End Mill

In the metalworking industry, an end mill is a type of milling cutters (or, say, milling tools), which is a cutting tool utilized in the industrial milling process by the spinning of the tool per se to remove the work piece materials. It is distinguished from the drill tool in the corresponding application, geometry, and production. Because a drill can only cut in the axial direction, but a milling tool can generally cut in all kinds of axial directions thanks to the multiple axes installed on the machine body. Although some cannot cut axially, most of them are multi-axial milling available.

For milling machines and machining centers, end mills are used in milling applications for profile milling, tracer milling, face milling, and many other applications that form complicated profile cutting as well as simple curve processing. The substance that makes end mill can be many, but most are stainless steel and carbide tungsten. Some may be diamond if the work pieces are extremely hard though.

Type of Cutting and Forming Tools

In the machine tool industry, there are several subsidiary sectors such as machinery items, components, accessories, and tooling parts. Most cutting machine tools are designed to turn, drill, mill, and other cutting operations. Among the tooling market, an end mill is a type of milling cutter, which is a cutting tool used in industrial milling applications.

Distinctive functionality

End mills are distinguished from the drilling bit in its application, geometry, and production. Meanwhile, a drilling item can only cut in the axial direction, while a milling item can generally cut in all axial directions, though some cannot cut axially in certain circumstances. Practically, end mills are used in milling applications such as profile milling, tracer milling, and face milling. In the market, there is a broad category of end and face milling tools that exist, such as center-cutting and non-center-cutting. In the practical application, it is getting more and more common for traditional solid end mills to be replaced by more cost-effective inserted cutting tools. Moreover, end mills are sold in both imperial and metric shank and cutting diameters.

Installation

As a convenient tooling item, end mills are often installed onto the high-speed milling centers. A high-speed machining center, by definition, is a highly developed machine tool that can deal with many precision machining tasks all at once. At first, machine center is developed from milling machines at the mid of the last century and since then, the development of this specific type of machine tools goes well in the industry, and after that, machine centers are widely applied in all kinds of industries, contributing a wide range of industrial efforts.

In regard to milling process, it is the process of machining that utilizes spinning tools to remove work piece materials by advancing a tool into one or several work pieces. This machining method could be done in different directions. Besides turning, milling covers a wide variety of various operations and ranges a wide scale from single tiny parts to heavy and large milling operation tasks.

End mills can be installed on the turret systems, while besides the power turret, tool magazine and the automatic tool changer (ATC) are also the best sellers in the combination. Many of the tooling suppliers that offer tool magazine and ATC system promise the optimal tool to tool time to customers based on their cycle time engineering, and can help manufacturers keep up with the order demands.

Compared with the worldwide competitors, Taiwanese know-how to provide comprehensive services to global customers with the best planning according to the local circumstances, hence the productions that are equipped with the machine tools or accessories are actually face lifted to the latest version that is modern to the order demands. Spindles and chuck and the corresponding hydraulic cylinders are also well developed in Taiwan. Together with the CNC turning machine market, there are a bunch of lathe products and accessories that are widely spread in the world across different industrial sectors and applications.

The similarity to turning center

Similar to turning, milling is one of the most usually adopted machining methods that render precision tolerances. Due to its practical values, the development of the milling method is highly popular in the industrial world. Its productive and effective nature for rendering work pieces with complex profiles is comparatively hard to achieve by conventional turning lathes. With this expectation, the following development and the idea of machine centers are thus gradually formed.

The phrase “machining center” can be used to describe a wide variety of CNC (Computer Numerical Control) drilling and milling machineries that are accommodated with several critical but sometimes optional accessories equipped together with the machine body itself, such as tool magazine, ATC (automatic tool changer), power tool turret, CMM (Coordinate Measuring Machine), multi-axis working tables, just to name a few. The classification of machining centers can be roughly divided into two main categories: vertical and horizontal, and there are still other categories in the machining center inventory. The vertical machining center is the arrangement of its structure that aligns vertically, and the work pieces are machined by cutting tools that go up and down vertically.

Horizontal end milling

On the contrary, horizontal machining centers have the spindle arranged horizontally and the machining is conducted lying flat. With the vertical design, the weight of the work piece would help to make itself sternly located on the clamp for heavy vertical cutting route without much worry on route deviation. Furthermore, with the help of powered turret, the cycle time is thus shortened on a significant scale. The work piece machining of machine centers are normally not of round shape but other complicated profiles since the former one can be dealt with by turning machine with power turret in a much more efficient way.

Milling speeds

The speed of the spindle is a key parameter that determines the performance of the machining center. For high speed models, the RPM (revolutions per minute) standards differ and there is no such a common range. Meanwhile, manufacturers in Europe, Japan, and Taiwan have their consensus way of RPM standards, while the regional differences still are significant. Therefore, when customers are looking for an optimal high speed machining centers for their production lines, the specifications would need to be further discussed.

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