What Makes Turn Mill Machines Viable?

Posted on Jan 13, 2020

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cnc turn mill machines

Different from conventional machinery, a CNC turn mill machine is a more advanced model based on the design of a milling machine. It is often referred to as the turning center as well. To elaborate, a turn mill unit is fundamentally different from a conventional milling machine primarily with regard to the structure, not so much in terms of functionality because CNC machinery nowadays are designed to be able to perform multiple tasks to enhance efficiency and versatility. 

Different from conventional machinery, a CNC turn mill machine is a more advanced model based on the design of a milling machine. It is often referred to as the turning center as well. To elaborate, a turn mill unit is fundamentally different from a conventional milling machine primarily with regard to the structure, not so much in terms of functionality because CNC machinery nowadays are designed to be able to perform multiple tasks to enhance efficiency and versatility. 

:: Read more : An Introduction to CNC Mill Turn Machine and Its Accessories
 

Turning and Milling at a Glance

A CNC turn mill unit is basically a machine capable of performing both turning and milling. Turning is a process of machining that rotates a material or part, while the tools of the machine produce the part. Milling on the other hand is a machining process in which the part remains fixed, while the tooling rotates to produce that part. Generally, the two operations are performed on two different machines, but to better meet harsher demands in the industries, the rise of multi-tasking units are inevitable, with more and more machines being integrated into one unit to improve efficiency. In terms of applications, turning and milling are typical operations that you’d find across the industries, such as the electrical, automotive, medical, textile and appliance industries, and we are only naming a few.
 

Characteristics of CNC Turn Mill Machines

In the metalworking industry, the CNC turn mill machines are sometimes referred to as the turning centers because they are able to perform turning as their primary function. But at the same time, they are not completely identical because the turn mill units are able to perform other tasks as well. Although the additional functions may not be necessary, they have proven to be indispensable for many parts of the metalworking industries up to this day.

The concept of CNC turning and milling machines stems from that of machining centers as we touched base above. “Machining center” is often a term that can vastly define a broad range drilling and milling units that adopt CNC (computer numerical control) capability. These units are often designed in a way that additional accessories can be retrofitted on the machine body itself, such as tool magazine, ATC (automatic tool changer), power tool turret, CMM (Coordinate Measuring Machine), multi-axis working tables, CMM, robotic arms, etc.
 

Vertical and Horizontal Setup

A CNC turn mill machine, as with the conventional machining centers and lathes, can be divided into two categories: the vertical and horizontal models. But that is not to say that these are the only types available for machining centers.  

For vertical turn mill machines, the workpiece is fixed and processed vertically by a cutting tool. They have a structure that is aligned in the vertical direction, hence the name. For the workpiece to be cut vertically, the cutting tool is installed in a vertical direction as well. With the vertical design, the weight of the workpiece will help it to be firmly placed on the fixture for heavier vertical cutting paths that are programmed.

On the other hand, the horizontal turn mill machines, the spindle is positioned horizontally so that the cutting of workpiece and can performed horizontally. As the name suggests, this type of unit is based on a structure in which the process is undertaken on a horizontal manner. 
 

Why Use CNC Turn Mill Machines?

A defining reason why many opt for this unit is because it greatly streamlines the CNC machining process by providing the capability to perform both, if not more, of these operations in one machine. When multiple machines and more complex setup were needed to carry out the same tasks, a single turn mill unit can achieve it with one setup. This means that productivity can be maximized given that less time and handling are needed. This also makes the scheduling of production much easier and frees up more manpower for other job. Other than productivity, high-end turn mill units are able to produce high quality parts, provided that all of the related features are tied together.
 

Complementing Power Turret

Following the above with regard to optional accessories, with the help of a power turret, cycle time can be greatly reduces, which results in higher productivity for machining projects. The machining process of machining centers is usually of complex profiles because this is how the objects can be processed more efficiently as with a lath equipped with power turret. Such a setup is so that productivity can be optimized to the greatest extent.
 

Cutting Performance 

Regarding cutting performance of CNC turn mill machines or any other machining centers, the spindle speed is one of the key parameters that determine it. For high-speed models, the RPM (revolutions per minute) standard is different, and there is no such thing as an universal range. At the same time, manufacturers in Europe, Japan and Taiwan have a consensus on RPM standards even though they may differ on a regional basis. 
As a result, in the field of metalworking, turning and milling machines are also called CNC turning centers. This is a machine tool that has both turning and milling functions, and uses a rotating tool holder to rotate the workpiece on a rotating shaft to perform various machining operations, such as cutting and turning with a powered turret.

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