Fixed Column Machining Centers

Fixed column machining center is a popular metalworking machinery that can cope with many types of processing duty on one machine set. Regarding milling process of the fixed column machining centers, it is the process of machinery cutting that utilizes spinning tools to cut work piece materials by advancing a tool into one or several work pieces. This machining process could be done on different directions which are based on the box in box ways or linear guide counterparts just like turning machines. Unlike lathe machinery, machining centers covers a wide variety of various operations and ranges a wide scale from single tiny parts to heavy and large milling operation tasks concerning complicated profiles. 

Type of Machining Center

Advanced efficiency

The research and application of milling method is highly popular in the industrial world due to its convenient feature for rendering work pieces with complex profiles which is comparatively hard to achieve by conventional turning methodology. Therefore, based on this fact, the following development and the idea of machine centers in the past 50 years 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, APC (Automatic Pallet Changer), ATC (automatic tool changer), power tool turret, CMM (Coordinate Measuring Machine), multi-axis working tables, power turret, live tools, industrial pump, just to name a few.

In addition to the model of the arrangement of the machining direction as well as the frame structure, there are still other categories in the machining center inventory. Firstly, 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 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.

Nevertheless, with the help of powered turret, the cycle time is thus shortened in 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 an advanced productivity.

Like other machinery, there are also some categorizations of the machining centers. There are mainly three types of construction methods that constitute a fixed column machining center. With the swing head alone that can achieve most processing angles, this kind of machines is considered the most convenient and then is the other models, such as 4+1 and 3+2 machining centers, while the latter are with more practical advantages. That is, traditional machining centers are designed at least with three axes, namely, x, y, and z, while today as 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 work pieces that in ordinary circumstances, machining would cause large and intolerant vibration effects to the machine frame which normally would cause uncontrollable deviation from the targeted accuracy. Therefore, with the two fixed and firm supportive columns, cutting vibration is thus reduced and the rigidity of tools are enhanced, rendering the optimal productive results with the best accuracy.

The development now

For machining tasks in the 21st century, the machine tools are the most fundamental capital goods for manufacturers and play the critical role that determines the final output of the end products, and the quality of the machine tool becomes the key point of the quality of the manufacturers’ final end products. The inventory of machine tools varies from time to time. Accordingly, now after the invention of the machining centers and the programmed controlling system (CNC, computer numerical control), the standards of machining become more and more rigid compared with the standards before. Besides the CNC machining centers, there are also CNC turning centers, CNC milling machines, CNC tapping and milling centers, CNC drilling and milling centers, and many other models.

Among all the machine models, though not as versatile as machining centers, are also very strong in machining all kinds of work pieces with complicated methodologies and are usually used for specific tasks for customized projects. Therefore, the precision issue is now even stricter than ever before. Consumers from the market demand for better quality, faster speed, and shorter waiting period, so the trend becomes harsh to manufacturers. Currently, many machine tool manufacturers even integrate CMM devices into their machine tools, applying a wider field of precision standards to the machine tool sector.

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