Mazak Blog


Continuous Innovation Gets Service Parts to You in Record Time

Every minute your machine is down is lost productivity, and Mazak knows this, which is why we continually work to incorporate special systems, software and processes into our service parts operations to be the best we can be.

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The Digitally Connected Factory

The digitally connected factory is rapidly becoming a reality, thanks to huge leaps in affordable data handling capabilities. As more machines begin to communicate with each other, production efficiency goes up. Add the ability of analytic tools to predict maintenance needs, and productivity improves even more.

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Let's Race - Our CNC vs Yours

SMOOTH TECHNOLOGY has revolutionized the way our machine tools perform. Spanning the entire part production landscape — from programming and metal removal to automation and data collection — this all-encompassing platform seamlessly brings unmatched speed, accuracy, functionality and ergonomics to virtually every type of metalworking application. That’s why we created the Mazak SMOOTH CHALLENGE.

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Students Bring Their Best to Precision Machining Competition

In May, we had the honor to host the 26th annual 2017 Precision Machining Competition for Illinois high school students at our Midwest Technology Center in Schaumburg, Illinois. This competition recognizes excellence in precision machining skills and encourages students to pursue careers in manufacturing by reaching them at a critical time during their K-12 education.

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IIoT is a Journey, Not a Destination

The Internet of Things (IoT) is not a fad. Research provider BI Intelligence predicts the number of IoT devices connected to the Internet will more than triple by 2020, from 10 billion to 34 billion. Networking computers, devices and machines to collect and share data is transforming many industries, including manufacturing where it can help lower operating costs, decrease machine downtime and increase overall productivity.

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From Mazak to You in Seven Steps

Few, if any, machine tool OEMs can claim that 97% of parts orders ship the same day they are received. Mazak is one that can and does because we understand that every minute you have to wait is potentially lost production time.

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Two Turrets, Two Spindles, Two Approaches

Mazak has many options when it comes to turning centers with Multi-Tasking capabilities. Two such machine series, Mazak’s MULTIPLEX Series and HQR Series, accomplish this in different ways.

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Buy It Right: What to Consider Before the Purchase of a New Machine

A new machine tool is a big investment. Make sure you carefully evaluate your needs and identify which product will help you meet your objectives. You’ll need to carefully consider your exact production goals as well as the part/jobs involved.

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Get to Know Your VC-500 AM: Maintenance Tips and Tricks

Ultra-versatile HYBRID Multi-Tasking machines, such as Mazak’s VC-500 AM, are designed for easy maintenance, but present some special maintenance requirements due to their combination of additive and subtractive technologies.

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Take Advantage of our Technology Centers to Increase Efficiency and Utilization

Manufacturing today is fast-paced – every minute of production affects the bottom line. To be competitive shops must achieve efficient use of leading edge technology backed by comprehensive service and support that ensures machines are performing at their best. Operators must also be well-trained so that they can optimize each machine’s capabilities.

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How to Troubleshoot 11 Common MTConnect Issues

MTConnect® can help you significantly boost manufacturing efficiency and productivity by enabling your manufacturing equipment to provide valuable data in a format that is useable by data management applications. However, as with any computer-based system, issues such as missing or erroneous inputs and commands can arise and negatively affect system performance. Fortunately, MTConnect implementation issues are generally easy to recognize and resolve.

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Automotive Shops: How to Drive Success

Shops throughout the automotive industry face many common challenges from part quality and cost reduction to the most critical factor – on time delivery. While the challenges are the same, the approaches to manufacturing and part machining can differ greatly from one tier to the next.

