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Posted on Feb 5, 2019
Heavy duty cutting is a must in modern industry within certain areas such as aerospace, airplane, defense, shipbuilding, and power generation sectors.
Heavy duty cutting is a must in modern industry within certain areas such as aerospace, airplane, defense, shipbuilding, and power generation sectors. When the heavy machine tool adopts the column design, like double column type machining, it can ensure smooth processing and maintain the rigidity of heavy cutting. Therefore, many machine tool manufacturers tend to make double column machines for their customers to provide maximum machining capacity.
Some people may regard the column as another axis. In this case, we must set the column on another track, or put another box in the box track to make it a B axis or a Z axis, depending on the design of the manufacturer. Either way, most double column machining centers are designed with multiple axes, because in the higher level machine models area, customers from various industrial fields absolutely need higher processing capacity. Double column machines, such as double column machining center, usually needs to be able to operate at least 4 or 5 axes simultaneously to make it more compatible in the market.
The 3 axis machining center moves one part in two directions, and the machining tool moves up or/and down, or simultaneously moves in the Z-axis direction. In other words, the turning center usually contains two movable axes on the side where its cylinder and chuck are installed, which is very similar to the case of a 3 axis machining center. The 5 axis machining center, whether it is a fixed column or a movable column, can be rotated on two additional rotation axes (i.e. A and B axes). This helps the cutting tool approach the work piece from all directions, thus achieving a better machining versatility than the 3 axis machining center.
:: Read More : What are turning centers anyways?
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the double column machining center is known for its wide application in almost all industries. However, due to the high price of these machines, factory owners usually use the double column type machining to process harder work pieces. The work pieces of double column machining centers usually have complex contours, and it is difficult to process with 5 axis, 3 axis, or turning center. Most of this type of work piece comes from components used in the automotive, aerospace, defense, power generation, automation, mold and die plates, and shipbuilding industries. The name of double column machining center can be different, which includes gantry type and bridge type, the concept of two with different names is the same, but the function may be slightly different.
In the current market, five phase (not five axes) processing is known for its practicality and reasonable price. Since not all complex machining needs to be performed by a 5 axis machining center, sometimes a 3 axis machine can’t help but bring more tasks to the machine operator. Therefore, many manufacturers, such as automobile chassis OEM factories, need a machine in between. The machining process of the 4 axis machining center is the same as that of the 3 axis machining center. They use cutting tools to remove material from the work piece to form the desired shape and contour of the work piece. However, in the case of 4 axis double column type machining, milling is performed on an additional axis, similar to the additional axis installed on a 3 axis machining center.
It depends on the application. For example, in the processing of connection joint and chassis, when it is necessary to form holes and cut-outs on the side of the work piece or around the cylinder, 4 axis milling machine is useful. Compared with the 3 axis machine, a 4 axis machining center can provide faster and more efficient work through computer numerical control to obtain accurate results, and the price of the machine is lower than that of a 5 axis machine.
The structure of most double column machining centers is vertically aligned. The work piece is processed by the cutting tool, which moves vertically upward or downward. Due to gravity, vertical double column machines will not have the concentricity issue as horizontal machines, because the vertical chuck can firmly clamp the work piece on the worktable, and even be enhanced under the gravity effect.
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