What Vertical Machining Centers Are so Popular?

Posted on Oct 16, 2019


The vertical machining centers are hence developed especially for the processing of complicated profiles with hard alloy materials.

Vertical machining center of workpieces such as aerospace propellers, landing gears, fuselage cases, wing frames, etc is a hard task for most machining centers due to the hardness of the workpiece materials. As a result, besides conventional machining center models, the vertical machining centers are hence developed especially for the processing of complicated profiles with hard alloy materials.

The vertical machining center development in the metalworking sector

The vertical machining center is a profoundly and diversely developed machine tool model that can deal with many precision machining goals by one machine at a time. The idea of such convenient one-stop process comes from the traditional milling and tapping machines at the very beginning when the airplane engineering comes from propeller-driven to jet driven. Since the jets’ speed is highly different from the propeller version, the development of this specific type of machine tools goes surge in order to keep up with the higher standards as well as stricter requirements in the aerospace industry.

What are the applied fields of vertical machining centers?

After the revolutionary in the aerospace industry, machine centers are widely applied in all kinds of industries due to its enhanced processing probability and capacity, contributing its versatile competence to automotive, power generation, hardware, and appliance sectors with the vertical machining center special functionality.

Formerly, the original goal for the milling machine is to remove workpiece materials with a movable spinning tools by advancing it into one or several workpieces within one trace, or, say, one axis. Later, the vertical machining center could be achieved in different directions thanks to the alignment of various axes, be it box inbox or linear guides. Besides the traditional turning process, milling is able to cover a wide variety of various cutting operations and hence range a wider scale from single tiny parts for 3C consumables to heavy and large milling operation tasks for the heavy industries. On the other hands, similar to turning, milling is one of the most usually adopted machining methods that help on-site operators achieve accurate processing.

Therefore, the scientific studies and experiment of milling (and tapping) method are highly popular in the vocational schools as well as private corps. Its prolific characteristics for rendering precision workpieces with complex profiles are comparatively hard to achieve by conventional turning lathes. With this expectation, the following development later activated in the industrial world and the ideas of vertical machining centers are thus gradually formed in the mind of engineers.

Varieties of the vertical machining center

Nowadays, the vertical machining center can be used to describe a wide variety of CNC tapping (or drilling) and milling machineries that are accommodated with several critical supportive accessories equipped with the machine body itself, such as linear guides, roller screws, power and live turret & tools, synchronized measurement, rotary or tilted working tables, automation line, etc. Those supportive accessories are considered as one part of the whole machinery since the very beginning when purchasers are talking about their machining demands with the manufacturers. As this trend is getting mature, vertical machining centers are highly customized now than ever before, rendering a whole new ecology of the business model that requires better understanding of application for salespeople.

What is the vertical machining center?

The vertical machining center is the arrangement of its structure that aligns vertically, and the workpieces are machined by cutting tools that move either up or downwards vertically on the upright axis. With the 3 axis machines, it would normally be the Z-axis, while with the 4 or 5 axis machinery, the support of A and B axis will compensate even more to achieve the accurate machining on the vertical axis.

Due to the gravity, the vertical machining center would not encounter concentricity as often as its horizontal counterparts since the vertical chuck could clamp the workpieces firmly on the table, which is put flat on the base supported by tracks. Therefore, the applications of the vertical machining center and horizontal machining centers are thus different. With this distinguished feature, engineers know that the solutions of perpendicular errors on those two models are distinguished from each other.

Other component and accessories of the vertical machining centers

Furthermore, by the help of powered turret, which is more often installed on the horizontal models compared with the vertical counterparts, the cycle time is thus shortened in a significant scale, rendering a much more productive operation model like turning machines. The workpiece machining of machine centers are normally not of round shapes but other complicated profiles since the former one can be dealt with by turning machine with power turret in a much more efficient way.

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