The turning machines are, of course, every kinds of lathes. Lathes used in manufacturing can be classified as engine, turret, automatics, and numerical control etc.

Engine Lathe. Engine lathes are the type most frequently used in manufacturing. A picture an engine lathe with labeled components is shown in picture below.

They are heavy duty machine tools and have power drive for all tool movements. They commonly range in size from 12 to 24 inches swing and from 24 to 48 inches center distance, but swings up to 50 inches and center distances up to 12 feet are not uncommon. Many engine lathes are equipped with chip pans and built-in coolant circulating system.

Turret Lathes. In a turret lathe, a longitudinally feedable, hexagon turret replaces the tailstock. The turret, on which six tools can be mounted, can be rotated about a vertical axis to bring each tool into operating position, and the entire unit can be moved longitudinally, either annually or by power, to provide feed for the tools. When the turret assembly is backed away from the spindle by means of a capstan wheel, the turret indexes automatically at the end of its movement thus bringing each of the six tools into operating position. The square turret on the cross slide can be rotated manually about a vertical axis to bring each of the four tools into operating position. On most machines, the turret can be moved transversely, either manually or by power, by means of the cross slide, and longitudinally through power or manual operation of the carriage. In most cased, a fixed tool holder also is added to the back end of the cross slide; this often carries a parting tool.

Through these basic features of a turret lathe, a number of tools can be set on the machine and then quickly be brought successively into working position so that a complete part can be machined without the necessity for further adjusting, changing tools, or making measurements.

Single-Spindle Automatic Screw Machines. There are two common types of single-spindle screw machines, One, an American development and commonly called the turret type (Brown & Sharp), is shown in the following figure. The other is of Swiss origin and is referred to as the swiss type. The Brown & Sharp screw machine is essentially a small automatic turret lathe, designed for bar stock, with the main turret mounted on the cross slide. All motions of the turret, cross slide, spindle, chuck, and stock-feed mechanism are controlled by cams. The turret cam is essentially a program that defines the movement of the turret during a cycle. These machines usually are equipped with an automatic rod feeding magazine that feeds a new length of bar stock into the collect as soon as one rod is completely used.

CNC Machines. Nowadays, more and more Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machines are being used in every kinds of manufacturing processes. In a CNC machine, functions like program storage, tool offset and tool compensation, program-editing capability, various degree of computation, and the ability to send and receive data from a variety of sources, including remote locations can be easily realized through on board computer. The computer can store multiple-part programs, recalling them as needed for different parts. A CNC turret lathe in Michigan Technological University is shown in the following picture.

Acknowlegement:Some figures and parts of the text of this page are from Materials and Processes in Manufacturnig by E. Paul DeGarmo, J. Temple Blake and Ronald A. Kohser.

Back to Turning Page
Go to turning Research Page

This page is periodically maintained by (dliu@mtu.edu) and Buddy Kanizar.