Metal Cutting

Turn/Mill & Multitasking Machines

Turn/Mill Machines are machines that are capable of both rotating-workpiece operations (turning) and rotating-tool operations (namely milling and drilling). Generally these machines are based on lathes. The machine is typically recognizable as a horizontal or vertical lathe, with spindles for milling and drilling simply available at some or all of the tool positions. With a machine such as this, a part requiring a variety of operations can be machined in one setup, particularly if a subspindle allows the part to be passed from one spindle to another during machining. More recently introduced turn/mill machines depart from the lathe design into something much more like a hybrid machine—combining a lathe’s chucks and spindles with the travels and milling power of a machining center. One of the most significant issues with these types of machines in general is figuring out just which parts to run on them. Many shops have discovered that, even though these machines developed from lathes, they are not necessarily limited to round parts. Various non-round parts can be machined on the same platform as efficiently, if not more efficiently, than on a machining center.

» The Five Levels of Multitasking

Featured Zone Content

Use the Machine Tool to Machine Tools


This shop has developed various time-saving tool components by creating them internally, including one tooling solution now being used by other shops as well.

The Stem Solution


A small shop committed to labor-saving automation added a nine-axis turning center to machine mountain bike stems. The value of this complex machine is that it delivers a simple process. The learning curve was worth it, the owners say.

Multitasking is Multiple Choice


Different levels of multitasking machine tools address different types of parts.



turning a gear

Cutting Gears with Multitasking Machines

By: Mike Finn
Multitasking machines provide an excellent point of entry for machine shops interested in adding gear manufacturing to their list of capabilities, including power skiving.

machining a bevel gear

Hobbing Bevel Gears on a Turn-Mill Center

By: Russ Willcutt
After deciding to manufacture bevel gears for its own purposes in-house, Index developed a “gear hobbing package” that transforms its R200 and R300 turn-mill centers into gear cutting machines.

Methods Multitasking Turning Center with Twin Spindles, Automation, and Advanced Software

By: Lori Beckman (editor)
Methods Machine Tools Inc.’s Nakamura-Tome NTRX-300, a multitasking turning center, features complete parts machining in one operation, with a built-in load/unload automation system and advanced operator recognition management software.

Multitasking

The Y of Multitasking

By: Richard Parenteau
The Y axis has some primary capabilities that make it extremely efficient and cost effective in multitasking operations.

Multitasking Machine Combines CNC, Data-Driven Platform for Faster Cycle Times

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
Mazak’s Integrex i-200ST multitasking machine features the company’s Mazatrol SmoothX CNC for machining complex parts.


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