The machine tools used in industry can be classified into various categories. The basis of classification for machine tools can be done as follows.
- Classification based method which the metal is shaped. This includes metal cutting equipments and metal forming tools.
- Classification based on control of tool movement, where we get the difference between convectional models and CNC machines.
- Classification based on applications of the machines. In this group we have the general purpose machines and the special purpose lathe machines.
The metal cutting machines comprise the bulk of the demand for the machine tools. Some of the major metal cutting machines include the radial drill machine and the lathe machines.
The Radial Drilling Process
This is the process of cutting holes through metal and uses a drilling machine. Fine metal shavings are forces out of the metal as the drill bit advances inside metal in rotating motion. The radial drill machine comprises of the drilling head mounted to slide on a radial arm, which is designed in a way that it can rotate, be raised or lowered on a vertical axis depending on the positioning of the work piece. The main feature is therefore the ability to swing horizontally around the arm and vertical for height adjustment.
The machine is designed for medium, large and heavy work pieces and therefore designed with rigid frame and base to be able to handle and accommodate heavier work pieces. In industry, there are various designs of the radial drill machine and these are;
The Plain Radial Drill Machine
The arm has vertical and horizontal movement of drilling head on the arm and circular movement of the arm along the vertical axis.
In addition to the movements of the plain radial drill, the drilling head can be swung perpendicular to the horizontal arm. This allows drilling at an angle to the horizontal plane.
Universal Radial Drill
In addition to the above movements, the arm holding drill head can be swung horizontally. These innovations enable the machine to drill at any point and any angle.
The Lathe Machine
The lathe machine is also among the important tool room equipment used in metal shaping and sizing. It is designed to hold the work piece for various metal operations to be done. These include turning, grooving, chamfering, knurling, facing and other forming operations. The lathe machines are classified heavy duty, light duty, medium duty lathe machine.
Heavy duty lathe machines are designed with special mechanical features that enable it handle the heavy thrust and forces required during metal shaping. The machines are also designed to operate with minimal vibration. This is achieved through use of close grained cast iron combined with salt additives to achieve the required hardness.
Light duty lathe machines are used in applications such as wood working and lighter applications of turning, tapering, slotting, metal spinning and other smaller scale applications. Lathe machines are made with robust construction to guarantee perfect metal shaping and long functional life.
Due to such kinds of operations, the radial drill and lathe machines are the focus of machine tooling, with huge amounts of resources spent on development and innovations on these machines.