Use of Specialized and CNC Lathes in Education and Training Institutions


Lathes are referred to as the mother of all machines due to the numerous engineering functions they perform and their application in nearly all industrial sectors. As the proverb goes, there is profit in all hard work; lathes are at the center of all profitable production and maintenance centers.

They provide a wide range of mechanical engineering functions suitable for all manufacturing and maintenance workshops. Teaching technical students on lathe machine operations not only impacts them with practical skills but also enable students engage in profitable ventures after college.


Nature of educational lathe machines

With the rapid increase in the number of universities and tertiary education centers offering quality engineering education, students must be trained on practical hands on experience on these equipments. Sturdy, high precision and accurate equipments are therefore used.

Educational equipments are developed to provide extra safety during operation since they are operated by untrained people. The bed, spindle, chuck and other components are made to high strength and durability and are must be produced to precision and accuracy.

Special training features for educational lathe

Trainer equipments must incorporate operations such as threading, horizontal boring, turning, facing, horizontal drilling, knurling and other functions. This ensures that trainers attain skills and experience in all machine tool operations. Three and four jaw chucks can be mounted on this equipment and this increases their versatility.

Safety is at the heart of every process and device. To enhance safety, they have automatic turn off switches and foot brake pedal that stops the device immediately. They also incorporate ergonomics to ensure that the user does not strain when operating the device.


CNC lathes are at the heart of modern training. Most operations in these devices are automated and have computerized feeds. It is possible to program these machines and are compatible with CAD and CAM software’s.  Using CAD, drawing and other materials can be imported and used during operations.

Educational institutions are centers of excellence and quality. As a result, trainer machine tools must achieve high precision and accuracy. Their beds are manufactured to high flatness, robustness and smoothness. This is achieved high strength materials to manufacture the bed, carriage, tailstock, headstock, and tailstock. The feeds and lead screw are specially constructed to reduce backlash which results to inaccuracies.

Use in Education Institutions

The use of these machines in engineering college has increased due to the rapid need to produce well trained graduates and technologists in many countries. Currently most education facilities use CNC lathes since the train the student on both manual and computerized control. Over 95% of engineering learning institution have these equipments and is therefore imperative that institutions acquire them to aid in practical training.


Educational training equipment replicates modern machine tool used in production and maintenance centers. The machine tools used for teaching must have high strength and provide numerous functions to enable students gain all skills required. In addition, CNCs trainers are programmable, versatile and easily linked with design centers utilizing CAD and CAM software’s.

The Sheet Bending Machine in Iron Sheet Manufacturing


Iron and steel are the most common fabrication material in manufacturing and repair shops. They are widely used in construction, assembly, vehicle manufacture, processing and packaging industry. Large metal plates are produced in form of foils, rolls and plates that are then used for numerous applications. Bending is a common operation done in production centers. The component is plastically deformed along a given axis and this result to a change in geometry and shape. Various sheet metal bending equipments have been developed and are used during production. Essentially, this equipment folds the object into various angles and also produces various shapes during manufacturing. In this process, the material is first feed into the device. Manual or automatic controlled clamping that positions the components on the equipment is done. Then, the front plate of is then lifted to bend the plate to the required angle. Other forming methods can be accomplished using this instrument.

Sheet Bending Machine in Iron Sheet Manufacturing

Use of the device in iron sheet manufacturing

Iron comes in various sizes and shapes depending on its utilization. During their production, the folding machine is utilized to produce various shapes and structures.  Edge folding is the most common bending process performed using manual and automatic devices. The component is bent at the edges to various angles. The materials are first feed to the device such that the part to be bent protrudes from the equipment edge.  They are then clamped such that the protruding part is cantilevered about the clamping edge. A wiping die is then used to apply a vertical force that bends the component to the required angle. This method is used to produce a variety of bends on iron plates.

