Historically considered a “niche” machine, Swiss-style lathes are becoming more predominant on the floors of job shops.
Swiss turning refers to a specialized process for machining small, high precision parts. Swiss lathes started as belt driven, mechanically cam controlled machines in the 19th century focused on the production of miniature watch screws. Today, in the 21st century, Swiss Screw machines, also known as Swiss lathe, are fully CNC operated with a host of additional capabilities such as milling and even laser cutting.
Today’s Swiss machines have lightning-fast cycle times, advanced controls and high-precision capability. Swiss machines have quickly secured their place as a standard solution for many precision, high-production jobs. Swiss machines are now widely used for small, complex parts. Actually, modern Swiss machines can produce parts under 1.25″ in diameter complete, quickly and precisely.
HOW THEY WORK
The secret of the Swiss machine’s success is in its design. Traditional lathes function by holding the work piece firmly at one or both ends. While the part spins, the tools will be brought in and out of contact with the piece to cut away material along its entire length. With a Swiss lathe machine the bar of material both spins and slides axially through a guide bushing. The tools are mounted to the face of the guide bushing. Unlike a traditional lathe where the force of the tool is exerted on the part far from where the machine supports it, on the Swiss lathe, the force is right where the material is emerging from the bushing. Because of this clever design, the effects on the part from tool force is lessened, allowing for far greater precision work.
Swiss Turn Lathes are faster with more accuracy. Period.
The primary advantages of Swiss lathe machines come from both the guide bushing, the geometry, and mechanics in the tool region. Parts in Swiss machines deflect and vibrate less during machining than in traditional lathes. Often a single heavy cut can remove all the necessary material while avoiding deflection. Since the tools do not have very far to travel, the chip-to-chip time from one tool to the next can be one second or less. This also allows short set-up times and the machine can then run for hours at a time unattended. The Swiss turn lathes have the capacity for 20 or more tools in the tool zone. Secondary operations can be eliminated since the Swiss can mill, drill, ream, saw, and do many other processes.
Shops with Swiss machines can produce long runs of small, complex parts faster and cheaper than on traditional lathes, with the added benefit of freeing up other equipment to produce larger parts.
WHEN TO PICK A CNC SWISS MACHINE OVER TRADITIONAL MACHINES?
Swiss CNC machining is one of the most productive machining methods in part machining. Aside from its low cycle time, it is suitable for machining the most intricate Swiss machined parts. Swiss CNC machining is a better choice over traditional machining due to its suitability for complex designs. The process encourages using CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) software, making it suitable for complicated parts. As a result, there is an improvement in product design and a reduction in error due to less human involvement.
DESIGNING FOR MANUFACTURING
DfM is a part of part manufacturing that involves enhancing the product design for easier manufacturing and assembling. The introduction of CNC to Swiss lathe machining will make it easier for an effective and efficient manufacturing process compared to the conventional method.
To get the best-machined parts for your industrial requirements, you can make precision machining your go-to. Our experienced engineers will perform a DFM analysis of your project to find the right solutions to get the best result. We also provide complete parts inspection and competitive prices.
You can trust Hillside Custom to offer the best service to you. We offer a complete line of machine shop services. Inside our shop, you will find the resources needed to complete all phases of your project, from raw material to finished parts. Our array of machinery and services combined with the skill of our expert machinists provides our customers with unequaled delivery, convenience and value.
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