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Horizontal milling machine is a kind of CNC milling machine that is able to apply milling technique on the workpieces in many kinds of different angles.
Horizontal milling machines are mounted on the horizontal spindle of the table. Most of horizontal milling machines contain built-in turntables called universal tables that allows milling at different angles.
All the tools used on vertical milling machines can be also applied on horizontal milling machines. Their spindles are also equipped with end mills, called side and face milling cutters which are similar to circular saws, but usually wider and smaller in diameter.
Speaking to the efficiency, horizontal milling machines provide higher material cutting rate because the mandrel can support the face milling cutters well. Moreover, compared with the end milling cutters, the cross-sectional area of the face milling cutter is larger. Due to this condition, heavy cutting can be performed well.
Similar to all the machine tools, horizontal milling machine has its pros and cons. The biggest advantage is that chip removal rate is larger than another kind, the vertical milling machine.
When machining workpiece with the vertical milling machine, the chips would be left in the original places where they came out. It would cause the damage of milling tools.
However, horizontal milling machine is designed to allow the chips out of the working parts that can improve the quality of finished workpieces and at the same time protect the milling tools and make their lifespan longer.
Below are popular properties of horizontal milling machine:
● Better Chip Removal Rate
Configuration characteristics of the horizontal milling machine lets the gravity work with the function of making chips fall downward. Therefore, horizontal milling machine performs a better chip removal rate, more completely finished surface, and longer tools lifespan.
● Function of Monument Fixture
Both of the spindle and the table of a horizontal milling machine are designed horizontally oriented. The so-called monument fixture is basic on this design and sets fixtures or bases on it.
● Make the Operation Easily
Small horizontal milling machine can make more complex parts with simpler operations. The uptime of the spindle can be extended by shortening the setup and positioning time of multiple operations.
● Larger Productivity
Since the progression of machining parts can be simplified, the horizontal milling machine can produce more than vertical milling can do. Approximately, quantity of finished parts that one horizontal milling machine can complete equals to three vertical milling machines.
Of course, vertical milling machine is also an excellent milling machine.
Nowadays, even the numbers of technicians who have the experiences of operating vertical milling machine are larger than the ones who use horizontal milling machines.
The advantages that they can contend with horizontal milling machine are listed below:
● Lower Cost
Compared with horizontal milling machines, the cost of purchasing vertical ones would be lower. According to the market report, cost of a horizontal milling machine can be three to four times of a vertical milling machine.
Therefore, when the factories do not require huge productivity, most of them would tend to complete the work with vertical milling machines to reduce the cost of production as possible as they can do.
● Easy to Use
Since the milling tools on the vertical milling machine are vertical to the workpieces, it is easy to clearly see the whole progression and know what the machine is doing currently in order to monitor every movement the machine does.
In other words, if there are something wrong, the operators can apply adjustments as soon as possible.
● Familiar to More Technicians
As it is mentioned above, vertical milling machines are more popular in manufacturers since they are less expensive than the horizontal ones.
It would lead to the result that there would be more technicians who work with vertical milling machines and be more familiar to them.
● Smaller Size
In general, size of a vertical milling machine would be smaller than the horizontal milling machine. That means the vertical ones have smaller footprints and do not need too many spaces while the horizontal designs are in some level space taking.
In conclusion, compared with horizontal milling machine the vertical milling machine performs better in popularity due to different kinds of properties while the horizontal milling machine is more excellent in productivity and technology.
However, it cannot clearly say which one is better than another since they have their own features and disadvantages. Which kinds of milling machine the manufacturers should choose is all depends on the demands of the factories.
If the factory with enough funds values the productivity and hopes to complete the workpiece in a higher quality, the horizontal milling machine would be an ideal choice to it.
On the other hand, if the factory does not chase for high productivity and surely does not have enough money, vertical milling machine is also an excellent milling machine tool to work with. Moreover, there are more technicians who are able to operate the vertical milling machines.
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