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CNC lathe: operation and advantages

The lathe is one of the most common machine tools we can find in any machine shop. It’s used for the production of industrial components such as cylinders, valves and flanges.

In recent decades the traditional lathe has been replaced by the computer numerical control (CNC) lathe, an innovative machine equipped with advanced software integration. Despite being a high-tech machine, the CNC lathe still shares some features with the manual predecessor.

How does the lathe work?

The use of the lathe involves the machining of a rotating component using different types of tools that remove material until the desired geometry is obtained. Depending on the tool used, the machining process is called turning, drilling, threading, cutting, rolling or knurling.

Depending on the number of axes that adjust the inclination of the component (height, width, depth), we can separate two types of lathes. The higher the number of axes, the easier it is to machine in all directions, making it possible to machine very complex components. On the market are currently available two, three, four and five-axis lathes.

What is the main difference between the traditional lathe and the CNC lathe? The traditional lathe is manually operated and requires continuous monitoring of the machining process, whereas with the CNC lathe the machining process can be programmed by a computer, making the entire production process more efficient and precise.

CNC lathe and its advantages

The presence of a computerized system gives the CNC lathe important advantages over the manual one:

1. It guarantees higher precision and accuracy for every component;
2. The production speed significantly increases;
3. Costs and delivery times of finished products are cut down;
4. With the CNC lathe, a wide variety of parts can be machined, from the simplest to the most complex.
5. The margin for error is reduced to a minimum;
6. It is equipped with automated tool change, thus reducing machine downtime and machining time;
7. It is equipped with a fully enclosed or semi-enclosed guard, ensuring maximum safety for the operator;
8. The machining parameters are entered via a specific software and all machining proceeds automatically.

The Covis Group has a turning department with high-tech numerical control equipment capable of machining components of up to 20 tonnes. Some of our systems are equipped with 5 axes and guarantee extreme precision and production speed.

Want to know more about the CNC machines we use or ask us for a quotation? Contact us at

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