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Products (Machinery - Machine Tool)

Yamazaki Mazak: Multi-Tasking Machines INTEGREX j-300, INTEGREX j-400


Machine / INTEGREX e-1060V/8 II
Aircraft casing (Material / S45C)

Yamazaki Mazak is the world’s largest machine tool company, boasting the largest revenue in the field, a position it has held continuously since 1987. It was established in 1919, originally making machinery to weave tatami mats, but a complete shift in direction 8 years later, in 1927, saw the company move into the manufacture of machine tools including lathes and milling machines. In 1970, Yamazaki Mazak began the manufacture of machining centers. Today, lathes (specifically the industry standard, NC lathes) and machining centers are the company’s primary products.

Yamazaki Mazak has two very distinctive corporate characteristics; insourcing and overseas production.

Insourcing is the core of the Yamazaki Mazak corporate philosophy. The company insists on independence in capital, technology, and sales. Despite its world-leading revenue, therefore, the company has not been floated, has no shareholders and therefore cannot be influenced by their needs or demands, and is able to practice a free and open management approach that is controlled entirely according to the company’s own criteria. In terms of technology, Yamazaki Mazak is scrupulous in developing and using its own unique technology. Take the manufacture of NC lathes, a leading product for the machine tools industry in general, as an example. Most manufacturers will use an existing product, purchased from an external supplier, for the program which controls the lathe, but Yamazaki Mazak refuses, preferring instead to use programs developed inhouse. Moreover, when selling its products, whether on the domestic or international market, Yamazaki Mazak does not use a middleman, instead dealing directly with the client; this is what it refers to as the insourcing of sales.

Yamazaki Mazak has manufacturing plants in five locations in Japan, as well as overseas manufacturing hubs in the USA, the UK, China, and Singapore. Production at these overseas manufacturing centers accounts for more than 40% of total productivity, much higher than most companies in the machine tools industry where the average percentage stands in the tens; this clearly demonstrates the focus placed by Yamazaki Mazak on overseas manufacturing. This enables the company to provide its overseas clients with high quality products in a shorter time, a capability that has doubtless helped to raise its overall share in the overseas market.

Today, the dual product lines of lathes and machining centers form the core of Yamazaki Mazak’s business. Multi-tasking machines feature both of these functions, and represent an integration of the company’s most outstanding technological achievements.

A multi-tasking machine, which combines the functionality of an NC lathe and of a machining center, certainly sounds like it should be an extremely useful machine tool. But multi-tasking machines have faced real problems, particularly in the following three areas: 1) multi-tasking machines tend to show less precision than NC lathes or machining centers operating alone; 2) positioning tends becoming un- or misaligned during automatic tool exchange; 3) positioning tends to becoming un- or misaligned during high heat generation. 

In order to resolve the three problems outlined above, the multi-tasking INTEGREX j Series, introduced here, features the following solutions: 1) by adopting a rigidity structure and an innovative servo motor, a greater degree of precision has been achieved than that of conventional machining center; 2) by introducing high precision index coupling control technology, developed by Yamazaki Mazak, the j Series is able to control the repetitive positioning of the tool blade during automatic tool exchange to within ±1μm; 3) by including an intelligent thermal shield, a thermal deformation control function developed inhouse by Yamazaki Mazak, the j Series is able to control dimensional change to within 8 microns with a room temperature change of 8° C. 

Of the INTEGREX j Series, the INTEGREX j-300 and INTEGREX j-400, introduced here, have slightly larger chuck sizes than conventional machines, at 10 and 12 inches, increasing maximum swing to φ680mm, and increasing the processing scope of bar work capacity to φ102mm.

Apr 6, 2011

About the author
Eriko Kinashi is a reporter for Japanest NIPPON
(Yamazaki Mazak Corporation)
Maximum machining diameter Φ500 mm
Bar work capability Φ80 mm
Maximum machining length 629 mm
Travel (X/Y/Z) 615 / 250 / 695 mm
Travel (B/C) 220°/ 360°
Main spindle (30 min. rating) 4,000 min-1 (rpm), 18.5 kW (25 HP)
Milling spindle (20% ED) 12,000 min-1 (rpm), 22 kW (30 HP)
Tool storage capacity 20, 36*, 72*