World Record: The World’s Largest Lathe
Wednesday, September 10, 2014

As you saw in last month’s blog post, lathes come in a variety of sizes meant for different tricks of the trade. While a smaller lathe is needed to work on jewelry or watches, the world’s largest lathe wouldn’t be the tool of choice. A company in Japan has developed the largest rotor lathe in the world. It’ll take some heavy-duty power to operate this machinery. 

Shin Nippon Koki (SNK) is a company that manufactures machine tools, steel mill machinery and industrial machinery. Their line of business includes tools such as 3-D measuring machines, laser cutting machines, garbage disposal systems, canning machines, plastic bottle manufacturing systems, steel mill equipment, as well as other various types of industrial machinery and equipment. So it’s no wonder SNK decided to develop what is now the largest lathe in the world.

Having provided tools and machinery for the automobile, aircraft and shipbuilding and construction industries, SNK felt a lathe that was large enough to handle parts and equipment for any of these industries was necessary. Just how heavy-duty is this rotor lathe? Well, according to SNK’s site, their rotor lathe has the capacity to accommodate and process a work piece that weighs up to 400 tons. That’s just under how much a Boeing 747-400 jet weighs, which weighs in at 420 tons. So this lathe can accommodate the heaviest of work pieces.

Despite its size, SNK has designed and developed the lathe to have the utmost precision when machining, so even shafts for giant propellers on massive ships can have their measurements taken care of. Other characteristics of this gargantuan lathe are a headstock with an integral structure, a large spindle bearing and a separate bed with four slideways.

The company even used a structural analysis tool called Finite Element Method (FEM) to design the rotor lathe based on numbers rather than just a hunch. The spindle bearing and headstock were designed based on the FEM structural analysis. To ensure precision in machinery so gigantic, the headstock was given a rigid structure that may not be seen in other machinery.  

If you happen to have a 400-ton work piece sitting about or need to form shafts to spin propellers on ships, then the world’s largest lathe created by Shin Nippon Koki is just the piece of machinery for you. Besides, did we mention the lathe is currently for sale

If you want to know more about the largest rotor lathe, visit Shin Nippon Koki’s site. The site is available in English, its native Japanese as well as a few other languages.



 
 

Blog Categories

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    • 12/09/2014 - Informative Machinist Blogs
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    • 09/10/2014 - World Record: The World’s Larg
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