How many types of lathe machines are there? what type of lathe is the most common? In this post we explain everything you need to know about lathes and which type may be the most suitable for your industry.
When talking about types of industrial machinery machining, we always refer to the most well-known ones: horizontal or vertical milling machines, 5-axis milling machineries or CNC lathes. Although the CNC lathe is the most popular, there are more types as we will see later.
How many types of lathe machines are there?
A lathe is a machine composed of a cylinder that rotates around its axis by the action of wheels or levers, and that acts on the resistance through a rope that is wound in the cylinder. More specifically, in the metallurgical industry, the lathe is the tool that allows to machine parts of geometric shape. These devices are responsible for spinning the part while other cutting tools are pushed against its surface, allowing the chip to be cut according to the required conditions.
As mentioned above, there are different types of lathes. For example, turret lathes or copy lathes. However, CNC lathes are used in the metallurgical industry; that is why we will focus on this type of lathes and classify them.
So, what is a CNC Lathe?
It is a lathe that has been designed to manufacture parts automatically and has implemented CNC software that serves to control these automated processes. This software uses alphanumeric data following the Z, X, Y axes.
There are different types of CNC lathe machines and we can classify them into three categories:
Horizontal CNC Lathe
The horizontal lathe may be the most suitable tool for machining parts that have cylindrical geometric shapes. These machines rotate the workpiece, which runs parallel to the ground, while several cutting tools push the tool against the surface, cutting it according to specifications.
Vertical CNC Lathe
In vertical lathe types, workpieces are kept upright by being “standing”, needing much less clamping force than horizontal lathes to stay in place. More importantly, vertical lathes can be used to turn objects of large and heavy diameter that are relatively short.
These machines are ideal for heavy machining, from medium to large parts, which are attached to the chuck and that due to their dimensions or weight would make it difficult to fix them on a horizontal lathe.
Multitasking CNC Lathe
A multitasking lathe is ultimately a lathe capable of performing milling tasks. Normally, a multitasking lathe consists of two spindles (spindle and sub-spindle) and a milling head with the possibility of an additional tool turret. They can also have, instead of a milling head, one or two turrets.
The fact of having two spindles, allows simultaneous work in both and the possibility of performing “transfer” of part. A transfer is the operation by which the lathe transfers the part from one spindle to another, automatically.
In our Marketplaceyou will find a wide variety of CNC Lathes. If you have any doubts, you can contact us and we will be happy to help you find the machine that best suits you.