Mazak Acquires Friction Stir Welding Supplier

MegaStir, now Mazak MegaStir, will provide system advancements and evolve into an FSW technology center. 

Mazak Corp. has acquired Provo, Utah-based MegaStir, a supplier of friction stir welding (FSW) tools and technology. With the acquisition, Mazak continues to expand and build upon its Hybrid multitasking machine technology. MegaStir, now Mazak MegaStir, will provide further system advancements and evolve into an FSW technology center. 

The Hybrid concept is said to extend beyond the combination of additive and subtractive processes to include others such as FSW capabilities for complete part processing on one machine tool platform and often in one setup.

FSW is a solid-state joining process that uses frictional heat and forging pressure to create full-penetration, defect-free welded joints with greater strength than conventional welding methods. The process utilizes a non-consumable tool to join two metal plates without melting the workpiece. Commonly considered a forging process, FSW is well-suited for joining alloys with low melting points, including aluminum, copper and brass, among others.

Mazak first collaborated with MegaStir on the development of the VTC-800 FSW machining center, with the VTC-300C FSW having been introduced most recently at IMTS 2018. The FSW package adds friction stir welding capability to the spindle via a toolholder and includes closed-loop FSW process control as well as FSW programming software, enhancing the speed and capability of the process.

“Our goal is to continuously explore and develop new technologies, processes and product innovation that will keep our customers productive, competitive and profitable,” says Mazak President Dan Janka. “The various Mazak FSW machines are perfect examples of that, as are the other various machine models within the Mazak Hybrid machine series.”

Dale Fleck will head up operations as the general manager of the new Mazak MegaStir. “Together with Mazak, we will advance FSW’s applications not only within the oil and gas industry sector but also into other new and dynamic high-tech segments as well,” he says.