CNC Swiss turning or swiss machining is a high-precision method to cut tight-tolerance, small, intricate parts using a CNC Swiss-designed lathe.
Short History of Swiss Machining
Swiss machining has an interesting history whose origins can be traced back to the invention of screw threads by Archytas of Tarentum in 400 BC! Of course, it was much later that threads would be used for fastening materials, and those early threads were made by hand.
It was swiss watchmaker ingenuity and their need to make high-precision, tiny, long, thin intricate parts faster that led to the creation of swill screw machining. Traditional lathes could not make the parts for such intricate work.
Today’s swiss turning lathes have far surpassed the precision and capabilities of the early machines. They are relied on by many industries that require large lot sizes of small tight tolerance parts, including medical, electronics, defense, and aerospace.
The Swiss machines have a sliding headstock design with a guide bushing that is fitted around the material and prevents a large amount of the bar stock from being exposed. This allows the OD tool to cut the stock near the bushing, which provides rigidity no matter how long the stock is. The part is turned in a radial motion instead of the tools, and a variety of tools can be used to create complex profiles and configurations.
Benefits of Swiss Machining
In addition to the tight tolerances that swiss machining can achieve, there are other benefits of Swiss machining, including shorter run times, single process machining, and more complex parts.
Reduced cycle times – Conventional lathes have three of four axes, whereas the swiss lathe has up to six or seven axes. Parts can be completed in a single cycle that previously required several cycles or multiple machines. Swiss machining can be run lights out, giving manufacturers greater versatility and the ability to deliver shorter lead times.
Single process machining - Swiss lathes can have as many as 28 or more tools mounted, allowing for greater range and versatility to be utilized in a single machining process. Simultaneous operations mean as many as three or four tools can be cutting at the same time, which also reduces cycle times.
Complex parts - The guide bushing plays an important part in machining complex parts. Swiss machines can produce intricate parts with thinner walls, delicate features, and deeper cuts not possible on other machines because of the support provided to the stock material.
Call Aztalan for Swiss Turning Needs
At Aztalan, we have invested in a number of Tsugami swill style lathes and have an experienced team of experts to use them to their full potential. We specialize in helping our customers solve their greatest challenges that may arise during the design and manufacturer. We do it while bringing you the best pricing, quality, and lead times possible.
Contact us to learn more.