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What to Consider When Choosing Either a Single-process or Multi-Tasking Machine

Most shops today have some level of Multi-Tasking capabilities, one machining center that combines several cutting processes to reduce job setup time, increase capacity, improve machining accuracy and conserve valuable shop floor space. But is it always best to use a Multi-Tasking machine, or are there times when using a milling machine and/or separate turning machine is a better option? Here are five things to consider when making the choice:

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How Mazak Combines Simplicity and Innovation with Value

One size does not fit all when it comes to shops and their machine tool needs. That’s why Mazak offers such a diverse line of technology, including those machining systems that are extremely cost effective without sacrificing performance. But how is this accomplished? The designs and features of Mazak’s simple but innovative QTU series of CNC Turning Centers and the VCU series of Vertical Machining Centers offer the answer to that question.

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Keep Production in Motion with Fast, Reliable Spindle Repairs

Many of your shop’s production capabilities revolve around your machine’s spindle performance, and the best way to keep your machine producing at its maximum capacity is through regular care and maintenance of this critical component. Keeping the spindle clean and well lubricated are two simple steps that will minimize problems.

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Six Multi-Tasking Machine Design Advancements Important for Job Shops

Multi-Tasking machine tool technology continues to evolve and push machine capabilities that make it easier to machine the most complex parts in the world and do so cost-effectively. Read about six recent machine design advancements that are particularly important to your job shop.

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Is It Time for Your Shop to Automate?

Many automation systems on the market today are designed for larger shops. But if you are an owner of a small shop, you may be eager to make the most of your labor resources and machine capabilities with automation, too. Our new Multi Pallet Pool (MPP) single machine automation system is designed to meet your needs.

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Making it Real – Girls & Manufacturing at Mazak

A study conducted last year by The Manufacturing Institute, APICS and Deloitte uncovered important information about women in manufacturing. While women represent 47 percent of the total U.S. labor force, they make up only 27 percent of the manufacturing workforce. This discrepancy points to huge potential for attracting female workers to help fill the estimated 2 million jobs that are expected to go unfilled in the upcoming years due to the skills gap and natural attrition due to retirement.

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What is SMOOTH TECHNOLOGY

At IMTS in Chicago last month, many manufacturers, media and others who visited our booth were very interested in learning more about SMOOTH TECHNOLOGY. Rightfully so because it is unique to the industry and helps keep shops of all sizes productive, efficient, competitive and at the forefront of innovation.

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Mazak Empowers Thousands of Manufacturers at IMTS

IMTS gives us a great opportunity to share our latest technology advancements with thousands of manufacturers from all over the world, and this year’s show was no exception. Our booth was a premier destination for many attendees because we showcased everything manufacturers need to thrive in today’s digital, dynamic and competitive marketplace.

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Endless Possibilities with Full 5-axis Capabilities and Additive Technology in One Machine

One of the most exciting advancements in machining technology currently is the incorporation of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies into Multi-Tasking machines. At Mazak, we call this concept HYBRID Multi-Tasking, and its advantages are immense. HYBRID Multi-Tasking not only revolutionizes product design and reduces time to market, but it cuts R&D costs and opens many new doors for you to explore new areas of business.

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Horizontal Machining Centers with Honing Take Production to New Heights

Honing is one of the more expensive machining processes to perform, but is crucial in the production of pumps, valves and gears. Because today’s OEMs demand smoother surfaces to make automobiles and other products quieter and more reliable, finding more efficient ways to complete this high-precision process is more important than ever.

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Safety First: 5 Basic Tips for Machine Tool Operators

Today’s machine tools are powerful and produce parts faster than ever before. And, as with any powerful piece of equipment, it’s important to apply good safety practices to reduce the risk of injury. In short, respect the machine to avoid the potential for injuries sustained from moving parts, tissue damage due to contact with cold or hot machine parts, hearing loss, eye damage and stresses put on the body due to repetitive motions, excessive reaching or heaving lifting. Thankfully, modern machine tools are designed with many safety features to help reduce these hazards.

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Beyond the High-Tech Glitz, Process Efficiency and Maximized Machine Utilization Remain the Goals

As a special guest, I attended the recent Cisco Systems Inc.’s Cisco Live event held in Las Vegas that drew upwards of 30,000 technology innovators. The event focused heavily on cloud-based infrastructures as well as cloud-based applications, processing and analyzing of data and monitoring software as they relate to many industries, including manufacturing.

