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Machine tools and tooling considerations

Vertical turning centres

Vertical turning centres

A vertical turning centre is a cross hybrid from the turning centre and the vertical lathe. Shorter components not requiring sub-spindle, tailstock or bottom turret can benefit from a vertical construction lathe rather than horizontal to keep the machine footprint small.


Vertical turning centre machine configuration

There are two main categories of vertical turning centres:

  • Pick-up lathe: For high volume components up to 300 mm diameter (11.81 inch). The chuck is used for component handling to pick up and leave back on the transfer belt for automatic production. This configuration allows very good machine utilization in a compact space with all component handling built into the machine
  • Large vertical turning centre: For larger components, 300–800 mm (11.81–31.50 inch) fixturing is simpler with the component laying flat. This also allows for a pallet system allowing components to be fixtured and unloaded while machining

There are several machine options to consider that will affect the metal cutting efficiency and machine utilization. The type of components being produced determines the requirements. Careful considerations will ensure an optimal and secure machining process.


By using a pallet the component can be set-up in the fixture while the machine is still producing. This provides excellent machine utilization compared to setting up directly in the machine.

Automatic tool change (ATC)

For large components it becomes more problematic to utilize every turret position due to clearance issues with boring bars. This is why the vertical ram with ATC is used for component diameters over 1 m (39.37 inch).

For larger vertical turning centres an automatic tool change option with disc magazine is available which allows long boring bars to be stored. More tooling positions gets available, flexibility increases and the possibility for unmanned production opens up.

Turret interface

View Turning centres for information about turret interface.

Driven tool

View Turning centres for information about driven tools.

Y-axis/half turret

View Turning centres for information about Y-axis and half turret.

Tool holder off-set function

View Turning centres for information about tool holder offset function.

How to solve limited gauge length

View Turning centres for information about how to solve limited gauge length.


High pressure pump

Most machines offer a high pressure coolant capability around 70 bar (1015 psi).

Read more about coolant aspects


Quick change in vertical turning centres

Vertical turning centres have fast tool indexing but typically have a lower utilization than machining centres due to the tool change and set-up time. Use quick change holders to reduce the measuring, set-up and tool change time and instead allow for extra machining time.

Read more about quick change solutions



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