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  • Diego García

When should you invest in a multi-spindle CNC lathe? Reasons to consider

The #MultispindleCNClathes are equipment of growing interest in the machining industry due to their ability to produce precision parts in large quantities, with great consistency, and in short times. However, purchasing a multispindle #CNC lathe is a significant investment that should be carefully considered.

In this blog post, we will explore some reasons why it might be beneficial to invest in a #multispindle CNC lathe and when is the right time to do so.

Increased production capacity

A #multispindle CNC lathe can be a good choice if you need to produce a high volume of parts. Since these machines can perform multiple operations simultaneously, cycle time is reduced and production capacity is increased. To give a reference, when we are talking about volumes approaching or exceeding one million parts per year the CNC multispindle can be considered an alternative. Of course, it will depend on the complexity and material of the part, as well as other factors, to decide where the real production limit is that makes the use of a CNC multispindle pertinent.

Certain models con produce two parts per cycle, thus further increasing productivity, and even specific models of multisplindle CNC lathes can perform operations such as gear milling/hobbing,

Demanding precision and quality requirements

If your parts require high levels of precision, a CNC multispindle lathe may or may not be a good choice. These machines are known for maintaining consistent quality throughout production cycles, but it is also true that, by their very configuration, the achievable quality may be equal to or less than that of a two- or four-axis CNC lathe. In this regard, it is always important to put the required #machining tolerances to the machine manufacturer's consideration, since only the highest #hightech multispindles can consistently work dimensional tolerances in the micron range.

Lower production costs

Although a multispindle CNC lathe requires a higher investment than other types of lathes, it is more cost-effective in the long run if you need to produce a high volume of parts. Increased production speed and efficiency can help offset the initial investment.

Production flexibility

A multispindle CNC lathe allows you to produce different types of parts with different tools and spindle configurations, increasing your company's flexibility in production. However, this is only possible with the latest designs and most advanced manufacturers of this technology, which has far surpassed that of the traditional mechanical multispindle lathe. To give an idea, model changeovers between parts of different diameters on a #hightech multispindle are reduced to a couple of hours, while on less advanced equipment it can take full shifts.

Reduced labor

A multispindle CNC lathe can reduce the need for labor and automate the production process, which can save costs of labor and reduce the workload for workers.

Multispindle CNC lathe
Multispindle CNC lathe

When a multispindle CNC lathe is not the best choice

We must consider that while a multispindle CNC lathe may be an excellent choice for many manufacturing companies, it is not always the best investment for all. Here are some situations where it might be better to consider another type of lathe:

If your company does not produce parts in large quantities

If your company only needs to produce small quantities of custom parts or prototypes, or medium volumes, less than 1 million parts per year, a multispindle CNC lathe may not be necessary. In this case, a conventional CNC lathe may be sufficient.

If part sizes are too large

Multispindle CNC lathes are designed to produce small to medium-sized parts. Normally, if the feed is by bar, the limit will be in the 40 to 50 mm diameter, while, if it comes from forging or aluminum casting, it could go up to 100 to 110 mm. If your company needs to produce parts above these ranges, a CNC multispindle will not be an alternative.

If there is high complexity in your parts

Although multispindle CNC lathes are highly efficient in mass production and have flexibility in their spindle and tooling configuration, they may have limitations if the parts to be machined are very complex. In this case, it depends on the multispindle manufacturer, since there are high-tech ones that can include more sophisticated operations, such as milling and side-boring, rolling, and gear generation.

If no training investment is planned

A multispindle CNC lathe is more complex to program, maintain, and operate than a conventional lathe, requiring additional expense to have properly trained personnel. The cost of having high-production equipment stopped is high, so operational and preventive maintenance is critical, requiring trained personnel. Without investing in training, it is difficult to take advantage of the capacity of this type of lathe.

In conclusion, the decision to invest in a multispindle CNC lathe should be based on the current needs and goals of your company, as well as the cost-benefit analysis of the investment for equipment and personnel.

If your company is experiencing an increase in demand for serial production and you want to reduce production costs while improving quality and efficiency, a multispindle CNC lathe is likely to be an excellent investment for you.

Are you planning to purchase a Multispindle CNC lathe? Contact us!

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