A CNC lathe is a lathe whose movements are computer-operated. This machine tool crafts complex outlines even with large quantities of pieces without compromising on quality. A special kind of CNC lathe is the machining centre (turning centre), which stands out for its particularly high productivity. Each manufacturer (e.g. GILDEMEISTER, MAZAK or TRAUB) equips its CNC lathes and machining centres with a different control (e.g. MAZATROL). Turning diameter and length vary. At Surplex you will find used CNC machines with chip conveyor and other accessories. Also modern models from leading manufacturers!... more
A CNC lathe is a machine tool for turning workpieces (including metal) using computerised numerical control, or CNC for short. The same applies to CNC turning machines and automatic CNC lathes, which primarily differ from each other in terms of productivity. CNC lathes enable the operator to produce complex, one-off creations as well as small- and large-scale series. These machines are basically a turning machine but with a crucial difference: all movement procedures can be automatically performed and monitored by the built-in controls. The predecessor of the CNC lathe was the NC lathe, which only featured numerical controls and did not allow programmes to be stored. This disadvantage of NC lathe technology was rectified by the introduction of CNC technology.
These modern machines make it possible to retrieve programmes from the memory at any time, make changes and save them to the system. All the data required to properly operate a CNC lathe is provided to the machine in numerical form. The computer continually compares this data and performs corrections independently via special control devices. A CNC programme must first be created in order to commence processing, which can be performed directly on the CNC turning machine or by means of external computers. For the latter, the newly created programmes are transferred to the machine via data storage devices or a network connection for inputting. A certain procedure set out in the corresponding DIN regulations must be observed for programming. The machine reference point or machine zero point is a key requirement of processing. This point is used to calculate all the coordinates for the various axes of motion. Different tool holders allow the execution of a range of work processes such as face cutting, longitudinal turning or conical turning.
The first CNC lathes were introduced to Germany in the early 1980s. Computer and machinery technology has since improved considerably. These were then superseded by complete lathe and milling centres, which are more effective thanks to the combination of manufacturing processes. The precision of a CNC turning machine is particularly useful for cylindrical parts. A range of CNC lathes can also be combined to create even more versatile machines. A CNC turning/milling centre is a prime example and combines turning and milling processes. When combined with other industrial machines, complete manufacturing systems or even production lines can be created featuring industrial robots and transportation devices to increase productivity enormously. The controls are often set up in very different ways.
Computerised numerical control lathe machines are ideal for use wherever high levels of productivity and a clean working environment are required. High volumes with consistent quality can be achieved by using a CNC turning machine and future production planning is simplified thanks to constant production times. Complex parts can be processed and multi-machine operation is possible. A good example of a production scenario for CNC lathes is the manufacture of clutch and drive pulleys - the interior and exterior can be processed using one clamping position.
The widespread use of CNC lathes has led to a very comprehensive range of available machines being available on the market. However, this does not mean that a used CNC lathe is a low-value purchase - even first generation CNC lathe machines can cost up to ten thousand Euros. A CNC lathe is a very appealing and promising piece of kit: the automated production of turned parts via CNC turning to create any shape is a very interesting prospect for technological enthusiasts. However, lathes featuring CNC are some of the most complex and maintenance-intensive machines to be found on the market. A used CNC lathe machine therefore requires some background knowledge in order to assess whether it meets your needs and put it into operation. An advantage of a used CNC lathe is that it can be operated using standard parts.
Once the CNC lathe is acquired, it can be fitted with tools and holders at very reasonable prices. There is also a wide range of peripheral equipment for CNC turning machines. When buying a used CNC lathe, it is worth performing a test run as part of the machine appraisal. It is also recommended to use the services of a highly-experienced dealer who can investigate any weak spots in the used machinery during their presentation. We advise turning a sample item and then checking its dimensions using a digital calliper. This will enable you to identify any worn areas in the bearings and joints of a CNC machine acquired on the second-hand machinery market. The second-hand lathe’s cooling lubrication system should also be fully functional. Another benefit of buying a used automatic CNC turning machine is that a great number of companies have been established specialising in providing maintenance services for second-hand CNC machines. With their help, used CNC machines can be fully and cost-effectively overhauled.
If a used CNC lathe has scratched housing, or the housing panels feature condensation, these can be used to your advantage in negotiations. However, these are by no means reasons to refrain from buying a particular CNC turning machine or CNC metal lathe because these components are easy to overhaul or replace. A used CNC lathe can be used to expand your existing fleet of machinery or increase the range of products that can be offered by a particular department. A small CNC lathe is recommended for training purposes: a used CNC machine can meet all the requirements for learning the fundamentals of programming, even if it cannot attain all the tolerances demanded by industrial applications.
If you’re looking to purchase a used CNC lathe, Surplex is the place to be. You will regularly find a range of turning machines, automatic lathes and CNC lathes for sale in our countless industrial auctions at attractive prices.
A selection of manufacturers have built a good reputation for their CNC turning machines, lathes and automatic lathes. These include prestigious firms, such as TRAUB, MIYANO, INDEX and VOEST-ALPINE, as well as MANURHIN and EMCO. Used CNC lathes made by GILDEMEISTER are also highly recommended. The list demonstrates that German-made CNC lathes are of a very high standard. These and many other CNC lathe manufacturers are often to be found on Surplex.com.