What is CNC Turning Center?

The CNC turning center is a numerically controlled machine with advanced computer technology. The turning machine can be with 3, 4, or 4 axes and can perform various cutting capabilities including turning, tapping, drilling, and milling. The CNC turning machines frequently with enclosed setups to make sure that any cut material, components, and cooling remain inside the machine. The CNC turning centers are advanced machine types that are capable of threading, drilling, reaming, knurling, taper turning, and boring.

CNC turning center is known for its higher revolution per minute (RPM) capability. Also, the turning center machine can be easily fitted with live tools which allow the machine to stop the spindle, then the turret rotating tools will perform drilling, tapping, and milling task over the turned figure.

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The Difference between CNC lathes and CNC turning centers

The CNC turning center and CNC lathes are both machine tools that spin a material. But despite that, the lathes have only one spindle and 2 axis machines, whereas the CNC turning center supports up to 5 axes and is more flexible when it comes to cutting ability. That’s why CNC turning provides higher capabilities of production than CNC lathes.

Types of CNC turning centers

There are two major types of CNC turning centers, vertical turning centers, and horizontal centers. Horizontal is more common than vertical turning but vertical turning is more advantageous in terms of turning short and heavy parts.

Difference between CNC machining and turning center

Both CNC machining centers and CNC turning centers are advanced types of machines. But CNC machining operates by rotating the spindle while CNC turning conducts a turning-type of operation.

Benefits of CNC turning center

The CNC turning provides numerous benefits including:

  • High-speed turning, high-torque, and the spindles for milling support aggressive, accurate, and fast metal removal capabilities.
  • The second spindles provide sequential part processing or back-side finishing
  • The twin turret configurations and twin spindle offer innovative part-processing functions
  • The rotary spindle tools bring the drilling, tapping, and milling performance like machining center
  • C-axis (full circumference) headstock brake design
  • Tailstock with built-in NC control for automated processes
  • Hybrid roller guides that provide reliability and durability to allow long-term accuracy
  • Deep-hole capability of a long boring bar (optional), for productivity maximization
  • High-functionality CNC controls and user-friendly
CNC turning centers machine axes

The CNC turning can operate up to 5 axes, and other turning machines can operate up to 6 axes. Here are the axes lists with its position/function:

  • A-axis: Rotate around the X-axis
  • B-axis: Rotate around the Y-axis
  • C-axis: Rotate around the Z-axis
  • X-axis: Vertical
  • Y-axis: Horizontal
  • Z-axis: Depth
The Vertical and Horizontal Turning Center Configurations

The spindle is oriented horizontally with a horizontal turning center. The tools are attached away from the tool holder side and are cut across the workpiece. Through CNC horizontal turning center, the chips are pulled away by the gravity from the workpiece.

The vertical turning center is upended, allowing the faceplate to turn into a rotating horizontal table and the headstock for sitting on the floor. This function of the vertical turning machine is ideal for machining short, heavy, and large workpieces. In this situation, gravity contributes to seating the workpiece to the work holding. The problem is that gravity does not have the function of helping the chips to discharge from the workplace. Inverted vertical turning or reversing the jaw chuck & spindle position is one of the key solutions.

CNC Turning Center Applications

Turning center machines are widely used to produce customized machining parts that are needed for various industries such as:

  • Aerospace industry
  • Medical Industry
  • Oil & gas industry
  • Automotive industry
  • Other industries that need the utilization of CNC turning centers
Basic Parts of CNC Turning Center

The CNC turning center comes with the basic parts including the:

  • Headstock – it provides shelter for the main spindle and gears.
  • Bed – the connected base to the headstock.
  • Feed screws – feeds crew is a driveshaft (long) that provides the connections on the gear series in the apron.
  • Lead screw – same with feed screw but operates perpendicular to the feed screw
  • Tailstock – the center mount that is oppositely positioned to the headstock.
  • Carriage – composed of two castings such as saddle (top) and apron (side).
The operation function of the Turning Center

CNC turning center has the capabilities for performing different operations such as:

  • Facing
  • Threaded
  • Knurling
  • Drilling
  • Boring
  • Reaming
  • Taper Turning
  • Milling

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