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Swiss Machine- A Beginner’s Guide

By Author: Nelson Nash
Total Articles: 8

But still, there are a lot of aspects in which CNC machine lacks, and those are taken care very well by their Swiss counterparts. Yes, we are talking about the Swiss machine.

Swiss Lathe, Swiss screw machine, Swiss automatic lathes, or Swiss turning centers are the different name of the Swiss machine. Swiss lathe is used to produce fine parts with more accuracy and less downtime that allows you to keep production on track.

So, what actually the Swiss machine is, how it is different from the CNC machine and how it works?

Let’s find an answer to these queries.

In simple words, the Swiss machine is a type of lathe where the holding mechanism is recessed behind the guide bushing. In Swiss machine, holding mechanism or collet that hold the bar stock, will not be directly exposed to the lathe bed and the tooling. Instead of this, it utilizes guide bushing for additional support.

Guide bushing offers additional support to the stock material when the part is machined. The guide bushing is fitted closely to surround the bar-stock material.

What makes Swiss machine different from CNC machine is, that in Swiss lathe headstock moves whereas in CNC machine it is fixed. In a traditional lathe, the headstock is fixed, and a workpiece is held in the collet and extends into the machine enclosure as a cantilever. A workpiece can also be supported on the end by tailstock.

On the other hand, in Swiss machine headstock is not fixed. Bar stock is passed through the chucking collet in the headstock which clamps onto it. Guide bushing emerges the bar to the tooling area and holds it radially while machining. Then the headstock starts working on the bar. It moves in back and forth in z-axis while taking the bar along with it.

Guide bushing offers rigidity to the turned parts because the very small amount of stock is exposed once it left the bushing. Swiss machines hold a better tolerance on the turning parts. Turning tools that are carried on the gang slides contact the bar closer to the guide bushing. The motion of the bar is responsible for providing the feed for this cutting section. Gang slides carry holders for tools or may support the live tooling as well.

So, this is brief about the Swiss machine and how it works. The working mechanism of the Swiss lathe is different than the conventional lathe, but it offers a wide range of advantages over conventional lathes.

Hence, if you are planning for installing a CNC unit in the factory, then the Swiss machine seems to be a sensible choice taking into account the production.


Sun-Glo.com is one of the leading metal finishing companies offering services including type I, II & III anodizing, CARC painting, passivation, Swiss machining, cadmium plating, copper plating, gold plating, silver plating, tin plating, zinc electroplating, etc. To know more, visit https://www.sun-glo.com/blog/.

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