All about Lathe
Lathes are widely used machine tools in the in the mechanical industries, factories, warehouses and manufacturing units. Lathes are generally applied to metal and woodworking units to shape or cut the workpiece with symmetry on all axis. Lathe rotates the object around the spindle for machining the metal in desired form. Lathe machines are available from small table units to large room units based on the type of industrial application. Based on the type of operation lathes are categorized in manual and automatic CNC controlled (Computer numerical control) machines.
Lathes are designed to machine the metals, thus known as metal lathe, metalworking lathe, toolroom lathe, turret lathe etc. Lathes use tool bits or drill bits to remove the hard material from the rotating workpiece. Lathes are designed for different industrial applications but the basic features remains common. The main parts of lathes are headstock, bed, carriage and tailstock. The various features and functionalities make the lathes use for different types of applications. Modern technology with computing power gives more automization to the mechanical machineries for better functioning with precision and speedy work.
Types of Lathe
Based on the type of machining, different variants of lathe machines are used. Various types of lathes are available in the market based on the machine tool functionality and technology used in manufacturing the lathes.
Center Lathe – Center lathe machine with dual head moves towards the fixed positioned workpiece to hole at each end with center drill. This lathe is also known as popular engine lathe or bench lathe.
Toolroom Lathe – Toolroom lathe is used for toolroom machining for quality work that is bit costly than center lathe.
Turret Lathe – Turret lathe is used for repeated production of duplicate parts. Turret lathe perform multiple cutting execution with different cutters. Different turret lathe perform variety of lathe machining.
Gang-tool Lathe – It’s a gang of tools set in a cross slide to index them in linear for each cutting cycle.
Multispindle Lathe – Multiple spindle execution in electronic controlled way for machining can be performed on this type of lathe. Single spindle execution is carried out through screw machine lathe is highly accurate lathe machine with high automization and efficiency
CNC Lathe – It is the most advanced featured and electronically controlled lathe machine for ease of operation with consistent and accurate output. The machine has inherent program for execution as well can be programmed at any point of time for custom execution. It requires very low human intervenes during the operation. CNC lathe is completely automized with computer program and required skilled worker having the knowledge of computer operation to handle the machine. There are many variants of CNC Lathe is available from different manufacturers but the basic elements for production and execution remains same. The variations in computer technology have evaluated different versions of CNC lathe among the manufacturers based on the type of operating system, programming languages and software applications used in CNC Lathe, it requires for workers to be well acquainted with the machine for easy operation. The price of CNC lathes vary based various factors and technology usage in the machine.
Mini Lathe for Home Applications – is a small micro lathe machine for home workshop. This lathe can be installed on a table for simple home machining for small work pieces. These lathes are small in size with high accuracy, precision shaping and cutting at very much affordable rate.
Lathe Machines based on above technologies are further categorized at machine tools manufacturing units based on capacity parameters like height of center, width of bed, maximum swing over bed and slide, maximum swing in gap, size of spindle bore and nose with speed and others. This can give machine variants like light duty lathes, medium duty lathes and heavy duty lathes used in different applications.
Applications of Lathes – Lathe is one of the most used engineering tools for various industries and different applications. Lathes are used to drill hole in any solid material including metals and woods with variable hole sizes. Lathes are used to create irregular metal shape or offset flanged parts with required complexity. Lathe is used to fix a screw thread inside the hole. It is used to derive screw thread on the top of the metal. Lathe machines are used in automobile, repairing shops, tool rooms, workshops of various industries like automobiles, power plants, steel rolling mills, paper, textile and mining industries etc.