Milling Machine & Machining Center

Posted on Oct 19, 2019

Milling Machine & Machining Center

Machining centers are widely used in manufacturing sites.

When it comes to modern machining, machining centers are highly developed machine tools that can handle multiple precision machining tasks at once on a machine model. In the middle of the last century, milling centers were developed from milling machines.

Since then, the development of this particular type of machine tool has progressed well in the industry. Machining centers are widely used in various industries and provide many contributions to the industrial field with their special functions.


Process Features of The Machining Center

In the past, milling could only be the sole function of the milling machines. The machining center uses a rotary tool to advance one or more work pieces to remove work piece material. The machining center method can be implemented in different directions.

In addition to the turning process, milling also involves a variety of operations on the milling machines, ranging from a single small part to heavy milling tasks. Similar to turning, milling is one of the most commonly used machining methods, which can help business owners obtain precise tolerances. Milling machines can reach out very small tolerances.


What Is the History of the Machining Center?

Due to its practical value, the milling method of the milling machines is very popular in industry. Conventional lathes are relatively difficult to process work pieces with complex contours. With this expectation and demand, the subsequent development and the concept of the machining center were gradually formed in the mind of the machine designer.

The term "machining center" can be used to describe a variety of computer numerical control (CNC) drilling and milling machineries. These machine tools are equipped with some key and sometimes optional accessories, such as tool magazine, automatic tool changer (ATC), power turret, coordinate measuring machine (CMM), multi-axis working table, etc.

Read More: The History of CNC Machining Center: Why And How Is It Developed?


How to Classify Machining Centers and Milling Machines?

Machining centers can be divided into two categories: vertical machining centers and horizontal machining centers. The structure of the vertical machining center is arranged vertically, and the work piece is processed by a cutting tool that moves vertically.

In contrast, the spindle of the horizontal machining center is placed horizontally, and the machining is performed horizontally.

When using a vertical design, the weight of the work piece will help to position it firmly on the clamp to make a heavier vertical cutting path without worrying about path deviation. In addition, with the help of the power turret, the cycle time can be greatly reduced.

The work pieces in the machining center are usually not circular, but other complex contours. Circular work pieces can be processed in a more efficient and economical manner by a lathe with a powered turret.

Read More: Horizontal Machining Center and Vertical Processing


The Spindle is a Critical Variable to Machining Centers

Spindle speed is a key variable that determines the performance of horizontal machining centers. The speed (revolutions per minute, RPM) standards for high speed models are different, and there is no general specification.

Machinery manufacturers in Europe, Japan and Taiwan have a little consensus on the speed standards, while regional differences are still very large. Therefore, when customers are looking for the best horizontal machining center solution for their production lines, they need to let machinery suppliers understand the application.



Milling machines, milling centers, and machining centers are three types of milling based machinery with blur lines drew in between them because their functions and basic features are similar. As for some advanced processing capabilities, they have distinct characteristics.

Now, with a series of CNC control systems that can cover a wide range of processing, the hardware scale of these three milling based machine tools is not so sharp, because many processing requirements may be achieved through software. However, of course, not all tasks can be completed by software alone, and some complex machining can only be achieved on a high-end 5 axis machining center.

Whatever it is, it is still clear that these types of machines are basically similar processing milling machines. The overall milling machine operation is just like the spinning tooling mechanism, so all the processes are in the same inventory.


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