What are Vertical Machining Centers (VMCs)?
Machining centers, also known as CNC milling machines, are computer controlled mills that cut materials into a desired geometry or shape. The milling machine has two kinds of machining centers, the horizontal and the vertical machining centers. The form of the machine refers to the orientation of the spindle.
The CNC milling machines are not like the drill press where it holds a workpiece in place while the drill cuts through the material. In milling machines, the cutter is not the only one that rotates but the workpiece is also moved against the cutter that cuts both the flanks and its tip.
Most CNC milling machines are vertical mills whose spindles move across the length of the Z-axis. The structure of vertical machining centers or VMCs gives more freedom for it to be effectively used in engraving, diesinking, and 2.5D surfaces like a raised carving. Moreover, when this is combined with a ball nose cutter or conical tools, the milling precision is drastically improved while its speed is maintained. This then results into a more cost-efficient process.
There are quite a number of manufacturers today who specialize in providing the best VMCs in the market. Some of these providers are Haas, Okuma, Makino, Toyoda, Fadal, Kitamura, Matsuura, and Quickmill among others.
Given the continuous evolution and the need for more efficiency in the industrial sector, manufacturers of vertical machining centers are incessantly looking for ways to cut down on costs and reduce leadtimes. It is therefore imperative that you are armed with the knowledge of what VMC would work best to meet your needs.
It is no longer just comparing the spindle horsepower torque nor the purchase price. Choosing the best VMC for you means you need to examine the different aspects of the machine’s performance such as its capacity to make highly accurate cuts and the quality of its surface finish. Other important aspects to look into are the machine’s stability and construction, spindle design and the thermal stability.
Due to the declining cost of computers as well as the rise of the availability of open source CNC software, the price of CNC machines has also plunged. Therefore, it is best to do your research first on the best vertical machining centers prior to purchasing one. The savings you will get for more efficient operations plus the quality of the finished products would more than likely compensate for the difference in the purchase price of the VMC.
- Difference between Vertical Machine Centers and Horizontal Machine Centers
- Machining Centers: Get to Know the Machining Centers and Its Safety Precautions
- The Difference between Mills and Grinders
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