Can Swiss-type turning centers operate as accurately and efficiently without a guide bushing? Can they still be considered Swiss-type machines? In recent years, bushless Swiss-types have been available on the market, and as it “turns” out, there are many advantages to these machines, including the fact that they can often operate even more accurately than the Swiss-type machines with guide bushings.
First, be aware that there are not only Swiss-types without guide bushings, but also machines with interchangeable housings that allow operation with or without the guide bushing. The third option is a machine with a programmable guide bushing, which offers the ability to program the CNC to provide a series of guide bushing pressures on the bar based on dynamic conditions.
No matter the bushless option you choose, the advantages are universal:
- Without a guide bushing, setup times for the machine are reduced because operators deal with one less set of components and adjustments. Instead, for shorter workpieces, a rigid set of spindle bearings and a precision collet provide support for the workpiece.
- Ground barstock is no longer necessary when the guide bushing is eliminated.
- Without the gap between a collet and the guide bushing, the barstock remnants are shorter, allowing more parts to be made from a given length of barstock.
- Non-round bar and chucked parts can be run without difficulty. Hex and extruded stock can be fed through a bar feeder while chucked parts, blanks, forgings and castings can be loaded/unloaded with a feeder device.
- Using only the collet as a support for the part, rotational speeds can be run higher for better production rates and surface finishes.
- There is no restriction on the number of turning passes for roughing and finishing.
For a better understanding of how bushless Swiss works, read No Guide Bushing On A Swiss-Type. To read more about the types of bushless Swiss, visit Consider A Programmable Guide Bushing and Swiss Democracy. These articles dig deeper into the advantages of bushless Swiss-type turning centers. Enjoy!