Understanding the Mazak iSMART Factory Solution

Discover more about Mazak's smart and secure IIoT technology 

By Tim O'Donnell, Mazak Software Supervisor, Mazak Optonics 

The Mazak iSMART Factory Solution is based on over 36 years of Mazak’s industry leading experience. Starting in 1981 with the FMF Factory, in 1987 the CIM Factory, and in 1998 the Cyber Factory. The Mazak iSMART Factory Solution continues Mazak’s tradition of leading innovation in factory networking and automation.

The foundation of the Mazak iSMART Factory Solution is the industrial internet of things (IIoT). IIoT is part of a larger concept called the internet of things (IoT). This is a network of smart computers, devices and objects that collect data and share it. The data that is collected is saved in the cloud which aggregated all the data and shares it back with the end user. The Mazak iSMART Factory Solution uses software to analyze factory production and present it visually in real-time in place of using historical data. Instead of reviewing data that is a week or a month old, Mazak iSMART Factory Solution allows for production issues to be immediately detected and addressed, improving production efficiency.

The way we can visualize this data is through one of the components of Mazak iSMART Factory Solution, the Smooth Monitor AX software. Reading data directly from the shop floor, we are able to present it in a visual format. This technology has allowed customer to increase productivity often from 10% to upwards of 50%. 

The main screen of Smooth Monitor AX functions as the Alarm Analyzer, Operation Analysis and Override History can be utilized to ensure maximum productivity of the equipment being monitored. The utilization dashboard fully summarizes the current state of each machine group. From here, data such as program being ran, override state, and laser power settings can all be viewed in real-time.

Now that we are able to get the data from the factory floor to the office, how can we do this safely? We live in an age of hacking, ransomware, and other technology infections. What will keep the factory floor secure if it is connected to the internet?

The Mazak SmartBox is the solution to protect data and equipment. This level 3 switch is a firewall and another component to the Mazak iSMART Factory Solution. By transferring all data to and from the machine through the Mazak SmartBox, it blocks all outside access, therefore protecting property from theft and the machines from damage.

What kind of data can we communicate? Previously, each device spoke its own “language” so interaction was impossible. But MT Connect was created to standardizes machine language so all machine can communicate. As another component of Mazak iSMART Factory Solution, MT-Connect allows for communication. Through the Mazak SmartBox to a variety of machine and allows Smooth Monitor AX software to display results for real-time analysis and action.

Mazak is able to offer a turn-key system that gives a real-time visual of the factory floor allowing for improvement to be address immediately and to increase production and efficiency. Real-time monitoring helps determine real-time solutions all of which can be done through Mazak’s iSMART Factory Solution.

For more information on the Mazak iSMART Factory Solution, check out this Cyber World issue on the new era of digital manufacturing


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About Mazak Optonics Corporation

Mazak Optonics Corporation is a major supplier of laser-cutting systems, offering 50 laser models and leading the industry in the implementation of emerging laser technologies. The company’s 50,000 sq. ft. North American Headquarters are located in Elgin, Illinois, and feature a 30,000 sq. ft. laser technology center housing up to 18 machines for demonstrations and training. Mazak Optonics is part of Yamazaki Mazak Corporation (Oguchi, Japan), the global leader for the manufacture of machine tools and systems for the precision machining of metal parts, including CNC turning centers, horizontal and vertical machining centers, Multi-Tasking machining centers, turnkey cells and software solutions. The North American Headquarters for Yamazaki Mazak are located in Florence, Kentucky. For more information on Mazak Optonics’ products and solutions, visit www.mazakoptonics.com, email sales@mazaklaser.com or call 847.252.4500.