Most modern innovations are improvements upon existing tried and true technology, and the lathe is a perfect example of that. Despite being one of the earliest-developed tools in use today, the lathe is still an integral part of building everything from furniture to mechanical equipment depended on by every industry the world over. So why has this particularly technology stuck around for so long, and how do we use it today?
The oldest lathes date back to 1300 BC, and were first developed for woodworking to shape objects using a sharp edge and a turning mechanism that created perfect symmetry around the axis of the workpiece. Since then, lathes have became a lot more complex, and are typically used to sand, cut, knurl, and drill into parts and components like rollers, cores, and shafts, produced in modern machining. Though once powered by horses and steam, lathes are now commonly automated by CNC equipment, and their fixturing is highly dependent on the design of the complex machined parts themselves.
So what kept this early form of technology in regular use for so long? It’s their versatility. Lathes can be adapted to shape wood, metal, plastic, and even glass. They can be as simple as the hand lathes commonly used by craftsman and artisans, or as complex as the automated, industrial lathes that shape large rollers, shafts, and cores used for equipment in agriculture, aerospace, automotive manufacturing, mining, and construction. The lathe is so fundamental to modern machining that it will likely never go out of style. As time goes on and technology advances, the lathe’s applications and incarnations advance right along with it.
Allis Roller takes a practical, modern approach to machining. Our lathes are primarily computerized for optimal precision and efficiency, guided by experienced machinists trained in operating CNC equipment. We utilize lathes for machining rollers, cores, shafts, and any other part with a symmetrical round shape. Using the Romi & Fryer lathe, a model with impressive capacity for parts up to 115” long, we’re able to shape large and uniquely complex machined parts used in high tolerance applications.
As a general rule, Allis Roller strives to push the envelope in what’s possible, continually coming up with new ways for maximizing our operation’s potential. Our use of the lathe is an example of that workplace culture. With our own proprietary lathe fixturing aiding in the turning process, we can adapt our machining strategy to the specific application. In general, quality precision machining requires a certain amount of creativity and the ability to match the right equipment and process to the application. That’s how Allis Roller produces precision results for high tolerance applications, every time.
For more information on the lathe and what makes it a valuable asset at Allis Roller, connect with a machining expert via our Contact page.