Return of the Champ

Schaumburg, IL-Mazak has long been known as a provider of a full spectrum of laser cutting equipment from the truly entry level to higher-end automated systems. In its latest round of announcements, the company is clearly addressing the entry-level user, making the purchase of a laser system seem elementary. In the mid-1990s the company introduced the NTX (New Turbo-X) Champion, a third-series laser that was marketed as an entry-level machine and an introduction to laser processing. Three generations later, the new STX (Super Turxo-X) Champion has just entered the marketplace.

Over the course of two days here in February, Mazak Optonics welcomed more than 70 visitors each day to the introduction of the new system. At a cost of $248,500, STX Champion is designed as a 2D flat sheet cutting system that offers both high speed and high precision. The system features a 4- x 8-foot work table that moves along the X axis while a patented constant beam length system moves the laser head in the Y axis, enabling users to uniformly and accurately cut sheets up to 0.407-in mild steel, 0.160-in stainless steel, 0.160-in aluminum, and 0.080-in brass without changing optics, eliminating set-up and downtime.

According to Lou Derango, the company’s 2D product manager, the new system was well received at the introduction. Derango sees this system as an opportunity to attract new laser users such as those currently using turret or waterjet systems. In fact, he noted that two waterjet users expressed great interest in purchasing a system to add to and expand their cutting capacity. He also emphasized the advantages of laser versus turret. For example, there is little or no downtime going from one job to the next on the laser, which also offers flexibility in its ability to address contours, angles, small and complex cutouts, sharp corners, and details that are difficult or impossible with hard tooling. Furthermore, the elimination of hard tooling means that there are no more punches or dies to buy, maintain, and store in inventory.

Additionally, the system is proving attractive to shops in Mexico that are looking to add high-tech capabilities. The entry-level price of the new system made it an interesting choice for one Mexican visitor who was looking to enter the high-tech arena with the purchase of a laser. Previously, this prospective laser customer had been researching the purchase of a used-laser system but found that financing can pose obstacles. However, the purchase of a new system, at an entry-level price provides other financing opportunities.


The next-generation Champion from Mazak attracts entry-level users.
Click here to enlarge image

“This new Champion is perfect for job shops that require an affordable price as well as high productivity,” says William Citron, executive vice president, Mazak Optonics Corp. “Its $248,500 non-negotiable price is more than $71,000 less expensive than its nearest competitor.”

Standard equipment on the system includes a manual focus adjustment torch, a non-contact profiler, assist gas changeover equipment, a work light, pneumatic work clamps, and a scrap conveyor. A variety of functions that minimize non-cutting time-such as e-Remote Maintenance, e-Scheduler, and the e-Monitor, which displays operational rate and machining results-are available as options.

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