Standard modern lathe machines are usually equipped with CNC systems and power turrets, and other auxiliary equipment may also be used, but they are not so critical. Obviously, the definition of the term "standard" is subjective and vague. Therefore, readers may need to judge whether it is necessary according to their own circumstances.
The records of a lathe or spinning-kind machinery can be traced back to artifacts from Egypt and Mesopotamia. Ancient craftsmen used turning mechanisms to make household tools, weapons, jewelry, and other important items used in life.
Among the many different designs of the turning machine structures, one is very common, that is, the horizontal arrangement of the spinning spindles. The spindle is used to clamp the workpiece and process it by the cutting tool. The situation is the same in the standard modern lathes.
Due to the following facts, a lathe-based machine tool is also called a turning machine. It rotates the workpiece along the axis of rotation to perform various machining operations, such as cutting, knurling, sanding, drilling, deformation, face machining and turning. These machinings are performed by tools applied to the workpiece to create an object with symmetrical profiles along the axis, which is driven by the spindle of the modern lathes.
Normally, turning machines like modern lathes are divided into two main types according to the way the workpiece is clamped, namely vertical lathe and horizontal lathe. In a horizontal lathe, the workpiece is clamped in the through-hole of the spindle, and the spindle is driven by a belt, a direct coupled motor, or a built-in motor. At the same time, the hydraulic clamping force is activated by the cylinder installed next to the headstock of the chuck to ensure that the workpiece is firmly clamped. In this way, the workpiece will not fall when the spindle running at high speed. However, if the length of the workpiece is very long, a tailstock needs to be used. Otherwise, there might be straightness issues. The tailstock can ensure that the longer workpiece is fixed from beginning to end, making the machining process smooth and accurate.
Among most accessories, the development of power turrets, power tools, automatic pallet changers, and the 4th axis is the current trend. After the lathe is equipped with these accessories, its versatility will be enhanced. In order to make better use of these accessories, the turning machines are given the milling functionality, so the turning machine can be changed to a turning center, or say, a turn-mill center, which is very different from common turning machines in many aspects.
The current trend of the machine market is to provide customers with more accessory options while choosing their lathe machines, thereby making customers' production lines more flexible. On the other hand, in a vertical lathe, the workpiece is clamped vertically, and the cutting tools are installed in the same direction to perform machining vertically. Compared with horizontal lathes, the clamping in this way will be firmer due to the gravity effect. Manufacturers of vertical turning machines usually turn their vertical turning machines into great manufacturing facilities for various industrial users who pursue high precision.
In the vertical clamping mechanism, the spindles of vertical turning lathes are located behind the chuck. The spindles may be belt-driven, and some may be equipped with other types of driving mechanisms to make processing more stable.
Based on this idea, compared with horizontal lathes, the vertical clamping mechanism will be stronger and more stable due to gravity. Manufacturers of vertical turning machines usually turn their vertical turning machines into great manufacturing equipment for users in a variety of industrial sectors who pursue high precision, such as the automotive industry, aerospace sector, sports equipment manufacturing, and other fields with larger workpieces.
The vertical clamping mechanism of the spindle can be realized by belt driving, or other driving mechanisms can be used. Either way can give full play to the gravity effect of its vertical alignment. Like other milling machines and machining centers, turning lathes can also be equipped with power tools and tool magazines driven by servo motors or conventional motors to improve the functionality and versatility of the machine, thereby providing users with greater processing possibilities.
The power turret is a modern standard accessory for many CNC turning machines and is one of the most important accessories for users of CNC lathes. Taiwanese suppliers aimed at this business and developed many well-known power turret and power tool products to support the needs of industrial lathe users.
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