Investment in Yamazaki Mazak’s
European Manufacturing Plant in Worcester continues apace following the purchase of a new Studer S41 CNC universal cylindrical grinding machine. Located in Mazak’s ‘state of the art’ Spindle Service Centre at the heart of its European headquarters in Worcester, the new machine will deliver a step-change in its in-house grinding capabilities.
The S41 is the sixth grinding machine Mazak has purchased from Studer in a relationship spanning over 20 years, and is one of a select few non-Mazak CNC machines at the European Manufacturing Plant.
The machine will be used for the highly precise grinding of a wide range of components with demanding geometric and surface finish specifications, including those which have single-figure micron dimensional tolerances such as spindles.
Its accurate and efficient thread grinding capabilities have also eliminated the need for Mazak to outsource such work, which was previously sub-contracted to a third party. What is more, the increase in productivity of the S41 — which has resulted in an 80% reduction in cycle time for some applications — has enabled Mazak to move its grinding department from a three-shift to a two-shift working pattern.
The S41 is the latest in a series of long-running investments from Mazak in its manufacturing facility to promote the sustainable production of a wide range of British-built machine tools. It follows a multi-million-pound investment in a twin-pallet Versatech V-140N/280 and a FJV-60/80 double-column vertical machining centre in 2021, and two automated Integrex i-Series cells in 2019.
Stuart Astley, Yamazaki Mazak European service and added services director, said: “Our European manufacturing plant is a vital part of our global manufacturing footprint. Where possible we aim to exclusively use Mazak machines in our production processes, however grinding is a highly specialist area and we have to rely on the expertise of other manufacturers.
“Over the years we have developed an extremely strong relationship with Studer, and when it came to making further strategic investments to our grinding department, we needed to look no further than the S41.”
Mr Astley added: “Our Spindle Service Centre plays a pivotal role in the overall operational life of a Mazak machine tool, with the grinding department tasked with finishing and refinishing both new and replacement spindles. The S41 has enabled us to dramatically improve the productivity of our surface-finishing operations, while its thread grinding capabilities mean we can perform more operations in-house.”
He concluded: “Moreover, the Studer team in both the UK and Switzerland were incredibly accommodating during the specification, installation and training processes; much of which took place under international travel restrictions. The S41 has already demonstrated its value to our Worcester production team and we look forward to many more years of successful operation.”