What makes a Swiss lathe different?
A lathe is a machine tool that uses rotational force to shape metal or other materials. There are many types of lathes, but the Swiss lathe is extremely interesting. What makes the Swiss lathe unique? Let’s take a closer look.
Swiss lathes are known for their precision and accuracy
Swiss lathes are ideal for machining small, intricate parts. Swiss lathes use a collet and guide bushing to hold the stock material in place as it is turned or milled. The guide bushing provides additional assistance for the material, allowing for more precise cuts.
Swiss lathes can create thinner and more precise cuts than other types of lathes. They also have a live tooling feature, which allows for different milling and drilling bits. Finally, Swiss lathes are known for their rigidity. The material is cut very close to where the bar is supported by the guide bushing. This means they are less likely to vibrate during operation, resulting in more accurate parts with tight tolerances.
Swiss lathes are used in various manufacturing industries
Swiss lathes are often used in manufacturing because of their precision and accuracy. They can be used to create various objects commonly used in the following industries:
- The oil and gas industry uses nozzles, pins, washers, and fasteners made from swiss lathes.
- In the medical industry, swiss lathes are used to create small, delicate parts for implants and other devices.
- The aerospace industry uses swiss lathes to create precision parts for aircraft engines, missiles, and rockets.
- The automotive industry uses swiss lathes to create engine parts and other components.
Swiss lathe vs. CNC lathe
One of the key differences between a Swiss lathe and a CNC lathe is the guide bushing. Swiss lathes usually come with more tooling choices than other types of lathes. This means you can make more products with a Swiss lathe.
On the other hand, CNC lathes are known for their speed and efficiency. They can be programmed to quickly create large quantities of parts with little to no human intervention. CNC lathes are often used in critical industries, such as the automotive industry, where speed and efficiency are crucial.
Today’s Machining World also notes that the headstock on a Swiss machine moves. This happens very precisely back and forth. The following are some of the features that distinguish a Swiss lathe from other types of lathes:
- Flexibility: Swiss lathes are also very versatile. They can be used to create a variety of different objects.
- Industry Standard: Swiss lathes are often used in the manufacturing industry. You’ll use the same machine in many factories worldwide if you purchase a Swiss lathe.
Swiss precision for your manufacturing needs
Utilizing a Swiss lathe is an excellent option for those in the manufacturing industry with a need to create small, slender components with tight tolerances.
Please contact us if you would like to learn more about our Swiss lathe services and the other services we provide. McCormick Industries would be happy to provide you with a quote for your next project.
What Is the Difference Between CNC Turning and Milling?
Computer numerical control (CNC) machining is a manufacturing process that uses computerized controllers to operate machine tools. This technology has been around for decades and has been used extensively in the aerospace, medical, industrial, and electrochemical industries.
CNC milling and turning are two of the most common processes in CNC machining. Though both involve the use of computer-controlled machinery, there are several key differences between the two.
Here, we will take a closer look at those differences to help you better understand which process is right for your project.
What is CNC turning?
CNC turning is a machining process that uses computer numerical control (CNC) to rotate a workpiece while it is held in a chuck. This rotating motion, combined with the movements of the cutting tool, allows for precise and repeatable machining of cylindrical parts.
CNC turning can be used to create parts of various shapes and sizes, from small components to large-scale workpieces. The process is well suited for high-volume production and one-off parts, making it a versatile manufacturing solution.
CNC turning is a subtractive manufacturing process, meaning that material is removed from the workpiece to create the desired shape. The process can be performed on various materials, including metals, plastics, and composites.
Let’s dive into the benefits of using CNC lathes for turned parts.
The benefits of CNC turning
The benefits of CNC turning are numerous and can be extremely helpful in a variety of manufacturing settings. The most obvious benefits are the following:
- CNC turning can significantly increase the speed and accuracy of production.
- CNC turning can produce parts with very tight tolerances.
- CNC turning can create complex shapes that would be difficult or impossible to create using other methods.
- CNC turning is a very fast and efficient way to produce parts in large quantities.
- CNC turning can be used to produce parts from a variety of materials, including metals, plastics, and composites.
- CNC turning is a very versatile manufacturing process that can be used to create a wide variety of parts and products.
Another significant benefit of CNC turning is that it can help to reduce the amount of waste produced during manufacturing. This is because CNC machines can be programmed to produce parts with very specific dimensions, which reduces the need for material trimming or other forms of waste.
Overall, the benefits of CNC turning can be beneficial for a variety of manufacturing businesses. CNC machines can help to improve the speed and accuracy of production while also reducing waste. These benefits can ultimately lead to increased efficiency and profitability for a business.
