The following is some basic information for people interested in Hydromats or other rotary transfer machines.
Rotary transfer machines are ideal for even larger quantities and more complicated parts than those produced on multi-spindles. Rotary transfer machines are used to produce turned parts which require many operations such as cross drilling, cross tapping, milling, and extensive back-working. The machines normally are used to produce volumes in the millions annually. Some of the most popular rotary transfer machines worldwide include Hydromat, Eubama, Micron, and Buffoli.
Machining Process:On a traditional rotary transfer machine, bar stock is sawed off and then the blank part indexes around the machine to many different stations ("units") where various operations are performed. For instance, one station will do drilling, another station will do recessing, another station will do milling. Traditionally the tools turn while the material remains stationary--this is the opposite of the process on a traditional lathe in which the material rotates and the tools do not. It's most common to find rotary transfer machines equipped with either 12 or 16 stations.