Cryogenics in Manufacturing? Absolutely!

Dan Janka, Executive Vice President, Mazak Corporation

At Mazak, we continually work toward the development of new technologies and applications that expand the realm of what is possible or improve the performance of existing machines and tools. One of our latest advancements is the integration of liquid nitrogen cryogenics technology into our new VARIAXIS i-800T full 5-axis vertical machining centers.

Cryogenics addresses the production and effects of very low temperatures, and it has applications in a variety of industries. In the food industry, it’s instrumental in keeping truck trailers cold for the safe transportation of large masses of frozen foods. In healthcare, it’s used in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and to store and preserve certain rare blood groups or embryos. Concert goers can thank cryogenics for some of the special effects that amplify their experience, and now we can add manufacturing to this growing list.

At IMTS 2016 in September, we will unveil the revolutionary VARIAXIS i-800T, which increases customer’s productivity and overall manufacturing operations. Not only does integration of cryogenics technology enhance machine performance and significantly increase cutting tool life, but it also completely eliminates detrimental white layers on workpiece surfaces generated during complex profile machining operations such as those in aerospace jet-engine and structural component manufacturing.

The VARIAXIS i-800T full 5-axis vertical machining centers, unlike any other, freezes cutting tools from the inside out and keeps their cutting tips/edges in a frozen state while workpiece materials remain ambient. The technology works by the nitrogen remaining in a liquid state as it circulates inside cutting tools then exits as an inert gas. Cutting tools used in the process have passage ways/ports that run down through their centers, to their cutting ends and back up their shanks to vents that expel the nitrogen gas. The result is absolutely zero heat or thermal affects transfer into the workpieces thus maintaining their base material integrity.

The integration of cryogenic technology into advanced milling facilitates faster machining speeds and feeds, and helps prevent burrs. It also has the potential to save millions of dollars for manufacturers by reducing the overall cost per part and eliminating the processes, intense labor and capital equipment currently being used to remove white layers from parts after they have been machined. This is especially true in the aerospace industry as manufacturers process jet-engine components and aircraft frame structures machined from materials such as titanium, nickel, Invar and other exotics.

At Mazak, we are leading the way in the application of cryogenics in milling with the VARIAXIS i-800T and look forward to showing you how it can enhance your production. Be sure to stop by our booth S-8300 at IMTS 2016 to check it out along with many of our other developments in advanced machining, full digital factory integration, smart technology and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connectivity. 

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 or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.