Are you in the market for a new industrial-grade cutting tool? Turning your head towards the online market, you will find listings of many tools, each under a different category. If you’re looking for a lathe, a CNC Swiss lathe will be your best bet for large-scale metal cutting projects.
The Swiss lathe has grown in popularity owing to the flexibility it confers upon metal production projects. A Swiss-type lathe can now be seen in many machine shops in many parts of the world. Swiss lathes are also popular for the relatively flat learning curve of using these machine tools.
There are many Swiss lathes on the market today. For you to get the best out of your CNC Swiss-type lathe, you need to know what you are getting. In this article, we will show you how to make comparisons between different types of Swiss lathes. By the end of this, you will see that a CNC Swiss lathe is what you need to take your metalwork to the next level.
Read on to learn more about what a Swiss CNC lathe can do for your business and its different varieties.
What Is a CNC Swiss Lathe?
Before we go into what separates one Swiss screw machine or Swiss-type CNC lathe from another, let us cover the basics. More specifically, let us talk about what sets a Swiss lathe apart from its other counterparts.
Basic or Swiss, a lathe is a machine used to shape metal bars to suit a variety of purposes. As a cutting tool, a lathe regardless of type can create metallic cylindrical objects of varying degrees of detail and size. Among these objects are screws, bolts, rods, and fine-tipped bars.
A basic lathe consists of the following parts — a main spindle, spindles each with a sub-spindle, headstock, bar feeder, bar stock, chuck, carriage, and several CNC turning centers. There are others but these are what you will see make up the basic setup of most automatic screw machines or lathes.
Swiss-type lathes are separated from other screw machines by the positions of several main components — particularly the guide bushing and the headstock. In any Swiss-type screw machine or lathe are a guide bushing and the holding mechanism not too far from the bar feeder. In most machinery that requires these two parts, these two components are positioned opposite each other. In the case of Swiss lathes, the guide bushing sits behind the holding mechanism.
There is also a major distinction in how the headstocks of Swiss lathes move. Most conventional lathes have stationary headstocks where only the guide bushing and cutting edges are manipulated. The headstocks of Swiss lathes also move. As a result, the bar stock passes through the lathe’s holding mechanism, allowing for movement along the Z-axis. The Z-axis motion optimizes cutting action.
Now that you are familiar with Swiss lathes, we will go over some brands of CNC Swiss lathes and their specifications.
What To Look for in a Swiss Lathe
If you are shopping for a CNC Swiss lathe, you need to factor in several considerations. While your set of considerations will differ from another person’s, you need to look at the following specifications:
- The manufacturer
- Max machining or cutting capacity
- Energy details
- Attachments for additional tools
- Max or average spindle speed
- Bar capacity
- The manufacturer’s services when it comes to used CNC Swiss lathes
Looking around for various cutting machines, you will want to ask questions about the above-mentioned. Asking these questions will help you determine the right type of automatic screwing machine to suit your machining needs.
Star CNC Swiss Lathes
Star is one of a handful of companies that have excelled in the production of Swiss lathes. The company has been in the machining industry for decades, making everything from motors to conventional lathes. Recently, it has ventured into Swiss lathes, much to the delight of many machining industry heads. Its flagship brand of CNC automatic screw machines is the SR-38J line.
The Star SR-38J CNC Swiss lathe has an extendable tooling configuration that accommodates up to three tool attachments. Tool mounting is made easier by a portal-type tool post. The cartridge of the lathe can also be extended, allowing for cross-milling and front-drilling. The machining length and machining diameter depend on the 38J type. The specifications increase in varying degrees beyond the 38J standard version.
Spindles are built into the machine at various points, each with a main spindle speed of up to 7,000 spins per minute. The controls for the spindles index are supplied by a c-axis control scheme. The CNC control of the machine is on the left-hand side, similar to most automatic screw machines on the market today.
Overall, the Star CNC Swiss lathe can deliver decent output for most machine industries regardless of scale.
Tsugumi Swiss Lathes
Tsugumi is a Japanese machining company that has been in the machine game for decades. It has earned a following amongst many in the machining industry due to its listings of high-precision machining equipment. Among its high-precision offerings is its line of automatic screwing machines. Tsugumi’s screwing machines are known for their working range, drilling diameter, and their CNC controls.
