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What are the different parts of a CNC Lathe Machine? How do these different components of the CNC Machine Tool fit together?

In general, CNC Lathe machines comes in the following main configurations:

  • Horizontal
  • Vertical
  • Slant Bed
  • Flat Bed
  • Standard
  • Multi-axis
  • Other types, e.g. Swiss Type, Multi-spindle, B-axis

 Depending on their configuration, CNC Lathes may have the following components.

Machine Bed

The bed of a CNC Lathe or CNC Turning Centre forms the main base for the whole machine. It is where the different components of the machine are mounted on. For example, the spindle stock which houses the machine’s main spindle; tailstock body; X and Z axis slide; optional Y-axis; and sub-spindle.

To ensure longevity, Hwacheon manufactures machine beds using high quality Meehanite cast iron. These help to limit heat distortion and provides solid mechanical stability. This ensures that the parts machined are consistently accurate.

Main Spindle

Often known as the heart of a machine tool, the main spindle consists of a spindle assembly and the spindle drive system. These are some of the moving parts of the CNC machine tool, and they include motors, gears, and the chuck (more on it later). The C-axis drive which helps to position the material will also be assembled together with the spindle.

Tool holders are normally installed at the turret disk (a rotating disk allowing tools to be positioned and switched), they include both fixed and life tool holders. The life tool drive system is built-in.

To ensure greater quality, Hwacheon manufactures 100% of its own spindles and parts of it. These can tolerate standard or higher optional rpm ranges, run with minimized vibration levels, depending on the application requirements.

Sub-Spindle/ Second Spindle

Separate from the main spindle as an option, the sub-spindle works in sync with the main spindle to complete the first and second cutting operation in a CNC lathe. This improves efficiency and throughput per cycle. When named as a second spindle, the mechanism has the same capacity and power as the main spindle.

Designed with the end-users in mind to achieve higher flexibility and performance, sub-spindles are available optionally on most of Hwacheon’s Hi-TECH Series.


A chuck is a vice-like structure that grips the workpieces to be machined. It is attached to the main spindle that rotates both the chuck and the workpiece.

To achieve greater productivity in manufacturing, you should consider CNC lathes that offer a variety of options, allowing you to switch to the right tool for your turning jobs. Some of Hwacheon’s machine tools have the flexibility and size to accommodate extra-long oil pipe machining and other long shaft applications.

Guide Way

The guide way enables the tool to move horizontally and vertically to achieve a smooth cutting process. To ensure durability, rigidity and the highest accuracy are needed for this structure.

Hwacheon incorporates highly rigid solid box guides on all axes for its Hi-TECH line of machines to cut down time between processes and to enhance machining precision.


Comprising the main motor, the headstock holds the main spindle where the chuck is mounted on. To ensure high performance, you need to consider if your machine tool’s headstock can handle high torque at low speed. This is an important consideration for tough materials.

For Hwacheon’s Hi-TECH Series, our gear-transmission system provides power and stability. The transmission assembly and spindle motor are also designed to limit heat and vibration transfer.


Tailstock are used to provide an extra support force on the other end of the component. This is necessary when machining long and extra-long work pieces (e.g. Shafts).

For Hwacheon’s Hi-TECH Series machines, the tailstock can be programmed to be positioned in semi-auto mode. This allows it to provide firm support and greater precision to the machined parts.

Tool Turret

The turret provides the possibility to change the cutting tools required for machining. Hence it is mounted on the tool turret. The size of the turret is determined by the number and size of tools that will be mounted on it.

To ensure stability and precision in machining, the turret in, for example, Hwacheon’s Hi-TECH 550 provides a powerful clamping force, offering an index time of 0.2 sec/setup for fast and more stable machining.

Some of the options available include:

  • CNC Lathe Y-axis (for off-center operations)
  • CNC Lathe Part Catcher (off-loading of parts automatically)
  • CNC Lathe Bar Feeder / Bar Magazine (single bar used in bar feeder while the magazine is used for automatic processes involving a number of bars).
  • Sub-spindle
  • MC – drive includes milling, life tools and C-axis operation
  • Various bed lengths to cater long shafts or pipes
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