Turning is based on rotation of the workpiece, and its origins date back to the potter's wheel and the wood turning lathe.
It is a machining process for material removal, and is used to manufacture turned parts from bar stock or metal coil. The raw material is fed into an automatic lathe and shaped by a series of tools. Depending on the number of tools and their set-up, it is possible to produce anything from simple to highly complex parts.
To find out more: > Musée du tour automatique et d'histoire (Swiss Automatic Lathes and History Museum, in Moutier).
The museum explores the history of the “Swiss Automatics” as well as cam-type lathes. Since 1880, Moutier has been the world production centre for this renowned machine, which in its early years revolutionised Swiss watchmaking.
In 1905, the Company’s founder, Alfred Lauener, also designed a cam-operated automatic lathe.
Today, CNC automatic lathes (turning centres) are replacing the cam type for machining complex parts, because they are easy to use, flexible, and high performance. Cam bar turning machines, however, remain efficient for more simple, mass production runs.