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How VMC Machine Boost Your Productivity

Posted on Jul 15, 2020

VMC Machines

VMC Machine has a lot of advantages and unique characteristics. It can be applied in machinery manufacturing industries with high precision and mass production requirements. This includes aerospace, automobile, consumer electronics, mold making, military products, and many others. CNC Vertical Machining Centers with advanced features and functions are getting more and more popular amongst machine shop owners and OEM part suppliers as they can easily boost manufacturing efficiency. VMC machines are the cheaper alternative to horizontal machining centers.

Thanks to their advanced technologies, vertical machining centers closed the productivity gap and provide competitive advantages in fast and precise applications for industries. The functionality of VMC has been significantly increased by adding table and spigot table configuration for the fourth and fifth axis, many pallet changers, more tools, and high-speed spindles. VMCs are able to process the most complex components such as jet rotor blades, turbine blades for power generation, large aircraft components, and precision molds and dies.

What workpieces are most suitable for VMC Machining?

● Box Type Parts

Box-type CNC machining parts refer to workpieces with a hole system and multiple cavities inside, which are mainly used in machine tools, automobiles, and aircraft, such as engine cylinders, gearboxes, spindle boxes, diesel engines cylinders, gear pump housings, etc. VMC machining can complete up to 95% of ordinary machine processing with one clamping. In addition, CNC VMC Machines have high precision, high efficiency, high rigidity, and automatic tool changer. As long as the process flow is reasonable and appropriate fixtures and tools are used, many box-type parts processing problems can be solved.

● Complex Curved Parts

In the aviation and transportation industries, parts with complex curved surfaces are widely used, such as cams, integral impellers of engines, propellers, and cavities. Such parts with complex curved surfaces, surface contours, or parts enclosed in the box or the inner cavity of the housing are difficult to achieve the predetermined machining accuracy and are difficult to detect by conventional machine tools or precision casting. A multi-axis VMC machine with automatic programming technology and special tools can greatly improve production efficiency and ensure the shape accuracy of the surface, thereby making automatic machining of complex parts easy.

● Special or Irregular Shaped Parts

Irregularly processed parts have special shapes, and most of them require multi-point mixing processing of points, lines, and areas, such as brackets and bases. When machining shaped parts, the more complex the shape, the higher the accuracy required. And that's where VMC machining shows its advantages most clearly.

● Board, Sleeve, and Plate Parts

Such workpieces usually include keyways and radial holes. The end faces with hole systems or curved plates and shafts (such as bushings), plates with multiple holes (such as motor covers) usually use vertical machining centers; horizontal machining centers are usually used for parts with radial holes.

● Parts for Trial Production

Such workpieces usually include keyways and radial holes. Vertical machining centers are commonly used for plates with multiple holes or curved plates and shafts (such as bushings), and plates with multiple holes (such as motor covers); horizontal machining centers are usually used for parts with radial holes.

:: Read More: Why Vertical Machining Centers Are so Popular?

Getting the most out of your VMC Machines

Let's take a look at some features that can increase the productivity of your VMC machining operations.

1. Tooling Support and Capacity

A typical workshop vertical machining center is required to produce various parts, perform rapid part replacement, and frequently check tool quality. Unfortunately, not all CNC vertical machining centers are designed with these factors in mind, resulting in short and frequent machine downtime, which can quickly increase part costs, extend delivery times, and severely reduce profits. Manufacturers wishing to avoid these problems should seek a vertical machining center that has sufficient machining capacity, allows easy access to the tool magazine while maintaining spindle cutting, and is designed to accommodate tools of various sizes and weights.

2. Metal-Cutting Capability

The core competitiveness of any machine tool is its ability to cut metal, meet customer expectations and generate revenue. Therefore, one of the most important functions evaluated on any vertical machining center is the spindle. An efficient vertical machining center should have a rugged spindle design and a wide range of features, including excellent horsepower, excellent torque, and a wide range of spindle speeds. This level of spindle function allows the company to cut multiple materials, reduce cycle time, reduce production costs, shorten delivery times, and increase profitability by reducing part costs.

3. Controller Software

The controller of the vertical machining center has the ability to promote or limit the flexibility of the machine tool in terms of data storage, coordinate system, detection, and networking. Effective machine control should provide the ability to fully support production and improve operator ease of use. Ideal functions include sufficient part program storage, diversified program registry, a large number of tool compensation pairs, a wide range of working coordinate systems, and tool length measurement and spindle probe functions.

4. Chip and Coolant Management

More demand for chip and coolant removal came as a result of increased productivity. If the machine needs to be stopped frequently to clear chips from the working area, further production time generated by improved cutting capabilities can be reduced. These problems are often caused by inadequate chip and tank sizes, lack of coolant flow, and insufficient technology in the delivery of coolant systems (such as flooding and spindle washing of parts).

5. Operator-Friendly Ergonomics

The machine operator and how he or she interacts with the machine are also key elements of the productivity of VMC Machines. Even when the operator has fatigue or discomfort in working with the machine, overall productivity is reduced regardless of how extensive the capacity of the machine is. The ideal vertical work center, including easy access to machine worktable, exterior tool magazine, and overhead rod access, provides operators with comfortable ergonomics. Added time and room for setting up workpieces can enhance the ergonomics of the operator.

6. Fixturing and 4th-Axis Potential

Fixturing can have a critical impact on the setup and operation of the ability to implement single fitting and multi-axis tables on a VMC machine. Companies can run several configurations on the same base plate, providing quick and direct part transfer, through flexible table space and working possibilities. Similarly, the addition of a 4th-axis table may allow for greater surface area and access to five-part faces, minimizing mounting and handling for maximum use and productivity overall.

7. Automation Integration

The most effective way to increase the productivity of your VMC machining process is to separate the setup program from the machining itself and then automate it. Decoupling requires a machine that can accommodate unattended processing outlined by automation technology and other functions outlined above. In most machining workshops, the setting is the main reason for the non-cutting time of the spindle. By introducing an automated system (for example, a pallet changer or a robot parts handling system), the company can cancel the setting time, establish a work queue in front of the spindle, and significantly increase the spindle utilization, thereby providing more production time and reducing costs.

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