Smart Investments: Johnford Lathe Expands Duff-Norton's Capabilities

Manufacturing | Power & Motion Technology | By Duff-Norton | Jun 03, 2019

The Johnford lathe is a noteworthy investment for any heavy-duty manufacturing firm. Through a process of facing, turning, necking, chamfering, and threading, this machine can turn a raw piece of bar stock into a heavy-duty lifting screw, which can then be inserted in a screw jack.

So, how does this investment bring better value to our customers?

High-quality features

The Johnford CNC Superlathe is worthy of the name for one main reason: its gearbox.

The Superlathe comes with a gearbox capable of delivering extremely high torque without generating noise or transmitting heat. In fact, this lathe has a maximum torque of 56.4 Nm and a maximum speed of 20,000 rpm, making it capable of working day and night, without fail.

Our purchase of the Johnford lathe is an investment for the future. It broadens our ability to meet the needs of customers with larger lifting screw requirements.

Live Tooling

The Johnford lathe comes equipped with live tooling features, too. These features allow us to turn, drill, tap, mill and bore parts in a single operational setup. As a result, we can produce lifting screws at a higher quality because we’re able to manufacture parts on one machine with one setup.

Because of the Johnford lathe, our customers can benefit from both increased efficiencies and on-time deliveries.


The Johnford lathe is more than just a rugged piece of equipment. This Superlathe has an efficiency rate of more than 95 percent, making it one of the most versatile, long-standing and effective lathes on the market. This allows us to produce more products at a faster rate, and with fewer errors. As a result, we can deliver to our customers quickly and efficiently.

Advanced features include a zero table overhang and a super-wide base arrangement, which contribute to the lathe’s accuracy and rigidity when producing lifting screws. 


Producing accurate, quality products can be a difficult thing to do when dealing with automated machinery operating at high speeds. But the Johnford Superlathe operates with excellent rigidity, with both static and dynamic accuracy across three different axes.

Its high-rigidity and high-precision linear guides operate on the X and Y axes, stabilizing the bar stock as it turns, and the high-speed spindle adds to the lathe’s efficiency, contributing to the production of a quality, reliable and consistent product.

Longer length capabilities

The Johnford Superlathe can run screws between 3.0 diameter and 9.0 diameter, producing lifting screws that reach up to 30 feet long using a singular piece of bar stock.

Here at Duff-Norton, we use the Superlathe to make high load capacity lifting screws for applications that require lifting power from 25 tons all the way up to 250 tons. With this lathe, we can help our customers customize their products with fewer limitations in the length of lifting screw they require.

This improves the overall quality of the screws, and, as a result, many come with a longer life and can hold larger load bearings than other screws of a similar size.

Investing in quality

The Johnford lathe represents a substantial capital investment for Duff-Norton. And we purchased it for one reason: to benefit our customers. It allows us to be more responsive to the needs of our customers and their demand for large precision machine screws. It also lets us operate with shorter lead times.

At Duff-Norton, we pride ourselves on our ability to seek out, invest in and use the best of the best when it comes to machinery. We set ourselves apart from the rest in terms of quality, and it’s because of investments in machinery like the Johnford CNC Superlathe that we are a leading manufacturer of screw jacks.


As a leading engineering manufacturer of reliable industrial lifting and positioning products, Duff-Norton is comprised of individuals with in-depth industry experience. Articles authored by Duff-Norton belong to a collection of blogs written by product and application experts throughout the organization.

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