Vertical Milling Machine

Vertical milling machine in the metal working industry is the machine that makes process of machining utilizing spinning tools to remove metal materials by advancing a vertical milling tool into one or several work pieces under the structure of a vertical track. This machining method could be done on different directions. 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. Vertical milling machines are so multi tasking that most of the operations are feasible.

What Is Milling?

In the metal cutting field, milling is one of the most usually adopted machining methods that can render accurate tolerances just like turning methods. As a result, the research and development of milling method is highly popular in the industrial world due to its productive and effective nature for rendering work pieces with complex profiles which is comparatively difficult to achieve by conventional turning lathes without power turrets.

With the milling process, there evolves a lot of machining methods and one of the most popular and widely applied is machine center. Machining center is a highly developed machine tool that can deal with multiple types of milling tasks at an integrated manner. At first, machine center is evolved from milling machines at the 1960s and since then, the development of this specific type of machine tools progresses well in the industry, and after that machine centers are widely applied in all kinds of industries, contributing a wide range of industrial efforts.


Development of Vertical Milling Machines

Vertical milling machines and 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. On the contrary, 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. Furthermore, by the help of powered turret, the cycle time is thus shortened significantly.

The research and development of milling methodology of vertical milling machines is highly popular in the industrial world due to its productive and effective nature as milling process can be carried out by different tooling systems and are interchangeable by the ATC system. With this expectation, the following development and the idea of vertical milling machines and machine centers are thus gradually formed in the markets. The phrase vertical “machining center” can be used to describe a wide variety of CNC vertical drilling and vertical milling machineries that are accommodated with several critical but sometimes optional accessories equipped together with the machine body itself, such as tool magazine, ATC, power tool turret, CMM, multi-axis working tables, just to name a few. The work piece machining of machine centers are normally not of symmetric round shape but other complicated profiles, because the former one can be solved by lathes with power turrets and the live tools in a much more productive way of vertical milling processing.


In Contrast to Horizontal Arrangement of Milling

On the other hand, horizontal milling machine is milling machines designed with horizontal align structures of spindles and work piece clamping mechanism. This type of machine is a highly developed machine tool that can deal with many kinds of difficult mill tasks all at once due to its horizontal rather than its original vertical arrangement. Similar to vertical milling machines, horizontal milling machines are usually be designed to have more axis on the machine body in order to do complicated processing tasks because the horizontal alignment of all the cutting devices are relatively stable regarding the cutting dynamics.

Some horizontal milling machine manufacturers may even integrate their milling machines with the CMM systems in order to offer an instantaneous precision inspection status to the onsite workers. In the industrial usages, a 3D coordinate measuring machine is a large scale test tool that is often called 3D CMM machine, which is a coordinate measuring machine, and is a device that measures the geometry of physical items by sensing discrete points on the surface of the targeted item with a probe.

For the CMM devices, there are many types of probes which are adopted in CMMs, including mechanical, optical, laser, and even white light. Based on the machine models, the probe position may be manually controlled by an onsite operator or it may also be computer controlled based on the programs. In practice, CMMs typically specify a probe's position in terms of the displacement from a reference position in a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system, which are with XYZ axes as planned in the drawings of the milling machines.

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