Horizontal Lathes & Horizontal Clamping

Posted on Apr 10, 2019

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The archeological record of lathe or spinning-kind machinery can dates back to the Egyptian and Mesopotamian relics in which ancient craftsmen utilizes the turning mechanism to make household tools, weapons, jewelry object, and other important items to be used in their lives. Among the many different designs of the turning machine structures, one thing is common, that is, the horizontal arrangement of the spinning spindle that clamps the work piece which is to be processes by the cutting tools.

About Horizontal Lathe

The archeological record of lathe or spinning-kind machinery can dates back to the Egyptian and Mesopotamian relics in which ancient craftsmen utilizes the turning mechanism to make household tools, weapons, jewelry object, and other important items to be used in their lives. Among the many different designs of the turning machine structures, one thing is common, that is, the horizontal arrangement of the spinning spindle that clamps the work piece which is to be processes by the cutting tools.

Why horizontal arrangement so common?

Since a lathe machine is also called a turning machine, that is a machine tool that rotates a work piece on an axis of rotation to perform various machining operations such as cutting, knurling, sanding, drilling, deformation, facing, and turning; such machining are conducted with tools that are applied to the targeted work piece and to create an object with symmetry profile with the axis, which is driven by the primary spindle.

Normally, turning machines are categorized into two main types according to the way that clamp the work pieces. Those are vertical lathe and the horizontal counterparts. For the latter one, work pieces are clamped on the joint of the spindle, which is driven by a power output with belt-driven, direct-driven, or in-built motors. At the same time, a hydraulic clamping force is activated by the cylinder installed beside the spindle case for the chuck device in order to ensure the fixed force to be firmly settled. This way, the work piece would not go scattering if the spinning speed is too high. However, if the length of the work piece is longer, which would normally causing the straightness issue, there would be a tailstock there to make sure the longer work piece is fixed from head to toe, making the tooling processing smooth and precise.

On the other hand, regarding the vertical counterparts, the work piece is clamped vertically and the cutting tool is thus installed the same direction so that the machining is conducted vertically. This way the clamping is much more stern and fixed due to the gravity effect compared to the horizontal methodology and manufacturers of vertical turning machines usually made their vertical turning machines into great manufacturing facilities for users in a variety of industrial sectors that pursue for high precision. With the vertical clamping mechanism, the spindles of vertical turning lathes are also located behind the chuck, while some may be belt-driven, and some may be other types of driving mechanisms.

Like other milling machines and machine centers, turning lathes can also be equipped with power tools as well as too magazines to boost its functionality and versatility, granting wider processing possibility to users. Power turret is a modern and standard accessory of many CNC turning machines, and as one of the most important accessories to the users of CNC lathes, Taiwanese suppliers aim at this business and have developed many well known power turret and power tool companies that supports the demands form lathe users all over the world market. Many of these power turrets are driven by single motor with servo features, which can assure the best machining effects and save the optimal energy consumption; at the mean time, they can also provide great rigidity onto the work pieces, rendering an ideal cutting performances.

Other Important supportive accessories

Besides the power turret, tool magazine and the automatic too changer (ATC) are also the best sellers of Taiwanese machine tool accessory suppliers. Taiwan’s tool magazine and ATC system offers the optimal tool to tool time to customers based on their cycle time engineering, and can help manufacturers keep up with the order demands. Compared with the worldwide competitors, Taiwanese know how to provide comprehensive services to global customers with the best planning according to the local circumstances, hence the productions that are equipped with the machine tools or accessories are actually face lifted to the latest version that is modern to the order demands. Spindles and chuck and the corresponding hydraulic cylinders are also well developed in Taiwan. Together with the CNC turning machine market, there are a bunch of lathe products and accessories that are widely spread in the world across different industrial sectors and applications, making the accessories market one of the main export business of Taiwan’s expertise.

Development of lathe-related accessories

Among most of the accessories, the development of power turret, live tools, automatic pallet changer, and the 4th axis are the current trendy objects that attract people’s eyes due to their versatility once installed onto the lathe machines. For these accessories to be exploited well, the turning machines are given the milling functionality and thus the turning could be changed to turning center, or say, the turn-mill center, which is greatly different from a common turning machine at many aspects. Therefore, the current trend in the industry is to offer customers with more optimal items while they are choosing their lathe machines, making their production line more agile in the aspect of manufacturing.

Besides, industrial sensors are recently a new technological revolution for not only lathe machines but also to all kinds of machine tools that help manufacturers to realize the goal of smart manufacturing. While this state-of-the-art is on its way to success, the development in this field is still under versatile research procedure.

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