A tool lathe is a lathe optimized to work in a tool shop. Basically, this is just a top center lathe with the best optional features that can be missed on cheaper models like collet clamping machine, taper clamping, and more. The bed of a tool lathe is generally wider than that of a standard center lathe. Over the years, there have also been implications for selective assembly and additional fitting, with every care taken in modeling the tool shop to make it the smoothest and most accurate version of a machine that can be built. However, within a single brand, the difference in quality between the regular model and the corresponding tool shop model is up to the builder and in some cases was partly marketing psychology.
Machine tool builders of famous brands who only manufactured high-quality tools did not necessarily have to demonstrate a lack of quality in the basic product model that could be improved in the "luxury model".In other cases, especially when comparing different brands, the difference in quality between (1) a basic center lathe built to compete with price and (2) a tool lathe that is expected to compete only on quality, not price, can be objectively demonstrated by measuring TIR, vibration etc. In any case, due to the fully marked list of options and the (real or implied) higher quality, tool lathes are more expensive than basic center lathes.
A tool shop CNC lathe toolkit typically includes a chuck, tool post, and a tailstock - with longer Z-travel. Small CNC toolroom lathes provide the most flexibility when it comes to the size and types of turning operations that can be performed in a machine shop or production setting.
● Lowest Price - Best value - For a high quality, production small CNC toolroom lathe.
● Closed Loop System/Servos - Servo motors/drives on X,Z axes. Servo spindle drive - rigged tapping, spindle location ID.
● Industrial CNC Control System - Siemens 808D control system for small CNC turret lathe and turning centers.
● High Quality Components - Schneider electronics, Hiwin linear guides, PMI ball screws.
● Manual Turning Mode (Optional) - Operate in standard CNC mode or switch to manual operation.
Providing handheld lathe operators with comfortable CNC operation is not the only advantage of a CNC tool lathe. While programming parts with CAM software can provide a more efficient machining cycle, the ability to quickly program a job on the control can lead to greater time savings if the number of parts is small - or even if the mileage is slightly high. The part details will determine where the breakpoint is, but based on user experience. The maximum productive quantity for a typical turned part can be up to 120 pieces. If the mileage is less, and it is likely that the operator can get the job done faster by entering parameters into the CNC and using the program that produces the result, rather than waiting for the CAM department to generate a program that is more efficient.
The CNC on tool lathes enables the operator to create programs using only the knowledge and information that a manual mechanic would have. The operator touches the part to find program coordinates to zero, then enters cutting related parameters to allow the controller to create toolpaths. For example, for external turning, the operator enters values such as the intended diameter and maximum depth of cut. By default, speed and feed are conservative settings, but can also be entered directly. By entering such parameters for one operation after another, the operator can create a program for a relatively complex part without understanding the G code.
However, the G-code program still exists. It is written in the background. Users who understand G-Code can call up and edit the program in this form.
This programming method - entering part dimensions directly, without translating them to the machine - requires a variety of turning operations that have traditionally been difficult and easy to perform. An example is threading. No knowledge is required; the operator simply enters the thread dimensions that can be found on the part printout. Another example is chamfering; this can be done using an automatically generated oblique toolpath instead of manually fitting to a tool block. Also consider the turning radius. Rather than machining the feature with a ground radius tool, the operator can simply enter the desired dimension and allow the control to create this shape using an interpolated arc.
Such advantages can make an intuitively programmable machine an efficient resource not only for the manual mechanic but also for users who are comfortable with G-code or have access to CAM. Requiring the operator to enter only straightforward information about the part and the cut reduces the mental effort necessary to think through the correct moves for every feature.
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