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3 Tips for Staying Compliant and Profitable in Aerospace Parts Production

The aerospace industry has been on the upswing for a few years now, and all indications are that orders for parts will continue to increase. Parts manufacturers looking to capitalize on these opportunities must implement processes and techniques that will help keep them both compliant and profitable.

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Cryogenics in Manufacturing? Absolutely!

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.

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Decide Which 5-axis or Multi-Tasking Machine Tool is Best for You

We’re proud to offer the industry’s most advanced and comprehensive selection of 5-axis and Multi-Tasking machine configurations so that you can easily find a machine that will best meet your needs. When making a machine selection, it’s important to choose the right one.

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Consider This When Buying a New VMC

Today’s vertical machining centers (VMCs) offer a wide range of features and capabilities – from 3-, 4- and 5-axis milling and user-friendly CNC controls to a plethora of options that further increase productivity and expand part processing possibilities in terms of shape and geometry. And while all the available variations of VMCs can seem overwhelming, there are three key considerations to keep in mind that will help narrow your selection down to the one that’s perfectly matched for your applications.

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Full 5-axis or 3 + 2 Machining: Which is Right for You?

If you currently use conventional 3-axis machining, your logical part processing progression is the step up to full 5-axis or 3 + 2 machining capabilities. While both offer advantages, understanding the fundamental differences between the two is key to determining which process will best meet your specific needs.

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2016 Manufacturing Outlook: Automation & Digital Integration

Now is the perfect time for manufacturers of all sizes to develop strategies for incorporating automation and digital integration into their operations. Technologies that enable them to effectively do so are readily available. Production demand is up and predicted to maintain an upward trajectory, especially in the second half of the year. And, unfortunately on the downside, we must face the reality of and deal with a continuously shrinking skilled work force while still maintaining this nation’s manufacturing productivity.

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What CNC programming style best suits your operations?

In the most basic sense, the functionality of a CNC is to enable a machine tool to achieve automatic, precise and consistent motion control. To do this properly, the CNC requires a set of programming instructions that tells the machine how to run a part.

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Smart Manufacturing: Bridging the Digital Divide

Since the 80s, our industry has primarily focused on lean production strategies to help offset the higher cost of doing business in this country as compared with overseas. And, while finding ways to reduce operational waste is important, the lean approach can only take us so far in a world that will soon be driven by the interconnectivity of intelligent products, processes and services.

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2016 Manufacturing Outlook: Currency and Capital Equipment

Any manufacturer, regardless of industry segment, faces various business risks. While some risks can be internally regulated (e.g. machine failure, talent management), others arise from external factors (e.g. economic factors, government regulations) that cannot be controlled.

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Early IIoT Adoption: Start Small. Plan Big.

Google “big data” and you’ll get well over 18 million hits. After all, it’s become a popular buzz term in manufacturing circles as it will be the key basis of competition and business growth when Industry 4.0 takes complete hold.

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The 10 Signs of Manufacturing Intelligence

Having a high level of intelligence is critical if you want your shop to remain competitive in a continuously advancing marketplace. This doesn’t mean you need an Albert Einstein IQ of 160, you just need to understand the value of smart technology and how to best apply it in your operations, especially as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) continues to steadily progress.

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Reduce Scrap in as Little as 10 Minutes

If you work with expensive workpiece materials or process highly complex components, you know how important it is to get the job done right the first time — machine a part improperly and your productivity and profitability take a beating. There are, however, quantitative measures you can take to effectively manage your scrap and rework as well as improve your machine’s overall performance.

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Success Comes from the Ability to Adapt

The modern economy, whether it’s at the global, domestic or local level, is fast and dynamic. And to be successful these days, companies must be able to quickly adapt to market changes as well as continuously push the envelope in developing new products and services that advance beyond the competition.

