Lathe is a tool that rotates any workpiece on its axis in order to carry out numerous operations such as cutting, deformation or drilling, knurling and so on with tools applied on that workpiece to create a symmetrical object about an axis of rotation. In short, a lathe machine is used to shape various work pieces. Lathe machines have many applications; lathe machines are used in woodturning, metalworking, metal spinning, glass working and thermal spraying. The main purpose of a lathe machine is to facilitate unfinished to finished metal product transformation.
There are different types of lathe machines depending on the material being worked upon. Generally, there are three types of lathe machines – engine lathes, special purpose lathes and turret lathes. Each of these types have their respective characteristics and applications. Engine lathes are the most popular. The best thing about engine lathes is that they can be used to transform different materials other than metal.
Turret lathes are used for sequential machining of single workpieces. Sequential machining helps in eliminating errors in the work alignment. With turret lathes, machining is done with better efficiency thereby reducing errors, increasing speed and correspondingly reducing working time. Special purpose lathes are used for carrying out special procedures and processes (e.g. heavy duty production of identical parts), and hence the name special purpose lathes.