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Tapping Program in CNC Turning Machine: An In-depth Exploration!

Jun 28, 2023

The world of CNC turning machines is vast. Dive into the heart of this blog to learn more about a vital part - the tapping program. In the journey, delve deep into different types, programming concepts, and much more. Open the door to the fascinating, intricate world of CNC turning machines.


Understanding CNC Turning Machines!


Basics of CNC Turning Machines

In CNC turning machines, tapping programs play a significant role. Tapping uses a spindle to cut threads into materials. CNC machines deliver precision, performing tasks at high speeds.


Core Components and their Functions

Spindle - Your CNC turning machine's heart is the spindle. Turning operations occur as the spindle rotates the workpiece at speeds up to 12,000 RPM.

 Chuck - The chuck secures the workpiece. Jaw chucks, with three or six jaws, are most common.

 Turret - Housing the tools, the turret rotates to position the right tool. Eight stations are standard, but twelve or more exist.

 Tool Holder - The tool holder secures the cutting tool. Precise alignment is vital for accurate work.

 Tailstock - The tailstock supports the workpiece's end, especially for long or heavy pieces.

 Carriage - The carriage moves the tools along the workpiece. Precision guides ensure accurate movement.

 Slide - Slides help the tool move in X and Z directions. High precision is vital.

 Axes - In CNC turning, two axes, X and Z, are most common. Some advanced machines offer Y-axis movement.

 Control Panel - The operator uses the control panel to input programs and monitor operations. Modern panels feature touchscreen controls.

 Feed Drive - The feed drive moves the tool along the workpiece. Precision drives deliver accurate, repeatable movements.

 Coolant System - Coolant reduces heat, prolonging tool life. Some systems also remove chips from the work area.


Types of CNC Turning Machines

Horizontal Turning - In horizontal machining center turning, the spindle axis is horizontal. It's the most common type.

Vertical Turning - Vertical turning machines have a vertically oriented spindle. They are excellent for large or heavy workpieces.

Twin Spindle - Twin-spindle machines have two spindles. They offer higher productivity and can complete two operations simultaneously.

Twin-Turret - Twin-turret machines have two tool turrets, enhancing productivity by enabling simultaneous operations.

Sliding Headstock - Sliding headstock machines offer high precision for small, complex parts. The headstock moves, feeding the workpiece into the tool.

 Live Tooling - Live tooling machines feature rotating tools, expanding the range of possible operations.

Inverted Vertical - Inverted CNC vertical machining centers have a spindle that moves, rather than the table. They offer high rigidity and accuracy.

Swiss-Type - Swiss-type machines have a sliding headstock and guide bushing. They excel at long, slender workpieces.

Hybrid Turning - Hybrid turning machines combine turning with other operations, like milling or grinding. They can complete parts in one setup.



Fundamentals of Tapping!


Concept of Tapping in Machining

Tapping creates threads inside holes. The Tapping Program in CNC Turning Machine helps. Cutters twist into metal. The program uses G84 code.

Precise RPMs matter - typically 60 to 800. Speeds change with material. For aluminum, 350 RPM works. Lubrication helps. Proper cooling, too. Chip removal is vital. So, use a 75% thread engagement.


Types of Taps and Their Applications


Hand Taps

Manual use, not machines. Commonly in threes - taper, second, and plug. Simple threads need them.

Spiral Flute Taps

Channels in flutes lift chips. Perfect for blind holes. Aluminum, nickel, and copper benefit.

Spiral Point Taps

Shoots chips forward. Great for through holes. Use in carbon steels.

Form Taps

Cold forming, not cutting. No chips. Strong threads. Use 30% more torque. Good in copper, zinc.

Interrupted Thread Taps

Less contact area. Easier turning. Suitable for tough materials. Sturdy cast iron finds them handy.

Pipe Taps

For pipes. Makes threads in fittings. Water, gas lines use them.

Taper Taps

Gradual cutting edges. Smooth start. Less force. Usable in general materials.

Bottoming Taps

Flat end. Makes threads in hole's bottom. Pair with taper taps.

Roll Taps

Squeeze, not cut. For ductile materials. Aluminum and low carbon steels.


