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Machining Center or Turning Center? Comparison and Introduction
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Milling Machine & Machining Center
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The fixed column machining center is a popular metalworking machine that can handle many types of machining tasks on one machine. Regarding the milling process of a fixed column machining center, it is a process of mechanical cutting, which uses a rotating tool to cut the workpiece material by advancing the tool into one or more workpieces. The machining process can be done in different directions, which are based on the box ways or linear guide counterparts, just like a turning machine. Unlike lathe machinery, machining centers cover a wide variety of operations, ranging from single tiny parts to heavy and large milling tasks involving complex profiles.
The research and application of milling methods are widely popular in the industry due to their convenient features to render workpieces with complex profiles, while traditional turning methods are relatively difficult to implement. Therefore, based on this fact, the following development and idea of the machine center over the past 50 years have gradually formed. The term "machining center" can be used to describe various CNC (computer numerical control) drilling and milling machines. These machine tools are equipped with some key but sometimes optional accessories, which are equipped with the body itself, such as the tool magazine, APC (automatic Pallet changer), ATC (automatic tool changer), power tool turret, CMM (coordinate measuring machine), multi-axis table, power turret, power tools, and industrial pumps.
In addition to the model of the arrangement of the machining direction and the frame structure, there are other categories in the machining center inventory. First of all, the vertical machining center is a vertical arrangement of its structure, and the workpiece is processed by cutting tools that move vertically.
The spindle of the horizontal machining center is placed horizontally, and the machining is proceed horizontally. With the vertical design, the weight of the workpiece will help to position firmly on the fixture to make a heavy vertical cutting route without worrying about route deviation.
Nevertheless, with the help of the power turret, the cycle time is still greatly reduced. The work piece machining of machine centers are usually not circular, but other complex profiles because the former can improve productivity by lathe machining with a power turret.
Like other machines, there are some classifications for machining centers. There are three main construction methods that constitute a fixed column machining center. Most of the machining angles can be achieved by swing head. This machine is considered to be the most convenient, followed by other models, such as 4 + 1 and 3 + 2 machining centers, which have more practical advantages. Traditional machining centers are designed with at least three axes, namely x, y, and z. Nowadays, the industrial processes get complicated due to the demands for less machining processes but complicated profiles, there are machining centers designed with the 4th and even 5th axis to complete all the cutting tasks at one stop.
The fixed double-column machining center is designed to process large and thick workpieces. Under normal circumstances, the machining will produce a large and intolerant vibration effect on the frame, which usually results in an uncontrollable deviation from the target accuracy. Therefore, the usage of two fixed and firm supportive columns can reduce cutting vibration and increase the rigidity of the tool, thereby providing the best production results with the highest accuracy.
For machining tasks in the 21st century, machine tools are the most basic capital goods of manufacturers, and they play a crucial role in determining the final output of final products. The quality of machine has become the key point of the quality of the manufacturers’ final end products. Machine tool inventory changes from time to time. After inventing the machining center and program control system (CNC, computer numerical control), compared with the previous standard, the machining standard has become more and more strict. In addition to CNC machining centers, there are CNC turning centers, CNC milling machines, CNC tapping and milling centers, CNC drilling and milling machines and many other models.
In all machine models, although not as versatile as machining centers, they are also very powerful in processing various workpieces with complex methods, and are often used to customize specific tasks of a project. Therefore, the accuracy issue is now more stringent than ever. Consumers in the market demand better quality, faster speed and shorter waiting time, so this trend becomes serious for manufacturers. At present, many machine tool manufacturers even integrate CMM equipment into their machine tools, thus applying a wider range of precision standards in the field of machine tools.
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You can see all Fixed Column Machining Centers categories