A-axis rotational axis that describes motion around the X-axis.
accuracy The exactness of a measurement compared to the desired result.
automatic magazine bar feeder A chamber that allows the feeding of bar stock, one at a time, into a machine.
automatic bar machine A turning machine that continuously cuts a number of parts from a piece of bar stock, one after another. The bar stock advances through the spindle and is held by the collet during the operation. A bar machine is traditionally called a screw machine.
axis An imaginary line used to measure the distances of objects in the Cartesian coordinate system.
axial approach A tool approach that runs parallel to the axis of a workpiece. Also called the parallel orientation.
backworking tool station toolholding station that is located opposite the sub spindle and is used to machine the back end of parts.
bar stock Raw material purchased from metal manufacturers in the form of long bars. Bar stock may be round, square, or hexagonal.
bar stock magazine A chamber that allows the feeding of bar stock, one at a time, into a machine.
B-axis A rotational axis that describes motion around the Y-axis.
blueprint A document containing all the instructions necessary to manufacture a part. The key sections of a blueprint are the drawing, dimensions, and notes.
boring The process of using a single-point tool to enlarge a preexisting hole.
bushing A guide for bar stock on the Swiss-type single-spindle screw machine that enables the creation of very small parts with excellent tolerances.
Cam A circular or cylindrical machine component that converts rotational movement into linear movement. A cam controls the feed rate and depth of cut of cutting tools on the automatic bar machine.
chucking machine A general name for any lathe that uses a chuck to hold the part. An operator must load and unload each individual workpiece.
Cartesian coordinate system The system that describes the location of an object by numerically expressing its distance from a fixed position along three imaginary linear axes.
C-axis A rotational axis that describes motion around the Z-axis.
chatter The occasional vibration between a workpiece and a cutting tool. Chatter decreases machining productivity, negatively impacts surface quality, and increases tool wear.
chip An unwanted piece of metal that is removed from a workpiece. Chips are formed when a tool cuts or grinds metal.
chuck A device that holds a workpiece in place as it rotates. The chuck commonly has three or four jaws that can be adjusted to fit various sizes of parts.
CNC Swiss-type lathe A sophisticated CNC machine with a sliding headstock and fixed bushing that enables the creation of small, complex, cylindrical parts in one cycle.
cNC Swiss Machining The accuracy of CNC machining allows for precision tooling and cutting. CNC machining can be used for milling, drilling, tapping, bending, welding, grinding, etc Many industrial items are fabricated or assembled from components at the end of a CNC process. For work requiring extreme accuracy, a Swiss-style lathe is used.
CNC turning center A sophisticated CNC machine that specializes in turning, boring, drilling, and threading operations, all at the same location.
collet A slitted device that holds a workpiece in place as it rotates. A collet has a hole through which the workpiece passes, and it is designed to hold specific dimensions. Collets can also be used to hold cutting tools.
computer numerical control A sophisticated machine tool that uses a computer and special programs to carry out various machining operations. The turning center is an example of a lathe equipped with computer numerical control (CNC).
Contour turning An operation performed on a lathe that feeds a tool along a curved line in order to create curved, cylindrical shapes.
conveyor The belt that carries finished parts to a parts bucket.
cross slide On a lathe, the tool-holding components that allow tools to approach a workpiece from a perpendicular, or radial, orientation.
cutoff An operation performed on the lathe that uses a cutting tool to separate a part from the rest of the stock.
cutting tool A device with sharp edges used to cut metal. Cutting tools are either single-point or multi-point tools.
cycle time The time during which a machine works on a single part.
deflection The vibration or shift in position of a workpiece due to a lack of support. Deflection often causes incorrect measurements.
depth of cut The amount of material that is removed with one pass of a cutting tool.
drive shaft Located in the base of a turning machine, the device that transfers power from the motor to all machine components.
dimension The desired measurement of a feature on a part.
drilling The process of using a multi-point tool to penetrate the surface of a workpiece and make a round hole.
dry run A trial run of the part program without any parts or cutting fluid.
engine lathe The original and most basic type of lathe.
facing An operation performed on a lathe that feeds a single-point tool into the end of a cylindrical workpiece to create a flat surface.
feed The linear movement of a cutting tool into a part to remove material.
follower A machine component that traces the outline of a cam and thus controls the way a workpiece is cut.
form turning An operation performed on a lathe that feeds a tool into a workpiece in order to impart the tool's shape in the workpiece.
fixed automation A process using mechanized machinery to perform fixed and repetitive operations in order to produce a high volume of similar parts.
fixed bushing A hollow, cylindrical guide for bar stock on Swiss-type lathes that enables the creation of very small parts with excellent tolerances. gang tool post A component that holds several cutting tools in a row. On the CNC Swiss-type lathe, the gang tool post is located above the bushing and approaches the workpiece from the radial orientation.
headstock The end of a lathe that holds the spindle and the drive that rotates the workpiece.
horizontal axis An imaginary line that passes through the center of an object and is parallel to the floor.
ID grooving The process of cutting an internal channel or passageway into a drilled hole.
indexing The changing of machine components to a different fixed position.
inner-diameter operation Cutting operations that take place on the interior surface of a workpiece on a lathe.
lathe A machine tool commonly used to create cylindrical forms. A lathe holds a cylindrical workpiece on one or both ends. The cutting tool is gradually passed along the surface of the rotating part.
length-to-diameter ratio The measurement relationship between the length and diameter of a part. If a part has a 4:1 length-to-diameter ratio, then the part's length is 4 times the measurement of the diameter.
linear axes The axes that describe movement along a straight line.
live tool A cutting tool mounted in its own powered spindle on a CNC lathe. Live tooling allows tools to cut off center, perform milling operations, or create holes on the parts outer diameter while the part is held in the spindle.
machine control unit A small, powerful computer that controls and operates a CNC machine.
machine motor The primary source of power that is located in the base of a lathe.
mechanical safety clutch A safety device that disengages the drive shaft from the motor.
