Swiss lathe cuts cycle times by 80%

Mildenhall-based CTPE, a subcontract supplier to the healthcare, medical and scientific sectors has seen cycle times cut by 80% in some instances as a result of investing in its first sliding-head turning centre – a seven-axis Tornos Swiss DT 26. The company previously relied on fixed-head turning centres.
Compatibility with water-based soluble cutting fluids, 26 mm capacity, 10 kW of power on both the main and sub-spindles, effective swarf management and fast switching from guide bush to non-guide bush mode were among the reasons for selecting the Swiss DT 26 from Tornos. The machine is paired with a TornosRobobar SBF 326 (3.2m capacity) barfeed for unmanned production.
Materials processed by CTPE on the DT 26 include PEEK, acetal, PTFE, PVC, nylon 66 and Rulon, as well as 2024 aluminium. The machine has been set to work producing parts typically in batches of 1000 to 2000-off. However, due to the ease and speed with which the machine can be set up, it is equally economical to run batches as small as 300 to 400-off. On average, parts produced by the company are around 20 mm long and 15 mm in diameter. A typical CTPE cycle time on the Swiss DT 26 is 20 seconds, or up to 50 seconds for more complex components.
“Compared with our fixed-head turning centres, we’ve seen some cycle times reduce from 150 seconds, to just 30, which is an 80% reduction,” says managing director Chris Taylor. “Moreover, we have eliminated second operations, deburring and picking-out. Without doubt, we should have bought one years ago.”
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