CNC milling machines are the milling based machine tools that are controlled by the CNC system. With the CNC control, all the milling processes are done under the control and surveillance of the computer based calculation system. These types of machines are also referred to as CNC millers, which are highly developed machine tools that can deal with many kinds of complicated milling tasks all at once.
CNC milling machine was developed from conventional milling units with enhanced repeatability, and since then, the development of this specific type of machine tools goes well in the industry, and after that, CNC milling machines and CNC machine centers are widely applied in all kinds of industries, contributing a wide range of industrial efforts.
CNC milling machines require the operation of specific milling spindles with compatible CNC technology. The speed of the CNC milling machine spindle is a key parameter that determines the performance of the machinery. For high speed working models, the RPM standards differ and there is no common ranges indicating whether the RPM is referred to as high or middle RPM.
Meanwhile, manufacturers in the Europe, Japan, and Taiwan have their consensus way of RPM standards, while the regional differences are still significantly different. Accordingly, in the metalworking sector, a CNC turning and milling machine is also known as a CNC turning center or milling center. This is a machine tool capable of both turning and milling functions and rotates a work piece on an axis of rotation to perform various, machining operations such as cutting and turning assisted by the existence of turrets. The milling spindles, in this extent, are installed mostly on the CNC milling machines instead of CNC turning centers.
Milling conducted by CNC milling machines utilizes spinning tools to remove materials by advancing a milling tool into one or several work pieces under the control of a computer numerical control system.
This machining method could be achieved on different working directions based on the planned cutting routes and the structure design of the CNC milling machines. Similar to turning, milling covers a wide variety of various operations and ranges a wide scale from single tiny parts to heavy and large gang milling operation tasks. Some CNC milling machines are designed with gantry structure which means the cross column beam bridge is fixed on the two columns which are rooted firmly on the ground, giving the strongest supportive force to the work pieces. Such double column structure can withstand the processing vibration and cope with many difficult heavy duty cutting issues. Double column CNC milling machines are efficient machineries for large sized work piece cutting. With a rotary tables installed on the ground, gantry type double column CNC milling machines are able to cope with many hard materials with various profiles such as the airplane wings and flaps parts.
For a well developed CNC milling machine, it may be equipped with more supportive accessories and processing tools, making them advanced milling based machineries such as machining centers. Machining centers are highly developed machine tools that can deal with multiple types of milling tasks. Machine center was first incubated from milling methods at the 1960s in the 20th century, and since then, the development of this specific type of machine tools progresses well in the industry, and after that, CNC machine centers are widely applied in all kinds of industries in a wide variety of processing jobs that are specifically designed for the non-symmetric work pieces. Still, the defense industry also requires a lot on the CNC milling machines if there were requirements. Thing such as tanker shells cannot be formed, but rather, they shall be made by cutting, drilling, and polishing. All the old styles are to be used on the CNC milling machines.
Ever since the invention of the CNC machining centers, working scales that can be done by the milling machines are largely expanded and this eventually lead to the change of drawing and planning of the working pieces. Such new machineries are highly evaluated in the market and many of the customers have their own customized modifications on the machine bodies, rendering even more convenient working station that can provide solution to a series of milling, turning, boring, drilling, and even grinding services.
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