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Your Guide To Turret Lathes

Your Guide To Turret Lathes

16 Jul 21

Both CNC lathes and milling machines have been developed to accommodate a wide range of manufacturing needs. Turret lathes are often a semi-automatic lathe, though they can be manual and fully automated, with a hexagonal tool holder accommodating six different tools at a time. With a hexagonal turret lathe, multiple operations can be performed rapidly on one piece of material without manual interference. Any production involving the processes of a turret lathe is guaranteed to be quicker and more efficient, so they’re a worthwhile investment.

If you haven’t encountered this impressive piece of machinery yet, here is your guide to turret lathes from DTS UK. We’ll cover everything you could need to know before you go about choosing your own!


Why Choose A Turret Lathe?

Since they utilise interchangeable cutting tools, turret lathes are more versatile than traditional lathes. To change the cutting tool in a conventional lathe, a worker must detach the existing cutting tool, remove it from the lathe, and reattach a different cutting tool. That’s massively inconvenient on a wide manufacturing workshop scale. There isn’t any denying that standard lathes can support multiple cutting tools, but they are much more challenging to change than turret lathes. 

Turret lathes can feature multiple cutting tools at once. As a result, there’s no need to swap out any cutting tool manually. It only takes seconds for a turret lathe to swap to a different cutting tool, though it would take a human worker several minutes to switch out the cutting tool manually. Instead, the turret lathe can independently switch to the appropriate cutting tool, resulting in more efficient, quicker manufacturing.


What Are The Different Types Of Turret Lathe?

There are various types of turret lathes. In addition, turret lathes can be classified according to their method of operation. Common types of turret lathes include semi-automatic, vertical and flat. 

All forms of turret lathe can be either numerical control or computer numerical control. Numerical control turret lathes are older and generally use punch cards or similar manual methods of control. In comparison, computer-controlled turret lathes are newer and use more advanced processes requiring a computer.

There are automatic turret lathes that can perform all of their processes with minimal or no manual labour. However, there are also manual lathes that require at least some amount of physical management.


What Would I Use Turret Lathes For?

Turret lathes are built to handle complex manufacturing jobs with metal and wood. Intricate jobs, such as aeroplane components or machinery parts, would be dealt with excellently using a turret lathe since all drilling and wearing could finish without manual interference. Not only will the finished products be exact, but a room of turret lathes requires much fewer skilled operators considering they’re usually semi-automatic. They may be a more expensive investment, to begin with, but they pay themselves off!

You could complete any job you’d tackle with a manual or standard CNC lathe with your turret lathe. The only real difference is that you’ll be able to benefit from different cutting tools without having to switch them out yourself!


Which Turret Lathe Is Best For Me?

We’ve established that a turret lathe is a very worthwhile investment, but how are you supposed to go about choosing a model or a type? If your workshop is smaller and you’re happy to be closely involved with machining your parts, a manual turret lathe could work well for you. All of your cutting tools will still be held by the device, but you’ll need to rotate through them and select an option for yourself before they work for you. On the other hand, an automatic turret machine would be better applied for industrial manufacturing.


Should you still be unsure about choosing a lathe to suit your business and your needs, get in contact with our team at DTS UK. Our experts will help you determine the best model for your budget and your needs.

Article written by: Mike

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