Extra tools on your turning centre turret...
The average turning centre (fixed head) has a twelve station turret on the machine. This would be considered standard in today's market-place. Twelve tools offers plenty of scope when turning. Operations such as OD turning, ID turning, drilling, tapping, boring and axial and radial milling can all be accomodated in a 12 station turret without having to change set-ups. In fact if the machine has just the one spindle, then more than 12 tool stations could be considered an overkill.
What happens when you have dual spindles or complex parts, or you simply want to keep a suite of tools as standard on the machine? Well, several machine tool manufacturers now offer either double indexing as standard or 16 station turrets.
16 Station Turrets
Four additional tools may not sound a great deal but it could be the difference between minutes in set up times. This can allow you to standardise tooling on the turret meaning minimal intervention. You could essentially now move from job to job without changing tools on the turret too often. There can be one slight drawback with some machines, the turning diameter capacity on the machine could be less as the turret is slightly bigger in diameter, however you could overcome this with creative toolsetting.
CMZ UK Ltd offer 16 station turrets as standard on most of their CNC lathes.
Turrets with double indexing offer twenty four station machining, this means with the right tooling you can now set each turret to have twenty four tools. This is quite popular on twin turret machines which machine production, complex components as it allows the machinist to set sister tooling and in turn this ensures continued part accuracy. Twenty four stations on a turret certainly improves the potential of the machine. Double indexing on a turret doesn't increase the size of the turret either which is also a benefit. However, you will need to buy additional toolholders which aren't cheap, as the configuration of these is different, the turret simply moves half a position, the toolholder does the rest.
Several manufacturers supply turrets with double indexing, best asking at point of enquiry as to whether it's possible.
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