Swiss Turn Lathe

How Swiss Turn Lathe Work

The term “Swiss turn lathe” is used to describe machines used to shave metal down to the desired size. These automated lathes can machine turned parts by spinning on a rotating lathe that spins very quickly. As a matter of fact, it is important to understand that this Swiss-type lathe is not necessarily manufactured in Switzerland.

The turn lathe is basically designed to turn tiny, complicated, precision parts. This class of turning center is referred to as “Swiss” simply because it was developed for the Swiss watch industry.

What is Swiss-type turning?

Even the lowest dimensions and tolerances are achievable on a Swiss-type turning machine. Parts, which might require numerous secondary operations, such as a 4-inch long part required to hold a roundness of 0.0002 inches with a diameter of 0.059 can be completely turned with this Swiss-type lathe.

When compared to other Swiss-type lathes, the Swiss turn lathe is generally known to function better at more precise work. While the tool is stationary, the Swiss-type turning center allows for the advancement of the part into the Z axis, unlike the conventional lathe where the tool moves and the part is stationary.

How it works

The guide bushing is designed to reduce chatter almost completely. It is obviously regarded as the “heart” of Swiss machining. Before advancing through a guide bushing, the bar stock will be temporarily withheld in the machine. While allowing the material to be held tightly, only the machined portion of the metal will be exposed from the guide bushing. Ultimately, this is aimed at ensuring increased accuracy and eliminating deflection.

As the material moves out of the bushing, it is machined by the stationary tools. Should extra support be required, a sub spindle can move into position to get hold of the front end of the part. The quality of the fit is determined by the type of guide bushing and condition of the material. When it comes to machining parts on this lathe, ground bar stock may be required by close tolerance bar stock is always being employed. Closer tolerances and tighter fits are required to ensure greater accuracy in machining.

As the material moves from the guide bushing, the Swiss-type machine is still very much capable of milling and drilling along. Thanks to the availability of live tools that help to make it possible. Unlike most conventional CNC lathes, the Swiss turn lathe is designed with a time-saving feature that helps to ensure full milling capabilities on the machine’s Y-axis. Additionally, many Swiss-type machines come along with boring tools, such as drills on backworking tool stations. The tools can effectively complete the process of machining part when the part is held in the pick-off spindle (i.e. the sub spindle).

Complete machining can be completed within a single operation with these features (live tools). Although C axis live tool work can be performed by conventional CNC lathes, users are offered more capabilities with greater accuracy when working with a Swiss turn lathe. Thanks to its unique design.


KSI Swiss
1320 Larc Industrial Blvd, Burnsville MN 55337

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