Published at Saturday, September 08th 2018. by Paula Santos in Milling Machines.
Different from drill press, where in the work piece is held fixed and the drill is the one to move vertically to make a way to the material, milling too involves movements of the work piece adjacent to the rotating cutter, but it is capable of cutting to cut up the sides along with the tips. The movements of the work pieces and cutters are accurately controlled, usually via the precision ground slides along with the lead-screw or with analogous technology. Milling machines can be operated manually, by mechanical automation or by digital automation via the Computer Numerical Control or CNC.
The first point is to identify the processes required to manufacture the required component and the machine that would be suitable for those needs. CNC milling machines that offer flexibility in operations should be preferred in case your needs change in the future. The machine should also have a tough transparent cover that can stop material from flying outwards and injuring the operator. Machines that have an override switch to stop all operations immediately should also be preferred in case of any problem. If a person is looking out for used CNC milling machine then he or she should definitely check for cracks, especially in parts of the machine that are made by casting. Each and every part including the cutter, spindle, and motors should be thoroughly checked and tested before making any purchase. Some refurbishes also come with a guarantee from the seller and this could certainly increase confidence levels of the buyer.
Be sure that you understand the benefits of having CNC milling machines before you start purchasing them.
CNC milling machines usually use tools that have been standardized to an extent. While European manufacturers prefer SK tooling, those in the US prefer to use CAT tooling. The newer US versions include BT tooling, which due to its symmetrical design is supposed to be more stable at higher speeds. The hollow design of SK tooling gives it better gripping attributes and its stability at high speeds makes it the preferred choice for many users. While there is a lot of standardization in CNC milling machines, manual machines have little or no standard tools.
CNC machining centers are also available in job shops - It is not necessary that a manufacturer has to machine components on their own. In most cases, they would outsource specific tasks - i.e. tasks which involved CNC milling process, to CNC service providers.
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