Tap Materials and Coatings


High Speed Steel

Versatile, withstands heat. For hand and machine tapping. HSS-E variant contains cobalt.

Carbon Steel

Low cost, less durable. For maintenance, not production.

Cobalt Steel

Tough, withstands heat. Perfect for stainless steel.

Solid Carbide

Very hard, brittle. Non-ferrous metals and plastics.

Nitride Coating

Improves life, lowers friction. For high alloy steel.

Titanium Coating

Gold appearance. Lowers friction. General-purpose applications.

Diamond Coating

Extremely hard. For composites and non-ferrous materials.

Tin Coating

Increases tap life. Reduces friction. Multi-purpose applications.


Programming Concepts for Tapping in CNC Turning!


Introduction to G-code Programming

G-code programming fuels the tapping program in a CNC turning machine. It controls movement, speed, and path. It's the backbone of precise machining with numbers like X, Y, Z, F, and S.


Role of Tapping Cycles in CNC Programs

Tapping cycles play a pivotal role in CNC programs. They dictate the movement of the cutting tool. They ensure quality threading with M03 and M04 for spindle direction, and M05 to stop.


Basic Structure of a Tapping Program

Initialization: Start of the tapping program with G90 for absolute programming.

 Tool Selection: T01 selects the first tool.

 Spindle Speed: S1200 sets it at 1200 RPM.

 Feed Rate: F0.2 determines the cutting speed.

 Tapping Cycle: G84 handles the tapping cycle.

 Tool Retraction: G80 ends the cycle and retracts the tool.

 Program Termination: M30 marks the end of the program.

 Tool Compensation: G41 or G42 offsets for tool radius.

 Coolant Control: M08 starts coolant; M09 stops it.

 Error Checking: Prevents mishaps and promotes accurate tapping.


In-Depth Analysis of G84 Tapping Cycle!


Purpose and Usage of G84 Tapping Cycle

Precision Tapping: G84 allows high-precision threading.

 Consistent Results: Ensures uniformity in each cycle.

 Efficiency Boost: Simplifies the process, saves time.

 Simplified Programming: Makes writing programs easier.

 Cycle Optimization: Optimizes the tapping process.

 Thread Quality: Produces high-quality threads.

 Speed Control: Regulates the RPM.

 Depth Control: Controls the depth of tapping.


Breakdown of G84 Tapping Cycle Commands

 Feed Rate: F determines the speed.

 RPM: S regulates the spindle speed.

Tool Offset: G43 offsets for tool length.

 Clearance Plane: R defines the distance.

Rigid Tapping: M29 enables synchronous tapping.

 Peck Tapping: Allows for deep-hole threading.

 Inverted Tapping: Used for reverse threads.

 Thread Size: Defined by the tool.

 Depth of Cut: Z value sets depth.


Exploring Fanuc’s G84 Tapping Cycle!


Fanuc’s Approach to Tapping in CNC Turning

In the realm of CNC turning, the role of Fanuc's tapping program can't be overlooked. The innovative G84 cycle eases threading processes.

It boasts parameters like X, Z, R, P, and Q for improved control. With a well-organized set-up, precision in thread creation elevates to another level.


Understanding the G84 Tapping Cycle in Fanuc Systems

 Depth Setting: The Z parameter dictates the thread depth. It's a pivotal parameter for achieving an accurate end product.

 Feed Control: Thread quality depends on the F function. Feed rate management is vital in the G84 cycle.

 Spindle Orientation: Ensures the spindle aligns perfectly. The M19 command helps achieve optimal positioning.

 Tool Compensation: An essential aspect of the G84 cycle. Managed with the H function, it improves accuracy.

 Retraction Method: Managed with G98 and G99. Useful for controlling the retraction plane.

Program Control: M3, M4 commands control spindle rotation direction. Critical for thread creation.

 Cycle Interruption: An emergency stop feature, M00, to pause the cycle when needed.

 Override Function: Essential for manual speed and feed adjustment. Handled via the F and S command.

 Modal Commands: Vital for ongoing operations. Commands like G90 and G91 manage operations.

 Special Cycles: G74 and G76 manage the left-hand threading and multi-start threading respectively.


Tips and Techniques for Using Fanuc’s G84 Tapping Cycle

 Tool Calibration: A must before you run the program. Ensures precision.