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DISCOVER 2015 is a Success!

With metalworking professionals from all over North America in attendance, DISCOVER 2015 proved to be this year’s top productivity destination. Not only did the six-day technology and education event at Mazak's North American headquarters showcase the latest metalworking equipment for improved productivity, it also explored how connectivity between smart machines, software and the Internet creates an explosion of data that will drive factories of the future.

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How to Program Your Way to Higher Productivity

Technology advances at warp speeds these days. Think back as little as 10 years ago. We couldn’t make phone calls, take pictures, shoot video, play music, watch TV or search the Internet using a highly intuitive mobile device. We had flip phones with physical keyboards that made texting a slow, painstaking process. CNC technology has evolved in a similar fashion over the past decade, giving rise to our latest MAZATROL Smooth CNCs that have revolutionized machine tool performance.

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A Simple Approach to Machine Tool Selection

With countless 5-axis and multi-tasking machines with advanced capabilities on the market today, it can be overwhelming when trying to choose the best solution for your operations. After all, you don’t want to overspend on unnecessary functions or under invest in technology that could make you more profitable in the long run.

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What Customers Can Expect From An ISO 9001:2008 Certified Company

For over a decade, ISO 9001:2008 certification has been a standard for quality control and has provided companies a framework to manage their businesses effectively. Ensuring the highest quality products are made available to customers, this standard is designed to create a mindset of continual improvement in companies.

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Top Five Advanced Technologies You Will Only See At DISCOVER 2015

A digital manufacturing revolution is at hand. And, at DISCOVER 2015 you can be part of it.

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Consider Multi-Tasking Machines for Gear Skiving

At IMTS 2014, Mazak showcased how larger sized 5-axis multi-tasking vertical machining centers could allow a shop to cost-effectively and quickly produce those occasional, low-volume spiral-bevel gear sets in-house. We machined a spiral bevel gear set that included a 29-tooth, 22"-diameter pinion gear and a 114-tooth, 6-ft-diameter ring gear on our INTEGREX e-1550V/10 Multi-Tasking 5-axis Machining Center. We completed the gear set in days as opposed to months and using only the one machine.

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Product Quality Comes With A Greater Focus

Product quality, in its most basic sense, means giving customers what they want. But at Mazak, we go beyond that by being able to anticipate and quickly meet the requirements of an ever-evolving marketplace. In fact, we manufacture our machine tools to meet today’s real-time specifications, but we can also turn our manufacturing operations on a dime to meet those of tomorrow.

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Let Automation Propel Your Business Forward

Today, with skilled labor still limited, several U.S. manufacturers are closing the gap with automation. After all, with the right automation, shops can greatly improve their part processing operations and significantly reduce costs.

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Shrinking the Skills Gap Through Education

As U.S. manufacturing continues to see improvement in both orders and job creation, factories face a collective problem that could put a damper on this growth: the skills gap. As more jobs become available, and as a growing number of qualified workers begin to retire from the workforce, the need for trained, qualified workers from younger generations becomes ever more necessary. And this need will not change anytime soon.

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Part Processing Operations Just Got a Whole Lot Smoother

Every shop faces constantly changing part-processing requirements as the needs of the industries they serve continue to evolve. Workpiece designs can change on a daily basis, and in most instances, they become more complex. This makes the role of the machinist increasingly difficult and the need for a highly capable, agile and user-friendly machine tool control interface and adaptable software all the more necessary for shops to keep pace.

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Going Big to Solve Common Large Part Machining Issues

Shops processing for industries such as oil and gas, aerospace and heavy equipment need bigger, high-performance machines to stay competitive. Because much of the challenge with large parts has to do with producing as much as possible in a single setup, multiple-setup operations are often inefficient and time consuming. Multi-tasking functionality helps machining centers accomplish this, and should be essential in any large part operation.

