High-production lathes benefit from robot loading

Tongtai’s MT-series of horizontal turning centres are designed for improving cycle times and turning processes on small parts for the automotive industry.

Tongtai’s newest MT Series Lathes were developed for improving cycle times and turning processes for the automotive industry where small parts are typically made within 60 seconds. After many years of working together on customising machines and turnkey projects with automotive customers worldwide, Tongtai developed the MT series for precision turning, high production volume, automatic production, and insertion into mass-production lines.

The MT Series has twin spindles and two individual machining areas. The turrets and spindles are designed parallel to each other. This design makes parts that usually need two processes to be finished on one machine. The addition of a gantry-type robot saves floor space and improves labour flexibility. Depending on cycle time, a single robot arm/single Tongtai MT-2000 stocker or twin robot arms/twin stockers for high production chucking work are both available on these lathes. The Tongtai MT lathes come equipped with either 6” or 8” chucks on spindles that rotate at 6,000 or 4,500 RPMs respectively. The control system offers a robot teaching function so that the operator can adjust positioning. The function coordinates the robot arm, on-screen positioning diagram, input coordinates, number and names of positions, three axes settings and single axis settings.


The work area on the main foundation of the lathes has two individual working areas with separate bed structures. This design decreases the transferring of harmonic vibration, contributing to excellent machining accuracy and high quality surface finishes. The compact design allows for a short cutting flow from start to finish, which enhances machining rigidity and heavy cutting ability. Maximum swing diameter is 210mm with a machining diameter of 210mm or 120mm (with robotic arm), and machining length of 145mm or 100mm (with robotic arm).

The MT series lathes are equipped with workpiece positioning protection to ensure sealing between the workpiece surface and chuck. Pneumatic pressure leaks can be detected, and if this occurs, the robot arm will reload the workpiece. The gantry type robotic arm is able to process three axes of movement and is driven by a servo motor. The programmable arm allows the operator to adjust positioning points and moving routes. Rapid traverse for the robotic arm are 160m/minute in X, 120m/minute in Y, and 35m/minute in Z. The rotary axis moves at 180° in one second.

The pallet stocker comes in three types: three poles and a center, three poles, and a central pole type. The number of pallets ranges from 10, 14, and 16 with allowable part diameters all at 30mmΦ through 150mmΦ.

For further details contact PBS Machine Tools on TEL: 011 914 3360 or visit www.pbsmt.co.za