Moving Vertical Turning Up

There is always room for improvement, and transitioning from vertical turning to inverted vertical turning can be one way to improve your shop’s efficiency. The benefits of inverted vertical turning include a smaller machine footprint relative to horizontal turning centers of similar capacity; multitasking capabilities; and maybe the biggest benefit—chips fall away from the spindle into a conveyor in the machine base and out of the workzone.

There is always room for improvement, and transitioning from vertical turning to inverted vertical turning can be one way to improve your shop’s efficiency.

A traditional vertical turning lathe (VTL) includes a base-mounted spindle to which a workpiece blank is held. A gantry-mounted tool carrier brings the machining axes into the cut much like the design of a VMC. The spindle base can be as large as necessary because gravity is its natural workholder.

The VTL’s basic technology has undergone refinements through the years with the addition of milling and drilling capabilities as well as CNC servo control of the axes. But in the early 1990s, a new VTL configuration was introduced to the market: inverted vertical turning.

With the inverted spindle design, the spindle axes are mounted on a slide where the traditional tool VTL carrier was mounted. In that position, coupled with the mobility afforded by the slide mount, the spindle serves the dual purpose of loading and unloading the machine while presenting the workpiece blank to the cutting tools that are now in the position where the traditional table was, inverting the VTL 180 degrees.

According to the article “Programming Considerations for Inverted Vertical Turning,” benefits of inverted vertical turning include a smaller machine footprint relative to horizontal turning centers of similar capacity; multitasking capabilities such as hard turning and grinding, drilling, milling, hobbing and measurement all in a single part handling; and maybe the biggest benefit—chips fall away from the spindle into a conveyor in the machine base and out of the workzone.

Read “Programming Considerations for Inverted Vertical Turning,” to learn more about inverted vertical turning. Read “Adding Value, Reducing Cost,” to learn about inverted vertical turning centers finding a home in an automotive stamping house.

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Programming Considerations for Inverted Vertical Turning

Since its inception, the self-loading/unloading design of inverted vertical turning machines has evolved to include multitasking operations that augment its original task of turning. This article looks at ways to optimize the programming of these machines and to take advantage of the multiple operations available for workpiece processing.