SME Names Akimitsu Nagae the 2012 Eli Whitney Productivity Award Winner

Yamazaki Mazak Corporation executive recognized for manufacturing innovations

Florence, Kentucky, June 11, 2012 - Akimitsu Nagae, Ph.D., Yamazaki Mazak Corporation Vice President of Engineering and Production, received the Eli Whitney Productivity Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) for his leadership in the design and manufacture of machine tools and automation systems that enhance productivity and quality in manufacturing. Dr. Nagae was honored on June 4 during the International Awards Gala, held in conjunction with the SME's Annual Conference in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Eli Whitney Productivity Award is presented each year to a leading innovator and recognizes distinguished accomplishments in improving capability within the broad concept of orderly production.

Dr. Nagae received his bachelor's of engineering in 1968, and his master's of engineering in 1970, both from the University of Tokyo, School of Engineering. He received his Ph.D. from the same university in 1985.

Dr. Nagae joined the Japan-based Yamazaki Mazak Corporation in 1971 after working briefly with NTT. Since then he has been an industry leader in the design of advanced machine tools as well as the planning of production facilities utilizing flexible automation systems.

Early in his distinguished career at Yamazaki Mazak Corporation, he and his team developed a turning center equipped with the MAZATROL T1 CNC system and the first large-scale flexible manufacturing system in Japan used for the production of machinetool components. Eight years later, in 1989, he led the development of the INTEGREX CNC Multi-Tasking machines. The Mazak INTEGREX became almost synonymous with Multi-Tasking with manufacturing, and Dr. Nagae was recognized as the first to develop volume production of these CNC multi-tasking machines.

Throughout his career, Dr. Nagae has been active in academic societies and organizations. He led the Manufacturing & Machine Tool Division of The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, chaired the Technical Committee of the Japan Machine Tool Builders' Association and headed The Japan Society for Precision Engineering. In addition, he has published multiple technical papers, holds multiple U.S. patents and has been honored by the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers with the Medal for Distinguished Engineers.

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, email or call 847.252.4500.