Mori Seiki Launches New US Plant in Davis, CA
By Jim Lorincz
Ribbon cutting for Mori Seiki’s new 200,000 ft2 manufacturing factory in Davis, CA, was hailed as a victory for the region, state, and US manufacturing by dignitaries including Dan Wolk, Mayor Pro Tempore of the City of Davis, Hiroshi Inomata, Consul-General of Japan in San Francisco, and Dr. Masahiko Mori, president of Mori Seiki Co. Ltd.
The highly automated factory which includes an additional 20,000 ft2 for offices is located directly adjacent to Mori Seiki’s Digital Technology Laboratory (DTL), which provides design analysis of and virtual modeling and software for the company’s products.
Dr. Mori described the impact of his company’s investment in US manufacturing as representing his company’s “true belief” in developing the best technologies for the important US and North American markets. “In manufacturing the best machine tools possible, we are bringing to US manufacturing industries, the production hardware and software that will serve as the best example and role model of what can be accomplished by manufacturing technologies in our own plant,” Dr. Mori said.
Machines expected to be manufactured at the Mori Seiki plant include the NH line of horizontals, DMU universal machining centers, and possibly the Dura Turn lathes. One such machine manufactured in the plant was exhibited at IMTS. Plant capacity is estimated at 100 machines per month running two shifts, but there is plenty of room for expansion to a total of three assembly lines with a fourth for customized automation projects.
The new manufacturing facility features a highly automated large casting machining line with two Toshiba gantry bridge mills for machining castings weighing up to 6 t. At full operating capacity of 16 castings which are uniquely set up on pallets, casting machining could be done 24 hours lights out. Two robots clear castings of chips by blowing them out and vacuuming them away to recycling bins. Negative atmospheric pressure is maintained in the casting machining area to prevent any dry dust from migrating into the other machining or assembly areas of the plant.
Mori Seiki Linear Pallet Pools (LPP) are used to automate component machining in the large part machining area, which is designed for a total of four horizontal machining centers. Configuration for the NH6300 LPP is two NH6300 DCGII machines with a parts washing machine, four loading stations (two manual and two robotic) and 40 pallet stands. The robot is a Fanuc M-900iA/350 unit. The NHX 10000 LPP comprises two NHX 10000 horizontal machining centers, four loading stations (two manual and two robot), 60 pallet stands, and a Fanuc M-2000i robot. In the assembly area, every casting is inspected either by the Mitutoyo CMM Falcio Apex or the smaller Legex X9106 CMM. Creative fixturing emphasizes ergonomic designs for easy handling of magazine rings and B axis indexers by operators.
The DTL’s Design Analysis Team has supported an estimated 1800 simulation projects in the 12 years since its inception with only four individuals with close ties to UC, Davis. The DTL approach to analyzing all Mori Seiki machine designs, whether originated in Japan or elsewhere, applies rigorous analysis from machine concept, detailed virtual design, physical testing, and design changes to prototyping. Careful attention to the benefits of virtual design simulation is applied to machine analysis surveys of Static Rigidity, Machine Dynamics, Fluid Dynamics, and Optimization.
Contact Senior Editor James Lorincz: firstname.lastname@example.org.