Mazak Optonics Blog

Where metal fabricators acquire industry insights

Fab(rication) Females

When people think of the manufacturing and fabrication industry, one of the first things that comes to mind is “male-dominated”. While this is accurate, it is important to encourage women to consider careers in manufacturing and fabrication. But how can we get more women in fabrication and manufacturing? Three fabrication females at Mazak Optonics: Cara Molitor, Katie Menrath and Michelle Redish share their stories about their careers in the fabrication industry.

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Importance of Preventative Fiber Laser Maintenance

Cleaning is a dreaded chore by all. However, in order to keep laser-cutting machines in optimal condition, cleaning and maintenance are crucial. This guide will reference benefits of preventative maintenance, where to clean on your fiber laser, resources to utilize for maintenance, and how Mazak Service is here to assist you.

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Why High Power?

When you flip through any of the fabrication magazines, you will see advertisements and press releases all mentioning high-power lasers, which includes 6kW, 8kW, and 10kW. Why is it that the industry wants these higher power levels for laser-cutting? There are a variety of productivity and quality benefits that are realized when using higher power levels with laser-cutting. Discover why you need a high-power fiber laser-cutting machine in your fabrication operations.

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Marketing 101 for Job Shops

Marketing is involved through all stages of business and is a critical aspect to any company, even fabrication job shops. With new tactics and strategies coming out every year, it is hard to keep up with what is most impactful for fabricators. These three marketing basics can help your fabrication shop gain a solid marketing base, so you can focus on the engineering ahead.

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Five Laser-Cutting Trends of 2019

By understanding the fabrication industry’s pain points, Mazak strives to fit your needs and improve your operations. Here are the top 5 laser-cutting trends that we are seeing in the fabrication industry that will drive the future of laser processing.

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Automation Implementation Helps Fill Skills Gap Created by Aging Workforce

With baby boomers aging in droves, the challenge now is the loss of skills from one generation to the next. Unemployment levels are at an all-time low across the country which means it is increasingly more difficult to hire, replace and train new employees with enough time to transfer vital information to the new hire. Skills are gained over years; it isn’t easy for novice employees to replicate without side-by-side training. But what is the answer to the aging workforce and increasing skills gap?

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The 3D FABRI GEAR Advantage

The 3D FABRI GEAR line was introduced in 1999 and since then Mazak has continued to advance their 3D laser-cutting technology. From a true 3D cutting head to the Mazak four-chuck system, the FABRI GEAR incredibly unique. The done-in-one process saves a number of hours and offers a better chance of making consistently accurate parts.

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One Year Later: 2019 Steel and Tariffs Outlook

The past, present and future of tariffs, steel, service centers and fabricators. Since entering The Oval Office, President Trump has implemented many new policies for the United States. One of these impactful decisions was announced through the President’s Twitter in March 2018. Trump’s decision was to set tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum which was put into effect in June 2018. What has happened since implementing these tariffs and where are we at now? These questions are answered differently depending where you stand in the metals industry.

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Five Tips for 2D Software Programming

Five Tips for Programming 2D Software for Mazak laser-cutting machines. Maximize your laser-cutting production and minimize loss by utilizing these five Mazak Smart System software programming tools and techniques. Check out these five major techniques and tools that you can use with Mazak Smart System to make your laser-cutting processes most efficient.

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Cheers to 100 Years!

A fabricator’s guide to laser-cutting assist gases: Whether you are new to laser-cutting or need a refresher course, here is what you need to know regarding assist gases. This laser-cutting assist gas guide is here to refine your understanding regarding the difference gases and why they are used.

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Cutting Assistance

A fabricator’s guide to laser-cutting assist gases: Whether you are new to laser-cutting or need a refresher course, here is what you need to know regarding assist gases. This laser-cutting assist gas guide is here to refine your understanding regarding the difference gases and why they are used.

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Are you utilizing the R&D Tax Credit?

Are you looking for ways to save money, expand your business while improving your company’s bottom line? The R&D Tax Credit is an opportunity that allows you to take advantage of activities that you are probably already performing. Yet shockingly, it is estimated that only 5 percent of eligible companies claim the R&D Tax Credit. Largely as a result of the ongoing improvements made to their products and processes, manufacturers make up the largest group of R&D Tax Credit claimants. Each year, manufacturers receive considerable tax savings as a result of this government-sponsored incentive.

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Unconstrained Automation

Automation is not a one-size-fits-all solution due to the many shop floor constraints, but all is not lost, partner with a builder that best customizes individual needs. Mazak offers endless configuration possibilities with their extensive and customizable automation solutions. When searching for automation, make sure that your requirements are being met and the system is able to keep up with the pace of your fiber laser-cutting machines.

