Vertical CNC Milling offers several benefits. Milling is a machining process that can produce intricate and accurate designs in a wide range of materials. Plastics, wood, and metal can be machined.
Vertical and Horizontal milling centers are, depending on the needs of the job. The more commonly found milling centers are vertical. Since these mills are so common, they have become much more affordable.
Vertical milling machines are typically one of two types. The first is the bed mill, in which the material to be machined is put on a base or bed that moves the material horizontally. The cutter moves up and down, making cuts that follow the requested design as perfectly as possible.
The turret mill has a bed that moves both vertically and horizontally while the spindle is fixed. The bed moves the piece in all directions, cutting out the design template.
The horizontal milling center is typically used for manual cuts and for designs that require much larger items to be machined. Since most machining jobs are going to require smaller materials, vertically-oriented milling centers are far more common.
There are several advantages that each type offers, depending on the job at hand. Time, cost, and efficiency keep pushing the industry to create more high-tech milling centers to ease the production costs and number of workers needed. Close attention to detail is critical when working with a milling machine. As such, the computer updates that have been universally put in place are helping to make these milling machines an attractive option for trade workers and customers alike. Let’s break down the five most advantageous reasons to use a vertical milling center.
Advantages of Vertical CNC Milling
1. Cost: As discussed, vertically-oriented milling centers are less expensive and more widely used. The cost of the machine directly affects the cost of the job to be done. The best way to save money is to decide the amount of machined product you need, do the calculations, and see if it is more cost effective to buy a milling center or having another shop run the job for you.
2.Visibility: Projects that are being done inside a vertical milling machine can be viewed without having to stop work. This allows the workers to focus on the design and ensure the machined part meets the required tolerances.
3. Precision: Vertical mills provide very precise cuts. The possibility of human inaccuracy is greatly reduced as well since there isn’t as much direct interaction with the part as there is with a manual machine.
4. Ease of Use: These milling machines are operated with computer controls and are readily accessible to skilled workers. There aren’t additional fixtures to work around either, which keeps it simple to use. Operators will take less time on prep work and programming because the controls make programming the project simple. The overall design of the machine is created to help with installing the material that needs to be machined and remove any major difficult obstacles. Since the machine is prepped and programmed so easily and quickly, the length of time running the mill can be extended. Less setup time equals more run time and more money.
5. Simpler Repairs: Vertical mills don’t have as many moving parts as horizontal machines. The benefit is that with fewer moving parts, there is less to wear out. Working with a vertically-oriented machine allows you to focus maintenance on fewer gears and possible wear points. The turret mill, in particular, uses fewer gears due to the fixed spindle. The bed does all of the moving in that case. Repairs and maintenance to the bed are fairly standard between the mill types.
Vertical milling is typically the more conventional route to take when machining products. The ability to quickly program in the design for the project paired with the ease of setting up the job means the number of units that are machined increases. Technological advancements have greatly improved the user-friendly approach the computer systems are taking these days. Whether you are new to machining, or a seasoned expert, the updates on the typical vertical milling center are a welcome sight.
The team at Cliffe Metal Products has access to both vertical and horizontal milling machines and is able to produce products of the highest quality and all for a reasonable cost. If you have projects, you need to have machined for you, reach out and set up a time to go over the details. Vertical milling centers can save you time and money, and the team at Cliffe has been helping with that for over 40 years.