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Yamazaki Mazak has increased the number of shifts for production at its European Manufacturing Plant following the easing of lockdown restrictions for UK manufacturers.

The company will be focusing on the manufacture of a core group of machines, including its new CV5-500 fully simultaneous 5-axis machining centre, as well as models from its VCN and VTC vertical machining centre range, and QT Series of high-performance CNC turning centres.

Mazak has also been able to safely increase production levels at its European Manufacturing Plant in recent weeks, following the implementation of a series of stringent new factory systems and processes. The new measures ensure compliance with UK Government guidance on social distancing and workplace safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 31-page document, which is published on the Mazak website, provides in-depth details of all changes made to the factory, alongside a full risk assessment for all production and administration areas of the site, and a breakdown of all potential risks to staff and customers, and proposed control measures.

Richard Smith, European Group Managing Director, Yamazaki Mazak UK Ltd, commented: “There is no doubt that the last few months have been incredibly challenging for the UK as a whole, and for manufacturing. However, the resilience and adaptability on display across industry has been nothing short of outstanding. I would like to thank our own staff who have adapted to the situation in an overwhelmingly positive way, and have continued to work safely and diligently so as to ensure we are able to meet the requirements of our customers.”

Stuart Astley, Production Director at Yamazaki Mazak’s production facility in Worcester, adds: “As Production Director my primary concern has always been the health and safety of all our staff. As a team, we have collaboratively created a safe working environment that has allowed us to complete machine orders and support our customers during these difficult times.”

“The workforce has played a key role in achieving this, not only by helping to establish the new ways of working, but by following them to the letter. They have been incredibly supportive of what we are doing and I am happy to say that the morale on the factory floor has been superb throughout this difficult time.”

Phil King, who is both an Assembly Worker and a Factory Floor Health & Safety Representative, added: “I feel that Mazak has clearly put into place a system that has allowed myself and others to work during these unprecedented times, while feeling safe and valued. Any concerns that I had at first have been put to rest completely.”

Yamazaki Mazak Ltd

Yamazaki Mazak is the world’s largest manufacturer of computer controlled (CNC) metal-cutting machines. With over 260 different models, the Mazak product range includes CNC lathes, machining centres, multi-tasking machines and flexible manufacturing systems as well as laser processing machines.

Machine tools are called “Mother Machine” because they relate to the manufacturing of almost every product around us and are very important in supporting the base of “world manufacturing.” Our mission as a machine tool maker is to enrich people’s lives and contribute to society by developing and providing high performance machine tools that can produce high accuracy work in a short time.

We were among the first to start foreign production as a Japanese machine tool maker. Following the establishment of Mazak Corporation in the USA, we expanded our production base worldwide to include the UK, Singapore and China, as well as further expanding our Japanese manufacturing operations. We are the only machine tool maker to have established a global production system. With these local plants, we have been able to provide high quality service and have built strong relationships based on mutual trust with customers from all over the world.

True to the Yamazaki principle of supporting the customer locally, Mazak’s European Manufacturing plant, in Worcester UK, opened in June 1987 and was immediately recognised as the most advanced machine tool manufacturing plant in Europe. The factory has expanded three times since then and now offers over 29,000m2

This is a complete machine tool manufacturing plant. Mazak machines the components that go to make its spindles, turrets, tool magazines and Mazak even manufactures its own sheet metal covers. As with all Mazak manufacturing plants, the most rigorous practices and Kaizen programmes ensure continuous improvement.

Serving all of Europe’s markets, more than 80% of the machine tools built in Worcester are exported from the UK into Europe. More than 17,000 Mazak machines have been manufactured here so far and this number continues to grow every day.

Mazak European Manufacturing Plant is recognised for its factory automation, technology and overall management practices. Selected as one of the “Top Ten Companies in the World” by the Swedish Royal Academy of Science and Technology underscores this worldwide reputation.

As with all Mazak factories, this facility comprises a variety of flexible manufacturing systems, consisting of machining centres, multi-tasking CNC lathes, and a sheet metal FMS – all designed for unmanned operation.

The plant benefits from highly skilled employees who are committed to continuous improvement through the 25 “Kaizen” teams in operation.

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