Classification of Machine Tools

A number of types of machine tools gradually increased till mid 20th century and after that started decreasing based on Group Technology.

However, machine tools are broadly classified as follows:

1. According to the direction of major axis :

  • horizontal center lathe, horizontal boring machine etc.
  • vertical – vertical lathe, vertical axis milling machine etc.
  • inclined – special ( e.g. for transfer machines).

2. According to the purpose of use :

  • general purpose – e.g. center lathes, milling machines, drilling machines etc.
  • single purpose – e.g. facing lathe, roll turning lathe etc.
  • special purpose – for mass production.

3. According to the degree of automation

  • non-automatic – e.g., center lathes, drilling machines etc.
  • semi-automatic – e.g., capstan lathe, turret lathe, hobbing machine etc.
  • automatic – e.g., single spindle automatic lathe, swiss type automatic lathe, CNC milling machine etc.

4. According to size :

  • Heavy duty – e.g., heavy-duty lathes (e.g. ≥ 55 kW), boring mills, planning machine, horizontal boring machine etc.
  • Medium duty – e.g., lathes – 3.7 ~ 11 kW, column drilling machines, milling machines etc.
  • Small duty – e.g., table top lathes, drilling machines, milling machines.
  • Micro duty – e.g., micro-drilling machine etc.

5. According to precision :

  • Ordinary – e.g., automatic lathes
  • High precision – e.g., Swiss-type automatic lathes

6. According to a number of spindles :

  • Single spindle – center lathes, capstan lathes, milling machines etc.
  • Multi-spindle – multispindle (2 to 8) lathes, gang drilling machines etc.

7. According to blank type :

  • Bar type (lathes)
  • Chucking type (lathes)
  • Housing type

8. According to the type of automation :

  • Fixed automation – e.g., single spindle and multispindle lathes
  • Flexible automation – e.g., CNC milling machine

9. According to the configuration :

  • Stand-alone type – most of the conventional machine tools.
  • Machining system (more versatile) – e.g., a transfer machine, machining center, Flexible manufacturing system etc.
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