The CNC control of the Tsugumi MO6-J layout puts the user in the driving seat for full manipulation and control of the bar feed mechanism and the guide bushing. The screwing machines of Tsugumi also feature a conversational control scheme known as Turnmate. It is the company’s software for the CNC controls of its automatic screw machines. Tsugumi has also built-in several safety features that will put screwing machines in debug mode. Another safety feature introduced by Tsugumi is load detection. There is also thermal detection and distortion compensation.
The main spindle speed of the MO6-J and the Mo8-J average anywhere from 4,000 to 4,500 spins per minute. At these rates, cutting is efficient with a low to medium power input requirement. With eight turret stations, tool attachments are hardly an issue with the Tsugumi MO6-J automatic screw machines.
The Tsugumi MO6-J is as compact as they come. It measures 1,690 x 1,570 x 1,600 mm, being one of the most compact cutting tools on the market today. Efficient in power and space, it is also one of few machines with an affordable price tag.
Citizen Model Swiss Lathes
Citizen is a machine company based in the Asia-Pacific region. With its headquarters in Japan, it has been in the machining industry for decades. Citizen is a company that sells deburrs, cutting machines, and lathes of various builds and specifications.
The Cincom line is Citizen’s flagship brand of Swiss automatic screwing machines. Like other Japanese-made automatic CNC lathes, the CNC controls are on the right-hand side, different from their counterparts in the West. There are more than 10 iterations of Swiss lathes in the Citizen model lathes, each with a gang tool post. The exceptions are the Cincom M16 and M32 that are equipped with both gang tool posts and turret tool posts.
There is a wide variation in the machining diameter. The machining diameter variance within the line depends on the model, with the Cincom M32 boasting a 32-mm machining diameter. When it comes to the max machining length, the same degree of variation exists. The model with the longest machining length also seems to be the M32, with the L32 not lagging too far behind.
The CNC turning centers on the right-hand side of the Citizen Swiss-type CNC lathe gives the user access to mechanisms for manipulating the lathe’s guide bushing and headstock, among other components. All in all, the Citizen model of Swiss lathes offers the basic functions anyone can expect from many automatic screw machines.
Why Choose a KSI Swiss-Type CNC Lathe?
The KSI Swiss automatic screw machines of today are the result of massive overhauls to the already-impeccable original design. The new line of KSI Swiss lathes features high-torque servo motors that deliver an impressive main spindle speed that goes up to the 6,000 revs per minute range. More than the main spindle speeds is the bar capacity for each model. Truly, the swiss machines of KSI Swiss are innovations from previous models manufactured by the company. Here are some details.
New safety features also abound with the new line of automatic screw machines. For example, the TCM 38S has a built-in leakage detection feature that measures the insulation resistance of the motor. This feature provides the user a feedback mechanism for how the motor performs as it is functioning.
There is also a cooling fan warning function. This feature detects deterioration in the performance of the cooling fan. Any decrease in the sub-spindle or cooling fan turning speed will show up on the monitor on the CNC control center on the right-hand side of the machine. The feedback offered can inform technicians about coolant needs or whether or not the coolant being used for the machine is effective.
For other parts that may malfunction, there is the encoder communication check circuit. With the PulseCoder, floor managers can be alerted about any malfunctioning parts. This is one of many features that provide instant feedback about machine performance.
AC servo motors not far from the bar feeder and bar stock guarantee high main spindle and sub-spindle speeds. As a result of the motor performance, production using KSI Swiss-type CNC machines result in nothing less than articles of metalwork laden with smoothness and detail. To date, very few machines offer this degree of power.
KSI automatic screw machines have CNC turning centers located conveniently for maximum ergonomics and efficiency. This is why KSI is one of the most sought-after automatic screw machines on the market.
Choose Automatic Screw Machines That Are Right for Your Machining Needs
For the average machinist looking to work with metal, any screw machine will suffice. However, those in the industry looking to maximize production efficiently choose automatic screw machines that are powerful and deliver real-time data about the functioning of the machine’s parts.
If you are one of these serious machinists, choose automatic screw machines that complement the rest of your hardware. The automatic screw machines of KSI feature some of the most impressive motors and feedback mechanisms of any CNC lathe. These features are more than enough to outdo other automatic screw machines on the market today.
Call KSI Swiss to request prices, specs, and other details about your next CNC Swiss-type lathe.