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What are sliding head lathes?

CNC Sliding Head Lathes, also known as Swiss Auto lathes, were first designed for producing precision watch parts and other precision engineered components within exceptionally close geometric tolerances.

The specialist technology behind sliding head lathes involves a bar being fed through the CNC machine's headstock and being grasped by a collet, supporting the bar via a guide bush arrangement for increased stability.

Sliding head technology can suit various mill-turn parts up to a maximum diameter of 42mm and Star machines can be configured for producing miniature prismatic components or shafts in excess of 2m.

Star GB Sliding Head Lathes

Benefits of sliding head technology

A significant benefit of sliding head technology is the reduction in cycle times compared to other technologies such as fixed head machining. The cutting tools in a sliding head machine are positioned very close to the workpiece which reduces non-cutting 'idle' time, while the sub-spindle allows operations to be 'overlapped' to further reduce cycle time.

The flexibility of sliding head machines typically enables components to be produced in one-hit which removes the need for additional operations, while the quick set-up times make short runs easy and efficient. Star machines also have the capability to operate unattended overnight which significantly reduces process times and cost per part.

Why choose Star machines?

Star GB is the only company who are solely dedicated to sliding head technology. Star machines are built at the ultra-modern Kikugawa plant in Japan and are renowned for their outstanding build quality and long-term reliability.

Star machines are easy to set-up, simple to program and cheaper to run than most competitors due to the lower power consumption. We also offer a suite of software to help make machine investment, operation and maintenance straightforward; from our NC Assist template-driven programming software to our SMOOSS-i remote monitoring software.

Star GB are also the sole UK agent for FMB bar feeders and JBS guide bush systems, enabling us to offer single-source solutions for mill-turn applications backed by industry-leading customer support.

Unsure if sliding head technology is suitable for your parts?

Star GB is home to a leading applications department who specialise in turnkey projects. Customers can rely on our expertise to deliver a turnkey project that ensures they hit the ground running with their new machine, with components set, proven and ready to run.

Star sliding head lathe range

ST Series

The ST Series with its 12 programmable axes is our flagship triple turret series designed for complex parts up to 42mm in diameter.

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SV Series

The SV Series offers users balanced turning and milling capability in guide bush / non guide bush mode up to 42mm in diameter.

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SW Series

The SW Series offers significantly reduced cycle times due to its opposed twin platen arrangement and 8-station back working attachment.

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SR Series

The SR Series is Star's most popular range, providing exceptional performance and versatility up to a maximum diameter of 42mm.

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SB Series

The SB Series is Star's entry-level range offering impressive machining versatility within a compact footprint.

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