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How does an electric tapping machine work?

Traditionally, tapping was something that was done manually; today, there are a number of options in terms of tapping machines. Electric tapping machines offer several advantages over more traditional techniques.

There are three main types of electric tapping machines: arm-type, horizontal, and CNC:


Arm-type machines use what is essentially a mechanical arm that can be fitted with various attachments on the end that tap the holes. They use a motor to power the arm/to rotate the tapping head as required. They can create a large number of holes quickly and accurately.


Horizontal machines consist of a metal bed with rods that are used to hold the material in place whilst the holes are tapped. These machines can be used for both inner or outer tapping and often have the capability to reverse the tapping process, which enables greater precision and accuracy.


CNC electric tapping machines use specialist computer programs to generate a detailed set of instructions that are transmitted to the tapping machine. These machines can tap blind holes or through holes; in addition, they can undertake rigid tapping, floating tapping, synchronous tapping, and peck tapping.

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Tapping machine specialists

There are multiple companies that specialise in tapping machines and similar equipment. Many of these offer Roscamat tapping machines, which are widely regarded as amongst the best available. A number of these companies, such as www.cotswold-machinery-sales.co.uk/roscamat-tapping-machines/electric-tapping-machines/roscamat-tiger-electric-tapping-machine/, have useful online resources.

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How electric tapping machines work

The majority of electric tapping machines work in similar ways. The main stages of the process are:

1. Clamping: the workpiece is clamped securely in place, preventing any movement that could affect precision.

2. Tool engagement: sensors and actuators are used to accurately engage the tapping tool with the workpiece.

3. Tapping: the electric motor drives the tapping tool into the workpiece, creating the threads with exceptional precision.

4. Reversal/retraction: once the hole is tapped, the machine reverses and retracts the tapping tool to prevent any damage to the threads.

5. Ejection: following retraction, the tool is ejected and the next operation can commence.


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