The Addition of a Little Technology – CNC Swiss Machines
The beloved Swiss screw machine has been around for centuries. It remains active today in many different industries. In the past, when it was first introduced, it did serve the purpose of producing screws. A Swiss screw machine rarely, if ever, is applied in the production of screws. This, like other aspects of the machine, has long since changed.
Yet, there has previously been one constant throughout the decades. The one major defining characteristic of a Swiss machine has been its slide headstock. Combining it with the specific bushing arrangement proved it was a Swiss machine. Yet, today, this has begun to change. In fact, the process began as soon as technology came up with computer numerical control (CNC). The invention and implementation of this mechanism in production methods resulted in a shift in the possibilities of Swiss machines. With the development of CNC Swiss machines, a deviation was put slowly into motion.
Changes in the Process
The initial change was slight. It was a matter of nomenclature. The term automatic was not linked to such a grand process as CNC. CNC Swiss machines were not to be termed automatic. This was reserved for the cam operated machines – single or with multiple spindles.
However, a CNC Swiss machine was a CNC Swiss machine not an automatic CNC Swiss machine or any variation thereof. This addition of automatic was eschewed for some unknown reason. It remains so today except in specific subcategories of machining language application.
Changes in Construction
CNC technology brought about other changes. In particular it began to reconfigure or change the arrangement between the headstock and the guide bushing. While the sliding headstock remains a constant, this does not hold true for the guide bushing. Some current CNC Swiss machines consider guide bushing as an option. Instead of guide bushing, they can opt for extending the Z-axis headstock stroke. It is stretched into the workzone. Instead of using guide bushing, they replace it with a collet (a specific type of chuck used for binding the work piece in place). Essentially, they eliminate guide bushing in favor of a clamp.
Yet, what is becoming increasingly clear is the change in such aspects as quality and speed. While some CNCs have run slower than their Cam-operated older models, this is changing. CNCs are cycling faster. They require less worker involvement. They all on different skills and are increasingly better capable of handling higher production volumes. And further changes are on the horizon. CNC Swiss machines are embracing other forms of technology. This includes lasers. Where this will lead in terms of changing the concept of the Swiss screw machine or even CNC Swiss machines is open for discussion and further developments.
CNC Swiss Machines have developed a high standard of quality in production. Their successful employment requires more than simply making a purchase. If you want to be sure you use them to the advantage of your company, employees and clients, you need to get the best possible machine tool package. To do so, you need to talk to the pros at KSI where Knowledge, Support, and Integrity govern their business.