How Does a Vertical Machining Center Work

Posted on Jan 1, 2021

Vertical Machining Center Manufacturers

On the markets of CNC machining centers, there are several vertical machining center manufacturers that especially produce the vertically mounted machining centers, which thereby turn a new chapter in the world of precision machining. The reason why these vertical machining center manufacturers make a difference in the industries can be derived from the functionality that the machining centers own.

What Is a Vertical Machining Center?

A vertical machining center is a CNC machining center that has the direction of the cutting tools perpendicular to that of the top surface of the workpieces. Although the vertical machining center itself is a multifunctional device, the vertical machining center manufacturers are dedicated to producing the machine with the optimal versatility and practicality for the manufacturing processes it is applied for.

On the markets of CNC machining centers, there are several vertical machining center manufacturers that especially produce the vertically mounted machining centers, which thereby turn a new chapter in the world of precision machining. The reason why these vertical machining center manufacturers make a difference in the industries can be derived from the functionality that the machining centers own.

The CNC machining center, or simply the machining center, is made on the basis of a milling machine. A milling machine refers to making the spindle rotate the cutting tools, which are so-called end mills, and move towards the surfaces of the workpieces, which are stationary and placed on the worktable. When looking from the working orientation of the machines, the milling machines can be divided into horizontal milling machines and vertical milling machines.
 

Types of Machining Centers

The horizontal milling machines arrange the spindle as well as the end mills parallel to the horizon of either a table or ground and the workpieces on the opposite side of the end mills, which allows the tools to cut through the surfaces of the works. As for the vertical milling machine, the part that is parallel to the horizon is the workpieces and the end mills on the vertical type work from the above of the works.

What we are describing above is about the conventional milling machines, which still require the operators to make adjustments and conduct the processes. In addition, the machining techniques that the conventional milling machines are capable of performing and the precision of the machining processes are limited.
 

:: Read More: Introduction to Vertical Machining Centers

 

The CNC Feature

What makes the CNC machining center called a center is the CNC system that is added into the manufacturing processes. It is the functionality of the CNC system that makes the conventional milling machine more versatile, providing better precision of the machining techniques and ensuring the optimal quality of the customized products.

The CNC system, which stands for computer numerical control, is a computerized system and is subcategorized into the computer-aided design (CAD) and the computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) systems. Broadly speaking, these two subsystems allow the design of the products to be programmed, and the manufacturing processes are automatically controlled following the numerical instructions.

From a narrower perspective, the automatically controlled manufacturing processes make the machine more versatile with the ability to perform more works, such as milling, drilling, turning, etc. Since the instructions for the manufacturing processes are transformed into codes, there would be more reliable references for the machine to follow, which allows for more intricate and customized productions with the capabilities of additional techniques.

Once all the procedures are conducted by following fixed programs, which means the processes are standardized, the deviation of the tools or the deformation of the products can be prevented accordingly. This not only ensures the quality but also keeps the consistency of the products in the long run.
 

How Does a Vertical Machining Center Form?

Now that we have known the configuration of a vertical machining center, we should also have knowledge of the structure of this machine. This machine consists of a bed, a worktable, a saddle, a column, a machining head, a spindle, the work holding devices, and the CNC systems.
 

Bed

The bed is the base of the other components that are arranged above, which provides support and stabilizes the machine during the manufacturing processes.
 

Worktable

The worktable is where the workpieces are placed when they are cut by the rotary cutting tools. On some of the models of the vertical machining center, there may be rotary tables or tilting tables. The former allows the workpieces to rotate for the ease of machining from around the edges of the workpieces, and the latter assists in adjusting the angles of the workpieces, which allows for the tools to perform angular cuts on the workpieces and eliminates the need to adjust the heavy-duty machining head in order to alter the angle of the cutters.
 

Saddle

The saddle is set on the worktable, which is used to position the workpieces as they are machined.
 

Column

The column is on the side of the bed, which supports the machining head and the cutting tools, in order for the tools to the machine on the workpieces.
 

Machining Head

In addition to the tool holder, the inside of the machining head still contains the rotary spindle, which is connected to the motor, and the motion transmission system that brings kinetic energy for driving the spindle to turn.
 

Spindle

The spindle on the machining head is attached to the tool holder, which makes the tools rotate with the rotary function.
 

CNC systems

The CNC systems contain not only the CAD and CAM systems but also the automatic tool changer, which is in charge of the replacement of the cutting tools as is required.
 

What Are the Relationships between the Cutters and Workpieces?

When it comes to a vertical machining center, the protagonists must be the cutting tools, or the cutters, and the workpieces. On this type of machine, there is not merely one configuration of the cutters and workpieces. Considering the relationships between the cutters and workpieces, the vertical machining centers can be divided into bed mills and turret mills.
 

Bed Mills

The bed mills are the conventional form of the machining center, which contains a bed that holds the stationary table and workpieces, and a rotary spindle that rotates the cutters and allows them to move up and down to cut the workpieces. Therefore, the relationship between the cutters and the workpieces is the fact that cutters move and the workpieces stay stationary.
 

Turret Mills

In contrast, the arrangement of the cutters and the workpieces are different from that of the bed mills. On the turret mills, the cutters would not move up and down. Instead, they would only rotate with the spindle. Besides, the positions of the workpieces can be adjusted with a movable bed, which enables the machine to achieve angular cuts on the workpieces. And the relationship between the cutters and the workpieces is that the cutters stay stationary, while the workpieces move.

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