WD Hearn Machine Tools has recently signed an agency agreement with Japanese multitasking mill-turn machine manufacturer Nakamura-Tome to market and service their machines in the Southern African region.
“Unlike many machine tool brands, Nakamura-Tome has specialised in mill/turn centers and their pedigree stands out. Nakamura-Tome has an enviable history of developing modern machining methods and technological solutions, which are now used in machines all over the world,” commented Graeme Cooper, MD of WD Hearn Machine Tools.
“As a premier multitasking mill/turn center manufacturer, Nakamura-Tome offers more than 20 twin spindle machine configurations. From raw stock to complete parts in one setup, Nakamura-Tome multitasking machines can reduce cycle times and eliminate extra operations. Nakamura-Tome machines feature highly original and innovative functions. These state-of-the-art tool-spindle type and turret-type multitasking machines help companies meet a wide range of needs, from low-volume diversified production to mass production.”
Graeme and Ray Cooper and Johan Neveling, all of WD Hearn Machine Tools, with Masahiro Yamamoto of Nakamura-Tome pictured at JIMTOF 2022, which was held in Tokyo, Japan in November 2022
“So-called ‘done-in-one’ or multitasking capability enables a machine shop to increase output with fewer machines and fewer workers required on any one job. The reduction in machines, in turn, has boosted cost-effectiveness and helped conserve valuable shop floor space. Because multitasking machines eliminate the need for any in-process work handling, a company can improve its processing consistency and flexibility as well as in-part concentricity and overall accuracy.”
“Modern multitasking machine tools now feature additional axes of head movement, advanced control systems, and upgraded software that allow these systems to perform the majority of machining operations with only one setting per workpiece.”
Change the way of thinking with multitasking machine
“For almost 40 years Nakamura-Tome have employed the multitask concept of turning and milling centers, and are trying to boost their acceptance in the market. The key determining factor with multitask machines is process integration. When the strengths of multitask machines are fully exploited, they are some of the most efficient machine tools for complex components, from individual parts manufacture to large serial production.”
“What is the advantage of process integration? In recent years, the importance of process integration has been emphasised at production sites due to the labour shortage problem, aging workforce, shortage of skilled operators and engineers. This shortage is caused by generation change and reduced numbers of workers in the industry due to the heavier workload for operators. In many cases, a single operator must take care of multiple processes. Inevitably, the operator must learn many skills and operate several machines and many operators struggled under its heavy burden. Additionally, many companies are facing a difficult situation regarding skilled operators.”
The Nakamura-Tome multitasking JX-200 combines six operations into one. The JX-200 is equipped with the world’s shortest tool spindle – the NT Smart Cube
Process division versus process integration
“To solve such burdens, process integration has been gaining attention worldwide. Process integration consists of combining multiple processes into one, especially in the production field, where various processes using various machines are integrated into a single machine, and in many cases a multitasking machine. A multitasking machine is a numerically controlled machine tool with an automatic tool change function (including turret type). It can perform various machining operations, such as milling and turning, without setup. The most important feature of the multitasking machine is that it can complete multiple processes with a single machine. Especially if it has two spindles, it is possible to machine from a blank material to finished products and it is the ideal machine tool for achieving process integration.”
“You can liken it to businesses that have someone that can multitask heading that business up. These are generally businesses that thrive no matter what the economic climate. The energy and enthusiasm somehow filters down throughout the company from that individual.”
Nakamura-Tome was founded by Tomeo Nakamura in 1949. Like many other Japanese entrepreneurs Nakamura had been working in the textile industry before deciding to start his ironworks general engineering business. Like others before him he saw the need to develop machine tools that could be used in a machining environment. The machine tool manufacturing company was only established in 1960 and in 1962, the first product, a hydraulic groove turning center, was announced.
Nakamura-Tome then made steady steps as a machine tool manufacturer, while expanding into the international markets. The company is currently run by President and CEO Shogo Nakamura, who is the grandson of the founder Tomeo Nakamura. Shogo Nakamura has taken over from his father Kenichi Nakamura, who was appointed President of the company in 1988 and handed over to his son in April 2022.
Nakamura-Tome is regularly releasing new products and in 2022 the company launched the powerful JX-200 and the SC-200 II. While the SC-200 II is an entry-level machine that offers ultimate flexibility, the multitasking JX-200 combines six operations into one.
The JX-200 ATC multitasking machine is equipped with the world’s shortest tool spindle – the NT Smart Cube.
The Nakamura-Tome SC-200 II is a high-rigid single-turret multitasking lathe
The compact tool spindle enables a wider range of workpiece applications such as boring and drilling to the workpiece end face. The existence of a lower turret makes it possible to shorten the cycle time by simultaneous machining with the upper and lower tools. It also enables you to support a workpiece with a turret center-support. These flexible machining methods help to expand a range of applications.
The SC-200 II is a high-rigid single-turret multitasking lathe that can process powerful and stable machining. Although the machine’s size is in 8” class, it holds a maximum turning diameter of 390mm and a swing over cover diameter of 700mm, ensuring a large machining area. It enables the machine to equip a 10” chuck. The output of the spindle motor has been increased to 15/11kW (Op. 18.5/15kW), making it superior to the previous model. In addition to the improved spindle motor output, the bar capacity and Y-axis side travel have also been improved to give it the ability to achieve a one-rank higher machining capacity.
For further details contact WD Hearn Machine Tools on TEL: 021 534 5351 or visit www.wdhearn.co.za