In machining, there are times when applications that seem like old-school technology are the best way to make parts. The traditionally-designed vertical turning lathe (VTL) falls into this category. The basic form of the vertical turning lathe has been around for many years, but the technology has never stopped evolving. New versions of the VTL lathe machine incorporate all the latest and greatest innovations. Rider Tool and Manufacturing has vertical turning services available, so we can make the parts you need.
Vertical turning lathes are large, ram-like machines known as vertical boring mills. Think of a very large, very sophisticated drill press that can create tight tolerances. They aren’t high production machines, but they’re ideal for heavy-duty and high power cutting of large to medium parts. Vertical turning services have advantages over other part making processes.
- An important advantage of the VTL lathe is the ease in which large, heavy workpieces can be set and held in place for machining. Gravity plays an important role in VTL, as it helps hold these parts. That means minimum hard clamping is necessary to keep the workpiece in place.
- Vertical turning centers typically improve cycle times because shops can operate at a higher speed rate. This means shorter cycle times and an increase in production.
- Vertical turning lathes that use the main spindle to load and unload themselves are increasing in popularity. Their multitasking capabilities make them efficient processing centers for producing chucked parts. The turnaround time between parts is less, which means more parts can be made.
- An indexable tool turret head distinguishes traditional vertical turning lathes from vertical boring machines. Operators can load different machine tools into the VTL to create different cuts and shapes.
- Vertical turning lathes give foundries the ability to cut bigger and heavier castings. The size of the VTL lathe allows for larger workpieces and faster removal of material.
- Aside from turret head or ram head, VTL machine design uses a rotating table to support the workpiece as well as bridge-type construction that carries the X-axis. A ram traverses the X-axis guides and delivers the cutter.