Swiss-style Screw Machines: The Production Tool For Small, Complex Precision Parts.
Swiss screw machines offer a range of capabilities and advantages. Swiss screw machines combine high speed turning, and extremely precise milling and drilling, allowing most parts to be completed in one operation, rather than having to set up multiple machines to make parts saving time and money. One trade off for this precision and versatility is a limit to the size of the components they can produce. The Swiss screw machines at DM2 cannot accept material larger than 1.650 inches (42 mm) in diameter.
“One of the more difficult parts, where errors are visible to the shop floor, has passed a controlled build…everything looked great. I was very worried about this part, so I’d like to say thank you and another job well done.”
–Patrick Lofvenholm, Buyer at UTC
Swiss screw machines are distinguished by a sliding headstock that feeds bar stock through a guide bushing. This feature enables the precise, high-volume machining of many parts, especially those with small diameters. Swiss screw machines can handle metals of varying strengths and composition.
As the name implies, these machines originated in Switzerland and were used by high-end watchmakers who demanded precise, small components with a variety of critical features.
Swiss Screw Machine features:
- Static and rotating side- and end-mounted tools cut within millimeters of the guide bushing, effectively eliminating overhang and part deflection.
- Multiple axes and driven tools enable non-turning operations, such as milling, drilling and de-burring.
- Twin-spindle configurations facilitate finishing of both ends of a part.
- CNC technology permits use of standard tool geometries to produce complex and non-round shapes.
HOW SMALL IS SMALL?
Here’s an example of DM2 Swiss Screw Machine capabilities. Think of a ballpoint pen. If you take it apart, we can produce each of the components from any material you choose. We hold tolerances on features of each part to within +/- one ten thousandth of an inch (.0001″).
In manufacturing, we call this “surgical” precision.
The body of the pen is the size of an average part we run through our facility, whereas, the roller ball is typical of a small part we produce.
Each part has multiple features and complex attributes, thus they require very high-precision machining.
Sophisticated equipment and software ensures that all attributes meet the customer’s requirements. This is all determined prior to delivery.
How DM2 uses these advantages for our clients:
- Most components our clients require are completed in a single step—reducing both cost and lead time.
- Exceptional precision and quality on high-volume orders and short runs.
- Machining of difficult materials. Examples include:
- Greek Ascoloy
- PEEK plastic
- As well as all types of Stainless Steel
- The development of processes that allow components to run “lights out” (with minimal operator presence).
- Precision tolerances up to .0002″ total part variations (on specific features) without the need for a secondary grinding step — saving our clients time and money.
- Rotary as well as fixed tool broaching.
- We accept electronic files in all formats. Our programmers use state-of-the-art CAD/CAM systems to import customer CAD data and generate CNC machine tool programs for the manufacturing process. In addition, customer programs are kept on file to expedite future orders.