What is Swiss type lathe? Why is it called a CNC Swiss Turning Machine?


What is Swiss type lathe?

Swiss-type CNC automatic lathe belongs to the category of high-precision cutting machining equipment and is capable of performing multiple complex operations such as turning, milling, drilling, boring, tapping, and engraving simultaneously. It can handle tasks such as variable pitch threads, multiple-start threads, tapered threads, and spherical threads, including non-standard threads. The machine is primarily used for batch processing of precision small hardware and shaft-type non-standard parts. It finds extensive application in industries such as aviation, aerospace, defense, automotive, motorcycle, telecommunications, refrigeration, optics, home appliances, electronics, microelectronics, watches, office equipment, and others, where high precision, high volume, and complex-shaped shaft components require precision composite machining.

Introduction to CNC Swiss Turning Machine

The swiss type CNC lathe originated in Germany and Switzerland. In the early stages, it was primarily used for precision machining in the defense industry. As industrialization progressed and expanded, driven by market demands, it gradually found applications in the processing of civilian products. Similar machine tools in Japan and South Korea developed earlier than in China, initially focusing on military applications and later widely used in the manufacturing industry. Subsequently, China and Taiwan introduced this technology and independently developed equipment tailored to different processing requirements.
China’s development of swiss turning machines started relatively late. Due to technological barriers and policy restrictions, before the 1990s, China relied mainly on imports to meet its processing needs. With the continuous development of automation and strong market demand, a large number of capable CNC lathe machine manufacturers emerged in the Chinese market.
The swiss CNC lathe has made a qualitative leap in processing efficiency and accuracy compared to CNC lathes. The adoption of dual-axis arranged tooling greatly reduces processing cycle time by shortening the tool exchange time between the turret and the opposite tool post, utilizing multiple overlapping tool posts, effective axial movement overlap for thread chip cutting, and direct spindle indexing for secondary processing, thus reducing idle time. The cutting tool is always positioned at the spindle and workpiece clamping area to ensure consistent and constant machining accuracy. The maximum processing diameter of walking heart machines in the market is 38mm, which provides a significant advantage in the precision shaft machining market. This series of machine tools can be equipped with automatic feeding devices to achieve full automation production for a single machine, reducing labor costs and product defect rates.
The machine tool is equipped with a workpiece automatic retrieval device to meet the demand for continuous and uninterrupted processing. It can also be equipped with high-pressure cooling and micro-lubrication systems to satisfy the automated processing of high-hardness and high-precision workpieces. CNC swiss turning machines are highly suitable for large-scale production of precision small parts.
The CNC swiss machine offers several distinct advantages and characteristics compared to conventional CNC machining processes.

These are primarily manifested in the following aspects:

  1. Shortened manufacturing process chain and improved production efficiency: The composite machining capability of turning and milling allows for the completion of multiple or majority processing steps in a single clamping, significantly reducing the manufacturing process chain. This reduces production auxiliary time caused by clamping changes and also decreases the manufacturing cycle and waiting time for fixtures and tooling, resulting in a significant improvement in production efficiency.
  2. Reduced number of clamping operations and enhanced machining precision: The reduction in clamping operations avoids error accumulation resulting from the conversion of positioning benchmarks. Moreover, most CNC walking heart machines have online inspection capabilities, enabling in-process detection and precision control of critical manufacturing data, thereby enhancing the machining precision of products.
  3. Reduced footprint and lowered production costs: While the individual price of CNC lathe machines may be relatively high, the shortened manufacturing process chain and reduced equipment requirements for products lead to fewer fixtures and tooling, decreased workshop space requirements, and lower equipment maintenance costs. This effectively reduces the investment in overall fixed assets, as well as the costs associated with production operation and management.