The first North American manufacturing plant for the DMG / Mori Seiki partnership is in operation now in Davis, Calif., less than two years after the project was revealed. In a ribbon-cutting message recently, Mori Seiki Co. Ltd. president Dr. Masahiko Mori described the opening as an indicator of the machine tool builder’s continuing prosperity and its expanding role as a collaborator for U.S. manufacturers.
Speaking to an audience at IMTS 2012, Dr. Mori and his counterpart Dr. Rüdiger Kapitza, of Gildemeister AG, were enthusiastic about the flexibility and efficiency of their new operation, which has been in start-up mode since July. Mori Seiki and Gildemeister have a cross-shareholding arrangement and co-develop and co-market their machine tool technologies worldwide. The two companies have a consolidated U.S. business, DMG / Mori Seiki USA.
The $50-million, 70,000-sq.ft. project was built adjacent to the design center and Digital Technology Laboratory that Mori Seiki began developing 12 years ago. Together, the machine tool factory and the R&D center cover 291,000 sq. ft., over 19.2 acres.
The California plant’s current capacity is 80 machines per month, according to DMG / Mori Seiki USA.
The factory is producing a series of Mori Seiki horizontal machines, the NHX4000, NHX5000 and NHX5500. Column and medium-part machining is done on three NHX10000 machines installed with a linear pallet pool (LPP) system with 60 pallets. The high level of automation also includes two NH6300 machines with 40 pallets that machines pallets and small castings.
The large machining area also has two Toshiba MPC‐B Series 5‐face, high‐performance machines. This production cell has a capacity for up to 180 tools and up to 44,092 lb., controlled by the LPS III software developed by the Digital Technology Laboratory, and able to process large NHX Series castings efficiently. After machining, these castings are cleaned by air-blow robots.
NHX4000 Series production
NHX machines produced in California have castings sourced from the same Japanese foundry that supplies components to Mori Seiki’s Japan production plants. Spindles and ball screws for NHX machines also are produced in Japan, though DMG / Mori Seiki noted that more than 40% of the machines’ parts are produced domestically. “Domestic content will continue to be increased in the future, as additional suppliers are secured,” the company indicated.
To maintain economic and environmental standards, according to the developer, the temperature-controlled factory performs dry and minimum quantity lubricant (MQL) machining only, with vacuum chip evacuation.
DMG / Mori Seiki described the NHX4000 horizontal machining center produced at Davis as “ideal for the machining of workpieces of up to 24.8 inches by 35.4 inches, with a loading capacity of up to 880 lbs.”
The NHX machine concept is based on the NH series, of which over 6,000 machines are installed worldwide. DMG / Mori Seiki previously described the NHX4000 as a “perfect combination of functionality, productivity, and precision.”
The NHX4000 is a compact installation for machine shops, occupying only 12.5 sq.m. It processes workpieces up to 25-in. diameter and 35 in. high. The 22x22x26-in (X × Y × Z) work area handles components accurately and efficiently: it achieves circular accuracy of <1.7 μm with 1.3 in./sec. feed in X and Y, as well as 3.9-in. radius. The linear axes travel at up to 39.4 in./sec., with acceleration values up to 9 m/sec². Users may choose from spindle rotational speeds of up to 12,000 rpm - in the standard version - and a torque of 110 Nm.
Mori Seiki reported it conducted an in‐depth analysis of current market needs, the results of which informed its improvements to the performance of the NH Series. It noted that the NHX4000 offers cutting capacity equivalent to the previous NH model, with improved features for greater productivity and efficiency.