Lathe Spindle & Processing Performance

Posted on May 29, 2019

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Lathe Spindle & Processing Performance

The machine tool spindle is the key rotational mechanical component used to hold and drive the work piece on the lathe. The driving power of the spindle varies depending on the design. These driving units include belt, metal gear, electric engine, hydraulic or pneumatic drives, and have a variety of configurations.

About Lathe Spindle

The machine tool spindle is the key rotational mechanical component used to hold and drive the work piece on the lathe. The driving power of the spindle varies depending on the design. These driving units include belt, metal gear, electric engine, hydraulic or pneumatic drives, and have a variety of configurations.

There are many types of drive mechanisms. For example, the cartridge assembly is placed in a fixed area, and the tilted spindle is designed to allow a specific angle of rotation. Some machine tool spindles are installed in a solid block or box-shaped housing. Others use flanges or feet to fix on the machine. Most machine tool spindles suitable for cutting are designed with tapers or other standardized machine tool tapers. Sometimes, multiple spindle heads are used to speed up the processing speed and perform repeated precision machining, such as precision center hole machining.

 

Spindles for lathe machines

At the very beginning, lathes started using belt driven spindles. The spindle design at the time was simple and there were not many options on the market. The belt driven spindle has many excellent characteristics, and its structure is easy to maintain. Therefore, even now that manufacturer of turning and milling machines have more spindle models to choose from, belt driven spindles are still very popular.

On the other hand, motorized spindles are very popular in the field of advanced lathes, such as turning centers with power turrets and some turning and milling centers with multiple spindles on the front and back. The motorized spindle with built-in motor has many convenient advantages, such as high torque, no tooth drop issue, better stability and so on.

However, the design of the spindle housing of the motorized spindle will be very complicated compared to the one of belt driven spindle. The design of the headstock not only needs to consider the function, but also the manufacturing cost, and needs to choose the best solution under the condition of balanced budget.

:: Read more : Belt–drive Spindle & Turning Application

 

Spindles for vertical lathes

CNC vertical lathe, also known as CNC vertical turning machine, is a machine tool that rotates a work piece on a rotating axis to perform various machining operations, such as cutting, knurling, grinding, drilling, deformation, end machining, and turning. This machining is performed by tools applied to the work piece to create objects symmetrical to the axis driven by the spindle.

According to the way of clamping work pieces or tools, lathes can be divided into two main types, namely vertical lathes and horizontal lathes. These two types account for 99% of the total amount of lathes.

In a vertical lathe, the work piece is clamped vertically and the cutting tool or machining unit is installed in the same direction. In this arrangement, the machining is performed vertically. Compared with horizontal lathes, this clamping direction will be stronger due to the effect of gravity. Therefore, manufacturers of vertical lathes usually extend vertical lathes to first-class manufacturing equipment for various industrial users who pursue high precision, such as the automotive industry, aerospace departments, sports equipment, and other fields with large-sized work pieces. .

In the vertical clamping mechanism, the spindle of the lathe is located behind the chuck. The lathe spindle may be driven by a belt, or it may be equipped with other types of drive mechanisms, such as a direct driven spindle and a gear driven spindle. Like milling machines and machining centers, lathes can also be equipped with power tools and two tool magazines to improve their functionality and versatility and provide users with greater processing possibilities.

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

 

Powered accessories

Power turret is a standard accessory for many modern CNC lathes and one of the most important and powerful accessories for CNC lathe users. Taiwanese suppliers have targeted this business and developed many excellent power turrets and power tools to support the high-end needs of turning machine users worldwide.

Many power turrets are driven by a single motor with servo function. Thanks to the excellent features of the servo motor, it can ensure the best processing performance and save energy consumption. Some servo motors are brushless type, they can provide great rigidity and repeatability, thus providing ideal working conditions for machine operators.

 

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