Since 1988, Northwood Machine has been innovating solutions to increase productivity and quality. Using technologies and engineering knowledge from all industries, we are constantly developing and testing new methods to build machines based on our customers’ applications. From our own core innovations to the latest in Finite Element Analysis Design, we use advanced technologies to create a custom system for you and your business.
Northwood Core Technologies
American Iron means that each machine starts with thousands of pounds of tubular steel weldment skirted with steel plating. This gives Northwood rigidity and strength that other manufacturers don’t supply.??Learn more
High-Precision Linear Guide Rail System
Northwood starts with precision machined rail beds before any assembly begins.? From there, each rail is verified using high-tech laser metrology. ?Northwood then applies linear compensation to ensure repeatability and accuracy throughout machine movement.
Precision Ground CNC Ballscrews
The?ballscrew?system that Northwood has chosen is proven to produce the accuracy needed long into the future.? The?ballscrews?are driven directly through the FANUC servo motors using both turning nut and turning screw methods depending on the application. Northwood also protects the?ballscrew?with heavy-duty bellow systems to ensure reliability.
Cast-Iron Integrated Drive
Northwood has developed an integrated cast-iron drive casting that houses the FANUC servo and the precision ground?ballnut, allowing for precision alignment of the servo and rotating ball nut.
Northwood has long-standing relationships with top component manufacturers for all of its?machine?components. This means that the brands trusted by Northwood are the brands trusted and respected throughout the industry.? These top quality components are readily available to support Northwood CNC Machining Centers.
Third-Party Integration Compatible
With a large machine installation base throughout many industries, we have integrated our equipment with the majority of third-party solution providers.? Renishaw, Heidenhain, Z-Corp, Z-Laser, SlabSmith,?Proliner, LT-55, High Tec Industrial (HTI) and Applied Automation Technologies are some of the companies that have created packages, specifically designed for our equipment.
Service, Support and World Class Training
Due to the modular design of Northwood’s equipment, spare parts are readily available from our Louisville, KY facility, located within minutes of the UPS Overnight Headquarters.? Our technical support staff is geared towards keeping you productive and solving issues in a quick and courteous fashion.? In accordance with our quick-to-production philosophy, training and implementation are completed on-site by our?skilled application staff.
All Northwood CNC Machining centers are tested, verified and compensated using a laser interferometer.? When necessary, the Faro Tracker is used to verify rotary axes and 3D or volumetric positioning accuracy.? Northwood’s metrology department also includes high-precision digital levels, precision ground tram bars, wireless Renishaw Ballbar, and indicators that are capable of compensating the machine to provide a high level of accuracy and precision.
3-Axis Advanced Technologies
Northwood’s 3-Axis TA CNC Machining Centers start with a single tooling plate and typically one spindle unit.? Spindles range up to 22HP liquid-cooled spindles and as many as four (4) on a single tooling plate. ?Machines can feature multiple tooling plates that allow for dual-processing. ?Dual-Processing allows for simultaneous machining on separate tables of two different or unique parts.
Besides spindles or routers, Northwood can accommodate just about any other tool needed for any industry. This includes 360-degree programmable saws, horizontal routers, large vertical drilling units (4 line, 19 line, etc), single vertical drills, molder heads, 20HP Fanuc Drive Milling spindle for aluminum and other high-torque, lower RPM applications, as well as many other tools.
Northwood has standard modules of each of these tooling options that can be adapted for any machine. ?A custom tooling plate or dual-custom tooling plates with independent X (horizontal), Z (vertical), U (horizontal), and W (vertical) axes are commonly available from Northwood.
Since Northwood doesn’t just build a single head router, the head configuration can vary greatly on every machine.
Northwood has Automatic Tool Changers that range from 8 positions up to 20 positions. ?These tool changers can be mounted to the spindle tooling plate to provide dynamic and efficient tool changes or can be mounted to the bridge in a static location. ?The advantage of the travel along or dynamic tool changer is that tool change cycles are minimized, however for machines with narrow center spacing between multiple spindles, the tool changer increases the minimum spindle spacing. ?As Northwood understands each industry, they can recommend the best tool changer for your application.
Adjustable Spindle Center Spacing
When a single tooling plate holds multiples spindles, Northwood can provide horizontal axes for adjusting the spindle center spacing. ?This can be done via a manual center adjustment or via a servo controlled programmable axis via the CNC. ?Northwood commonly features 4?spindle?with servo adjustment center spacing for applications that need spacing ranging from 15″ to 32″.
Northwood Machining Centers Commonly feature cast-aluminum vacuum plenum worktables with high flow for superior part holding. ?Other options include matrix worktables, flat face milled cast-aluminum worktables for custom fixtures and each cast-iron T-Slot worktables. ?Whatever the application demands, Northwood has a worktable to accommodate the proper fixture and part holding.
Programmable Part Location Stops
Part location pins or stops are common on all Northwood Moving Table CNC Machining Centers. ?These allow an?operator to quickly locate parts in the X and Y axes to begin machining cycles.
