NSK has developed a uniquely deep knowledge of friction (tribology) through its involvement in a broad range of global industries. We believe that in the coming era of manufacturing, which will be supported by advanced digital technology, it will be vital to integrate this understanding to create highly accountable machine tool solutions strongly grounded in scientific and technological understanding.
That is to say, the systems and technologies that make up present-day machines tools are surprisingly entangled with manual processes executed by skilled operators. In other words, machining can often rely on on-the-fly shop-floor tuning and trial-and-error adjustments. Leaving the specifics of various adjustments and settings to the shop floor has worked until now, but as the digital transformation and further automation of machine tools advances, we will need to explain in more detail the “why” (the basis of our assumptions) in order to reduce reliance on these manual processes by skilled operators.
Naturally, in explaining this, one must be able to speak with a perspective on the overall performance of the machine, not just individual component parts such as bearings and ball screws. With a view to support the development of future machine tools, we would like to closely support our customers by understanding deeply their business philosophy and the essence of their machine design, so that “machine + component parts” can create more value than 1 + 1 = 2, such as a creating machines that do not breakdown, do not stop, and do not require human intervention.