PEKO Precision Products

Product Review: Mazak VC500-AX

Posted by Brianna Marchetti on Jun 12, 2019 2:09:08 PM

Product Type: 5-axis CNC Machine

Manufacturer: Mazak

Where to buy: Find Your Mazak Representative

Performance Rating: 5/5
Quality Rating: 4.5/5
User Friendly Rating: 4/5
Price Rating: 4.5/5

Overall Rating:  4.5/5 stars

Machinist standing outside of the Mazak as he enters information into the machines controller.

Introduction

Mazak was established in 1919 in Japan, with MazakUSA headquartered in Florence, KY.  The company claims that they "will continue to develop advanced machine tools for progress in manufacturing as well as society."  Based on our company's experience with Mazak, we're confident to say that they have achieved this claim, and then some.  5-axis machines are impressive as it is, but when you add a brand new machine built by a company that excels in precision and user friendliness, you've found a "must-have" for every facility.

How Did PEKO Come ABout Using This Product?

PEKO had been in the market for a 5-axis machine for quite some time before purchasing this Mazak.  Our CNC Process Engineer sought potential 5-axis candidates and sent him to meet with potential manufacturers during the IMTS show in Chicago.  This trade show has always been a great resource for finding new machines and equipment.  Compared to all the companies our CNC Process Engineer spoke with, Mazak offered the most complete and polished product along with a very compelling price. 

What are Some of The Benefits We Have Seen?

  • The full 5th axis capabilities, along with the tool center point control and dynamic offsetting have allowed for fast fixture offset pick-ups.
  • The Maza-check feature allows us to keep the machine dialed in and accurate.
  • Having probing and tool measurement in the machine makes for quick changeovers between different parts.

What are Some SHortfalls of this Equipment?

  • The parts need to be evaluated from the table in order to keep the tooling to a reasonable length and to keep the column from hitting the cradle when rotated to 90°.
  • Tooling is limited to approximately 9.5" in length. 

Mazak_VC500_AX Controllers

Price Vs Value

Mazak offered very competitive pricing compared to its competition, with superior build quality and features.  This Mazak has proven to provide our company with a high value and should for years to come.

How Well Does it Work and HOw is the Usability?

The Mazak has a few built in features: Work-piece setup error correction; Tool center point control; and mazacheck.  With these built in features, the machine set-up is quiet, and easy to maintain.  In comparison, the set-ups for the Mazak have proven to be faster than other machines we have with less work planes.  This has ultimately saved us money towards our bottom line. 

Training machinists on the Mazak was very easy.  Mazak assists their customers throughout the process of implementing the machine into their business.  Initial training is offered as well as off-site training which covers the more advanced control features. 

What Were Some Alternatives We could have Pursued?

We had progressed through the machines with less capabilities (3-axis mill with 4-axis indexer; 3-axis mill with 4th–5th axis indexer; a 5-axis machine lacking the tool center point control and quick alignment features, ie: Maza-check).  These were adequate for limited runs, but the set-up times and accuracy were limited.  We had simply outgrown them and could not continue to meet strict delivery schedules and part requirements without the full 5-axis Mazak. 

Overall, our company has been happy with the Mazak VC500-AX's addition to our facilities.  The accuracy and preciseness of this smaller machine has proven beneficial to our business.  If you're looking to machine accurate parts with decreased set-up times, this machine is the one for you. 

Mazak_VC500_AX Controllers (2)

Topics: CNC Machining, machinery manufacturing, Product Review