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Attention Job Shops: Investing in Innovation Doesn’t Mean Paying a Fortune

If you own a job shop, being innovative and responsive to change are important elements for success in today’s competitive manufacturing world, especially with reshoring on the rise and unskilled labor still an issue. That’s why it’s important to keep an open mind when it comes to new technology, especially if it can substantially improve your productivity and profitability without requiring a huge capital investment.

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Attendees DISCOVERED MORE at IMTS 2014

IMTS 2014 was a huge success for Mazak as we showcased a level of technology that was among the highest in the machine tool industry. With more than 114,000 visitors from around the world joining together in Chicago’s McCormick Place, the 17,000-square-foot DISCOVER MORE WITH MAZAK™ booth was constantly abuzz as attendees flocked to experience the new, highly innovative ways we can boost precision, productivity and profitability in part production.

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Social Media in the Manufacturing Industry

Is your company still resisting the urge to jump onto social networks? Although the manufacturing sector lagged behind others in joining new digital trends, the time has come for the industry to adopt the fastest growing marketing tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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World Leader in Multi-Tasking

Multi-Tasking may be the single most important innovation in manufacturing technology for companies seeking to be lean, efficient and globally more competitive.

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Celebrating 40 Years of Advanced Manufacturing

Technology has changed the world, and nowhere else is that more evident than in today’s manufacturing industry. Advancements in machine tool technology, automation and digital connectivity, for instance, have evolved yesterday’s stereotypical dirty, smoke-stack factories into those that can only be described as sleek, lean, agile and extremely productive.

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Top Five Reasons To Attend the MTConnect Webinar

Our MTConnect webinar is less than a week away. If you still haven’t registered for this incredible opportunity, here are five top reasons we think you should attend the webinar and learn about the technology that has catapulted manufacturing into the digital age.

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Filling the Skilled Workers Pipeline

Despite high unemployment nationwide, manufacturers are finding it increasingly difficult to hire workers with the skills required for today’s technology-intensive shop-floor jobs. To add to the problem, the pool of experienced personnel is shrinking as older workers retire, and many young people aren’t entering the industry due to misconceptions about the nature of factory work.

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7 Simple Ways to Minimize Spindle Repair

No manufacturer wants to see part production come to a screeching halt due to a down machine tool spindle, especially if it involves a repair that could have been avoided through proper maintenance. To help keep your operations running smoothly, I offer you these seven simple, yet important, spindle maintenance tips.

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Midwest Event Welcomes Manufacturers, Penske Racing & Reshoring Initiative

Each year we look forward with great anticipation to our region’s DISCOVER MORE WITH MAZAK™ event. For three days, we welcome regional manufacturers to join us at the Mazak Midwest Technology Center to experience the latest developments in machine tool, automation and cutting tool technology through...

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Machine Tool Trends in Aerospace Manufacturing

The aerospace industry today is a hotbed of manufacturing activity and advanced machine tool technology. At Mazak, we see a strong trend of increased interest in machine tools with 5-axis capabilities for aerospace part machining. It’s very similar to the early days of mill-turn machines, when manufacturers began to recognize the benefits of adding milling and drilling capabilities to standard 2-axis lathes.

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Discover How CAM Software Simplifies Multi-Tasking Machining

DP Technology, a Mazak VIP partner, has a passion for excellence and innovation in the development of its CAM software as well as supporting its OEM partners. So much so that I am stationed at Mazak’s Kentucky headquarters to enhance the performance of the company's machine tools via DP Technology’s ESPRIT product, a full-spectrum programming system for milling, turning and multi-tasking solutions.

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2014: The Year of Must-Attend Events

At the 2013 Performance Racing Industry show in December, we wrapped up an extremely busy and highly successful year of attending trade shows and hosting technology-driven education events at our various Technology Centers, including our groundbreaking DISCOVER 2013 event that took place at our Kentucky headquarters. And 2014 promises to be just as exciting as we continue to participate in major industry shows and host regional DISCOVER MORE WITH MAZAK events across the nation.