Thread Checking: Verifying the thread created by the G84 cycle prevents issues.

 Chip Evacuation: Regular removal of chips ensures smooth operations.

 Machine Condition: Regular inspection and maintenance help in long-run performance.

 Cycle Verification: Regular checks ensure program runs as planned.

 Troubleshooting Errors: Essential for managing issues that might arise during the cycle.

 Operator Training: Trained operators can optimize the G84 tapping program.

 Program Revision: Regular revisions of the program help improve efficiency.

 Documentation: Keep proper records of changes and updates for reference.


Understanding Other Tapping Cycles!



 G83 Peck Drilling: In a Tapping Program in CNC Turning Machine, G83 pecks into materials. Use short 0.1-inch pecks for metals like steel.

 G73 High-Speed Peck: G73 works faster than G83. Ideal for softer materials and cuts up to 25% quicker.

 G76 Fine Boring: G76 gives the hole a polished look. Takes around 15 seconds for a 3-inch depth.

 G81 Drilling Cycle: Use G81 for simple, straight holes. Takes about 20 seconds for a 4-inch-deep hole in aluminum.

 G85 Boring Cycle: G85 widens holes. Choose a 5mm cutter for best results.

 G86 Boring Cycle: G86 gives a fine finish. Mostly for metals under 50 Rockwell hardness.

 G89 Boring Cycle: G89 keeps the tool in the hole longer. Great for smooth holes in hard materials.

 G74 Left-hand Tapping: G74 cuts left-hand threads. Remember, these threads turn counterclockwise.

 G92 Threading Cycle: G92 makes threads for screws and bolts. Can create 20 threads in under 2 minutes.

 G94 Face Grooving Cycle: G94 carves grooves. Works on the face of the material.


Programming Techniques for Lathe Tapping!


 Tool Path Planning: Precision matters. Planning paths prevent crashes and boosts accuracy by 0.001 inches.

Cycle Timing: Timing reduces waste. Set cycles to shave off 15% in production time.

 Syncing Moves: Sync moves for smooth operation. Save tool life and get better cuts.

 Tool Wear Compensation: Offset tool wear. Maintain dimensions within 0.0001-inch tolerance.

 Thread Milling: Craft threads with a CNC milling machine cutter. Increases thread quality by 20%.

 Subroutine Usage: Use subroutines to avoid repetition. Save 10% of programming time.

 Macro Programming: Automate tasks with macros. Enhance efficiency, accuracy, and speed.

 Helical Interpolation: Cut arcs and circles. Do with 0.005-inch precision.

 Parameter Setting: Adjust settings for the job. Correct parameters lead to fewer errors.

 Looping Functions: Loop functions save time. Great for repetitive tasks.


Tooling Considerations for Tapping!


 Tap Geometry: Select proper tap angles. The 60-degree angle is standard for most materials.

 Tap Size: Match tap size to the hole. A 0.25-inch tap for a 0.25-inch hole is ideal.

 Tap Holder: Use rigid holders. Prevents wobbling and ensures accurate tapping.

 Coolant Type: Pick the right coolant. Water-based coolants work well for high temperatures.

 Tool Life: Monitor wear. Replace after 10,000 cycles for steel taps.

 Chip Removal: Clear chips often. Improves tapping by 15%.

 Tool Breakage: Check tools for damage. Replace broken taps right away.

 Tool Material: Use carbide for hard materials. HSS (High-Speed Steel) is good for softer materials.

 Tool Coating: Titanium coatings reduce friction. Extends tool life by 25%.


Optimization of Tapping Processes!


Speed Optimization

Proper RPM settings, usually between 60-200 RPM, optimize the tapping program in CNC turning machines.


Feed Optimization

Feed rate adjustments, often ranging from 0.001 to 0.030 inches per revolution, ensure precise thread creation.


Tool Life Maximization

Regular carbide or high-speed steel tool replacements result in 25-30% longer tool life.


Quality Control

Implementing metrology practices, using micrometers and calipers, maintains a tolerance of +/- 0.0005 inches.


Process Stability

Rigidity in the setup and consistent coolant flow establish stable and reliable tapping processes.


