Since the invention of the integration of horizontal boring mill, this type of milling machine-based machine has performed well in the commercial market due to its great processing flexibility. In terms of its functionality, horizontal boring mill uses a spinning tool to remove material by advancing the tool into one or more workpieces under the control of a CNC computer numerical control system or manual control operation. Nowadays, this kind of machines is usually controlled by CNC systems, which is the most common type, whose accuracy is controlled within relatively small tolerance standards. Machines that can process both milling and boring machining methods simultaneously make the entire process convenient. On-site operators do not need to move the workpiece from the milling machine to other boring machines from working table to working tables, which means multiple task can be performed at one horizontal boring mill, providing a much safer working procedure at the same time.
Speaking of the movable axis of the horizontal boring mill, the processing tasks can be done on different directions that based on different tracks installed on the axis. The number of axes depends on the customer's demands and there is no absolute optimal number, but only the most suitable choice based on users’ requirements. In addition to turning, horizontal boring mill covers a wide variety of operations and has a wide range, from a single tiny part to heavy and large gang milling operation tasks. Similar to turning, horizontal boring milling are the most widely used machining methods and provide precise tolerances. As a result, the research and development of milling methods are widely welcomed in the industry due to the productivity and effective characteristics of their production and processing of workpieces with complex profiles, which is difficult to achieve with traditional methods. With the development of horizontal boring mills, mechanical equipment has evolved into a variety of machining methods, one of the most popular and widely applied is the machine centers, and many machining centers also cover boring functions.
In fact, the machining center is a highly developed machine tool that can handle multiple types of milling and boring tasks simultaneously, and is developed from a milling machine. Initially, the machine center evolved from milling machines in the 1960s due to increasing demand in the aerospace and automotive industries.
In addition to milling, the boring function is also the main application of this type of machine. This is the process of enlarging existing holes that have been casted or drilled, such as during the boring process of the gun barrel, or boring it into the engine cylinder. The boring process can be used to obtain greater hole diameter accuracy and can be used to cut tapered holes with specific specifications. From a machining point of view, boring can be used as the internal diameter counterpart to the turning process, which cuts external diameters. The boring bar can be supported at both ends, or it may be supported at one end only.
As a result, the research and development of milling and boring methods is highly popular in the industry because of its production and effective characteristics. It can process workpieces with complex profiles and diameters on one machine, which is comparatively hard to achieve by conventional machine tool models. With this expectation, the following development and the idea of the machine center was gradually formed. Different to manual horizontal boring mill, the term "boring and milling machine" or "boring and milling center" can be used to describe a wide variety of CNC machines. These CNC machine tools, which including horizontal boring mills, are equipped with some key but sometimes optional accessories, which are equipped with the body, such as power turret, live tools, tool magazine, automatic tool changer, automatic pallet changer, coordinate measuring machine, multi-axis table such as cradle type waving A-B axis, and many others.
Even if boring can be performed on different machine tools, including general-purpose or universal machine tools, such as turning centers, milling machines, and machining centers. It can be attached on a specific machine model specifically designed for boring. The main functions, such as fixture boring, boring machine, horizontal boring mill, or manual horizontal boring mill, are the protagonists of this article. There are many machine tools with boring and milling as the two main functions of the machine.
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