Zone: Multi-Spindle Screw Machines

OVERVIEW: As an automatic lathe, the multi-spindle screw machine allows multiple tools to cut multiple pieces of material simultaneously. Usually configured in 4, 5, 6 or 8 spindle models, each spindle is attacked by a cross-slide and end-slide tool effectively making each spindle a 2-axis lathe. As CNC is applied to some or all slides on these historically cam actuated machines, their ability to machine complex and high accuracy parts has grown significantly. Numerous attachments are available for use on one or more stations for specific metalworking operations. The multiple spindles are carried in a precision machined drum that rotates in a horizontal orientation. In production, the operations needed to be performed on a part are divided among the number of spindles. Because each spindle station is being machined simultaneously, when the drum indexes from one station to the next a complete part is produced. In other words on a six-spindle multi, six parts are completed with one full rotation of the drum. While the cycle time on a single spindle machine is additive--it’s the sum of the operations performed—because the multi-spindle is cutting six parts simultaneously its cycle time is simply whichever is the longest single operation performed. Multi-spindles are either automatic bar or chucker depending on the raw stock being used. Bar machines uses a drum feeder that aligns the machine’s spindle number. On a chucker the first station is loaded externally using a feeder system and increasingly, a robot or gantry loader. Bar machines usually employ collets to hold the raw stock while chuckers use either collets or external chuck to secure the workpiece. Multi-Spindle Trends: Individually programmable spindle motors Linear axis motors on tool slides Internal gantry load/unload and palletization In-process gaging and sensing Quick change tooling Closed loop feedback for tool compensations Compound slides for single point turning Robotic loaders

Featured Zone Content

Here, Multi-Spindles are Alive and Well

While the nature of multi-spindle work has changed over time, the demand for parts produced using this technology remains strong for this Midwest contract manufacturer, which successfully blends older cam and new CNC multi-spindle machine technologies. ...MORE

Multi-Spindle Turning Centers Offered

Tornos offers a range of multi-spindle turning centers, including the MultiSwiss, MultiAlpha, MultiSigma and SAS lines. ...MORE

Climbing the Ladder of Success

A shop takes advantage of CNC multi-spindle technology to reduce cost per part while meeting customer's quality production needs. ...MORE

Control Package Helps Speed Production

After cutting precision parts in one third of the original time, Task Force Tips was able to justify its initial investment in an Index automatic production lathe fitted with a Siemens control package. ...MORE

Multi-Slide, Multi-Axis Machines

In addition to the company’s UltraTurn XL machine, AMT Machine Systems will feature its new Lico Machinery line. ...MORE

Sliding Headstock on Six Spindles

On my most recent trip to Europe, I visited the headquarters of Tornos in Moutier, Switzerland. ...MORE

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