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  1. #1
    dbc
    dbc is offline Plastic
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    Okay, I was talking with a friend the other day and we got on the topic of CNC lathes vs CNC turning centers. Is the only real difference between these two machines the fact that the CNC turning center seems to have a third tool turret? Can anyone tell me what the difference between these two machines is? Seems to me that they are really the same.

  2. #2
    Milacron's Avatar
    Milacron is online now Diamond
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    A CNC lathe would typically have a simple manual toolpost like an Aloris, whereas a turning center would typically have an automatic programmable turret that would hold 8 to 12..or more....tools. There is a huge difference in productive capability to have that programmable turret, hence the "turning center" moniker.

    For even higher production, there could be a second turret, a sub spindle (you can turn both ends of the part without turning it around), and live turret stations (for milling groves, flats, hex shapes, or whatever, in the turned parts)..still a "turning center", but sometimes a "machining cell" or "high productive cell" when it can "do it all"

    Other differnces are that a CNC lathe is typically set up similar to an engine lathe as far as basic configuration of ways, whereas a turning center would typically have a slanted bed.

  3. #3
    John Michael is offline Senior Member
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    I think the names are interchangeable. CNC Turning Center has probably just been used by an upity salesman trying to make his machine sound better then his competitor's CNC Lathe.

  4. #4
    Milacron's Avatar
    Milacron is online now Diamond
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    I think the names are interchangeable.
    Well I suppose they are if you want them to be but it seems a useful way to differenciate lathe/turning machine types without alot of explaination, to give one machine configuration a different name from another configuration.

    You could refer to a Mori Seiki SL-2A as a "turret lathe with a computer thingy" if you like :rolleyes:

  5. #5
    metlmunchr is offline Diamond
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    Both Okuma and Mazak refer to their big flatbeds as CNC lathes even though they do have programmable turret(s). As D sez, when anyone says turning center its sorta understood to mean the common arrangement of slant bed and one or more turrets.

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