For applications that demand?holding?small parts within plywood or other nests, Northwood provides a unique Quad Power Roller-Hold Down System that can accommodate stacking material up to 3 sheets for multi-up part processing. ?Rollers ensure the parts are held down and that the nest does not move while machining.
For more information, check out our?Roller Hold Down page!
Dual Processing CNC Machine
Dual-processing CNC machines feature dual-worktables and dual-tooling plates that can work independently of each other. ?This process increases throughout and allows for long set-up times to take place on one side, while the other side of the machine begins its cycle. ?When the lengthy setup is complete, the operator can begin the cycle on side number 2, without waiting for side number 1 to complete. ?This is increasingly important the longer the cycle times of the program and the longer the custom fixtures take to set up. ?Processing two unique or different parts simultaneously makes one machine have?throughput?equal to two individual machines in some applications.
FANUC Driven Milling Spindle
Northwood provides an ISO40 taper Fanuc driven spindle that is capable of rigid tapping in aluminum and other materials. ?This spindle offering allows the ability to operate tooling with extremely high-torque at low RPMs. ?This option includes a standard 12 station travel along tool changer in most cases to hold enough tools for multiple parts.
For more information about FANUC, check out our?Why we choose FANUC controls in our video library!
Auto-Unload Material Handling
Automatic Unload Material Handling systems allow for quick unload and faster preparation for the next load cycle. ?This accomplished by moving the finished part nest onto an off-load machine table via a pushing unit that includes a vacuum dust/chip collection outlet to clean the table and prepare the table for the next sheet. ?This allows the operator to load the next sheet of material and cycle start the machine before proceeding to the unload table once the machining cycle begins. ?This process increases throughput and efficiency.
Spindle Mounted C-Axis
A 360-degree programmable C-Axis allows for contouring using this programmable axis and special tooling. ?It also provides the machine the ability to adapt to many different style aggregates including horizontal drilling units, and adjustable angle saws.
Overhead Laser Projection
Northwood can integrate with an overheard part project laser to help the operator set up the adjust pod fixtures and then load the parts quickly and correctly onto the machine. ?The laser is capable or accurately projecting where the machine will cut for visual verification that the parts are loaded correctly before the machining cycle begins. ?This increases throughput as it decreases the load time.
- Drill Banks
- Horizontal Routers
- Multiple Spindles
- Dual Tables
- C-Axis Saws & Moulders (360°)
- Contact Tool Measurement
- Laser Tool Measurement
- Touch?probe for part location and inspection
- Barcode Reader
- Overhead laser projector for part/pod location
- Pop-up pins for part locating
- Roller hold down
- Material handling for loading and unloading tables
- Vacuum pumps for part positioning
- Auxiliary tool changers for additional tool capacity
- Dust and chip collection
- Dual-path processing capabilities
5-Axis Advanced Technologies
FANUC 310i/31i-B5 CNC Control
This is the flagship of FANUC’s industry leading CNC control systems. The 31i-B5 control includes state-of-the-art hardware including ultra high-speed processors in use, high-speed CNC internal bus, and optical fiber cables used for high-speed data transfer to greatly improve the CNC’s performance. FANUC provides Northwood with high-reliability and easy maintainability in even the harshest environments. The CNC control features a touchscreen interface for easy operator input.
FANUC 31i-B5 CNC Control Available On:
Five Axis Moving Table or Five Axis Moving Gantry Machines- Take a look at our state-of-the-art?five axis?machining centers.
FANUC Alpha Series Servo Motors and Amplifiers
FANUC supplies Northwood with the most reliable Servo Motors and Amplifiers in the CNC industry.? These motors are built to last and provide the necessary power to the machine.? The torque curves are specifically designed for each individual application to ensure power is available when needed.? Northwood has over 20 years of experience with CNC technology and has confidence in FANUC’s products.
Precision Ground Ball-Screw Drive System
The ballscrew systems that Northwood has chosen are proven to produce the accuracy needed long into the future.? The ballscrews are driven directly through the FANUC servo motors using both turning nut and turning screw methods depending on the application. Northwood also protects the ballscrew with heavy-duty bellow systems to ensure reliability.
High Precision Linear Guide Rail System
Northwood starts with precision machined rail beds before any assembly begins.? From there, each rail is verified using high-tech laser metrology. ?Northwood then applies linear compensation to ensure repeatability and accuracy throughout the motion of the machine.
Heavy Duty 5-Axis Spindle Head
The 5-Axis CNC head features outboard rotary encoders that provide positioning feedback directly to the CNC Control. The liquid-cooled spindle has the necessary RPM to work within tooling manufacturers specifications. ?Northwood utilizes the HD style head and offers several spindles that range from 8.5HP up to 40HP and optional thru-tool coolant, external halo coolant, and air blast.
- Welded steel stress-relieved bridge fabrication
- Cast iron casting for heavy duty vertical ram
- 5-Axis High-Speed Machining
- Up to 64 Position Automatic Tool Changer
- 5-Axis Tool Center Point (TCP) with Nano-Smoothing 2
- 5-Axis CAD/CAM Software
- Single or Dual Table (fixed or moving)
- Non-contact Tool Measurement (Laser) or Contact Tool Probe
- Touch?probe for part location and inspection (CMM style verification)
- Worktables – Aluminum/Trepsa Matrix Tables for vacuum pod support or Cast-Iron T-Slot worktable
- Linear Scales or Encoders (for increased accuracy)
- Flood Coolant with thru-tool coolant or natural water for stone/glass grinding.
