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.



Programming is Key for Vertical Multitasking

By: Chris Koepfer
This article looks at applying multitasking machines in efficient and productive ways. Moreover, it looks at how to best program the multiple operations in a sequence that optimizes production.

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Making Machine Tool Research Accessible

By: Jedd Cole
With a decision as weighty as acquiring a new machine tool, it helps to have as much data as possible close at hand.

Emag VM9 Turning Center

Turning Center Combines Turning, Milling, Drilling

By: Hannah Coombs
Emag presents the VM9 turning center, combining turning, milling and drilling on a single machine for large-part production.

Multitasking Encourages Successful Manufacturing

By: Lori Beckman
While multitasking allows a shop to perform various manufacturing operations unattended, without moving the part to other machines and refixturing, it also helps shops explore better ways to manufacture. The advantages of multitasking make manufacturing more efficient for any shop.

Multitasking Machine Produces Unique Medical Part

By: Lori Beckman
A turnkey multitasking center from Methods Machine Tools Inc. helped the company produce a high-tolerance, high-quality part.


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