Swiss Machining Basics
What “Swiss” means in machining is that the machine has a sliding headstock and a guide bushing that works in- conjunction with a lathe chuck. The bar stock is clamped in the chuck and it is fed through the guide bushing. This allows the machinist to work with barstock that is supported at all times and the goal is to machine as close to the guide bushing as possible. This machine configuration allows for small parts to be made very efficiently. The other added benefit of a sliding headstock lathe is longer parts can also be made because of the support of the guide bushing and the use of a sub spindle.
While most CNC machines run just one program, a swiss lathe typically runs between two and three programs at a time. This allows for a machine with many axis to operate and make two parts at one time.