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DMG Mori : CNC Lathe NLX2500 Series


Cutting Exapmles

Motor shaft

*You can also view a movie introducing the CNC Lathe NLX2500 on the top page. Click Products Video screen and select the movie.

When first founded, Mori Seiki was principally involved in the manufacture and sales of textile machinery. In 1958, ten years after it was established, it shifted the focus of its business away from textile machinery, concentrating instead on the manufacture and sales of machine tools. Specifically, it applied technology developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to the development, manufacture, and sales of high-speed precision lathes. It was also the first company in Japan to begin manufacture and sales of numerically controlled (NC) lathes, in 1968.

NC lathes soon became the machine tools industry standard, which meant quick business growth for Mori Seiki. By 1976, the company had achieved the number one share in the NC lathe market in Japan. It then expanded its business activities to cover the whole of the machine tools industry, such as the manufacture of machining centers, and also expanded beyond the domestic market to overseas. Today, Mori Seiki is a leading machine tool company both domestically and internationally.

A lathe is a machine tool comprising a fixed blade or cutting tool used to process metals, and is capable of various processes, including turning, boring, hole drilling, screw cutting, and cutting off. The lathe is an extremely important machine tool for the processing of metals and other hard materials, but can be difficult to operate and requires a considerable amount of practice and training before it can be handled alone. The precision quality of items processed on a lathe can also vary according to by whom it is operated; this has been a persistent problem in lathe work.

The addition of a numerical control (NC) system, able to digitalize the location of the cutting object and the movement of the lathe and provide appropriate commands based on this information, has resolved these issues. As computer technology continues to improve, the digital control systems used in NC lathes are becoming fully computerized, which has enabled greater precision in cutting than that of non-computerized NC lathes. Computer numerical control (CNC) is now the industry standard for lathes.

CNC lathes are one of Mori Seiki’s core products. In particular, the NLX2500 Series, introduced here, is based on the best-selling NL Series which recorded sales of 10,000 units. The NLX2500 represents an improvement on the NL Series, with enhanced precision, quality, and reliability. Changes have also been made to improve cost performance in response to customer feedback. It is the newest model among all Mori Seiki CNC lathes (accurate as of Oct 2010).

All of Mori Seiki’s high-rigidity, high-precision CNC lathes from the NL Series onwards offer multiple processing variations, 36 in total, appropriate to varying levels of work size and process integration. This diversity of choice is particularly appreciated by engineers.

The NL Series also features the built-in motor turret, technology developed in-house by Mori Seiki. In the milling structure of conventional lathes, the power from the motor was transmitted through multiple parts, such as gears and belts. This multi-part process leads, however, to heat and vibration being spread over a wide area. To solve this problem, Mori Seiki developed this industry-first technology, with a revolutionary design that places the motor inside the turret (built-in structure), minimizing heat generation and vibration while also improving transmission efficiency. Processing precision and cutting performance have also been considerably improved by this innovation.

In addition to the 36 cutting process options outlined above, and the improvements made possible by built-in motor turret technology, the NLW2500 Series also boasts improvements on previous models in the following five improvements: 1) machine rigidity; 2) thermal distortion countermeasures; 3) energy saving performance; 4) space saving design; 5) ease of operation.

1) Machine Rigidity
Turning specifications, milling specifications, and Y-axis specifications using different dedicated platforms to suit each model have been developed. This ensures high rigidity and longer tool life.
2) Thermal Distortion Countermeasures
The standard structure circulates coolant throughout the machine bed. This integrated system minimizes the thermal impact on the machine of processing heat and changes in environmental air, and controls thermal displacement.
3) Energy Saving Performance
Innovations such as the use of the latest CNC models, which boast low levels of electrical consumption, the adoption of inverter technology in the oil pressure unit, and the use of LED light have allowed a drop of around 13% in the total electrical capacitance of the turning specification model, of around 10% for the milling specification model, and of around 14% for the Y-axis specification model. In addition, consumption of lubricant has been reduced by around 15% by adopting a system that cuts off the supply of lubricant when the machine is on standby.
4) Space Saving Design
By constructing a unique platform for each specification and creating the optimal design for operation, the floor space for the NLX2500/700 turning specification has been reduced by around 22% when compared to the conventional NL series.
5) Ease of Operation
The operation panel features a new high-performance operating system, MAPPS IV. In addition to automated programming software (standard), CAM software (ESPRIT) can be included as an option. The series is also fully adaptable to complex programming software for processing control, as required by use environment.

Research and development in machine tools is reaching the stage of maturation in all areas, not just that of the lathe. Mori Seiki has shown itself capable of accurately identifying consumer needs, responding to them, and improving its products by applying the know-how that it has built up since its foundation. It seems likely, then, that Mori Seiki will be the company to watch for the next innovation in the machine tools industry.

Apr 4, 2011

About the author
Eriko Kinashi is a reporter for Japanest NIPPON
Applicable chuck size 10 [12] inches
Max. turning diameter (mm) φ460
Max. turning length (mm) 728
X-axis travel (mm) 260
Z-axis travel (mm) 795
Y-axis travel (mm) -
Max. spindle speed (min-1) 3,500 [4,000]
Max. rotary tool spindle speed (min-1) -