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Online Conference Provides Hands-On Experience With Machines

Mazak’s All-Axes Live teleconference provides shop owners with the opportunity to have as close to a hands-on experience as social distancing will allow.

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Manufacturing is an industry that often thrives on face-to-face interactions, with machine tool manufacturers designing tech centers that allow shop owners to see machines in person, discuss their features with engineers, and design solutions with the people who will be building their machines. As social distancing and isolation continue to define the business environment for the manufacturing industry, some OEMs are pioneering new ways to interact with customers.

Mazak Variaxis C-600

The Mazak Variaxis C-600 is a five-axis VMC designed to easily incorporate a range of automation solutions. It was one of the major focuses of the All-Axes Live virtual open house hosted by Mazak.Photo Credit: Mazak

On August 11, Mazak held its very first All Axes Live, an online open house that provided shops with the opportunity to see machines in action and interact with technical specialists. This is the first of multiple interactive open houses the company has planned. According to Mazak Corporation President Dan Janka, “One of the purposes of our technology centers is to give our customers the chance to interact with and learn about our technology. During these trying times, we wanted to create an experience as close to that as possible.”

Live Presentations and Q&As

The event featured live presentations from technical experts using working machining centers to demonstrate Mazak technology. The company streamed the presentations from multiple locations around the United States, enabling viewers to learn about and interact with a variety of technologies. During these presentations, attendees were able to ask detailed questions of Mazak product experts through a chat box. The interface would be familiar to anyone used to video conferencing apps, which includes just about everyone these days. Between the chat box and the presentation, the event very much had the feel of an in-person visit from the comfort of my office.

One machine on display was the Variaxis C-600 five-axis machining center. Capable of full five-axis machining, this vertical machining center is designed to easily adapt to multiple automation solutions provided by the company, including a two-station pallet changer or a robotic loader. The tool magazine comes standard with 30 tools, with options for up to 120.

Another focal point was the Mazatrol Smooth AI, a CNC control designed for five-axis milling and multitasking machines. The control includes spindle monitoring to improve the finish. Additionally, it improves robotic integration with the machine. The titular AI predicts cycle times and dynamic feed rates by remembering feeds and speeds from past programs, using them to program parts. It works with Mazatrol Twins, which works with Smooth AI to enable users to create virtual twins of the machine. With this, users can access machines remotely to monitor machine data in real time.

Learn more about All-Axes Live and register for the next event.

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