Horizontal Lathes & Horizontal Clamping

Posted on Apr 10, 2019

CNC Horizontal Lathe

The records of lathes or spinning machinery can be traced back to Egypt and Mesopotamia. Ancient craftsmen used a turning mechanism to make household tools, weapons, jewelry, and other important items for use in life.

About Horizontal Lathe Machines

Among the many different designs of lathe structures, one is very common, that is, the horizontal arrangement of spinning spindles, which clamp the work piece and are processed by cutting tools.


Why Horizontal Arrangement so Common?

Lathe machines are also called turning machines, and they usually CNC machines that rotate a work piece on a rotating axis to perform various processes such as cutting, knurling, grinding, drilling, deforming, end face machining, and turning.

These CNC machining tasks performed by a tool applied to the work piece to create an object with a symmetrical contour to the axis, which is driven by the spindle of the CNC machines.

Turning CNC machines are divided into two main types according to the way they clamp work pieces, namely vertical CNC lathes and horizontal CNC lathes. In a horizontal CNC lathe, the work piece is clamped on the spindle, which is driven by the power output of a belt, direct motor or built-in motor.

At the same time, the hydraulic clamping force is activated by the cylinder installed in the chuck device to ensure a firm clamping of the work piece. When running at high speed, the work piece will not fall. However, when the length of the work piece is longer, the tailstock will be used to assist in clamping the work piece to ensure a smooth and accurate CNC machining process.

On the other hand, in a vertical CNC lathe, the work piece is clamped vertically, and the cutting tool is installed in the same direction, so that the machining is performed vertically. Compared with horizontal CNC lathes, this way of clamping is stronger due to the effect of gravity.

Manufacturers of vertical CNC lathes usually extend their vertical CNC lathes to first-class manufacturing equipment to meet the needs of various industrial users who pursue high precision. In the vertical clamping mechanism, the spindle of the vertical CNC lathe is located behind the chuck. These spindles may be belt driven or other types of drive mechanisms.

Like other CNC milling machines and machining centers, lathes can also be equipped with power tools and tool magazines to improve their functionality and versatility, thus providing users with greater processing possibilities such as some functions of CNC milling machines or machining centers.

CNC Power turret is a modern standard accessory of many CNC lathes, and it is one of the most important accessories for CNC lathe users. Taiwanese suppliers have targeted this business and developed many power turrets and power tools to support lathe users across the global market.

Many power turrets are driven by a single motor with servo function, which can ensure the best processing output and save energy consumption. At the same time, they also provide great rigidity for the work piece and ideal cutting and milling performances.

:: Read more : Two major lathe machine categories explained. Horizontal vs. Vertical


Other Important Supportive Accessories

In addition to the power turret, the tool magazine and automatic tool changer (ATC) are also the best-selling products of Taiwan machine tool accessory suppliers. Taiwan's tool magazine and ATC system can provide the best solution according to the customer's scheduled cycle time engineering to help customers meet the order needs.

Compared with global competitors, Taiwanese suppliers know more about how to provide customers with comprehensive services based on their local conditions, and upgrade existing machine tools or accessories to more modern versions to adapt to new processing requirements such as milling turning integration with turrets.

Spindles, chucks and hydraulic cylinders are well developed in the Taiwan industrial field. Coupled with CNC lathes, a series of lathes and accessories are widely used in different industries around the world, which makes machine tool accessories one of Taiwan's main export businesses.


Development of Lathe-related Accessories

Among all the accessories, the development of power turrets, power live tools, automatic pallet changers and the 4th axis is the current trend because they can bring milling versatility to the lathe as turning centers.

In order to make better use of these accessories, the lathe is given a milling function, so turning machines could be changed to turning centers, or turn-mill centers. This is very different from the ordinary turning machines in many ways. The current trend is that customers who choose lathes can get more functions than before, thus making their production lines more flexible.

Industrial sensors are also one of the products of the new technology revolution. Not only can they be used in lathe machining conducted by turning centers, they can help various machine tools achieve the goal of intelligent manufacturing. Despite the success of this state-of-the-art technology, the development of this field is still at the research stage.


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