How Multi-Spindle Screw Machines Work

Multi-spindle screw machines are turning machines that use a number of tools mounted on a central spindle to simultaneously operate on material pieces. A precision-machined drum carries multiple spindles while typically rotating horizontally. To complete a part in one full rotation of the drum, the machine automatically divides the total number of operations between the spindles. With one part completed per drum index, multi-spindle screw machines deliver a highly efficient production process.

Basics of Multi-Spindle Screw Machines

All multi-spindle screw machines include accurate and rigid spindle-carrying heads. New machine models use angular contact radial bearings in the place of bronze or needle bearings, reducing runout for spindles to consistently less than 0.0005 in.

Davenport Machine’s multi-spindle screw machine capabilities include:

  • Forming
  • Backworking
  • Drilling
  • Reaming
  • Broaching
  • Cross milling
  • Flat generation
  • Cross drilling (drilling multiple holes at varying timed positions)
  • Thread rolling
  • Shaving
  • Swaging
  • Stamping
  • Burnishing
  • Keyway milling
  • Slotting
  • Thread milling
  • Gear hobbing

Parts of a Multi-Spindle Machine

Multi-spindle screw machines consist of three main components: the multi-spindle drill head, multi-spindle drill head attachment, and either a single or automatic multi-spindle lathe.

Multi-Spindle Drill Head

Multi-spindle screw machine drill heads typically contain numerous spindles mounted on ball bearings and driven by gears. The distance between the drill head’s spindles governs drill head bearing choice.

Multi-Spindle Drill Head Attachments

Multi-spindle screw machines incorporate fixed and adjustable drill heads.

  • Adjustable drill heads allow the drilling spindle’s center distance to vary according to specific requirements.
  • Fixed drilling heads have invariable center distance, allowing more precise drilling.

Multi-Spindle Lathe

A lathe rotates worked material on its axis to facilitate performance of operations including cutting, deformation, and turning. It operates by applying tools to the worked material as the lathe spins.

Mass production prefers multi-spindle lathes because they boost production rates four to six times greater than a single lathe machine.

Multi-Spindle Automatic Lathe

Automatic lathes for multi-spindle screw machines perform a range of operations, including:

  • Turning
  • Chamfering
  • Threading
  • Grooving
  • Boring holes
  • Drilling

These processes operate by moving the worked piece between the screw machine’s six to eight positions.

Types of Multi-Spindle Screw Machines

Davenport Machine’s multi-spindle screw machines deliver the most efficient production method for high-volume parts. Our selection of elite screw machines includes the Davenport HP, the Model B, and the Chucker.

Davenport HP

The Davenport HP produces both long or short runs of small parts. The Davenport HP’s powerful programmable logic controller (PLC) reduces setup times and adjustments to enhance production efficiency.

Model B

Since 1900, the Model B has been Davenport Machine’s most profitable multi-spindle automatic screw machine. The Model B offers simplified setup and minimal operating time.


The Chucker is Davenport Machine’s five-spindle chucking machine. It performs medium and high-volume secondary operation work for parts of up to 2.25-in diameter.

Improve Your Process Automation with Davenport Machine

For more than 100 years, Davenport Machine has offered multi-spindle screw machines that maximize production efficiency. To learn more about how our screw machines will improve your production line, request a quote today!

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