Modern Swiss-type lathes have evolved from simple screw machines to high-precision, high-production machines and are now widely used across many industries to completely machine small parts, even for complex operations where no turning is required.
Whereas a conventional CNC lathe has two, three or four axes, a Swiss-type lathe is an entirely different proposition having up to 13 axes. This makes it possible to machine highly complex components in a single set-up, compared with multiple set-ups using conventional lathes. So why not apply this thinking to a multi-spindle Swiss-type lathe? After all, such a strategy would multiply the benefits in proportion to the number of additional spindles deployed. While this statement is true enough, more spindles mean that space becomes a premium commodity which demands clever design and compact spindle motor technology. After all, in a highly competitive global marketplace, every square metre in today’s manufacturing shops carries a cost.
One machine tool manufacturer, however, has found a way around this issue. When Tornos, a leading specialist in Swiss-type lathes, wanted to bridge the gap between single-spindle and multi-spindle machines, it turned to Parker’s permanent magnet synchronous motor technology to reduce the amount of space required to position components and cutting tools and, in so doing, increase productivity in the next-generation design of Swiss-type lathes.
Equipped with eight spindles and eight slides for main operations, and accommodating up to three tools per slide, the Tornos MultiSwiss 8x26 features eight SKW frameless spindle servo motors from Parker and fast barrel indexing for producing turned parts up to 26mm in diameter. Each of the 11kW motor spindles is equipped with a C axis and counter spindle. Reaching speeds of 8,000 rpm in tenths of a second, the motors make a major contribution to performance and productivity, as well as space economy.
Comprising two separate elements (rotor and stator), SKW motors are integrated directly into the mechanical structure of the MultiSwiss. Compact, reliable and highly dynamic, the motors offer constant torque capabilities over a wide speed range with very small dimensions. Indeed, the space-saving design gave Tornos the flexibility to fit eight spindles into the MultiSwiss without sacrificing any of the high-precision benefits that come with permanent magnet synchronous motors.
As part of a collaborative, partner-based project, Parker supplied Tornos with a complete bespoke spindle motor solution, including a cooling system and sensor equipment. Parker’s long-standing relationship with Tornos has existed since 2005 and received the following endorsement:
“With the high-performance output of Tornos’ machines in mind, the quality and reliability of Parker’s solutions make the collaboration a good fit. We appreciate the close cooperation in terms of both commercial and technical aspects. We also benefit from Parker’s strong commitment with regard to after-sales support and enjoy the close contact and cooperation with their research and development department. Over time, this has meant Parker has turned out to be not only a reliable supplier but also a trustworthy partner.” Bertrand Faivre, Engineering Manager R&D at Tornos
To find out more about the latest Parker spindle motor solutions for machine tools, please click here.
Article contributed by Michel Finck, market development manager, Electromechanical & Drives Division Europe.