Your Source For
Machine Tool Rebuilds and Modernizations

MTR Rebuilds and Retrofits Your Large Machine Tools

Siemens Partner Logo
FANUC logo
Heidenhain partner automation

Machine Tool Research, Inc. has a long history of building and rebuilding machine tools. Replacement of your old, worn VBM, Lathe or other large machine tools, can be a huge capital investment. Fortunately, replacement may not be necessary to bring your machines’ controls, speeds, feeds and tolerances up to today’s standards. In most cases, MTR can rebuild or retrofit the majority of the machine tools out there to meet the specifications you require – for approximately two-thirds the cost of comparable new equipment.

MTR has partnerships with Fanuc, Seimens and Heidenhain, giving us the advantage of providing our customers with products, support and applications. We support PLC controls and other CNC control manufacturers to suit your shops requirements. Our controls engineers have the ability to design and implement a new control for your machine for your machine modernization. We have fabricated and installed updated CNC controls for decades.


MTR has the capabilities of rebuilding your current machine to bring it back to OEM standards, replacing broken and correcting any worn items to keep your machine running like it once did and keep it running for years without complications. Rebuilding your machine may result in discovery of potential issues that may arise if the machine was run longer, resulting in a costly repair and machine down time. During our rebuild process we will completely disassemble and inspect all parts for rebuilding and replacement and make a report of all items found.

MTR has the following capabilities but is not limited to:

  • Fabrication of weldments
  • Hydraulic and hydrostatic upgrades and designs
  • Grinding of centers
  • Precision grinding spacers
  • Tapered shoe repair and replacement
  • Way and liner repair or replacement
  • Scraping and inspecting contact and geometry of machine ways
  • Screw alignments
  • Bushing and bearing replacements
  • Thread repair
  • Joining machines together to add length or features
  • DC to AC control conversions
  • CNC upgrades
  • Motor tuning
  • Scale replacement and modernizations
  • Setting gear contact and backlash
  • Reverse engineering of outdated and no longer available parts
  • Level and alignments
  • Lubrication tuning and/ or replacement
  • Bearing pre-loads
Machine Tools Research engineer working on a machine
Machine retrofitting by Machine Tools Research, Inc.


Machine Retrofits are a good option to bring your current machine into the modern age. Replacing an acme screw with a ball screw, making the carriage, saddle or table into an anti-backlash twin pinion drive system, making pallet attachments for your lathe carriage, installing a live spindle on your VTL or upgrading your CNC control can be ways to retrofit your machine. MTR considers a machine retrofit a machine modernization. Mechanical and electrical modernizations will make your machine easily maintainable, efficient and your shop more profitable and innovative. Modernizing your machine will offer a quick and stable solution to increase the machine’s capabilities without purchasing a new machine and pouring a new foundation.

Does your shop have machines that are not frequently used because they are outdated, worn or incapable of performing enough work in your facility? MTR is here to offer solutions to make your shop more profitable, contact us today. Our application sales engineers can visit your facility and discuss options to modernize your current machines.

Types of Machine Tool Modernizations

Mechanical Builds, Rebuilds
and Retrofits

Manual to PLC or
Manual to CNC


Before machine rebuild by Machine Tools Research, Inc.
After machine rebuild by Machine Tools Research, Inc.
MTR received a request to install a larger quill into the tailstock of their lathe. The quill is similar to two other machines in their shop, so repairs on machines are easier and they can store parts to work on multiple machines. The other benefit to this new quill is the larger diameter, increasing the machine’s thrust and weight capacity.
Before machine retrofitting by Machine Tools Research, Inc.
After machine retrofitting by Machine Tools Research, Inc.
MTR received two Betts lathes, we rebuilt both headstocks and tailstocks. All the beds were machined to match each other to join them together making a longer lathe. Both carriages were retrofitted with twin-pinion anti-backlash drives for the z-axes, two tool swords, ball screw drives for the x-axes, a brake on the headstock with an encoder and provided overhead power tracks. A Fanuc CNC control was integrated with this machine making it capable of multi-axis cutting for cutting tapers, radiuses, chamfers and threading. This was a mechanical and electrical retrofit with many more features added.
Before planer mill retrofitting by Machine Tools Research, Inc.
After planer mill retrofitting by Machine Tools Research, Inc.
A company in the power generation industry contacted us at MTR to rebuild their 1950’s planer mill and retrofit it with a new control, hydrostatics and a live spindle with head units. This machine was completely forced lube and had 4 heads, two on the cross rail and one on each column. We made the cross rail a machining axis with 2 six-inch ball screws and each screw driven independently keeping the rail level with the weight shift as the saddle moves across. The ram can drop off and pick up different head units parked on one end of the machine. Making the machine hydrostatic allows for greater weight and tool forces with longer wear resistance. A flood coolant system was also included in the retrofit build. This machine was inactive in their facility for years, and now is one of the most productive machines.
Before Betts lathe machine rebuild by Machine Tools Research, Inc.
After Betts lathe machine rebuild by Machine Tools Research, Inc.
A motor rebuild shop required another smaller lathe that could turn the commutator. MTR found a lathe that was slightly longer than our customer required and needed to shorten the lead screw and bed. This Betts lathe was produced in late 1970’s and installed originally in 1980. The entire machine was rebuilt completely with a new PLC control. All tags were replaced with new OEM style plates. Our customer is now able to refurbish double the rotors they once could.
For more information about our build and rebuilds please
contact us at 585-288-0320 today!


Machine Tool Research, Inc.
405 Blossom Road
Rochester, NY 14610

Contact Us

Phone: 585-288-0320
Fax: (585) 482-9078

Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

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