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Yamazaki Mazak is supporting its local community by supporting a charity arts festival this summer in the city home to its European Manufacturing Plant, Worcester.

The global machine tool manufacturer is sponsoring one of 66 elephant sculptures that appeared on the city’s streets and public spaces from 12 July as part of Worcester’s Big Parade, forming an eye-catching art trail. After eight weeks on display, the elephants will be sold to raise money for St. Richard’s Hospice, a Worcester-based organization that cares for adults with serious progressive illnesses.

The Big Parade follows in the footsteps of the hugely successful Worcester Stands Tall giraffe trail in 2018, which saw giraffe sculptures displayed across the city before being auctioned off for a total of £210,000 for St. Richard’s Hospice. The 66 sculptures include 30 large elephants decorated by artists and 36 smaller calves crafted by schools and community groups from the city.

As well as sponsoring the ‘Strawberryphant’ elephant, Mazak has planned to carry out multiple internal activities during the eight-week summer period to raise money for charity. This includes holding a Euro 2020 Fantasy Football league, sponsoring miniature painting workshops with charity raffles, and selling a variety of strawberry-themed foods in the staff canteen, including strawberries and cream, and strawberry flapjacks. The company has been a major employer in Worcester for over 30 years, with a workforce of over 500 staff manufacturing in excess of 1,000 machines annually to a wide variety of industry sectors.

Sara Matthews, Business Development Manager for St Richard’s, said: “We’re delighted Mazak are joining us for Worcester’s Big Parade, as one of the city’s proud employers, and can’t wait for Worcester to meet the company’s elephant, Strawberryphant. Together we’re looking forward to helping local people reconnect with friends, with family, with colleagues and with the city over the summer.”

Mr Richard Smith, European Group Managing Director, Yamazaki Mazak UK Ltd, commented: “As a Worcester-based business, we are supportive of our local community and are always looking for new ways to help brilliant charities and causes. Worcester’s Big Parade will create many happy memories for local people this summer, including our own team here at Mazak who will enjoy the trail with family and friends.

“We’re so pleased to be sponsoring an elephant and supporting the care that St Richard’s Hospice provides to local patients and their families. After such a challenging year for everyone it’s wonderful to be helping the city smile again this summer.”

Worcester’s Big Parade is a Wild in Art event being brought to the city by St Richard’s Hospice.  It is supported by partners Crowngate, Worcester City Council, Worcester Business Improvement District (BID), DRPG, West Midland Safari Park the Worcester News and BBC Hereford & Worcester.

To find out more, visit You can also follow Worcester’s Big Parade on Facebook, Twitter or span style=”color:red;”>Instagram.

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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