Did you know the lathe dates back to ancient Egypt, and it was used in Assyria, India, and ancient Greece? Throughout the years, the lathe in some form or fashion was of great importance to those using it. During the industrial revolution, a transition in machine tool processes took place and with it came the increasing use of the lathe. The lathe is said to be the mother of machine tools; it’s ever-increasing use in factories influenced and inspired others to create their own machine tools.

Fast forward to today, and you’ll find lathes in use with various functions like woodworking, metalworking, glass working, and more. In this post, we discuss the history of the lathe and the benefits of installing electronic motor brakes.

The birth and development of the lathe

The lathe is an ancient tool found in Egypt as early as 1300 B.C. The Egyptians developed the first two-man lathe with rope and a sharp lathe. One person would rotate the wood piece with a rope while the other carved into it with a sharp tool. Once the Romans got a hold of the technology, they improved upon the Egyptian lathe. The Romans added a turning bow, which allowed one person to use the lathe without the help of another. This advancement in technology resulted in creations like fine lidded boxes for wood containers, decorative wood pieces for furniture, and much more. The turning bow addition eventually birthed what’s called a spring pole lathe, which uses a long pole as a return spring for the lathe motion. Spring pole lathes were common up into the twentieth century.

At the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich in 1772, a horizontal boring lathe was installed to aid in the production of cannons. The lathe was horse-powered and allowed the production of stronger and more accurate cannons.

In the late eighteenth century, the horizontal boring lathe was used during the American Revolution to produce cannons for the war efforts. The boring lathe had a unique characteristic in that it rotated the workpiece, not the tool.

The lathe saw substantial improvements up through the Industrial Revolution. The introduction of mechanized power allowed for faster and easier work with the tool. The power was transmitted into a line shaft, which removed the need to manually operate the lathe motion.

During the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries, individual electric motors were introduced to the production and manufacturing industries. Further advancements in the 1950s introduced servomechanisms to the machines. This eventually led to what we know as computerized numerical control (CNC).

The benefits of DC injection braking for your lathe

In comparison to friction braking, a DC injection brake allows for a safer, near maintenance free way to control the speed of your lathe. Friction brakes wear out much quicker than DC injection brakes. The friction braking system also requires more frequent maintenance. A DC injection braking system allows you to stop your lathe without the danger of overheating. Finally, friction braking requires a method of actuation, which adds an extra layer of complexity to the system.

Get a quote for an electronic brake system!

Are you in search of an alternative to the friction brake system for an AC electric motor on your lathe? Have you considered a DC injection braking system? Ambi-Tech has provided maximum motor stopping power for over 50 years. Our electronic motor brakes have been used in hundreds of applications, and we’re positive we have the DC injection braking system for your lathe. Get a quote today!