Now, let’s talk about CNC milling.
What is CNC milling?
CNC milling is a machining process that uses computer-controlled rotary cutting tools to remove material from a workpiece. Tool paths are created from a CAD file and uploaded to the CNC machine, which then controls the motion of the tool to remove material and create the desired shape. The process can be performed on various materials, including metals, plastics, and composites.
CNC milling is a versatile machining process that can be used to produce a variety of parts with a high degree of accuracy. CNC milling can also be used to produce parts with a variety of surface finishes. It is commonly used in the aerospace, automotive, medical, and energy industries.
So why should you use CNC milling?
The benefits of CNC milling
CNC milling offers a number of benefits over traditional machining methods. The following are some of the most notable benefits of CNC milling:
- CNC milling allows for precise and repeatable machining of parts.
- CNC milling can be used to create complex shapes and geometries.
- CNC milling can be used to create parts with a high degree of dimensional accuracy.
- CNC milling can be used to create parts with a smooth surface finish.
- CNC milling can be used to create parts with various material properties.
- CNC milling can be used to create parts with different thicknesses and sizes.
Overall, CNC milling is a popular manufacturing process due to its many benefits, including increased accuracy and repeatability, increased productivity, increased versatility, and reduced waste. This technology can be used to create a wide variety of parts and products, from simple prototypes to complex end-use components.
Final thoughts: Difference between CNC turning and milling
CNC milling and turning are both processes that are used to create parts and products from raw materials. Both processes can be used to create a variety of different shapes and sizes, and both require the use of a CNC machine.
However, there are some key differences between CNC milling and turning. CNC milling involves rotating cutting tools to remove material from a stationary workpiece, which is typically square or rectangular. CNC turning utilizes a lathe to rotate primarily round bar stock while using cutting tools to remove material.
Ultimately, the decision of which process to use depends on your project’s specific requirements. CNC milling and turning can produce high-quality parts and products.
What Is a Ferrule?
A ferrule is a small metal or plastic ring used to reinforce a joint between two pieces of material. Commonly used on electrical cables and fiber optic cables, ferrules create a stronger connection than would be possible with the materials alone. This makes them ideal for applications where high levels of stress or vibration are present.
Ferrules are an important part of any cable assembly. They help to ensure reliability and performance in even the most demanding environments. When selecting ferrules for your application, it is important to consider the material, size, and attachment method that will best meet your needs.
What are ferrules made of?
A ferrule is typically made of brass, bronze, copper, stainless steel, or other metal. It may also be made of plastic, rubber, or other non-metallic material. The material must be strong enough to withstand the pressure or force exerted on it.
What does a ferrule look like?
A ferrule is a small cylindrical fitting that is used to join two pieces of tubing or piping together. Fittings like this are common in many industries, including manufacturing, plumbing, and automotive. A ferrule typically has a male-threaded end that screws into a female-threaded coupling or adapter. This type of connection is known as a threaded connection. The other end of the ferrule is usually flared out or beveled, which helps to create a tight seal when the two pieces of tubing are joined together.
What is a ferrule used for?
As stated above, a ferrule is a metal or plastic sleeve that is placed over the end of a pipe to reinforce it and prevent it from becoming damaged. The ferrule also helps to create a seal between the pipe and the fitting, which prevents leaks. Fittings that have been fitted with a ferrule are typically more durable and reliable than those without.
The use of a ferrule is not limited to pipes; it can also be used on cables and other types of tubing. When applied to cables, the ferrule helps to prevent the wires from fraying or breaking. This type of reinforcement is especially important in high-stress areas, such as where the cable is bent or twisted.
Applying a ferrule is typically a simple process. The ferrule is slid over the end of the pipe or cable and then tightened in place. This can be done by hand, or with the use of a tool. Ferrules are available in a variety of sizes to accommodate different types of pipes and cables.
Once in place, the ferrule creates a physical barrier that prevents the cable from being pulled out of the connector. This provides added security for critical applications such as data centers and telecommunications networks.
Ferrules are an important part of many plumbing and electrical systems. They help to ensure that the system is strong and durable and that it will function properly for many years.
Pipes that are not properly reinforced can be susceptible to damage, which can lead to leaks or breaks. This can cause significant problems, such as water damage to a home or office. In some cases, it may even be necessary to replace the entire pipe.
Cables that are not properly reinforced can also be susceptible to damage. This can lead to signal loss or interference, and in some cases, the cable may need to be replaced.
Ferrules help to prevent these problems by reinforcing the pipe or cable and creating a seal. This makes the system more durable and reliable, and less likely to experience problems.
