The new NEO range of laser processing machines and a strong focus on customer service helped Yamazaki Mazak record its most successful ever year for laser sales in 2023.

The NEO range, which complements Mazak’s 2D laser and 3D tube cutting machines, has opened up new markets for the company within both OEMs and subcontractors.

Ian White, General Sales Manager – Laser Products for Yamazaki Mazak, says the NEO machines – including the OPTIPLEX NEO 20kW, a 2D fiber laser with 3015 and 4220 bed sizes, and the FG-400 NEO fiber laser for long tubes, pipes and structural materials – have added new capability to the Mazak laser range.

The NEO range complements Mazak’s 2D laser and 3D tube cutting machines, and includes the FG-400 NEO (pictured).

“The NEO machines have helped us penetrate new markets, particularly where laser users are working with heavy plate – in the energy and construction sectors, for example.

“We’ve also recorded a good mix of sales into both OEMs and subcontractors, with particularly strong results in medical – a sector that requires exceptional accuracy and cut quality.”

The strength of Mazak’s service offering for laser users has also driven market share.

Mr White added: “Mazak has invested in its service and support for customers, and we now have 25 applications staff ready to advise. We have also introduced our industry-first 24-hour service hotline for laser users, which is available even if the machine is not under warranty or a service contract. The hotline enables customers to speak with a UK-based engineer to get their machines back up and running at any time of the day.”

Automation has also proved to be a very successful selling point for Mazak, with the company now boasting the largest range of automation options available.

Mr White said: “We have an exceptionally large automation range with more than 50 options for customers due to our use of Mazak’s Open Robot Interface technology, which means virtually any automation system can be fitted to our machines. We can also design bespoke systems tailored to individual customer production requirements.”

Mr White says the opening of the European Laser Technology Centre in Milan has also helped promote Mazak’s laser range. “It has been a great addition to our Technology Centre network and has raised Mazak’s profile among laser users across Europe. They can see our entire range in one place and easily visit customers similar to themselves who are using our laser processing machines to drive real productivity and profitability.”

Mazak recently expanded its laser manufacturing with a move to a larger facility at Minokamo in Japan, which has increased production capacity and further integrated the company’s operations.

“Our customers are seeing the advantages derived from Mazak’s increased investment in laser technology and the ever-closer relationship between machine tools and laser,” Mr White continued.

“A lot of subcontractors are moving from lasers into wider machining to provide a complete manufacturing solution. We are benefiting from common controls, including the new SmoothLx, which means customers can standardise on Mazak technology across their facilities.”

Mr White is confident that 2024 will deliver more success. “We’re launching the new OPTIPLEX Ez machine – a cost-effective laser processing range with multiple advanced cutting features – which I believe will be very competitive and popular within the UK market.

“Laser users are increasingly understanding what Mazak can offer, both in terms of our extensive machine range and the quality of our service support, which is industry leading.”

Yamazaki Mazak UK Ltd