A channel folding is another process performed using specialized equipment. In this case, the machine has an upper and lower die.  The two are made to various geometries that resemble the part to be developed. For example, a square punch will produce square shaped bend while a V or U shaped dies develops V and U groves respectively. The die is made such that the punch fits into it and is clamped on the lower surface of the device. Upon lowering the punch, the component is formed to resemble the curvature of the forming dies. This is a quick and economical method to develop most components. The use of this equipment is therefore very important in fabrication processes.

Corrugation is another common bending process. In this process, a special tool is used to produce a series of symmetrical grooves on the entire surface of the component. Corrugations have increased resistance to twisting and fracture. Depending on the shape of the die, different corrugations such as U, V or square corrugations can be made on the component. In the corrugation process both the punch and die are identical but one part is held stationary while the punch moves vertically. The metal plate is mounted between the two dies and subsequent pressing forms the corrugations.  The device is also used to develop other complex sheet structures.

Uses of the Turret Milling Machine in Food Production Industries


Milling tools are used to perform numerous engineering operations prevalent in the manufacturing  sector. They perform a number of complex mechanical operations such as gear cutting, plane, drill, shape, rout and cut slots. The machine utilizes a rotating cutter which remains stationary while the work piece is mounted on the table and moved along the cutter. The device has a stationary spindle that moves vertically upward or downwards.  On the other hand, the work piece is moved perpendicular and parallel to the spindle. The knee of the machine is also moved to provide cutting in Z direction.

Uses of turret mills in food production industry

The food manufacturing industries utilizes a number of devices which are used in handling raw materials, conveying different materials to processing equipment, actual processing of raw materials to finished products and packaging the products. These equipments are widely applied in manufacturing different machine components used in this sector. Most precision cuts require this type of device since it can be rotated to different angles and positions. The machine can be swung through 3600 which makes the applicable for inclined or angular milling.  In this industry, this device is used to develop gears that control rotary motion during processing and packaging. They are also used to plane flat metal pieces which form assemblies for most equipments.  Due to their versatility, they perform most of the mechanical engineering operations required during the manufacturing of edible products. They are able to cut work pieces as well as drill holes through them.  They are also widely used to produce accurate, regular areas on parts used to develop equipments used in this industry.  For example, conveyors require regular surfaces underneath them and these are developed through milling.  These devices are also used to cut slots and keyways that are used in transferring motion between the shaft and gears as well as pulleys.  These devices are used to develop complex machine parts which require level angular areas. In addition, the hexagonal regular surfaces of bolts and nuts used as fasteners for most equipment are manufactured through milling.

Turret Milling Machine is also widely applied in most repair workshops in this industry. Normally, processing and packaging machinery require a wide range of preventive and breakdown maintenance operations. These operations entail resurfacing level areas, milling work pieces, hobbing new gears, grinding flat surfaces, grinding angular surfaces, cutting slots on new shafts and planning parts. All these operations are done during repair and maintenance operation in food processing industries and require this type of miller. Therefore, most processing companies normally have technical and servicing department where repairs using these equipments and other machines are done.


Turret mills are widely applied in this industry to manufacture tools and equipments. They are more versatile as compared to other mills since they can e used to develop complex and angular surfaces as well as performs a range of engineering activities such as rebating, slotting, gear cutting and drilling.

Application of Radial Drill Machines in the Pharmaceutical Industry


Radial drilling machine is one of the most versatile equipment used in manufacturing and production centers. They essentially punch and ream through or blind holes on work piece. They are also used to enlarge already punched holes. A protruding arm characterizes these equipments. On this arm, the spindle is attached so that vertical and horizontal movements can be attained. In addition, the large radial arm where the spindle is attached swings, move vertically as well as make radial movement. These movements enable the machine to perform operations on complex and odd shaped work pieces. They are therefore more versatile as compared to the pillar drill. The spindle can be tilted and swiveled and this makes it possible to bore through work pieces inclined at an angle.

