Mazak, Muratec collaborate on smart automation

Mazak, Muratec collaborate on smart automation

By working together, Mazak and Muratec have developed a production system in response to the requirements of manufacturers to effectively implement the utilization of IIOT technology in their production facilities.


Mazak continues to provide the most advanced and highly productive manufacturing technologies available through strategic collaborations with other key OEMs. As the result of such a collaborative effort with Murata Machinery Ltd. (Muratec), Mazak developed its new MAZATEC SMS (smart manufacturing system) that provides unmanned, lights-out manufacturing and high output, as well as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connectivity.

The MAZATEC SMS combines Mazak’s machining, automation, and Smart technologies with Muratec’s automated high-density storage and retrieval system. The MAZATEC SMS pairs multiple Mazak horizontal machining centers and/or multi-tasking machines with a Muratec vertically orientated, space-saving stocker-type system that has pallets, a material bucket and high-speed stocker crane. To match each manufacturer’s specific production and floor space needs, the modular system can have up to 150 stockers (in different sizes) in a six-level configuration that increases space efficiency by as much as 67%.

As key components of the MAZATEC SMS, Mazak’s SmartBox IIoT technology and Smooth PMC production management software along with Muratec’s automated system control all interconnect/synchronize with a customer’s enterprise resource planning ERP/MRP host and MES execution systems. These highly advanced digital innovations and complete connectivity make the MAZATEC SMS a smart factory solution for process control, monitoring and optimization to produce a variety of workpieces – even in small lot sizes – with extremely high efficiency.

The MAZATEC SMS can incorporate various sizes and types of machine tools into the same automated manufacturing system. Such flexibility is possible because the stocker system sets up faster and easier as well as accommodates different size machine tool pallets, as does the system’s single stocker crane. This capability also allows manufacturers to apply the MAZATEC SMS across a more expansive spectrum of part numbers/types for cost effectiveness and increased ROI.

Peripheral equipment for the MAZATEC SMS includes individual stations for loading and centering, tilt loading, raise and lower loading, work set up and part washing. In addition to keeping the machine tools supplied with work, the system’s stocker crane handles the MAZATEC SMS overall input of raw parts and the output of finished ones.

“With the combined technologies of Mazak and Muratec, the MAZATEC SMS advanced manufacturing system will significantly increase the competitiveness of manufacturers in today's IIoT environment,” states Brian Papke, chairman of Mazak. “We at Mazak believe that such collaborations with other innovators in the manufacturing industry effectively foster new ideas and ways to combine processes and apply new technologies to improve the manufacturing performance of customers.”

For its part of the collaboration, Muratec contributes AS/RS durability and reliability. The company and its systems are well entrenched in the automotive and other industrial manufacturing environments. Unlike other comparable systems that tend to be standard in nature, Muratec’s base units are much more customizable and configurable for a wider range of applications.

Mazak has a long history in the production of factory automation systems, such as its earliest one the MAZATROL FMS (flexible manufacturing system) developed in 1984 and its current systems that include PALLETECH and the single machine MPP (multiple pallet pool). Similarly, Murata Machinery has extensive experience as a provider of material handling systems to manufacturing facilities worldwide.