The term ‘screw machining’ may be a bit misleading since these machines are actually rapidly spinning lathes that shave metal down to a desired size. There are 2 major types of screw machines: Turret and Swiss. Both automatic and CNC Swiss screw machines are relatively cost efficient for longer production runs because once they have been correctly programmed and oriented, they are able to be repeated under the supervision of a single operator. At the same time, both processes are able to perform more precise work as a byproduct of their tight configuration and tooling. Overall, however, Swiss screw machines are superior to Turret style machines in their ability to output more precise work due to their ability to add additional types of tooling fixtures.
Turret Style Machines
The Turret type mounts the workpiece on a vertical ram that slides into the lathe whereas the Swiss type mounts the workpiece on a rotary slide. Although these screw machines offer a different means of operation, their production outputs are essentially the same.
Swiss Screw Machines
There are 2 major styles of Swiss screw machines: CNC-based screw machines and automatic screw machines. The automatic style screw machine functions by using a collet, which holds the workpiece in place while a disc cam moves the tools in a radial motion. The very closely positioned spindle collects help prevent against deflected debris in the machining process.
CNC swiss screw machines are very similar to the automatic Swiss screw machine however their operation is controlled by a CNC machine. As such, these turning machines can feature advanced tooling and allow for far more efficiency and functionality throughout the screw machining process.