Basics of the CNC Swiss-Type Lathe 215
Basics of the CNC Swiss-Type Lathe describes the basic functions and components of the CNC Swiss-type lathe. CNC Swiss-type lathes are a complex type of lathe with a sliding headstock that feeds bar stock through a guide bushing and toward the cutting tools. The guide bushing is the defining characteristic of the Swiss-type lathe. It provides support at the point of contact between the workpiece and the cutting tool, improving rigidity while reducing workpiece deflection and tool chatter. Additionally, CNC Swiss-type lathes are capable of holding a wide variety of cutting tools.
CNC Swiss-type lathes are important pieces of equipment in modern machining due to their ability to machine complex, finished parts with minimal human intervention. After taking this class, users will understand how a CNC Swiss-type lathe differs from a conventional lathe as well as be able to describe the basic functions and general machine components of a CNC Swiss-type lathe.
Number of Lessons 15
- CNC Swiss-Type Lathe
- Conventional Lathe vs. CNC Swiss-Type Lathe
- Conventional Lathe vs. CNC Swiss-Type Lathe: In Action
- Importance of the Guide Bushing
- Review: CNC Swiss-Type Lathe Basics
- Additional Machine Components
- Tooling Components
- Live Tooling
- Review: Additional Components and Tooling
- Machine Axes
- Cutting Variables
- Cutting Operations
- Operational Factors
- Review: CNC Swiss-Type Lathe Operation
- The Future of Machining with the CNC Swiss-Type Lathe
- Describe the use of a CNC Swiss-type lathe.
- Distinguish between conventional lathes and CNC Swiss-type lathes.
- Distinguish between conventional lathes and CNC Swiss-type lathes.
- Describe the characteristics and benefits of the guide bushing.
- Describe additional components on the CNC Swiss-type lathe.
- Describe tooling for the CNC Swiss-type lathe.
- Describe live tooling on the CNC Swiss-type lathe.
- Describe the possible axes associated with the CNC Swiss-type lathe.
- Distinguish between the cutting variables associated with the CNC Swiss-type lathe.
- Describe common cutting operations performed on a CNC Swiss-type lathe.
- Distinguish between different operational factors for the CNC Swiss-type lathe.
- Describe the potential future use of CNC Swiss-type lathes in modern manufacturing.
Run by a preprogrammed mechanical system with little to no human intervention. Automated machines operate more efficiently and precisely than machines that an operator manually controls.
automatic bar feeder
A device that continuously extrudes a long piece of bar stock at a steady rate. Automatic bar feeders can be used with CNC Swiss-type lathes in order to reduce downtime and allow for uninterrupted production.
The automatic control of equipment, a process, or a system. Automation is an efficient means of performing manufacturing processes.
In a direction running straight along the rotational axis of a workpiece. Lathe components that move axially, or from side to side along the length of the bed, include the carriage assembly of a conventional lathe or the sliding headstock assembly of a Swiss-type lathe.
An imaginary straight line or circle used to describe the location or movement of an object in three-dimensional space. An axis is used to indicate the direction of motion on CNC machines.
An auxiliary component on a CNC Swiss-type lathe that is found opposite the main spindle and guide bushing. The back spindle, or sub-spindle, rotates a workpiece during cutoff and backworking operations.
A machine operation that cuts and forms the face of a workpiece as it is held in the sub-spindle. Backworking operations help CNC Swiss-type lathes produce a finished part.
backworking tool posts
A component that carries and positions cutting tools in relation to a workpiece held in the sub-spindle. Backworking tool posts are located opposite the sub-spindle on a CNC Swiss-type lathe.
Raw material purchased from metal manufacturers in the form of long rods. Bar stock may be round, square, or hexagonal.
The base or foundation of various machine tools. All the operating components of a lathe are mounted to and guided by the bed.
A machining operation that uses a single-point tool to enlarge or smooth an existing hole. Boring is an inner-diameter operation that can be performed on a lathe.
A rotational axis that describes motion around, or about, the Z axis. On a CNC Swiss-type lathe, the C axis describes the rotation of the workpiece.
