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How Swiss Turned Parts Manufacturers Make Tight Tolerance Components

Swiss Turning is the Key to Tight Tolerances

Swiss turning is a specialized process wherein manufacturers make small, high-precision and tight tolerance parts for various industries. These industries may include the military and defense, medical, electronics, aerospace, and automotive sectors, among others. Companies usually employ Swiss turned parts manufacturers to create small, reliable, and highly-repeatable parts for high-precision applications.

Swiss turning was created in the 19th century in Switzerland to help mass produce miniature screws needed to support the growing watch industry. Today’s Swiss lathes rely on the same principles as these early machines, but now benefit from advancements in CNC programming technology, meaning these complex cutting tasks can be completed with a single push of a button.

During the machining process, Swiss lathes manipulate tools around a varying number of axes to cut complex, slender, or delicate parts out of certain metals. These metals might include titanium, Kovar, aluminum, stainless steel, copper, bronze, and some types of plastic.

How Swiss Turned Parts Manufacturers Create Parts with Tight Tolerances

Swiss lathes can achieve tighter tolerances than other CNC manufacturing processes. While other CNC processes are still highly accurate, Swiss lathes create the most consistent complex, slender, or delicate components. 

Before the machining process can begin, an engineer will design the part. Usually, engineers will recommend Swiss turning for more complex parts. It can easily create features like slotting, knurling, and splining with one program, ensuring the part is complete when it exits the machine. Most non-complex shapes can be made with other CNC machining processes, but Swiss machining is best for parts with complicated features.

Once the engineer has finished designing the part, it’s ready to be machined. For parts that need to have tight tolerances, Swiss turning will be the best option. Traditional turning machines have a fixed headstock that holds the spinning workpiece as a cutting tool moves across the machine. However, a Swiss lathe has a sliding headstock that feeds bar stock through a guide bushing. This means the cutting tool always touches the bar stock close to the bushing; the rigidity provides the best degree of support, reducing vibration and tool deflection. Therefore, Swiss lathes are steadier than other CNC machining processes, resulting in tighter tolerances.

Additionally, other lathes apply tool pressure away from where the machine holds the materials, whereas a Swiss lathe holds the materials as close to the tool as possible. This gives the machinist greater dimensional accuracy, leading to tighter tolerances.

Looking for Swiss Turned Parts Manufacturers? Partner with the Best

Aztalan is a highly experienced Swiss turned parts manufacturer. Employing an experienced team of Swiss lathe experts and CNC Tsugami Swiss-type lathes, we machine precision parts with complex profiles and configurations. Our typical lot size is around 2,000 pieces, but we are capable of producing high-volume orders and can even use the machines to create prototypes.

We also offer other capabilities, such as CNC milling, turning, soldering, brazing, ultrasonic cleaning, assembly, and engineering support. We don’t design parts in-house, but our engineers can collaborate with your teams to accelerate your part to market. Once the final part is designed, we can manufacture your part and ensure it’s ready for installation once it reaches your facility.

When you partner with Aztalan, you’ll receive unmatched customer service. As an employee-owned company, every engineer, CNC machinist, and assembler on our team has a personal commitment to create the best parts possible. They share a pride and passion in our organization’s skill and workmanship. We continuously reinvest to equip them with the latest tools and technology, which results in a happy, efficient workforce and high-quality parts for your operation.

We also hold ISO 13485 and ISO 9001:2015 certifications, which demonstrate our commitment to quality. We’re so dedicated to producing high-quality parts that the State of Wisconsin has recognized us as a Certified Precision Machine Shop.

Trust a Dedicated Swiss Turned Parts Manufacturer with Your Next Project

When you’re ready to work with a precision Swiss turned parts manufacturer, we’ll be here to help. Contact us today.


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