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Mills CNC has installed a high-performance vertical machining centre at Nikken Kosakusho Europe’s facility in Rotherham.

The machine, a DNM 500, installed in Nikken’s Technical Centre in June 2009, is being used to help promote, via practical demonstrations, a range of the company’s advanced technology products and equipment to UK and European customers and prospects and representatives from the company’s European overseas operations and distributor networks.

Nikken’s decision to select the DNM 500 machine followed extensive research into the VMC market to find a machine best suited to its current needs.

Steve Eckersall, Nikken’s senior technical engineer, who carried out the research project, said: ‘We identified a number of key attributes that the machine would need to have and these included: a rigid construction and build quality for heavy-duty and high stock removal machining; a dual-contact spindle design and configuration to help us promote our range of high-precision face and taper tooling; a large and easily accessible working envelope to help promote our rotary tables and workholding and workhandling solutions; and the aesthetic look and feel of the machine.’ The DNM 500 machine will be used to promote the productivity benefits that manufacturers can gain from embracing four- and five-axis machining using Nikken’s rotary tables.

The machine was installed at the facility with the fourth-axis interface already in place so that fourth-axis machining demonstrations can be carried out using the machine’s control.

For four- and five-axis machining demonstrations, a Nikken Alpha 21 control with a Macro B Programme will be used in conjunction with the DNM’s fourth-axis control.

Nikken’s high-performance tooling solutions (toolholders) will also be promoted on the DNM machine.

As the machine has a dual-contact spindle design, the company will demonstrate its face and taper tooling on the machine (2-Lock and 3-Lock systems).

For standard three-axis machining demonstrations, Nikken will use Microloc workholding solutions.

For four- and five-axis machining (3+2 and simultaneous five-axis), the company’s own range of five-axis workholding equipment will be demonstrated.

Other products that will be promoted on or with the DNM 500 will be: the range of Elbo Controlli tool pre-setters that, via a DNC link, will allow tool data to be communicated directly from the pre-setter to the DNM’s Fanuc control system; VisiCAM software from Vero; and, in the future, a Nachi MR 20 seven-axis robot for workpiece loading and unloading.

The demonstrations are targeted at manufacturers operating in the aerospace, defence, motorsport, automotive and medical sectors, as well as customers and prospects looking for the most productive and effective ways to machine aluminium, steels, stainless steels, titanium and exotics.

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