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Multi-spindle Turning Centres: Offering the flexible solution
Multi-spindle Turning Centres: Offering the flexible solution
Multi-spindle Turning Centres: Offering the flexible solution
Multi-spindle Turning Centres: Offering the flexible solution

Multi-spindle Turning Centres: Offering the flexible solution

Added to MTDCNC by Tornos Technologies UK Ltd on 05 September 2013

With the MultiSwiss, Tornos has developed a radically new solution in machining terms, to bridge the gap between the worlds of the conventional single-spindle and multi-spindle turning centres. The engineers at Tornos’ headquarters in Moutier have worked hard to create new options for this machine.

In many cases, it is now possible to replace a single-spindle machine with a poor productivity/footprint ratio with a MultiSwiss turning machine. As the MultiSwiss takes up little room, it can be sited in place of a single spindle machine that has been removed. The new MultiSwiss concept offers a multitude of new enhancements that include:

Watch movement screws on the MultiSwiss

When, at the end of last year, the engineers were consulted regarding production of a watch movement screw, the challenge was to produce the part with the existing equipment. The precision of the threading, the bevelled slot and the finish had to match the highest levels of performance offered by single-spindle turning machines. As Tornos’ Mr Olivier Rammelaere, the MultiSwiss Product Engineer explains: 'To achieve this, we produced quite a complicated setup including a stack of milling devices. The machining results exceeded all our expectations, but it was still not easy to use. It was obvious that we needed a numerical Y-axis to simplify the setup'. This axis is currently being developed by the TORNOS technical department and will be marketed from the beginning of 2014. To respond more exactly to the needs of watchmakers, the minimum diameter of bars that can be machined on the MultiSwiss will also change from 4 to 3mm.

Barrel drums on the MultiSwiss

Another application developed by the engineers at Moutier is the machining of barrel drums (uncut) on the MultiSwiss. Mr Rammelaere explains: 'The world of watchmaking is subject to the same constraints as other sectors. Watchmakers are constantly striving to enhance their productivity and we are offering the perfect solution to this issue in the MultiSwiss, as it is a multi-spindle that is flexible enough to make frequent changes in setup'.

Unparalleled Productivity

'In the example of the watch screw, our customer could produce the screw at a rate of 2 parts per minute using the single-spindle solution. With the MultiSwiss, productivity rose to 10 parts per minute. This amounts to a 5-fold increase in productivity for the same footprint!' explains the Product Engineer. At these rates, it is clear that investing in a MultiSwiss turning machine is almost equivalent to having 5 single-spindle turning machines.

Thread-whirling process +/- 15° on the MultiSwiss

The medical field could not function without the thread-whirling process. Tornos will soon be offering a thread-whirling device specially developed for the MultiSwiss. Mr Rammelaere added: 'Even for fields where threads can be produced using other means, thread-whirling delivers a significant increase in productivity and enables our customers to remain productive, in Switzerland and in Europe'.

The Göltenbodt tool holder in the standard program

Based on a well-known column of GWS tools and incorporating cutting fluid management, the range of GWS tool holders for the MultiSwiss offers variable or 0-point positioning with optimal precision, repeatability and flexibility. 'Tool changes can be made very quickly while still enabling tools to be repeatedly positioned to a very high standard. We wanted to offer customers a solution that was easy to use, while still focussing on reducing the time taken to change tools or entire setups. These tool holders are the product of a collaboration between Tornos and Göltenbodt, to make the most of the expertise of each company,' added Mr Rammelaere.

Many other developments…

In these difficult times, the sales performance of MultiSwiss machines is good as they are outselling all other multi-spindle machines together. Perfectly distributed between Europe and Asia, sales to the USA have only just begun but, as Mr Rammelaere explains: 'This distribution is particularly due to the introduction of the MultiSwiss that has been staggered in several phases. It began with the EMO trade show in September 2011 for the European market, followed by the IMTS show in Chicago in 2012. The main Asian exhibition took place in November 2012, at the METALEX show in Bangkok. In view of the global economic situation, we are investing to significantly increase our market share in the Asian and American continents'.

 With regards to the areas concerned, machine distribution is very well balanced between the automotive, medical and micro-technology sectors. Mr Rammelaere concluded: 'Whilst we have highlighted some benefits here, we have also already developed many other applications. These include part collection systems featuring carousels (small and large), conveyor belts on the Chucker system that can work using blanks. We are constantly developing the MultiSwiss to best meet the market needs. If you have any specific enquiries, please contact us'.

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