Knowledge Share

What is Vertical Machining Center

Vertical Machining Center HG Machinetools

What is Vertical Machining Center

CNC Vertical Machining Center is a type of CNC Vertical Milling Machine that has vertically oriented spindles that approach the workpiece mounted on the work table from above and is equipped with tool magazine system and automatic tool changer.

CNC vertical machining centre / vertical milling machine is used to produce various industrial parts. This is achieved by using a wide range of tools and cutters depending on the type of material to be cut and the end product to be manufactured.

A 3-axis CNC milling machine operates on three separate axes:

X-axis: moves longitudinally or 'left to right'.

Y-axis: moves laterally or "front-to-back

Z-axis: moves vertically or "up and down

CNC vertical machining centres may include an additional axis for specific cutting applications.

Rotary tables are commonly used as a 4th axis on milling machines. They can vary in size and weight capacity and can be horizontal or vertical in configuration. They are generally an add-on to a standard 3-axis mill. The mill must have a proper 4th axis interface (usually a 4th axis card, drive and CNC control) to accept a 4th axis rotary table.

Trunnion tables can also be an add-on to a vertical CNC mill. A trunnion table adds a 4th and 5th axis to a standard mill by incorporating an A axis (which rotates around the X axis) and a C axis (which rotates around the Z axis).

A true 5-axis machine can perform continuous 5-axis machining simultaneously. This increases both the speed and accuracy of part machining.

CNC vertical mills typically have a single spindle, automatic tool changer, work table and CNC control.

The spindle on a CNC machining centre can have a wide range of speeds, depending on the material being machined and the depth of cut required. Typical spindle speeds range from 0 to 10,000 rpm. Higher speeds are used for lighter materials such as graphite and aluminium. Higher speeds can range from 12,000 rpm to 50,000 rpm and above.

The spindle is fitted with toolholders and cutters to achieve the correct material removal. There are many different types of toolholders, including BT and CAT, which have a tapered shape, and HSK, which uses flanges instead of a taper to lock the holder in place. BT and CAT holders are available in various sizes, including 30, 40 and 50 taper, depending on the size of tool required by the cutter. HSK (Hollow Taper ShanK) comes in a variety of types - A to F - and sizes from HSK-32 to HSK-160. HSK is considered a better toolholder for high speed machining because there is more surface contact between the spindle and the holder, which reduces vibration and prevents the tool from pulling back into the holder when cutting at high speeds.

HG Machinetools CNC vertical machining center also offers different types of automatic tool changers. The most common is the umbrella style. This is where the toolholders are loaded vertically into the carousel. The other style is a drum or side mount style. In this type, the tools are loaded horizontally. This allows for greater part height in the work area and can help accommodate a rotary table, fixture or any additional workholding devices mounted on the table.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are in need of vertical machining centers!