Bridge Type Machining Centers Guide

In the field of machine tools, the bridge type CNC machining center is a very common model, and is a highly developed machine tool that can handle multiple machining tasks in one place. At first, the bridge type machining center was developed from the bridge type milling machine in the middle of the 20th century. The development of this particular type of machine is progressing well in the industry. The bridge type machining center has been widely used, and has made tremendous contributions in various industries. About bridge type milling is a machining process that uses a spinning tool to remove material by advancing the tool into one or more workpieces.

Cutting Faster without Relocation

Meanwhile, this machining method can be machined in different directions, and the ordinary machining center will install at least three axes on the basic components. In addition to turning, milling also covers a variety of operations, ranging from a single tiny part to heavy and large milling tasks. Similar to turning, milling is one of the most commonly used machining methods, which can achieve precise tolerances within the exact requirements. The application and practicality of the machine center stimulated the development of milling methods, and later became very popular in the industry that requires strict machining accuracy. However, traditional lathes are relatively difficult to achieve the production and effective performance of their workpieces with complex profiles.

Based on this expectation, the following development and bridge type machining center concepts were gradually formed. The term "machining center" can be used to describe various CNC (computer numerical control) drilling and milling machinery. These bridge type CNC machining centers are equipped with some key but sometimes optional accessories, which are equipped with the machine body. For example, tool magazine, ATC (automatic tool changer), electric turret, CMM (coordinate measuring machine), multi-axis table, and many other corresponding things.

Vertical vs. Horizontal

Like lathes and milling machines, the inventory of machining centers can be roughly divided into two categories: vertical and horizontal, while the inventory of machining centers has other categories.

It’s similar to a lathe. The structure of the vertical machining center is vertically aligned, and the workpiece is processed by cutting tools that move vertically. In contrast, the main axis of the horizontal machining center is placed horizontally, and the machining is performed lying down.

Working Tables on Machining Centers

Bridge type machining center usually has at least three axes on the machine base. Many bridge type CNC machines even have 4th and 5th axis through a connected rotary table unit, and it can perform multi-axis machining. By designing two other axes on the rotary table, the x, y, and z axes can be moved to two new working dimensions, and a possible cutting process at multiple angles can be achieved. The four plus one structure is the same. All these mechanisms are under the control of the computer numerical control unit, so that the synchronized action perfectly matches the target accuracy.

During operation of CNC bridge type machining center, if the size of the workpiece is too large and exceeds the allowable size, mechanical machining will cause the body to vibrate too much, thereby reducing the accuracy of the machining center, which is unacceptable. Whether it is the manufacturer or the subsequent production line, the manufacturer of CNC bridge type machining center can add some other structural designs to the body to have better rigidity during the milling process.

In addition, the workpieces of CNC bridge type machining center are usually not circular, but other complex profiles. The former can be handled with higher productivity by a lathe with power turret. The spindle speed RPM per minute is a key parameter that determines the performance of the machining center. For the gantry type, the RPM (revolutions per minute) standard is different, and there is no such universal range.

After the bridge type and 5 axis combination, this function is one of the most practical solutions to solve the problem of processing vibration while improving accuracy. Double column bridges are generally divided into two types: fixed columns or moving columns. The design of the former is that both columns are left in place and cannot be moved, while the latter allows the birth of the other axis, which greatly improves the convenience of processing.


For machine tools based on milling machines such as advanced milling machines and multi-axis machining centers, the development of the bridge structure has good added value for vibration control and heavy cutting. By designing other bridges and columns as movable axes, the milling capability can be further improved to another movable axis. This design helps to expand the processing performance of the production line.

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