Mazak helps McLaren Racing get set for new season with rapid 5-axis installation

Yamazaki Mazak has helped the McLaren Formula 1 team step up its preparations for the 2021 season by supplying and commissioning a brand new fully-simultaneous 5-axis machining centre in just four weeks.

The new machine, an INTEGREX i-100S Multi-Tasking machining centre, was ordered in December 2020 and became fully operational at McLaren’s Technology Centre in Surrey at the end of the same month.  

The installation is the latest step in the Formula 1 team’s partnership with Mazak, which now stands at in excess of twenty years, and takes the total number of Mazak machines currently used by McLaren to 28.

The i-100S benefits from a compact, ergonomic design complete with a large machining envelope. It is capable of machining both round and square workpieces up to ⌀500mm and 854mm in length from raw material with just one set-up, one machine and one operator.

Its versatility will enable it to be used for the manufacture of a variety of parts including those used within the suspension, transmission and engine systems, as well as general car system components.

Malcolm Jones, Manager, Machining & Fabrication at McLaren Racing, commented: “As part of our longer-term investment strategy in manufacturing technologies we plan for regular upgrades to our existing portfolio of machines to ensure we operate with the fastest, most efficient technology available.

“At the end of 2020 we acknowledged the need to increase the versatility of our in-house machining to help improve our competitiveness on the track. However, with just a small window of opportunity ahead of our 2021 team launch, we needed to act fast.

“Having broached the challenge with Mazak, we quickly identified the i-100S as an appropriate solution. Crucially, the team at Mazak was able to source a machine and arrange for it to be shipped, installed and commissioned in just four weeks. Not only does it complement our machine portfolio nicely, but it also underpins our need for more flexible and capable machines. What’s more, features such as the SmoothX CNC and the second spindle will enable us produce components to a higher degree of accuracy and faster than the older generation machines.”

Malcolm concludes: “The i-100S is the next step forward in our larger plans to refresh our machine shop and invest in the latest simultaneous 5-axis machine tool technology. We highly value our close working relationship with Mazak which will help us to make parts faster and more accurately.

Alan Mucklow, Managing Director UK & Ireland Sales & Service Division at Yamazaki Mazak, added: “McLaren Racing has long held a special significance at Yamazaki Mazak. When the team approached us with a time-sensitive situation, we were determined to meet the challenge head-on. The desire to help deliver incremental change in a competitive sport reliant on fine margins remains as strong as ever, and I hope the speed of which we were able to deliver our latest machine will stand the team in good stead. The INTEGREX i-100S is every inch the modern, versatile and flexible machining centre, delivering fully-simultaneous 5-axis technology from a compact footprint. I have no doubt that it will help the McLaren team to continue its quest for excellence.”