Mori Seiki and Gildemeister have partnered in sales, service, manufacture, purchasing and design since their announcement of 23 March 2009, while the pair also have mutual shareholdings in each other's companies – Mori Seiki has the larger shareholding now, measured by percentage, however. Following this partnership, there has been a Mori Seiki presence at the Pfronten event since 2010. During last year, the pair announced that they will combine their machine tool sales and services in Europe, and this has since been progressing, with what this means for the UK expected to be made clear during this year. The pair will be sharing an 800 m2-plus stand at the forthcoming MACH show, Birmingham NEC, 16-20 April under the name DMG/Mori Seiki, however. Prior to this European announcement, Machinery highlighted, following last year's Pfronten event, that the pair were cross-selling each other's machines – DMG's CTX delta 4000 TC mill-turn "roughly corresponds" to the NT 6000 from Mori Seiki; the CTX delta 6000 TC mill-turn is Mori Seiki's NT6600; and the CTX 450 alpha TC mill-turn is Mori Seiki's NTX 1000. Assembly of these Mori Seiki-designed 'DMG' machines is undertaken in Germany to varying degrees, we reported, using some Mori Seiki supplied pre-assembled modules, plus local parts. This year, it was announced that Mori Seiki's NHX 4000, 400 mm pallet horizontal machine is to be assembled in Germany (with both Siemens 840 and MAPPS IV CNC), with this to be followed later this year by the NHX 5000, 500 mm pallet machine. A saving of 15% in packaging and shipping costs is achieved with such local build. Mori Seiki, incidentally, uses ballscrew technology, as opposed to DMG's linear motor bias. Gildemeister AG chairman Dr Rüdiger Kapitza interestingly highlighted that linear motors are now four times more expensive than in previous times, due to the cost of the rare earth metals employed in them. It is being suggested by others at the Pfronten event that the Mori Seiki machines will find their place more readily in general subcontract environments, with the linear motor DMG machines likely to go to OEMs for more dedicated, high output tasks. But linear motors offer permanent accuracy, it was highlighted, while there's a 60-month warranty. A TWO-WAY STREET This manufacture of the other's product is not only one way. Dr Mori revealed that his company's Chiba plant in Japan is to be turned over to making the pair's first jointly designed machine tool, the MillTap 700 (currently made in Germany), with a capacity of 200/month – the company is expanding another of its Japanese plants, Iga, to increase Mori Seiki production there. And Mori Seiki's new California factory has been previously tipped as making, for example, DMU 50 eco 5-axis machines. Image: The first joint design machine,MillTap 700, now to be manufactured in Japan Turning to new machines announced at Pfronten this year, Dr Kapitza said there will be 17 launches from Gildemeister and six from Mori Seiki during 2012. The Pfronten event saw six world premières: DMC 60 H linear horizontal machining centre; NHX4000 (with MAPPS control); DMU 85 FD monoBLOCK, a 5-axis mill-turn vertical machining centre machine; DMC 65 monoBLOCK with pallet changer and another 5-axis machine, this time a vertical; DMU 80 eVo vertical machining centre with pallet changer; and the CTX beta 800 4A mill-turn. (Links to full product details at end of feature) In more detail, the DMC 60 H linear horizontal machining centre is being cited for applications that include gearbox and coupling housings, cylinder heads or hydraulic blocks. It also claims the option of 5-axis machining via a swivel rotary table. It boasts positioning accuracy of less than 4 micron and repeatability of less than 6 micron (VDI standard), while also featuring axis accelerations of 1 G and maximum traverse of 100 m/min. Maximum workpiece size is 800 mm diameter by 1,030 mm high and 600 kg, while axis travels are 630, 800 and 850 mm in X, Y and Z. The NHX 4000 with 400-pallet can tackle parts up to 630 mm diameter and 900 mm in height, and has axis travels of 560, 560 and 660 mm, in X, Y and Z, respectively. Fitted with ballscrew technology, axis acceleration is 8 m/sec2, or 0.81 G, by way of comparison with the above. Positional accuracy is quoted as better than 2.5 micron (JIS standard). The DMU 85 FD monoBLOCK Next Generation will, as did the smaller DMU 65 FD, "open up a completely new dimension in the market segment of compact universal machines", because