Mazak Mazatrol SmoothX CNC machining technologyClick image to enlarge"

SmoothX" Technology is a new CNC machining platform Mazak Corp. debuted at the recent IMTS in Chicago.

The Mazatrol SmoothX Technology is a complete "process-performance platform that encompasses a new control and associated hardware and software features, as well as new engineering and design supported by our engineering knowledge," explains Neil Desrosier, software developer with Mazak in Florence, KY.

The new technology debuted on seven of the company's five axis and multi-tasking machines. It includes a new CNC designed with six processing cores to create what Desrosiers describe as the world's fastest CNC. He says Mazak has developed a platform that incorporates the complex requirements of today's machine tools within a user-friendly system.

"We've created five different categories (machining, programming, tool data, setup and maintenance) and each has a process home screen that displays all the critical data to handle the area in a single page view and makes it easier and simpler for operators."

The technology features a new graphical user interface that uses voxel graphics for fast programming simulation.

A key function of the technology is its ability to handle programming of fine incremental movements and contour shapes.

"Typically with this type of work you have limitations; you either have a bottleneck with a cutting tool that can't go faster or a bottleneck because the CNC can't process the data fast enough. We can process four times faster than the predecessor control. The technology also has the ability to contour more accurately and more smoothly. We've seen reductions in cycle times of up to 35 per cent in very specific cases. And the finish quality of machined parts is better."

The technology supports the MTConnect open source manufacturing protocol. The technology is standard on new multi-tasking machines, and for the time being, there is no additional cost for it.

"This is a game changer for machine tool platforms," says Desrosiers. "If someone buys a machine today, the new platform is available at no extra cost. We're offering it on our multi-tasking machines and will expand over the course of the year to offer it on our other machine tools."

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