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Published in CNC Machining
Yamazaki Mazak has been contributing to the development of the machine tool industry for more than 100 years. The impressive European Manufacturing plant is a complete machine tool manufacturing facility. Here Mazak machine components such as spindles, turrets, and tool magazines. As with all Mazak manufacturing plants, the most rigorous Kaizen programmes ensure continuous improvements.
As would be expected from a machine tool manufacturer that boasts such a comprehensive range of products, the vast majority of the cutting-edge machine tools and highly-efficient FMS systems used in its European Manufacturing plant are Mazak’s own products. Although, on the rare occasion that the need for a machine tool cannot by satisfied from Mazak’s extensive product portfolio, the required production aid is submitted to a rigorous selection procedure. This was the case prior to the recent installation of the STUDER CNC universal cylindrical grinding machine.
Although the staff of Mazak’s grinding department have enjoyed excellent service from their existing STUDER grinding machines, as it was possible that further progress could have been made by other manufacturers, and in accordance with Mazak’s policy of ensuring best value for money, other grinding machine brands were also considered.
The list of criteria that were considered when comparing the offerings from 5 leading grinding machine manufacturers included, high-precision dimensional and surface finish capabilities, efficiency, flexibility, and thread-grinding abilities. In addition, the levels of customer service provided by each potential vendor were also taken into consideration.
Having carefully evaluated each of the alternative machines, it was found that only the STUDER S41 CNC universal cylindrical grinding machine met, and in some cases exceeded Mazak’s list of demanding operational criteria. Furthermore, the levels of support previously provided by STUDER and the company’s UK agent, Micronz, aided Mazak’s purchasing decision.
Michal Saletra, New Investment Lead for the UK at Mazak, explained the reasons behind the STUDER S41 purchase. “In accordance with our Kaizen programs, we are continuously seeking improvements throughout our plant. The STUDER S41 machine was installed as part of an ongoing investment program in our busy, temperature controlled grinding department.
“Our new STUDER S41 will be used for the highly precise external grinding of a wide range of company components, including parts that have single figure micron dimensional tolerances, such as our spindles. In addition, many of our components have demanding geometric and surface finish specifications, including parameters such as roundness and roughness. As all of these attributes need to be ground to an extremely high degree of accuracy, we have been very impressed with the highly-precise grinding results, and the speed and ease of operation of our new S41 machine.
“Another major reason for the STUDER S41’s purchase was its ability to very accurately and efficiently grind external threads. Previously we were using a sub-contractor for much of this work. Our new STUDER machine has enabled us to bring thread grinding in-house.”
Dave Fisher, Production Director at Yamazaki Mazak UK Ltd, concluded. “Over many years we have benefited from the accurate grinding results delivered by our STUDER grinders and also enjoyed excellent service from both STUDER and the company’s UK agent Micronz. We have been very impressed with the S41 technical developments, and the machine is now making a significant contribution to our high-precision grinding work. In addition, we are grateful to the staff of both STUDER in Switzerland and Micronz for their help in the trouble-free specifying, installation and training related to our new CNC universal cylindrical grinding machine.”