A material created by combining carbon with a hard metal, such as titanium or tungsten. Carbide is very hard and wear resistant.
The section of the lathe that slides back and forth along the ways. Carriages support the cross slide and turret.
A machining operation that creates an angled edge around the end of a cylindrical workpiece or the entrance of a hole. Chamfering can be an inner- or outer-diameter operation and is performed on a lathe.
The process of switching a machine from one part setup to another. CNC Swiss-type lathes require very little changeover.
The occasional vibration between a workpiece and a cutting tool. Chatter decreases machining productivity, negatively impacts surface quality, and increases tool wear.
An unwanted piece of material that is removed from a workpiece. Chips are formed when a tool cuts or grinds material.
CNC Swiss-type lathe
A sophisticated type of CNC lathe with a sliding headstock and fixed guide bushing that enables the creation of small, complex, cylindrical parts in one cycle. CNC Swiss-type lathes are some of the most advanced pieces of equipment in modern manufacturing facilities.
CNC turning center
A sophisticated type of CNC lathe that can perform a variety of machining operations all at the same location. CNC turning centers specialize in turning, boring, drilling, and threading operations.
A slotted workholding device with a hole through which a workpiece passes. Collets are designed to hold workpieces with specific diameter and shape dimensions.
computer numerical control
CNC. A self-contained system of computers and precision motors that executes program instructions to guide machine tool components and manufacture parts. Computer numerical control uses mathematical data to direct machine movements.
A geometric tolerance that ensures that the median points of a cylindrical feature are within a specified distance of the feature's sides. Concentricity errors are causes by incorrectly sized guide bushings.
A moveable belt used to transport materials from one area to another area. The conveyor belt in a part catcher of a CNC Swiss-type lathe removes finished parts from the point of operation.
A component on a lathe that positions the turret toward and away from the workpiece. The cross slide is supported by the carriage.
A machining operation that uses a cutting tool to separate a finished part from the rest of the stock. A cutoff operation is an outer diameter operation that is often performed on a lathe.
A fluid used to decrease friction and reduce the temperature of a cutting process. Cutting fluids lengthen tool service life, improve surface finish quality, and can speed production operations.
The unintended movement or repositioning of a cutting tool or component due to a mechanical force. Deflection of a workpiece during turning can cause poor surface finish and inaccurate dimensions.
depth of cut
The distance that a cutting tool penetrates the surface of a workpiece. Depth of cut determines the amount of material removed in one cutting pass.
The distance from one edge of a circle to the opposite edge that passes through the center. Diameter measurements are required with round or cylindrical features.
A period of time when production stops, often due to mechanical failure or maintenance needs. Downtime can be planned or unplanned.
A multi-point cutting tool used to make round holes. Drills generally have two flutes and a pointed end.
A machining operation that uses a multi-point tool to cut a new round hole into the surface of a workpiece. Drilling is one inner diameter operation that a CNC Swiss-type lathe can perform.
A machining operation that uses a multi-point tool to cut a new round hole into the surface of a workpiece. Drilling is one inner-diameter operation that a CNC Swiss-type lathe can perform.
The rate at which the cutting tool and workpiece move in relation to one another. On a CNC Swiss-type lathe, feed is determined by the workpiece movement toward and away from the cutting tool.
An automatic system used for preventing or extinguishing fires. Fire-suppression systems include sprinkler and chemical systems.
An influence, such as a push or a pull, which produces a change in an object's motion or state of rest. Force is applied by the cutting tool during machining.
A force that resists motion between components in an operation. Friction causes galling in improper guide bushing sizes.
A machine operation that cuts and forms the face of the workpiece as it is held in the main spindle. Frontworking operations are performed by cutting tools that face the main spindle.