Overall, plastic or metal ferrules are a simple and effective way to reinforce your system. They can help to prevent leaks, breaks, and signal loss, and make your system more durable and reliable.
Should you use ferrules?
Ferrules are used to provide a neat, finished look as well as to prevent the wire from fraying. In some cases, ferrules may also be used to provide electrical insulation.
So, should you use ferrules? It really depends on the application. For example, if you’re working with high-voltage wiring, then ferrules are a must in order to prevent electrical shocks. In low-voltage applications, ferrules may not be necessary.
We’re the Custom Ferrules Experts
Custom ferrules are an essential part of many industries, and McCormick Industries is a leading manufacturer of custom ferrules. We have the experience and expertise to create plastic or metal ferrules that meet the specific needs of our clients.
We use the latest technology and equipment to create high-quality ferrules that are designed to last. Our ferrules are available in a variety of materials, including stainless steel, aluminum, and brass.
We can also create custom ferrules that are designed to meet the specific needs of our clients. Contact us today to learn more about our custom ferrules and how we can help you meet your needs.
What is Precision Machining?
Precision machining has become essential to the manufacturing sector. This subtractive manufacturing process often pairs expert designers and engineers with the most advanced equipment available to create parts and components with extremely intricate or complex geometries. Precision machining is essential for the creation of many critical parts used in numerous industries, including the aerospace, electronics, and medical industries.
Methods of Precision Machining
Precision machining relies on the use of advanced, computerized machine tools to achieve demanding tolerances and create complex geometric cuts with a high degree of repeatability and accuracy. This can be achieved through the use of automated computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools.
Designers create digital design files using computer-aided design (CAD) software, which is then translated into a computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) file that gives instructions to the CNC machining equipment about which tools and processes to use. CNC mills and CNC lathes are the most common types of automated machine tools, though state-of-the-art CNC machining centers can often perform the functions of both. Tasks performed during CNC machining could include milling, , turning, drilling, tapping, boring, and more.
Multi-Axis CNC Machining
The machine tools typically used for high-precision CNC machining have what is known as multi-axis capabilities. With multi-axis machining, processes can be performed simultaneously and save substantial setup time, leaving less room for human error that may occur during part repositioning.
Most standard CNC tools work on at least 3 axes, allowing work on the X, Y, and Z linear axes at the same time. Multi axis precision machining, however, typically relies on 4 to 5-axis machining for its efficiency and superior capabilities. With the addition of the A/C and B axes, 4 to 5-axis CNC machining offers greater precision and detail and can access the workpiece from virtually any direction.
Generally, 4 to 5-axis machines are the bare minimum for precision machining. Multi-axis machines are available with up to 9 axes of motion, providing the ultimate in precision machining. Multi-axis CNC machining is frequently used to manufacture medical and aerospace parts, as well as automotive parts and components for power generation.
Swiss machining is a specific type of CNC machining which creates parts by bringing the stock to the tool rather than the other way around. They provide a great degree of precision among the various types of CNC machining. Extremely accurate Swiss machining can achieve tolerances within ±0.0001 inches.
Once tooling is set up, Swiss machine tools can often run unattended for long periods of time, facilitating greater production volumes with less required labor. The superior precision of Swiss machining is extremely well-suited to producing components and parts for robotics, custom pins, surgical tools, aerospace, custom ferrules, electronics, and precision tooling, among others.
Learn More About the Advantages of Swiss Machining
Applications of Precision Machining
Precision machining produces parts to a much more exacting standard than baseline CNC machining. It is an excellent solution to meet stringent project requirements, such as:
- Tight tolerances. With the right equipment available, precision machining can produce parts with tolerances as small as ±0.0001″.
- Repeatability. Successful precision machining means that parts must be able to be machined to the same tight tolerances repeatably from part to part.
- Volume. Precision machining practices can handle virtually any production volume requirement ranging from prototypes to high-volume production runs and blanket orders.
Suitable Materials for Precision Machining
Precision machining produces high-quality, exacting parts from a wide variety of materials. Frequent materials used for precision machining include:
- Carbon steel
- Stainless steel
- Tool steel
- Exotic alloys
Precision Machining From McCormick Industries
At McCormick Industries, we specialize in precision machining using our state-of-the-art equipment. Our expertise and experience leave us especially well-prepared to manufacture small and complex parts. Request a quote today to see how our precision machining capabilities can serve your project, or contact us with any questions you may have.
Types of Precision CNC Machining
Using computer numerical control (CNC) technology, precision CNC machining removes excess raw material from a workpiece to create a functional finished product. CNC machining services are necessary to create precision machined components for nearly every industry, including automotive, aerospace, medical, and electronics.
