Learn about how modern CNC Swiss Screw Machines use automatic lathes to produce high-precision & quality parts.
A Swiss screw machine is an automated lathe designed to produce parts out of bar stock, typically a 12-foot or 3-meter-long bar. Unlike a conventional lathe, the Swiss screw machine has a sliding headstock that creates the Z-axis motion. Simultaneously, the bar is supported by a guide bushing positioned in front of the turning tools. With this arrangement, we can turn long diameters with superior precision.
The original Swiss screw machines were multi-cam-driven and designed to move each tool slide to produce each specific part. The camshaft speed is configured based on the job requirements, and one revolution of the camshaft would complete one part. The original application of these machines was for the production of watch parts.
Today’s modern Swiss screw machines are CNC-controlled. With the versatility of CNC, these machines are now capable of machining highly complex parts made on machines with up to 12 axes. Commonly, such CNC Swiss machines have a counter-spindle or sub-spindle that can execute lathe operations on the backside of a part while the main spindle works on the next piece.
Additionally, these machines often have milling capabilities with “live tooling” that can cut a wide range of complex features. As a result, today’s CNC Swiss Screw Machines have the capabilities of two lathes and a milling machine integrated into one highly automated platform that commonly supplies precision components to almost every industry.