Machine tooling has come a long way since its inception hundreds of years ago. Where tools used to be worked by hand only, they’ve progressed all the way to today’s automated systems in the manufacturing industry. Yet there’s one type of machine tool that hasn’t changed in purpose over the years: the tap and die, or rather the various types of tapping tools used to create threading.
One early example of system such as this is the screw-cutting lathe, which dates back to the early 1800s. This type of lathe was used to give screws their threading. Today’s tapping tools, however, thread more than just screws: pipes and tubes for all types of applications, for instance, are often created on tap and die-style machine tools.
Why Machine Tapping?
In order to provide tapping functions, a CNC machine must have the right types of tap adapters to control production. CNC machine tool manufacturers take advantage of the microprocessors today that allow for presetting manufacturing projects. The other advantage of machine tapping is that it can eliminate the chance for human error. Tapping tools and adapters are made for high-speed, high-velocity jobs, so when thousands of parts need finishing, the production will complete far quicker than it would with hand tapping tools only.
What are the Types of Tapping Tools and Adapters?
More commonly, tap adapters are similar to CNC tool holders — they are responsible for holding the tool in an ER collet or collet chuck. Some tapping tools allow for a hard start, meaning that those items don’t need to be pre-drilled or have any other prep before the threading process begins. Other variants include tension only, tension and compression, and torque control. Many tapping tools and adapters have radial float, which allows for misalignment between the machine spindle and the hole to be tapped in order to reduce errors.
If you have questions on tapping tools and tap adapters, be sure to speak to a qualified machine tool manufacturer. They should be able to answer your questions and ensure that their parts work seamlessly with your machines. Have more questions? Leave a comment below.