Time Efficiency

Automating repetitive tasks minimizes cycle time by approximately 15%, streamlining overall production.


Cycle Reduction

Combining multiple operations into one program reduces cycle times by a significant margin.


Cost Reduction

Appropriate tool selection and maintenance practices cut down operational costs by nearly 20%.


Waste Minimization

Efficient chip removal methods and recyclable coolants substantially lessen waste production.


Error Handling and Troubleshooting!


Alarm Codes

Refer to the machine's manual for deciphering alarm codes to identify specific issues promptly.


Fault Finding

Regular inspections help in detecting faults like worn-out gears and improper clamp pressures.


Machine Errors

Utilize laser alignment tools to rectify axis misalignment, which causes dimensional inaccuracies.


Programming Mistakes

Editing G-code or M-code eliminates programming errors, thus safeguarding the machine against crashes.


Tool Breakage

Inspect cutting tools for fractures and wear, replacing them before catastrophic failure occurs.


Material Issues

Ensure workpieces are free from surface flaws and voids to avoid undesired machining outcomes.


Machine Calibration

Precision calibration using dial indicators ensures the CNC turning machine operates within designated tolerances.


Process Monitoring

Incorporate sensors and real-time feedback systems for constant monitoring of machining processes.


Routine Maintenance

Engage in planned maintenance schedules to ensure peak machine performance and prevent downtimes.


Integration of Tapping with Other CNC Turning Operations!


Sequential Machining

Combine tapping with boring and cnc drilling machine operations for streamlined and efficient production cycles.



Employ multi-tasking capabilities to perform tapping, milling, and turning in a single setup.


Turn-Mill Operations

Combine turning and milling operations to fabricate complex parts with high precision.


Multi-Spindle Use

Deploying multiple spindles, often two to eight, amplifies productivity and reduces cycle times.


Sub-Spindle Work

Utilize sub-spindles for finishing operations, maximizing efficiency and precision in complex parts fabrication.


Live Tooling

Integrate rotary tools to perform milling, drilling, and tapping without re-clamping the workpiece.


Bar Feeding

Use bar feeders for automated loading of bar stock, boosting production rates significantly.



Incorporate backworking for efficient machining of the workpiece’s rear section, enhancing dimensional accuracy.


Part Catching

Deploy part catchers to safely remove finished parts, protecting their surface finish and dimensional integrity.


Quality Control in Tapping Operations!


Dimensional Checks: Employ precise measuring tools to ensure tap size accuracy. Guarantee threads align with the blueprint.


 Thread Gauge Testing: Use go/no-go gauges. Validate internal thread accuracy.

 Surface Finish: Monitor thread surface quality. Achieve smooth, clean finishes.

 Metallurgical Analysis: Confirm material composition. Enhance the tapping program in the CNC turning machine.

 Process Validation: Document each tapping process. Verify conformity with specifications.

 Non-Conformance Handling: Address deviations promptly. Implement corrective actions to avoid recurrence.

 Statistical Control: Apply statistical methods. Control and improve the tapping process.

 Traceability: Maintain detailed records. Enhance product traceability.

Conduct regular audits: Guarantee compliance with industry standards.


Maintenance and Longevity of Tapping Operations!



 Routine Inspection: Carry out daily visual checks. Identify any noticeable abnormalities.

 Lubrication: Apply appropriate lubricants regularly. Ensure smooth operation.

 Cleaning: Clean the machine post-operation. Keep the workspace tidy.

 Spindle Alignment: Validate spindle alignment frequently. Enhance the longevity of operations.

 Regular Calibration: Calibrate the CNC machine periodically. Guarantee accurate tapping.

 Tool Changes: Replace worn-out tools promptly. Sustain quality of operation.

 Preventative Maintenance: Implement proactive maintenance strategies. Prolong machine service life.

 Machine Wear: Monitor machine parts for wear and tear. Implement timely replacements.

 Component Replacement: Swap out faulty components. Keep the machine in prime condition.




In the exploration, key elements of a Tapping Program in CNC Turning Machine have been discovered. In-depth knowledge about types, programming and more is gained.

For further insight, one can visit CNCYANGSEN. Gain a deeper understanding and push the boundaries of CNC turning operations.


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