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CNC Retrofit controls for Vertical Turning Lathes: Monarch, Niles, Bullard, Berthiez

Monarch C axis Vertical turning lathe

This is a huge Monarch Vertical Turning Lathe. This machine is equipped with a live 15hp spindle and a 50hp main spindle. The table is nine feet in diameter.

This lathe is controlled by a Centroid T-400 and is a 3 axis CNC lathe: X, Z and C. The C axis provides programmable control over positioning of the spindle in degrees.

The spindle table weighs 5 TONS and has a maximum speed of 3000 rpm.

Another unique feature of this Monarch is that the X and Z axis are mounted on a vertical movement slide. This slide allows the machine to adjust to tall or short sized parts. The slide is also controlled thru the T-400 using the programmable auxiliary keys.
If that isn't enough, the Monarch is also equipped with a 12 position automatic tool changer!

Niles Turret lathe, left side is CNC side

Here you see a classic Niles Turret mill. This machine was used during WWII to make tank turrets! This machine has two operator stations, the left side of the machine was converted to CNC using a Centroid T-400 control. The right side has been left manually operated as originally equipped. The spindle is 50 Hp and the spindle table is 9 feet in diameter and spins up to 1000 rpm. The table floats on oil and is equipped with and encoder for constant surface speed machining. The M400 is mounted on a stand directly behind the two men in the photo.

Niles turret lathe, fixture plate being installed

Ballscrews and AC brushless servo drives were added to the X and Z axis on the left side. The control is mounted on a rolling stand (it is located behind the tool box in the photos) The upper photo shows the Z axis at its maximum - travel and the lower photo shows a fixture being installed to raise the work piece to the height of the cutter.

Both the Monarch and the Niles are owned by TVA and are used to make power plant parts. Thanks to CNC Design for the photos.

Large Machine CNC retrofit video