these machine are able to undertake complex milling and turning operations. The milling-turning table, with 'DirectDrive' technology, is derived from the duoBLOCK line – a fundamental difference between duoBLOCK and monoBLOCK machines is that the former are more tailorable, Machinery was told. The table delivers 800 rpm for parts up to 1,000 kg part, with workpiece physical size 850 mm diameter by 590 mm in height. Price for the DMU 85 FD was put at €94,900 (£80,000). Image: The DMU 85FD – cost-effective complex milling and turning The DMC 65 monoBLOCK is a 5-axis high production vertical machining centre for "complex chipping tasks in highly productive production companies". A 500 mm pallet machine, it has a work area of 650 by 650 by 560 mm, and can handle parts 630 mm in diameter by 500 mm high and weighing 500 kg. The highlight of the new 5-axis machining centre is its 3-pallet automatic pallet changer. Image: A novel pallet system is a particular feature of the new DMC 65 monoBLOCK COMPLETE REDESIGN The DMU 80eVo with integrated pallet changer benefits from a complete redesign that sees the machine now of gantry style, with benefits in stiffness and accuracy, while there's improved accessibility from the side, as well as larger travels, bigger work area, but lower space requirement. Axis travels are 800, 650 and 550 mm in X, Y and Z, respectively; while the proven swivel-round table's surface is 800 by 700 mm and can handle 600 kg. Swivel range is -5 to +110°, allowing for 20° undercuts. Finally, the CTX beta 800 4A is a compact, high performance turning centre with opposed spindles for complex 4-axis complete machining of bar, shaft and chuck parts. Capacity IS 735 mm turning length and 300 mm diameter for chuck machining and up to 102 mm for bar. The two turrets feature direct drive technology that sees driven tools running at up to 10,000 rpm and delivering 34 Nm torque, while there's Y-axis travel of ± 40 mm. Gildemeister's quick-change tool holder system Trifix also features, with the claim that reductions in set-up time of 80% are possible. Feature ends [] Product full detail links DMC 60 H linear horizontal machining centre NHX4000 (with MAPPS control) DMU 85 FD monoBLOCK, a 5-axis mill-turn vertical machining centre machine DMC 65 monoBLOCK with pallet changer and another 5-axis machine, this time a vertical DMU 80 eVo vertical machining centre with pallet changer CTX beta 800 4A mill-turn Box items Box 1 - Renewable energy focus Box 2 - Further co-operation details Box item 1 Here comes the sun, or wind Gildemeister is also involved in the energy business, in the form of its WindCarrier, SunCarrier and CellCube systems (website here). WindCarrier is a vertical blade wind turbine system, able to generate up to 10 kW per tower; SunCarrier is a system to carry solar cells and point them in the right direction; CellCube is a vanadium redox low battery energy storage medium. At this year's Pfronten event, Gildemeister AG chairman Dr Rüdiger Kapitza highlighted that the focus for this business has been shifted from large scale farms to individual solutions for its machine tool customers' factories. At the company's Bielefeld site, northern Germany, the company has invested €3.5 million in renewable energy (wind, sun and storage technologies) and will be able to generate 15% of all energy onsite, running 160 machine tools. Payback is nine years at today's prices, Dr Kapitza added. Volkswagen, Wolfsburg, Germany is a customer, using the company's systems to power its new Golf series production, he said. Box item 2 More co-operation details According to Mori Seiki's third quarter 2011 statement dated 2 February this year, it sold 17 DMG machines in 2009, 198 in 2010 and 353 in 2011 (speaking at the Pfronten event, president Dr Masahiko Mori seemed to put the full 2011 figure at 600 DMG machines, however). The sales focus has been on DMG's eco machines (lathes and machining centres) made in Gildemeister's Shanghai, China, factory. For its part, DMG sold 29, 180 and 329 Mori Seiki machines, according to the same Q3 report. On common parts procurement, Mori Seiki says the two are buying spindles, hydraulic units and fan coolers, but also cites castings and standardisation of control panels as other areas of procurement joint activity. In terms of R&D/production co-operation, the new Ecoline, DMU 50/70 5-axis machining centres, NHX5000 (Siemens) horizontal machining centre and NLX 2500 CNC lathe are highlighted. First published in Machinery, March 2012