Turning Center and Modern Manufacturing

Posted on Sep 28, 2019

Turning Center

Knowing the turning center is right for your company and manufacturing needs.

Turning Centers and Lathes Look Similar?

Turning centers and lathes look somewhat similar. They both perform turning to process workpieces. However, a turning center is a more advanced machine tool. Turning is only one of the measures a turning center can take to machine a workpiece. It can also conduct operations such as drilling, threading, knurling, and facing, just to name a few.

Precision turning centers have many advantages over lathes regarding machining. These types of machines can be divided into two types, horizontal and vertical, of which the horizontal structure is more common in machining applications. Compared with lathes, CNC turning centers can produce more parts per day.

Turning centers are more efficient in design and production. The turning center can be equipped with one or two spindles. Depending on the machining speed, tooling options, and power, there are various types of turning centers to choose from.

The turning center has many advantages over lathes because it can provide a variety of options while providing the desired shape for the workpiece.

:: Read More: Turning Center and the Corresponding Machining


A CNC Turning Center Is a CNC Lathe Machine?

The CNC turning centers and the lathes seem to be the same, but there is a slight difference between the two. Lathes can usually only turn while turning centers are more advanced and versatile.

In the sense of machining, the turning center can process facing, threading, knurling, drilling, boring, reaming, and taper turning. Horizontal CNC lathes are more common, while vertical machine tools use gravity. CNC turning centers can benefit from predictive maintenance! In addition, MachineMetrics can analyze the user's CNC machine tool efficiency to find the ideal operating cycle.

Precision turning centers have multiple uses with using live tools such as milling, turning, tapping, drilling, reaming, so they are called turning centers. A precision turning machine equipped with milling accessories can be called a turning center.

Machines with more than two axes are called 3, 4, and 5 axis machines, or if they match the configuration of the machining center, they are named 3 axes. It is a multi-function machine that can use various accessories and live tools to perform different operations.

The CNC turning center is basically a CNC lathe with some accessories and additional functions. It may include milling functions, axial and radial live tools, dual spindles, part catcher, and other enhancements so that using multiple machines can be avoided.


There Are a Few Differences Though of CNC Turning Center and a CNC Lathe

As far as practical applications are concerned, the two are mechanically the same. Many people who work in the manufacturing industry, even those who have been working for many years, have difficulty understanding the difference between CNC turning centers and CNC lathes.

After all, both can be used as tool components, bushings, adapters, and threaded inserts. Automotive, agricultural, and construction applications (such as conveyors, casters, etc.) all require one of the two and are generally versatile. Some differences between CNC turning centers and CNC lathes include:

  • CNC turning centers pay more attention to efficient production, so they produce more parts per day than CNC lathes.
  • The CNC turning center is more efficient and allows you to produce more.
  • The CNC turning center structure is enclosed, coolant and one or more tool changers can be used. Likewise, CNC turning centers also have or may additionally have chip conveyors.
  • CNC turning centers are often more expensive, larger, stronger, and heavier.



Modern industry requires more tasks to be performed on a single production line integrating different machines rather than on a single machine. This means that the versatility of each machine tool, as well as the corresponding accessories and auxiliary equipment, is vital to the profitability of business owners.

In the existing business model, the turning center is a turning-based structure machine tool with a certain milling ability. Compared with the traditional lathe, it can complete more kinds of machining tasks, thereby shortening the overall machining time, which is why it is more and more popular in the market.


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