A type of wear caused by friction and adhesion between two moving surfaces. Galling can occur when the guide bushing and bar stock make contact and interact.
gang tool post
A component that carries and radially positions cutting tools in relation to a workpiece held in the main spindle. Gang tool posts are located above the guide bushing on a CNC Swiss-type lathe.
ground bar stock
A type of bar stock made from high-quality steel that has been ground to achieve tight tolerances and improve surface finish. Ground bar stock is commonly used when machining on CNC Swiss-type lathes.
A hollow, cylindrical component on a Swiss-type lathe that supports the workpiece directly where the cutting tool makes contact. Guide bushings enable the creation of very small parts with excellent tolerances.
The end of a lathe that holds the spindle and the spindle drive that rotates the workpiece. Headstocks may be stationary or sliding depending on the type of lathe.
Positioned side to side, or parallel to the ground, instead of up and down. Horizontal movement of the workpiece on a CNC Swiss-type lathe is defined by the Z axis.
inches per minute
ipm. A unit of measurement that indicates how far in inches a workpiece advances in one minute. Inches per minute is used to measure feed.
inches per revolution
ipr. A unit of measurement that indicates how far in inches the workpiece advances in one rotation. Inches per revolution is used to measure feed.
A stage in manufacturing that uses connected devices and digital technologies. Industry 4.0 uses automation and data exchange to achieve advancements in a variety of industries.
ID. The interior surface of a part. Inner-diameter cutting operations include drilling, reaming, and boring.
A machine tool that generally holds and supports a cylindrical workpiece at one or both ends and rotates it while a single-point cutting tool removes material. Lathes are commonly used to perform turning operations.
A facility being fully automated and operating without any employees on-site. Lights-out manufacturing allows for processes to operate overnight and during the weekend.
An imaginary straight line that describes side-to-side, front-to-back, or up-and-down machine movements. Linear axes include the X axis, Y axis, and Z axis.
A feature that equips the tool posts or turret on a lathe with power-driven tools, such as end mills and drills. Live tooling allows a lathe to perform off-center cutting operations while the spindle holds the workpiece stationary.
A machine component that feeds cutting fluids into the work zone to reduce friction between cutting surfaces. Many CNC lathes are equipped with automatic lubricant pumps.
The act of applying a substance that reduces friction and wear between mechanical components. Lubrication can be affected by incorrect guide bushing size.
The machine component in the sliding headstock of a Swiss-type lathe that controls rotation of the workpiece. Main spindles hold the workpiece for frontworking.
A multi-point cutting tool with teeth around its cutting surface that is used to remove material from the surfaces of generally flat workpieces. Mills are sometimes used on lathes that have live tooling capabilities.
millimeters per minute
mm/min. A unit of measurement that indicates how far in millimeters a workpiece advances in one minute. Millimeters per minute is used to measure feed.
millimeters per revolution
mm/rev. A unit of measurement that indicates how far in millimeters a workpiece advances in one rotation. Millimeters per revolution is used to measure feed.
A machining operation in which a rotating multi-point cutting tool is fed along a part's surface to remove material. Milling operations are very versatile and generally produce flat surfaces.
The ability to perform numerous machining operations. CNC Swiss-type lathes are able to multi-task and perform all operations required to produce a finished part.
oil-based cutting fluids
A cutting fluid that is based on mineral oil and contains no water. Oil-based cutting fluids provided excellent lubrication but less cooling.
opposite tool post
A component that carries and axially positions cutting tools in relation to a workpiece held in the main spindle. Opposite tool posts are located opposite the guide bushing on a CNC Swiss-type lathe.
OD. The external surface of a workpiece. Outer-diameter cutting operations on the lathe include turning, facing, and cutoff.
A machine component that catches a finished part as it is cut off and directs it out of the point of operation and into a storage area. Part catchers are used with CNC Swiss-type lathes to catch very small parts.
Intersecting at a right, or 90 degree, angle. The two sets of ways on a lathe are perpendicular to each other.
The collective processes that are necessary to manufacture a group of similar or related parts. Production runs are much shorter on CNC Swiss-type lathes due to their mutli-tasking capabilities.
In a direction running perpendicular to the rotational axis of a workpiece. Lathe components that move radially, or from the back to the front of the bed, includes the cross slide of a conventional lathe and some cutting tools on a Swiss-type lathe.
