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The Visitor 3
Flexibility of Automatics


Another aspect, which comes as a surprise to those more familiar with the usual workshop lathe, is the flexibility of production available from automatic lathes. Their basic design enables them to produce an enormous variety of turned parts: in fact, anything called for in watch production. In addition, they can also cut internal and external threads form flats and slots, and even tackle undercutting and freak jobs, apparently with the same speed and precision with which they cope with their more ordinary tasks.
Mr Wyndham Reynolds, linesetter of Andre Bechler Automatic Lathes(foreground), and (in the background) Mr David Jenkins of Petermann 4 and Wickman 7/16" Automatic Lathes
  The main output of the automatic shop is of such components as pinion blanks, staffs, barrel arbors, barrels, pillars, stems and so on, and the quality of turning, as well as the high speed, is remarkable. The Gurnos Works produces pin-pallet movements, and their components present their own special machining problems, but the ever useful automatic can deal with every turned part required. One of the most interesting is the production of winding buttons from knurled or, rather, splined brass rod. Turning back, recessing, threading, finishing and parting off from the rod are carried out in seconds, and the buttons straight from the tool would not disgrace any watch. 
  One group of automatics seems to be engaged tirelessly producing nothing! No components appear to be resulting from their efforts, but they are, in fact, making the tiny pins used to hairspring pinning and similar processes, and the pins are so minute that they fall with the turning swarf into a small container and are sorted out afterwards. 
  There are 7 pages on the visit in 1962. Use the box links below to see the other pages