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What You Need to Know About Swiss Screw Machining

What is swiss screw machining

Swiss screw machining is a machining process used to produce high quantities of precision parts. Automatic lathes, called Swiss screw machines can be programmed to produce various precision metal and plastic parts. These machines can run 24/7 to increase production speed and lower costs.

At Spex, we use a variety of screw machines, including Swiss screw machines, Davenport screw machines, and multi-spindle. They each have different abilities and benefits.

In this article, we’ll explain the capabilities, benefits, and everything else you need to know about Swiss screw machining.

Brief overview of Swiss screw machining

Screw machines have been used since the late 1800s to mass-produce identical parts. They were developed to produce high quantities of screws, and small, precision parts. These machines were primarily used for for watches in Switzerland. In the 1960s, Swiss screw machines gained more momentum. Today, Swiss screw machining is used worldwide to produce millions of metal and non-metal components.

Swiss screw machining is also called Swiss Turning, or Swiss Automatic Machining. 

The machining process starts by programming the part design into the machine. This tells the machine the exact dimensions to cut and drill into the raw material.

Once the measurements are inputted, raw metal, or bar stock, is loaded into what’s called a bar feeder. The bar feeder can hold a large amount of bar stock which can keep the machine running for hours.

The bar feeder moves a spinning round bar through the collet which holds the material as it’s machined. The spinning chuck grabs the raw material and pulls it out to the determined part length.

The collet clamps the part and holds it while it’s machined. When that part is complete, it’s cut off, and the bar feeder advances the material to start machining the next part.

Benefits of Swiss screw machining

Swiss screw machining offers great benefits to manufacturers that need bulk precision machined parts. Swiss screw machining offers increased efficiency, material diversity, and design diversity compared to other machines.


Swiss screw machines can perform a variety of cuts, slotting, drilling, and more simultaneously, which eliminated the need for further machining and increases production speed. After being programmed, the machines can run continuously and minimize the need for operators.

These machines are capable of running 24/7, which means your project can be completed quickly.

Material diversity

Swiss screw machines are capable of machining various grades of metal, and polycarbonate with high precision.

Spex uses Swiss screw machines to manufacture parts using a wide variety of metals and polycarbonates. This versatility allows our clients to choose the material that best fits their project. The lower levels of deflection also allow for higher precision while machining difficult materials such as hastelloy and stainless steel.

Design diversity

The capabilities of Swiss screw machines are much more advanced than the original machines used in the 1800s. Today, they can cut and drill parts within a 0.005mm (0.0002in) tolerance.

Swiss screw machining offers greater design diversity allowing engineers and designers to explore different options to improve performance and reduce cost. These machines can create components that are too expensive or otherwise impossible for traditional machining techniques, such as very small or complicated screws with multiple surface features.

Swiss screw machines are also used to manufacture precision pins, housings, connectors, and fittings. These precision parts are used in a wide range of applications in the automotive, aerospace, and medical industries,

Swiss screw machining capabilities

There are many applications that a Swiss screw machine can be used for, and one of the industries that depend on it the most is the automotive industry. This is because Swiss Screw Machine can produce high quantities of precision parts at low costs.

The electronics industry also takes advantage of Swiss screw machines to manufacture small, intricate parts. A variety of different metals and materials are used in electronics, so it’s a major benefit to these companies that the Swiss screw machine accommodates different materials.

Industries that use Swiss screw machined parts

Any industry that uses small precision parts will benefit from the capabilities of Swiss screw machines.

Spex produces a huge variety of parts with our Swiss screw machines. Some of these parts include:

  • Spacers
  • Pins
  • Housings
  • Screws
  • Connectors
  • Sleeves

These parts are used in a wide range of industries, which include:

  • Automotive
  • Medical
  • Defense
  • Aerospace
We believe that Swiss screw machining plays an essential role in the efficient supply chain management for our customers, and supports many cutting edge consumer products.

Contact us

Talk with one of our team members if you have any questions about Spex Swiss screw machining services and capabilities.

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Phone: (585) 467-0520

Email: sales@spex1.com

85 Excel Drive
Rochester, NY 14621