A machining operation that uses a multi-point tool to enlarge or smooth an existing hole. Reaming is an inner-diameter operation that can be performed on a lathe.
A piece of solid, scrap workpiece material that remains after a machining operation. Bar stock remnants measuring 6-12 in. remain at the conclusion of every machining operation on a CNC Swiss-type lathe.
revolutions per minute
rpm. A measurement that indicates how many times a machine component rotates in one minute. Revolutions per minute is used to measure spindle speed on a lathe.
The quality of a workpiece, machine, or machine setup characterized by being stiff and inflexible. Improved rigidity reduces vibration.
An imaginary circle that describes turning or rotation around the linear axes. Rotational axes include the A axis, B axis, and C axis.
An additional manufacturing process required to bring a workpiece into tolerance and create a final part. Secondary processes, such as finishing, are sometimes performed on a separate machine from the machine that made the primary cuts.
All of the tasks and preparations necessary to prepare for a machining operation. Setup times are shortened by the operational capabilities of the CNC Swiss-type lathe.
single-point cutting tool
A machining tool that uses one cutting edge at a time to remove workpiece material. Single-point cutting tools are used in manufacturing applications such as turning.
The end of a Swiss-type lathe that contains the spindle and the drive, which rotate the workpiece. Sliding headstocks also provide feed for the workpiece.
A description of the essential physical and technical properties of a product. CNC Swiss-type lathes have manufacturer specifications for the size of bar stock they can machine.
The rate at which the spindle rotates. Speed is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
The part of the machine tool that rotates. On the lathe, the spindle holds the workpiece.
A metal consisting of iron and carbon, usually with small amounts of manganese, phosphorus, sulfur, and silicon as well. Steel is manufactured into high-quality, ground bar stock.
An auxiliary component on a CNC Swiss-type lathe that is found opposite the main spindle and guide bushing. The sub-spindle, or back spindle, rotates a workpiece during cutoff and backworking operations.
The degree of roughness and variation on the surface of a part after it has been manufactured. Surface finish of a part is improved by the use of a guide bushing.
A lathe cutting operation that cuts a long, spiraling groove into a cylindrical workpiece. Threading can be an inner- or outer-diameter operation.
The unwanted but acceptable deviation from a desired dimension. To meet specifications, a workpiece must stay within its tolerances.
A lathe component that contains slots for mounting toolholders and cutting tools. Tool posts can be housed at the top, front, sides, or back of a Swiss-type lathe's work area.
A machining operation that rotates a cylindrical workpiece while a single-point tool is guided along the length of the part. Turning is performed on a lathe.
A lathe component that holds a number of cutting tools. Turrets rotate, or index, to place tools in cutting position.
water-based cutting fluids
A cutting fluid with a high percentage of water content. Water-based cutting fluids are not flammable and have additives to increase its boiling point.
A set of precisely measured, parallel tracks that support and guide the movement of the carriage and cross slide of a lathe. Ways are located along the bed of conventional lathes.
The erosion of material as a result of friction. Wear increases when guide bushings are improperly sized.
The ability to resist the effects of abrasion and friction. Wear resistance in guide bushings improves with the use of carbide pads and rollers.
A mechanical component that secures, supports, and locates a workpiece during a manufacturing operation. Common workholding devices include chucks, collets, and vises.
A material being machined or undergoing another type of processing. Workpieces can be shaped by processes such as milling, turning, and grinding.
A linear axis that is perpendicular to the Z and Y axes. On the CNC Swiss-type lathe, the X axis describes motion perpendicular to the spindle and workpiece axes.
A linear axis that is perpendicular to the Z and X axes. On the CNC Swiss-type lathe, the Y axis describes motion perpendicular to the spindle and workpiece axes.
A linear axis that is parallel to the spindle and perpendicular to the X and Y axes. On a CNC Swiss-type lathe, the Z axis describes the side-to-side movement of the sliding headstock and workpiece towards and away from the cutting area.