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GENCO and Mazak Credit Corp. Partner to Invest in New Mazak Fiber Laser

Genco Manufacturing Inc. has been producing quality fabricated metal products for over 30 years in Garnett, KS. Originally started as a fab shop but since then has decided to diversify by getting into the truck bed market. Previously building custom made to order truck beds, GENCO was specializing in custom products designed to meet customer's specifications at competitive prices. hile at FABTEH, GENCO decided to purchase a Mazak OPTIPLEX NEXUS 3015 Fiber laser-cutting system. The OPTIPLEX NEXUS Fiber laser was the answer to their increase in demand and continued growth. GENCO ended up taking advantage of the special Mazak Credit Corp (MCC) financing promotional rate for their first Mazak laser-cutting machine.

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Safety First

Mazak laser-cutting machines are incredibly safe machines but it is also necessary to follow proper procedure to reduce risks. Laser is actually an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation". Since there is a radiation stimulated light involved in the Mazak cutting process, there are potential hazards. Laser related hazards include laser beam contact, fire, fumes and electrocution. But the two most serious are beam contact and fire.

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Mazak's Solution to IIoT Cyber Security

Mazak's iSMART Factory Solution connections machines to a network where the data is displayed and now readable in a visual format. This electronic data is prone to threats such as malware, spyware and ransomware. Keeping this data secure is vital, which is why Mazak has the SmartBox to protect your shop floor.

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At the Helm

IIoT and customer input help shape the laser machine controls of today and tomorrow with the new PreviewG control. Having an easy-to-use, fast, smart and IoT connected laser cutting control is what customers want. The capabilities of looking further ahead, being ergonomical, tracking cutting and maintenance, and showing in real-time what is happening at the fiber laser machine make the PreviewG control a game changer for laser-cutting technology.

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Mazak Optonics sees customer service through a new set of lenses

Mazak Optonics now offers the latest in wearable smart technology offering Mazak SMART Glasses. These glasses enable a Mazak Service Technician to remotely view what your laser operator sees by utilizing telepresence technology. Learn more about the Mazak SMART Glasses and their benefits here in the Mazak Optonics blog post.

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Women Impacting the Manufacturing Industry

The skills gap is nothing new to US manufacturing but as it continues to widen over the next decade, 3.4 million jobs will be needed. Women total roughly 47 percent of US jobs, yet the manufacturing workforce is only made up of approximately 29 percent women. Even with women being a small percentage of the manufacturing workforce, they are already improving the industry immensely. Women are an essential part of manufacturing and will continue to be in the future. I have been fortunate enough to chat with some of these women who are paving the way for successful careers in manufacturing.

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Are Trump's Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum Good or Bad?

Since his campaign began, President Trump has been pro-manufacturing and anti-foreign steel and aluminum. President Trump said the dumping of foreign metals puts America at a national-security risk. President Trump on March 5th, tweeted, “To protect our country we must protect American Steel!” On March 1st, President Donald Trump has announced to impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum. But what does this mean for fabricators and manufacturers? The potential effects are still in question on whether this is a good or bad deal.

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Employee Retention: A Proactive Approach to the Skills Gap

As of January 2018, the unemployment rate has steadily been at 4.1 percent in the United States according to a press release by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The release also added that payroll employment has continued to rise for manufacturing, adding 186,000 jobs in the past 12 months. The quits rate is back to pre-recession peak of 2.2 percent. High employee turnover can reduce productivity, increase costs for businesses, and leave organizational goals unmet. With limited skilled workers, more jobs, and higher quit rates it makes it that much more important to keep the employees you have happy. With the current war on top talent, how do fabricators keep their top employees?

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The Impact of the Trump Tax Reform

The last time the United States had a comprehensive tax revamp was in 1986. After 32 years, on December 22 the latest tax reform bill was made into law. There have been a many different views on the new law. But what it is important is how the bill affects your business. Here is a quick rundown on the benefits of the new law, opportunities and uncertainties.

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Understanding the Mazak iSMART Factory Solution

The Mazak iSMART Factory Solution is based on over 36 years of Mazak’s industry leading experience. Learn how it works through Smooth Monitor AX, SmartBox, and MT Connect.

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American Oil and Natural Gas Opportunity

Energy is a key factor for both emerging economies and developed countries. Energy is central to social and economic well-being. New strategies and technologies can allow energy to be accessible to all by 2030, allowing energy to move from poverty towards prosperity. The two major energies that could impact fabricators in the United States are oil and natural gas.

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Is Automation the Right Move?

This blog post highlights the four key steps in considering automation: 1. Do you really need automation? 2. What type of automation do you need? 3. What should your initial configuration look like? 4. What are the challenges you may face implementing an automation system?

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Make Fabrication Great Again

With recent changes in Washington, there have been 22 executive orders and an array of Presidential Memorandums and Presidential proclamations issues. With with these changes fabricators are feeling good, here is why.

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What is Direct Diode Laser Technology?

Recently, Mazak Optonics Corp. introduced a first of its kind laser-cutting machine which utilized a direct diode laser (DDL), the OPTIPLEX 3015 DDL. This machine has changed the game for high power laser cutting. Direct diode laser technology has shaken the industrial laser-cutting industry, but not everyone understands what it is, how it works or why it has gained such traction.

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