CNC lathes are CNC machines that can do a series of turning actions based on the settled CNC programs. CNC lathes are now a common capital facility in many factories as the basic symmetrical work piece processing machines, while there are also some other CNC machines that can deal with non-symmetric work pieces such as wings, engine cases, household appliances, etc.
CNC lathe machines can be upgraded as CNC turning centers if they are mounted with power turrets and other advanced accessories for milling tasks. CNC lathes are machine tools that rotate work pieces on an axis of rotation to perform various machining operations such as cutting, knurling, sanding, drilling, deformation, facing, and turning.
What is different from conventional manual lathes is, CNC lathes and CNC machines can deal with massive manufacturing modes. The tools that are applied to the processed work piece are turning tools. Turning tools can create an object with symmetry state with the axis driven by the primary spindle. CNC lathes’ primary spindle is normally on the X axis, and the spindle headstock is normally coupled with the hydraulic cylinders.
CNC lathes can be basically categorized into two inventories. The inventory is decided by the direction arrangement. Those are the vertical CNC lathes, and the horizontal machining CNC lathes. For the vertical CNC lathes, the work piece is fixed by clamping force vertically and the cutting tool is thus installed at the same direction, so the machining is on the vertical axis. CNC lathes can deal with both vertical and horizontal processing by the corresponding axis though, but the basic arrangement of CNC lathes’ axis arrangement is still the same with conventional manual counterparts, because CNC lathes are the essential basis to many of the structural designs.
The spindle arrangement determines the work piece clamping. The clamping mechanism of vertical CNC lathes is much better in rigidity due to the gravitational force of the work piece itself. The gravitational force of vertical CNC lathes is larger if they are compared to the horizontal CNC lathes.
Manufacturers of vertical CNC lathes often make their CNC machines with flexible features as a multi tasking CNC lathes for users in a variety of industrial sectors. The clamping force affects the machining qualities of the CNC machining. Like other milling machines and CNC machine tools, CNC lathes can be equipped with power tools driven by servo motors and direct drive spindles as well as tool magazines to boost its machining functionality and the mobility of each axis. Therefore, manufacturing plants are installed with CNC machines designed with milling functionality to reduce the manufacturing steps.
To have milling functionality, many CNC lathes are installed with power turrets as the standard accessory like motorized spindles installed inside many CNC lathes machines now. As one of the most important accessories to the users of CNC lathes and other CNC machines, Taiwan’s suppliers of single motor power turrets and other machine tool components aim at this business sector and have developed many well known power turret designs that can contain as much as eleven or even more tool stations. Those stations can be installed with live tools. Many power tools and power turret companies can support the demands from users of CNC lathes all over the world market across industrial sectors. They provide the service of blueprint engineering for their customers as well as the turn key solutions, making the once difficult turning mission easier for customers’ onsite workers.
This effort greatly improves the productivity when the requested work piece shapes are of multi angles and even complicated profiles. Those complex work pieces were once to be machined by milling machines only, and workers have to uninstall the work piece from CNC lathes’ working tables after the turning process, and move work pieces to the working tables of the milling machine for complex profiles. Now with the aid of power turret and live tools, CNC lathes are potent CNC machines that can deal with nearly all kinds of processing tasks and make it done within a reasonable period of time. The shortened cycle time makes profits for business owners and thus the overall machining benefits are largely improved.
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