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Why are lathes used by businesses?

Posted: October 18, 2019 at 5:16 pm / by / comments (0)

Lathes are used in a number of industries for a variety of different tasks. They’re used for creating items, or parts that will be used to build larger products. If you have an in-depth knowledge of what lathes do to contribute to your business, or you’re new to these types of tools, it’s worth knowing the differences and benefits. Here’s what this equipment can do and how they can be used.

What is a lathe?

It’s a machine that helps to shape pieces of material into a certain shape. A lathe can do cutting, sanding, knurling, facing, and other functions. You can shape wood and metal using one of these methods – plus, in some circumstances, pottery. The speed, depth of cut and feed of the machine is altered depending on what you want to do with the item you’re working on.

There are a variety of different types of lathe available to use, some of which are listed below. You’ll have different ones for the operations or materials you want to work on.

Engine lathe

These machines are used for working on metals, and performing tasks such as turning, drilling, boring, and knurling. The name ‘engine’ comes from the original power source for these lathes: they were first used in the 19th and 20th centuries when they would have been powered by steam engines.

Engine lathes come in a vast range of sizes and powers. This means they’re commonly used within the manufacturing industry. Also, something to highlight is the use of pre-owned engine lathes as a way of lowering the business fixed-production costs.

Speed or wood lathe

You usually operate speed lathes by hand, so require a fair amount of skill to get the correct effect on what you’re working on. However, you can work on either metal or wood with these machines. Common tasks include woodturning, metal polishing, spinning, and centering. On twister speed lathes, you can also deburr the edges of metal items.

Tool room lathe

These lathes are usually small to medium in size compared to others commonly used but are purposed for high-precision work. They’re ideal for tool shows where the output requires users to manufacture custom items. Tool room lathes are generally more accurate and precise to use than a regular engine lathe.

Turret lathe

If you’re looking to manufacture several copies of the same part, while keeping it true to the specification, then you’ll need to use a turret lathe. Multiple tools can be fitting to this type of lathe, so several different operations can be carried out sequentially on the part that’s been worked on.

Removing and adjusting the material that’s being worked on with a lathe can lead to the part not coming up to standard because it’s out of alignment. Using a turret lathe reduces errors and saves time.

CNC lathe

Computer numeric control (CNC) lathesare starting to replace some of the more traditional machines because of their great levels of accuracy. They can be easily set up and can complete complex operations. The parts can be intricate, and the lathe can also cut curved contours without needing specially formed tools.

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