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Penske Racing Secures First NASCAR Nationwide Series Owners’ Title

Penske Racing, a team in which Mazak has served as a technical sponsor for 22-years, achieved a fitting end to their successful season as Joey Logano’s Ford Ecoboost 300 top-10 finish clinched the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Owners’ Championship for Penske Racing and Penske Corporation Founder and Chairman Roger S. Penske.

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DISCOVER 2013

Mazak’s North American Manufacturing Headquarters in Florence, Kentucky welcomed more than 3,000 guests October 8-16 for DISCOVER 2013. As the year’s largest technology and education-driven manufacturing event, DISCOVER 2013 went way beyond the typical manufacturing industry open house.

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New England’s Hub for Aerospace and Medical Manufacturing Solutions

As one of Mazak’s eight strategically located Regional Headquarters and Technology Centers in North America, the Mazak Northeast Technology Center in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, serves the manufacturing industries of New England, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Eastern New York and Eastern Pennsylvania.

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Innovation and Global Competitiveness in America's Southwest

Originally opened in 1978 and expanded to its new location in 2011, our Southwest Headquarters and Energy Services Technology Center in Houston, Texas has been committed to providing applications expertise and advanced technology solutions to job shops and manufacturing industries throughout the region for over 30-years.

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America's Midwest Source for Manufacturing Solutions and Support

Located in Schaumburg, Illinois since 1988, our Midwest Regional Headquarters and Technology Center provides the vibrant manufacturing markets of America's Heartland with industry specific, productivity-improving resources. Manufacturers across all market segments, including automotive, die/mold, medical, fluid power, aerospace, construction and agricultural manufacturing, utilize this center for its regional industry expertise and application engineering resources.

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National Technology Center and Customer Service Headquarters Expansion Complete

Throughout 2012, we made significant investments in growing and improving our North American Headquarters Campus in Florence, Kentucky. One such investment involved expanding the size of our National Technology Center (East Building), from 69,000 to 100,183 square feet, to help make room for our Customer Service Headquarters.

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Let MTConnect Boost your Productivity and Competitiveness

Every machine tool company designs their machine controls differently, using varying communication methods. Therefore, MTConnect exists to try and set the standard communication method for retrieving data from such manufacturing equipment.

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IMTS 2012 Attendees Discovered More With Mazak

Several major milestones came into play at this year's IMTS, which ran Sept. 10 – 15 at the McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. Not only did the show itself bring in 100,200 attendees from all over the world, making it the most successful manufacturing event in more than a decade, Mazak brought more to the IMTS show floor than ever before.

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Expanding to Better Serve You

In today's steadily growing and competitive manufacturing world where demands are high and increased quality, efficiency and productivity are critical for your success, you need a machine tool partner that can quickly deliver the best solution for your business.

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3-4-5 Takes You to the Next Level of Productivity

Modern machine tools with highly advanced technologies have made it possible for you to be more productive and competitive than ever before.

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Expect to Get Your Spare Parts Orders Faster Than Ever

Developing advanced manufacturing technologies is only part of what we do at Mazak to help you increase your productivity and profitability. As part of our comprehensive Optimum Plus customer service program, we offer world-class parts support to maximize the return on your machine tool investment. By stocking more than 50,000 unique part numbers, we are able to achieve 97% same-day delivery on all our orders.

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Pallet Changing Reduces Your Machine's Idle Time

We all know time is money in today's highly competitive manufacturing landscape, and no shop owner can afford to let machine tools sit idle. One way to keep your machine spindle working while additional setups or unloading operations are taking place is through pallet changing.

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Is it Time to Simplify Your Valve Manufacturing?

Even though the average person rarely notices them, valves play an important role in our daily life. Without valves, we couldn't turn on a faucet or gas stove. In fact, public utilities wouldn't exist and neither would fresh water or automatic heat in our homes.

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A Natural Business Evolution

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.

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