Micro Pins (Micro Shaft) Micro pins are round, small, close toleranced wire pins. These pins may have grooves, slots, flats and other configurations produced along its shank for application in electronics devices.
milling A machining operation that uses a multi-point horizontal or vertical cutter to remove metal from the surface of a workpiece.
multi-point cutting tool A machining tool that has two or more cutting edges.
multiple-spindle screw machine An automatic bar machine that contains more than one spindle, usually 4, 6, or 8. Multiple spindles allow multiple tools to cut multiple workpieces simultaneously.
OD chamfering An operation performed on a lathe that feeds a tool to create an angled edge on the workpiece.
OD threading An operation performed on a lathe that creates a long, spiraling ridge down the outer surface of a workpiece.
outer-diameter operation A cutting operation that takes place on the outer surface of a cylindrical workpiece.
off center Any location on a part that deviates from the Parts centerline.
on center The location on a part that is aligned with the Parts centerline.
operator The person responsible for running the CNC machine on the shop floor.
opposite tool post A toolholding station that is located opposite the fixed bushing on a CNC Swiss-type lathe.
outer-diameter operation Cutting operations that take place on the outer surface of a workpiece on a lathe.
part program A series of numerical instructions used by a CNC machine to perform the necessary sequence of operations to machine a specific workpiece.
part programmer The person responsible for the creation of a part program. The part programmer translates the workpiece design into program instructions for the CNC machine.
precision The degree to which an instrument will repeat the same measurement over a period of time.
primary operation One of the main machining operations that contributes to the completion of a part.
radial approach A tool approach that runs perpendicular to the axis of a cylindrical workpiece. Also called the perpendicular orientation.
reaming The process of using a multi-point tool to smooth the interior surface of a hole.
rigidity The quality of a workpiece characterized by being stiff and inflexible. A setup with good rigidity reduces vibration or wobble. rotational axes An axis that describes turning or rotational movement around a linear axis.
screw machine An automated turning machine that continuously creates a number of finished parts from bar stock. Bar stock advances through the spindle and is held by a collet. It is also commonly called a bar machine.
secondary operation An additional operation required to finish a part that is performed on a separate machine from the machine that made the primary cuts.
setup Time that is spent setting up the machine and tooling, calculating tool offsets, and performing all the necessary tasks to produce the first accurate part.
single-point cutting tool A cutting tool that uses a single cutting edge to remove material.
single-spindle screw machine An automatic bar machine that contains one spindle. The spindle rotates one piece of bar stock, which is cut by one tool at any given time.
spindle The part of the machine tool that spins. On a screw machine, the spindle holds the workpiece.
Swiss-type single Spindle screw machine A modified automated turret lathe distinguished by a sliding headstock and fixed bushing. Swiss-type machines are capable of creating very small parts with excellent tolerances.
sliding headstock The end of a Swiss-type lathe that contains the spindle and the drive that rotates the workpiece. The headstock also provides feed for the workpiece as well.
slotting A milling operation that cuts a long groove in the surface of a workpiece.
speed The rate of rotational movement of a workpiece. Speeds are measured in revolutions per minute or surface feet per minute.
spindle The component of a machine that spins. On a lathe, the spindle is located in the headstock and houses the workholder.
sub spindle The source of workpiece rotation that is found opposite the main spindle and fixed bushing. The sub spindle is also called the pick off or back spindle.
Swiss-type screw machine A modified automated turret lathe distinguished by a sliding headstock and fixed bushing. Swiss-type machines are capable of creating very small parts with excellent tolerances.
tailstock The component located at the end of a lathe opposite the headstock that supports the end of longer workpieces.
taper turning An operation performed on a lathe that feeds a tool at an angle to the length of the workpiece in order to create a conical shape.
tapping The process of cutting internal threads in a workpiece with a multi-point tool.
tolerance An unwanted but acceptable deviation from a given dimension. Tolerances indicate the allowable difference between a physical feature and its intended design.
turning A machining operation used to make cylindrical parts. A single-point cutting tool passes along the outer surface of a cylindrical workpiece as it rotates and gradually removes a layer of material.
turret The component of a lathe that holds a number of cutting tools. The turret rotates to place tools in the cutting position.
turret lathe A lathe with a mounted device that holds multiple cutting tools. The turret rotates to position one specific cutting tool in place after another.
vertical turning machine A turning machine in which the spindle is perpendicular to the ground floor. Vertical turning machines are often used for very large or heavy parts.
workholder A device used to position and hold a workpiece in place.
workpiece A part that is being worked on. It may be subject to grinding, cutting, welding, forming, or other operations.
X-axis The linear axis on a lathe perpendicular to the Z-axis that indicates distances from the part's centerline.
Y-axis The linear axis that is always perpendicular to both the X- and Z-axis. Unlike most lathes, CNC Swiss-type lathes may have component motions along a Y-axis.
Z-axis The linear axis that is always parallel to a lathe's main spindle.
Rick Paulson Micro-Matics, LLC. General Manager P: 763-780-2700 F: 763-780-2706