To determine which service is right for you, learn more about the five main types of CNC machining.
What are the Different Types of Precision CNC Machining?
Different machines perform different types of CNC precision machining. But every CNC machine can be programmed to achieve specialized features and tight tolerances that are not possible through conventional machining.
CNC Lathes and Turning Machines
CNC lathes and turning machines rotate the workpiece while the cutting tool removes material around the outer diameter to produce the desired component. A CNC Swiss lathe is a type of CNC lathe whereby a guide bushing holds the material as it rotates and slides into the machine. Swiss lathes provide added support and produce tighter tolerances.
CNC Milling Machines
Unlike lathes, CNC milling machines hold the workpiece in place while the cutting tools rotate. As a result, milling can produce more complex shapes and features, such as shallow cavities, slots, and threads.
CNC Laser Machines
CNC laser machines use a highly precise laser beam to cut or engrave sheet material. To make cuts, the laser’s heat melts or vaporizes excess material. CNC lasers can create more complex designs than lathes or mills and produce edges that do not require finishing. This method is often used to decorate or brand finished components.
CNC Electrical Discharge Machines (EDM)
A CNC electric discharge machine (EDM) uses electricity to change materials into specific shapes. The electrode wire can produce focused heat at nearly 11,650 °C to melt away material from a workpiece, which is flushed with liquid to create the desired product. EDM is best for creating small, precise holes, tapers, slots, and angles in very hard metals.
CNC Plasma Cutting Machines
CNC plasma cutting machines use a powerful plasma torch to cut and shape workpieces. The torch can produce heat up to 27,760 °C to melt away excess material. The only limitation to this method is that the workpiece must be electrically conductive, which includes the metals aluminum, brass, copper, steel, and stainless steel.
Precision CNC Machining by McCormick Industries
Before starting your CNC machining project, consider the required features, tolerances, materials, and performance of the finished components. McCormick Industries is a leading provider of precision CNC machining services including CNC swiss-style machining and CNC milling for small parts. We have delivered tailor-made CNC machining solutions to businesses throughout the industrial, aerospace, defense, and medical fields. Contact us to learn more or request a quote today.
Materials Used With Turned Metal Parts
Machining processes such as precision turning use a wide range of materials to form standalone parts or components of machinery. Various metals and plastics offer different properties that affect the functionality of the final product; however, these properties can impact how a certain material responds to the turning process. In this blog post, we’ll cover the benefits and features of different materials and how they react to the turning process.
Metals Used in CNC Precision Turning
CNC precision turning often uses metal alloys for creating parts and products. Different factors determine which metal is suitable for the application, including the available budget for a project, the required properties of the completed part, and the metal’s compatibility with the precision turning process. Some of the metals used for precision turned parts include:
Aluminum is often used in precision turning because it is lightweight, non-magnetic, inexpensive, corrosion-resistant, and easy to machine. Aluminum machining allows for tight tolerances even for complex or intricate parts. Aluminum can also be plated with other materials to increase its conductivity and hardness, providing a less expensive alternative to copper, steel, or stainless steel.
Brass is a very cost-effective material choice for precision turned components that don’t require high levels of strength. Brass machining comes with a variety of benefits, including a clean finish, easy machining, and well-held tolerances and threads. This metal is ideal for use in more complex parts that include sophisticated details; however, it’s not suitable for vacuum applications or semiconductor products because of its tin and zinc content.
Copper is a more expensive but versatile choice for CNC precision turning. This metal is naturally corrosion-resistant, electrically conductive, and nonmagnetic. Copper responds well to precision turning; however, it does not hold tolerances as well as other metals such as aluminum. This metal is a great choice for hardware components and electric parts.
Titanium is a very popular option for precision turning due to its heat resistance, corrosion resistance, and significant strength-to-weight ratio. Additionally, titanium is lightweight, biocompatible, and inert, making it suitable for various applications ranging from medical components to aviation parts. However, the downsides of titanium include its higher price and difficulty to machine.
Many manufacturers use steel for its durability and strength. The properties of steel alloys depend on the specific grade, and different alloying elements increase the material’s overall machinability. Some specific uses for steel materials include industrial applications, oil & gas, and automotive manufacturing. However, this metal is vulnerable to corrosion without plating.
Stainless steel is a desirable material option for CNC precision turning due to its corrosion resistance and strength. It also offers an attractive appearance and retains its durability, making it an ideal choice for consumer, commercial, and medical products. However, its strength and hardness often make stainless steel machining more challenging.
