucky Mazak iSMART Factory™ to be the most advanced and efficient in the industry, providing high-quality and reliable products through its “Production-On-Demand” practice. Mazak maintains eight Technology Centers across North America to provide local hands-on applications, service and sales support to customers. For more information on Mazak's products and solutions, visit www.mazakusa.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.