Mazak Optonics Corporation, a global supplier of CO2 laser cutting systems, hosted ribbon-cutting ceremonies in early May for the opening of the world’s largest dedicated laser technology center in Elgin, Illinois. The company says the facility’s opening emphasizes its commitment to help North American manufacturing companies meet application development challenges and to educate the industry on the potential impact of laser technology. Critical components of the new center include philosophy, people, technology and the facility itself, the company it says.
“Philosophy” refers to the company’s utilization of lean principles to develop manufacturing strategies, to engineer technology that supports lean initiatives and to help customers implement manufacturing processes. “People” refers to the center’s dedicated applications and development team, members of which have average laser experience of 15 years and often have degrees in laser electro optics technology, not just manufacturing science. “Technology” refers to the company’s stated position as a leader in developing new laser technology. Mazak cites the first laser FMS, automated sorting of fabricated laser parts, automated torch changing and the introduction of Hyper technology among the important milestones it has introduced to the industry.
With capacity for 18 laser machines, the facility itself represents a total investment of $25.6 million. That figure includes $11 million for the building, $9 million in machines for application development and training, and $5.6 million in machine parts and accessories. Applications development, training and the customer support call center consists of 37,500 square feet of the 50,000-square-foot center.