Finite Element Analysis (FEA) Design
The rapid advance of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) techniques and software?have?lead to a virtual revolution in companies that continue to invest in the latest in high-speed computers and computational software for analyzing parts and assemblies. One of the most important components of CAE that Northwood uses is Finite Element Analysis (FEA), a detailed mathematical computer simulation that enables engineers and designers to develop products more quickly and completely?that?traditional prototyping methods allowed. FEA makes it possible for specific machine components to be targeted for in-depth analysis to eliminate failure from fatigue rather than waiting for those components to begin failing (sometimes years into a product’s lifecycle).
FEA tools also provide visual verification of both the element meshing (for integrated calculations) and for the locations of resulting data for large, complex structures or for small, single parts. In this process, geometries are broken down into elements, and each element is meshed, with each mesh connecting at points called nodes according to various model parameters and analysis type. The byproduct is an accurate simulation and prediction of various physical effects such as stress, strain, deformation, vibration, etc. This means that you can expect your Northwood machine to be rigid, quiet, strong, and long-lasting. Combined with good result estimation practices and error checking, FEA is an invaluable tool for the modern manufacturer.
Ballscrew Driven Motion
Northwood employs the most respected mechanical drives in the machine tool industry – ground, precision, reciprocating ballscrew systems. These drives are renowned for their ability to carry extremely high loads smoothly, efficiently, and quietly with little or no maintenance. This means that little or no power is consumed by the inefficiency of the drive system, leading to more accurate servo control and more work done at the tool.
In addition,?ballscrews?are the number one choice for eliminating backlash in linear drive systems. Unlike various forms of rack and pinion systems,?ballscrews?use rolling elements in raceways thereby eliminating the sliding that occurs during engagement and disengagement. This can be done using the elastic deformation properties of the rolling elements using negative clearance raceways or by using offset races in the?ballnuts?themselves.
Designers have tried to devise various tricks to circumvent these issues because rack systems are cheaper. One of the most common rack designs uses opposing?pinions?with some sort of pre-loadable linkage such as a chain. The problem with that design is if they are adjusted too low or high or the backlash is too high, the wear becomes excessive and efficiency plummets. Another problem with rack systems is that the relationship between the pitch circle of the pinion gear and the pitch line of the rack is very critical both for positioning accuracy and backlash. If those two pitch components are not perfectly tangent, then the system will detect binding (when the pinion tries to travel too deep) or release (when the?pinion?leaves the pitch line slightly and creates “play”). In either circumstance, the linear speed of the system will fluctuate.
Ballscrews are an integral unit by design, and thus retain a consistent working relationship; wherever the screw is mounted and aligned, that’s where the nut goes. Because Northwood utilizes a rotating-nut design on most of its system, the screw can be?pretensioned, fixed, and laser calibrated for long-lasting, world-class performance. If you examine any high-end machine tool, five-axis CNC, or precision grinding machine in the world, you will likely find a precision?ballscrew?drive.
FANUC Motion Controls
FANUC is the industry leader for high-performance, high-reliability CNCs. From the 0i, the worlds most popular control with more than 400,000 units in service to the 30i, one of the most innovative controls with dual processing capabilities, Northwood is capable of integrating the right control for your application.
Using advanced microchip technology, Northwood’s CNCs are compact yet rugged. The advantages of Northwood’s precise, high-performance digital servo systems are evident in the quality of every part that you make. Northwood offers a standard 12-month warranty on its machining centers, but with an average fourteen-year mean time between failures, it will probably be a long time before you need to take advantage of Northwood’s technical and replacement part support.
Fanuc offers a wide range of value-added services that can lower your overall cost of ownership. Fanuc is loaded with the following premium features to ensure maximum productivity:
- Multi-language support
- Simple programming and operation with manual guide 0i
- Operator friendly?graphic?display for visual part program verification
- Extended help functions and alarm/operation history
- High-speed machining for making higher quality parts faster
- Tool life management for maximum machine utilization
- Cutter compensation for print dimension data input
- Canned cycles for simplified part programming
- Custom Macro B for extending existing canned cycles, or creating new ones
- Rigid tapping for high-quality tapping with low-cost, solid taps
- Skip cycle programming for on-machine probing
StoneVision for Stone Fabricators
At Northwood, we maintain our StoneVision line of software applications which integrate with AlphaCAM to enable you to program your machine easily.? We have custom software for our routers, our FabCenters, and our SawJets.
Stone Fabricator Interface
Our touch-screen optimized interface for our stone machines makes loading programs and running your machine seamless.
At Northwood, we have created a custom integrated AlphaCAM solution for programming architectural doors.
Our JobTracker software enables you to keep track of your production environment.? It enables you to monitor the programs run on your machine, as well as the time each tool has been used.
NWScan Barcode Loading
Our barcode system makes loading a program on your machine as simple as scanning a barcode.