Carbon steel features higher carbon levels that contribute to its particularly hard and durable nature. Carbon steel can be machined; however, its machinability decreases with the increased hardness of each carbon steel grade. Following the production process, carbon steel is highly damage-resistant, dimensionally stable, and maintains its characteristics when exposed to high temperatures.
Other Materials Used for Turned Precision Parts
In addition to metal materials, certain plastics are compatible with precision turning processes for a wide range of products and components. These include:
Basic plastics offer an inexpensive alternative to metals and conductive materials. Many industries use basic plastics as they are inert and can be modified to fit various properties. Plastic machined parts are used in a wide range of industries including electronics, medical, industrial, and more.
Engineered plastics have become increasingly popular in many applications over the years, as they offer many of the same strengths as their metal counterparts. They can be made with various enhanced properties, making engineered plastics a common alternative to aluminum and quarts in semiconductor applications. They can also self-lubricate and are easy to clean, making them ideal for medical instruments.
Learn More About McCormick Industries’ CNC Turning Capabilities
If you require dependable turning and other precision machining services, turn to the experts at McCormick Industries. Since 1996, we’ve provided our customers with high-quality CNC machined parts, with a focus on Swiss-type machining processes. We specialize in small, complex parts and are proud to serve industries such as aerospace, defense, medical, and industrial.
For more information about our services and capabilities, contact us today or request a quote to begin your next CNC turning project.
What Is Swiss Machining?
History of Swiss Machining
The Swiss Screw machine, developed in Switzerland in the 19th century, has made its mark as the premier lathe when producing small, complex parts. Different from conventional lathes, Swiss machines move bar stock through a guide bushing using a sliding headstock. The headstock moves the material forward or backward, exposing only the portion being machined.
The utilization of a gang tool post and guide bushing provides close proximity of the cutting tool to the material, minimizing part deflection and delivering an increase in precision while holding tight tolerances. As with other machining processes like mills and lathes, Swiss CAM automatic machines have led to CNC Swiss machines for better automation.
Swiss Precision Machining Services
What are the Advantages of Swiss Precision Machining?
Current Swiss Screw machines use a computer numerical control (CNC) unit to process parts to meet specifications by following a coded, programmed instruction without a manual operator. With room for 20+ tools and the ability to perform multiple operations simultaneously, complex parts can be completed in one operation on the machine—as opposed to traditional lathes requiring multiple operations. CNC Swiss machining also offers capabilities for secondary processes, such as slotting, milling, cross-drilling, and cross-tapping, eliminating the need for additional machining once the turned parts come off the machine.
Swiss machines usually work in diameters of 1 ¼” and under, with the majority of work smaller than ¾”, but they also excel at producing parts with lengths much greater than diameter. The ability to produce long, slender parts while reducing deflection, is a key benefit of running those higher length-to-diameter ratio parts on a Swiss machine.
Larger Cost Savings
Swiss machines accommodate smaller workpieces, which enables industry professionals to use smaller bar stock. The lower cost of these materials translates to lower overall production costs without sacrificing product quality. Swiss machines achieve greater precision and accuracy, even in complex and intricate part designs. With good quality bar stock, swiss machines allow for tight tolerances, often eliminating the need for outside grinding service. Additionally, once a machine has been setup, some parts allow for unmanned runtime, leading to an increase in labor efficiency in the shop while cutting down lead times for customers.
Applications of Swiss Machines
Originally created to manufacture screws for the watchmaking industry, Swiss machines have evolved their reach across industries. While these machines still manufacture parts for high-end watches, they also can be found machining screws to serve a wide range of industries including:
- Industrial components
- Medical components
- Components for musical instruments
- Parts for aerospace and defense industries
With the ability to machine many types of metals and hold tight dimensional tolerances, there is little that Swiss machines cannot do when it comes to machining small parts.
What Materials Are Used in Swiss Machining?
Swiss machining can employ a variety of materials depending on the required specifications of the components. These range from common materials like steel to exotic alloys:
- Carbon Steel
- Stainless Steel
- Tool Steel
- Exotic Alloys
Contact the Swiss Machining Experts at McCormick Industries Today
Swiss machining is a viable manufacturing method for many industrial applications. Compared to traditional turning processes, it offers greater precision, productivity, versatility, and cost-effectiveness.
If you are looking for a partner for your next Swiss machining project, turn to the experts at McCormick Industries. Equipped with over two decades of industry experience and a modern machining facility, we have the knowledge, skills, and tools to fulfill any CNC Swiss precision turning need. To learn more about our capabilities, visit our CNC Swiss Turning services page or contact us today. For pricing details, request a quote.