A Vertical Machine Center is a spindle with a vertical orientation. With a vertically oriented spindle, tools stick straight down from the tool holder and often cut across the top of a workpiece. It improves metal removal rates and reduces parasitic non-cutting time and eliminates unnecessary interruptions to production. The difference between a Horizontal Machine Center and a Vertical Machine Center is Horizontal machining centers are often used to mill grooves and slots. It may also be used to shape flat surfaces. Vertical machining centers have their spindle axis vertically oriented. Generally, the spindle could be extended to allow plunge cuts and drilling, although the table could also be lowered or raised. Here are the 7 VMC (Vertical Machine Features) features that can improve your productivity.
Metal-Cutting Capability – Metal cutting involves removing material from the original piece through machining operations. The core competencies of any machine tool are its ability to cut metal, meet customer expectations, and produce revenue. Therefore, one of the most important features to evaluate on any vertical machining center is the spindle. The metal-cutting capacity of a Vertical Machine Center can help companies to cut a wide variety of materials, reduce cycle times, lower production cost, shrink delivery times and lastly, it increases the profitability through lower costs.
Tooling Support and Capacity – Tooling Support Boost Machining Capacity. Hundreds of varieties of metal machine tools, ranging in size from small machines mounted on workbenches to huge production machines weighing several hundred tons, are used in modern industry. They retain the basic characteristics of their 19th- and early 20th-century ancestors and are still classed as one of the following: turning machines (lathes and boring mills), shapers and planers, drilling machines, milling machines, grinding machines, power saws, and presses. A typical job-shop VMC is required to produce a variety of parts, perform quick part change-overs, and check tool quality frequently. But, not all Vertical Machine Centers are designed with these considerations in mind resulting in short but frequent periods of machine downtime that can quickly add up to higher parts costs, extended delivery times, and most especially it loses a significant amount of profit. That is the reason why manufacturers are seeking some solutions to avoid these kinds of issues that a Vertical Machine Center offers a good amount of cooling capacity.
Chip and Coolant Management – One reason that both of these processes have become more challenging in recent years is the proliferation of multitasking machine tools. The key to coolant management for your machine shop is maintenance which reduces the chances of your coolant going bad. With enhanced productivity also comes a greater demand for chip and coolant removal. Removing the chips created during a metalworking manufacturing process is complicated. But, any manufacturer who has lost production time because of a clogged chip removal system or replaced a coolant pump that was damaged by metal debris knows better. You can extend the life of your coolant 2-3 times with good coolant management practices. Keeping coolant clean is easier and more cost-effective than having to replace it.
Control Software – Control software doesn’t work if the interface isn’t user friendly. It can facilitate or limit the flexibility of the machine in terms of data storage, coordinate systems, probing, and networking. Needless complexities take critical time away not only from your operators but from the uptime of the machines themselves. An effective machine control should offer the capabilities to fully support production and enhance ease of use for the operator.
Fixturing and 4th-Axis Potential – it is the ability to apply unique fixturing and multi-axis tables to a Vertical Machine Center and can have a critical impact on setups and workflow. A 4th axis is typically either used in an “indexing” (index in fixed degree increments rather than continuously rotating to any desired position) mode or a “continuous” (machining happens as the part is being rotated) mode. Having flexible table space and work-holding opportunities, manufacturers can run multiple setups on the same base plate, providing quick and direct transfer of parts.
Automation Integration – boosts the productivity of a VMC by decoupling setup procedures from the machining process through automation. It makes different versions of automation hardware and software work together, generally combining several subsystems to work together as one large system. Automation integrators create direct lines of communication between automated systems that allow plant equipment to more efficiently communicate with operators and other machinery.
Operator-Friendly Ergonomics – ergonomics aims to increase efficiency and productivity and reduce discomfort. It gives efficiently tailoring your work environment for your comfort and safety while you perform your job. So it automation can also improve operator ergonomics through additional time and space to set up workpieces.
Productivity Improvement – High productivity refers to doing work in the shortest possible time without sacrificing quality and with minimum use of resources. Competition and the drive for profits are forcing companies to implement various productivity improvements efforts.
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