Application in medicine packaging

Application in pharmaceutical machines

The production of medicine relies heavily on intricate equipments that are used to manufacture, process and pack medicines. The main devices used to manufacture drugs include reactors, bio-reactors, agitator vessels, mixers, homogenizers, fermentation equipment, pressurized tanks, storage tanks, centrifuges and other equipments. These are mainly manufactured from aluminum and cold rolled stainless steels. In addition, other devices are used to move and pack the liquid and solid medicines in containers.  The making of pharmaceutical machinery greatly relies on devices such as drills. They bore opening on parts which assist in fastening using bolts and rivets. Equipments used to produce drugs have intricate shapes with numerous bores used to fasten the parts to others as well as to the production lines. The boring process requires versatile and computerized radial drills that can make vertical and inclined holes. The radial projections allow this device to make a range of complex openings on the parts being manufactured. These devices also allow for precision and computerized control that results to accurate and precision drilling of holes.

Application in medicine packaging

Application in medicine packaging

Medicine manufacturing industries have numerous equipments used to process, transport, separate and pack medicines. Wide ranges of devices are used in the packing products. Conveyor belt system transport drugs to and from the packaging machines. In addition, systems such as carton forming systems, shrink wrappers and automatic packaging systems are also used. All these equipment require fastening using bolts and rivets. Subsequently, drills are used to punch through holes for fastening with bolt and rivets while blind openings are tapped to allow fastening with a threaded bolt. Conveyor belt systems and wrapping equipment are intricate in nature since they must sort and pack different products with high precision. The complex nature of these parts requires more precision and accurate drilling to allow precision fastening and assembly of the whole equipment.

Application in repair and maintenance

These drills are also used in maintenance of both production and packaging machines. The repair of worn out parts necessitates the development of an alternative parts which must be drilled with precision. Most drugs manufacturing centers have a separate maintenance workshop dedicated to repairing the production equipment. These workshops have drilling tool to perform intricate drilling operations.

Application of the Shaping Machine in Pulleys and Gears Manufacturing


The shaper is one of the most versatile and important devices used in production and maintenance centers.  It is an important production machine along with milling and lathe machines. The primary role of this tool is to produce surfaces that are at different planes. The equipment contains powerful motor that develops the rotary motion. This motion is the changed to reciprocating movement . The reciprocating feed is then connected to the cutting tool such that the cutter moves forward and backwards. During the forward stroke, the specially shaped cutter makes an incision along the workspaces but does not cut on the backstroke. Vertical feed is provided automatically so that the groove made by the cutter continuously deepens to the required depth. During the backward stroke, the vertical position of the cutter changes so that it removes some material during next cycle. The vertical feed and cutting speed are adjusted to match the type of metal, depth of cut and type of operation.

Use of shaping machine in gear manufacturing

Use of shaping machine in gear manufacturing

Gears are an important constituent in vehicles, machines and other parts.  The main types include: bevel, spur, helical and worm gears. The main methods used to manufacture different types of gears include: hobbing, milling, shaping, broaching and grinding.  This shaping process has been used for a long time to manufacture them. The blank or a round work piece is mounted on the equipment table. The tool resembling the tooth to be cut is mounted on the tool clamp on the device.  The reciprocating motion of the tool forms a single tooth on the round work piece. Once completed, the blank is rotated using an indexing head. The indexing head is set such that it accurately rotates the blank to a position where the next tooth will be formed. This process is used in manufacturing both internal and external components. Shaping machine and broaching are very much similar and are used on very large work pieces that require extra force to manufacture.

For manufacturing plants that require high production runs, cutting of one piece at a time is not convenient. In this case, pinion shaped cutters are used. They are mounted on the shaper while the blank is clamped on the equipment table. As the cutter moves forward and backwards, the whole gear is formed in a single operation.  In addition, this equipment is also widely used to form keyhole, slots and internal splines that fasten pulleys on the shaft.

Use of Shaping Machine in Pulley Manufacture

Use in pulley manufacture

Pulleys are used in many industries to transfer rotary motion between different components. The increase or decrease speed depending on the ratio of the diameter of the driver and driven wheels. The shaper is used to produce internal slots and keyways which are used to assemble the pulley wheel on the shaft.  The slot is made on the internal radius of the pulley using this device.  Therefore, the shaper plays a fundamental role in the development of rotary components.