A bench drilling machine, or a bench type drilling machine, is a smaller form of drilling machine. The bench drilling machine is designed for drilling lightweight workpieces. Bench drilling machines can be divided into two types, including manual and automated types. Manual bench drills are usually equipped with a controlling handle, which enables the drill bit movement control for each press. During the process, the operator manually holds the workpiece with a hand vice, in order to ensure the stability of the works.
Some bench drilling machines even contains a high speed spindle to enhance their drilling capabilities. The high speed spindle on this type of drill owns high RPM, which means it rotates in high frequency per minute. For the requirement of complex drilling tasks or drilling on hard materials, high speed bench type drills would be the perfect choice. Through years of research and improvement, the high speed drilling machine has made progress in the ability to handle various hole-drilling processes.
Drilling machines or drill presses have evolved from the milling machine design since early 20th century, which means the design of drill presses are based on that of the milling machines. Nowadays, it even results in the development of machining centers, which are capable of various machining techniques on the same machine. These machining centers often deal with high speed drilling process with the automation in operation, and are ideal choices for manufacturers who are specialized in lightweight machining.
Setting the advanced form of drill presses aside, the conventional designs of these machines are simply divided into two types, including bench drills and pillar drills. These two versions mainly vary in the machine sizes but aim for the same purpose.
Bench drills, as mentioned above, are smaller in size, and thus have lighter load capacity. They come in manual or automatic forms, and both are dedicated to small hole-drilling. As for pillar drills, they are the larger form that can self-stand without the support of a workbench or table. On the pillar drills, the drilling works for larger or heavy duty workpieces can be achieved, which refers to the larger load capacity they have.
● Manual bench drill
The main feature of manual bench drills lies in the workpiece clamping technique. On manual bench drill, the workpiece is fixed by means of a handheld vice. In other words, the operator stands in front of the workbench, and stabilizes the workpiece by the one hand during operation. In addition, the other hand of the operator is in charge of turning the handle, so as to control the movement of the tool.
Since the manual method requires the operator to handle the entire process in person, there is concern regarding the safety issue of the working environment. Therefore, proper security measures, such as having the guard and wearing goggles, are indispensible before applying the machine.
● CNC drilling machine
In cases when the skills of operators are limited, for example, the CNC drilling machine would be a preferable choice. Drilling is a series of complex movements, and the operation conducted under the numerical control ensures better performance. Modern CNC bench type drilling machine controlled by programmable numerical system is designed especially for drilling hard materials. The heavier load capacity makes this operation method popular for machines aim for heavy duty drilling.
The working principle of CNC drilling machine is not different from that of the manual bench drill, but the machine construction is the most obvious variation between them. The CNC drilling machine is equipped with several automatic mechanisms, which enables the machine to operate unattended. Besides, with the multitasking feature and the repetitive machining capability, this type is able to realize both intricacy and quality on the products it makes.
All in all, comparing the manual and CNC drilling machines, the primary differentiating parameters are the load capacity and versatility they have. For the load capacity, the latter is surely heavier than the former due to the machine designs. As for the versatility, it is the additional accessories on the CNC unit, such as automatic tool changer and tool magazine, that makes it superior to its manual counterpart. In other words, the advancement of the CNC type makes it surpass the conventional type in both load capacity and versatility.
When it comes to the working capabilities, the CNC drills can not only perform small-hole drilling but also more complex machining techniques, such as deep-hole drilling. In addition to drilling, this machine is capable of milling, boring, or turning, etc., which embodies the versatile feature and explain the reason why it is preferred over the conventional one nowadays.
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