Used Swiss Lathe

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Buying a used CNC Swiss Lathe

Swiss screw machines

Looking for a used CNC Swiss lathe? carries used Swiss lathes (sometimes called Swiss screw machines). Our machines come ready to make quality parts for you. We have a wide range of sizes to make precision parts from bars and materials of all sizes. Swiss technology was invented to produce tiny parts for Swiss watches and now is combined with the power of CNC for automated production with the same precision. Many machined parts can be made on CNC turning centers as well as S

wiss lathes, so this can help you decide the best kind of machine for the job.

How is CNC Swiss machining different from CNC turning?

CNC Swiss differs from traditional lathes and turning centers because of the way that the tool meets the stock. In a CNC turning center, tools are arranged on round turret with tooling slots. The bar stock is fed through a bar feeder and the turret is programmed to rotate and articulate on the X, Y & Z-axis to meet the bar stock to cut the material.  Certain CNC turning centers have more than one spindle. In a dual spindle CNC turning center, the part is fed from the originated spi

CNC Swiss Lathe for Sale

ndle to the secondary spindle where the other side of the part can have additional machining performed. The turrets on dual-spindle CNC turning centers have tool slots on both sides of the turret and can make more complex parts than those with a single spindle. The bar sizes that can be fed into a CNC turning center can be a lot larger than for Swiss CNC lathes. Bar feeders on CNC turning centers feed the bar but do not articulate it to the tool. The tool (on the turret) is programmed to move to the bar.

Used Swiss Lathes Make Smaller Parts from Bar Stock

CNC Swiss lathes typically make parts under 2” in outer diameter. They operate by moving a fixed tooling jig to the bar stock. These tools cut very close to the spindle makes tool changes very quick. The key difference between CNC Swiss and CNC turning centers is how the bar feeder and spindle work together to produce parts. The spindle on a Swiss CNC lathe controls the bar movement against a stationary tool on the tooling jig. The bar does the moving instead of the tool. All of the cutting is done right next to the collet. This differs from a CNC turning center where the cutting occurs as the tool moves to the bar.

Used CNC Swiss Lathes are Great for Long Parts

If you are making a cylindrical part that is ½” OD by 6” long with some features like threads and slots, it could be made on either a CNC turning center or a Swiss lathe. However, on the CNC turning center, the tool would move along the length of the part which can introduce some slop in the cutting towards the end of the part. But in a CNC Swiss lathe, the cutting would always be near the collet, so the part would stay round and within the same tolerance range at the front of the part as the end of the part. This makes Swiss lathes great for any parts that need to be precise (+/-.001” is feasible) and long as compared to the outer diameter.

Used CNC Swiss Lathes are Great for Production Quantities

Swiss Lathes are great for high production work. When combined with a bar feeder, they are designed to run “lights-out” and produce parts unattended. With proper programming and operator input, they can make precise parts to specification with a high level of repeatability, often with cycle times under a minute. Many Swiss have a sub-spindle that allows live tooling work to be done on the back side of one part simultaneous to the front size of another part – essentially cutting in half the cycle time.

Selecting a Used CNC Swiss Lathe

CNC lathes have many options to optimize them for production of different kinds of parts. For example, you’ll need to consider:

  • Bar capacity (maximum OD that can be bar-fed into the machine)
  • Max part length
  • Tooling capacity
  • Number of “Live” tool positions
  • Sub Spindle capabilities
  • Mist collectors
  • Attachments for long tooling
  • Collection trays
  • Tooling such as collets, guide bushings (ask what tooling comes with the machine)
  • CNC control type (Fanuc is common)
  • Tool size – If you have other Swiss CNC’s, is the tooling compatible?
  • Feed rates
  • Bar feeders (This may come with a used CNC Swiss lathe or may need to be purchased separately. The length bar feeder determines the length bars you will buy, the space needed and the scrap rates you will have.)

Selecting the Best Used Swiss Lathe Maximum Machining Diameter

When selecting the best size CNC Swiss lathe, you’ll want to consider the part sizes O.D. that you will be making. Swiss lathes come in a wide range of collet sizes, from 10mm OD and up.

If you have high production on a ½” OD part, then a machine sized just over ½” OD would give you the best cycle times. You could buy a machine that has 1 ½” OD maximum OD and it could likely make the part. However, you will not be able to make the parts as fast or as precise. For shops with fewer machines, larger used Swiss lathes offer the most flexibility. However, keep in mind that the more appropriately sized the Swiss lathe to the part, the better tolerances and surface finishes are possible as well. For some medical device parts, the only way to meet the surface finish and tolerance requirements in a single operation is on a CNC Swiss screw machine very near to the desired size. Using an oversized machine would result in parts that need secondary operations such as deburring, grinding or polishing.

What materials can be cut on CNC Swiss Screw Machines?

CNC Swiss lathes can machine a wide variety of materials. Beginning machinists often start with aluminum, but quality CNC Swiss lathes with appropriate spindle power and tooling can cut materials as soft as copper and hard as titanium. It’s also common to cut plastics and resins of many kinds. For each material, you’ll need to see the hardness and machining recommendations as well as work with your tooling supplier to find the best solutions.

10 Checkpoints  – How to Buy a Used CNC Swiss Lathe

  • Check for damage and signs of wear.
  • Call the CNC Swiss manufacturer to see if they still support parts and service.
  • Research the brand and model online to see what other owners of these Swiss lathes think about the brand and support in your area.
  • Call the local distributor and talk with sales and service about support and parts.
  • Look up independent CNC Swiss machine service techs to get their opinion on the reliability of the brand.
  • Search online for similar year makes and models to see price points.
  • Get the hours of operation.
  • See if any maintenance records can be found or major repair work. Repair work isn’t a bad thing, in many cases it will help you know what been replaced, what hasn’t and if it was done right.
  • Find out the types of material and industries it made parts for in the past.
  • Ask the owner why he’s selling the machine.

If you are in the market for a used CNC Swiss lathe, we are a leading expert in used Swiss lathes for sale and can provide you with options. We would love to help you find the perfect used Swiss CNC for your shop. Contact one of our used CNC Swiss lathe experts today for more details: 844.262.6789.