Fifty Years of Mazak Kentucky Manufacturing Excellence

An extremely wise man once said that a machine tool company has to be close to the markets it serves to gain a complete understanding of the manufacturing culture and to support the industry in the best possible way. That man was the late Teruyuki (Terry) Yamazaki, President of Yamazaki Mazak Corporation. He recognized the need to integrate Mazak into the United States and chose Florence, Kentucky, for the company’s North American manufacturing headquarters 50 years ago.

Yamazaki's pragmatism to gain a complete understanding of the manufacturing culture was coupled with what could be categorized in 1974 as nothing short of visionary. Conducting business globally at that time was a major undertaking, and success took hard work, dedication and perseverance on his part.

Since its Kentucky facility opened, Mazak has continued to honor and build upon Yamazaki’s vision. Through its industry leadership in manufacturing innovation and technology, engineering and customer support, the company has securely positioned itself as a champion of the North American manufacturing industry. 

As a company dedicated to continuous improvement and evolution to always go above and beyond for its customers, Mazak has experienced 20 expansions at its Florence manufacturing campus and produces more than 70 different machining solutions at the facility. With almost one million-sq.-ft., the facility designs and builds machine tools and manufacturing technology that ensure its customers reduce costs and maximize their productivity.

Among those many expansions are those involving the company’s network of regional Technology Centers and Technical Centers as part of its strategic business model. The Technology and Technical Centers are located across North America to provide component machining demonstrations, experienced applications engineers and comprehensive training in close proximity to customers. This network also plays a key role in channeling customer input to Mazak manufacturing for the development of new machine tool technology.

Since 1974, Mazak has also constantly invested in the research, development and equipment to continuously evolve its manufacturing operations and the products it produces. As a result, the company has maintained a leadership position and has brought a world of firsts to the industry. 

“Mazak was the very first to introduce Multi-Tasking technology to the world, and we continue to pioneer technology that provides single-setup complete part machining,” said Dan Janka, President of Mazak. “We’ve since taken that technology to a new level with the added ability to do precision gear cutting, friction stir welding and hot wire laser deposition 3D printing inside high-precision Multi-Tasking machine tools as part of our HYBRID Multi-Tasking technology.”

In the area of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), digital connectivity and artificial intelligence (AI), Mazak continues its pioneering spirit through the Mazak iSMART Factory™ concept. The concept incorporates the use of advanced manufacturing cells and systems together with full digital integration to achieve free-flow data sharing to facilitate process control and operation monitoring.

Because it stands behind all the technology it develops, the company refuses to offer machines or systems to customers that it would not use in its own operations. With that said, one can witness Mazak machines making Mazaks throughout the Mazak iSMART Factory floor.

The manufacturing technology in the Mazak iSMART Factory is paired with a highly experienced and capable team of employees. Customers know that every machine Mazak produces comes backed by that proud and dedicated team that is committed to the utmost in quality and service. It is for that reason that Mazak is committed to the betterment of its workforce and provides its employees access to training and opportunities for advancement through its strategic workforce develop plan.

As part of that strategy, the company established its Mazak University that offers a system of inside training, or employees (had the word “they” here) can take advantage of tuition assistance from Mazak for attending a local technical college. Through the Mazak Destination Leadership program, employees take ownership of their futures via external Leadership Training for those promoted to group leader, supervisor and/or management positions or by learning from mentors and cross training opportunities.

For the next 50 years and beyond, Mazak will keep to Yamazaki’s vision and always be committed to being a partner to its customers with innovative technology and the industry’s best service and support. The company will continuously invest in its own manufacturing technology to maintain its position as a world-class provider of Turning Centers, Horizontal Machining Centers, Vertical Machining Centers and Multi-Tasking Machines, including 5-axis models, Hybrid Additive systems and Swiss-style Turning machines.

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 70 models of turning centers, Multi-Tasking machines and vertical machining centers, including 5-axis models, Hybrid Additive processing machines and Swiss Turning Machines. Continuously investing in manufacturing technology allows the Mazak iSMART Factory™ to be the most advanced and efficient in the industry, providing high-quality and reliable products. 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 social media.