There are two machining centre forms, which is based on the orientation of the spindle, they are known as horizontal and vertical machining centres. The spindle orientation of Vertical Machining Centre is perpendicular to the ground, while the spindle orientation of Horizontal Machining Centre is parallel to the ground. Both machining centres performs different task, horizontal machining occurs on a horizontal machining centre (HMC).
Horizontal machining centres are often used to mill grooves and slots. It may also be used to shape flat surfaces. Horizontal machining centres have x – y table with cutter mounted on a horizontal arbour across the table. Horizontal machining centres were first to appear to put milling tables under lathe-like headstocks and they work best with heavy work piece that needs machining on multiple sides.
Horizontal machining centres allow for two-pallet changer integration to facilitate unattended operation and reduce part cycle times. A horizontal machining centre with its spindle oriented parallel to the ground, allow tools to stick out of the side of the tool holder and cuts across the side of a work piece, hence, encouraging the falling away of chips from the table easily when compared to working with a Vertical Machining Centre.
The surface finish of work piece machined with horizontal machining centres are often so much better that less downstream processing is needed, as many parts have an acceptable finish right off the machine. Horizontal machining centres are built in such a way that it has high productivity, and most have the capability of a 4th tombstone
The spindle design of HMCs enables it to run three times more often than the equivalent VMC, which means a HMC can do the job of three VMCs which means a company with a single HMC with a single operator will be able to carry out the job of a company with Three VMCs with three operators. Making the return of investment of a HMC higher than that of a VMC. Those who concentrate on production applications are starting to use HMCs because it is very much easy to load up the pallets on multiple sides and do a lot more machining and production runs in a shorter amount of time when compared to the VMCs.
In spite of all of the advantages and benefits of horizontal machining centres, buying a HMC is not an investment to take lightly. You should consider the investment together with lots of additional factors to consider, for instance, in order to run HMCs effectively, you need to invest in the tool holders and all of the extra cutting tools. And you should make sure you have enough work that are coming in that will stand up for the cost of the machine.
If as a shop owner you are dedicated to precision, accuracy and speed of production, and you have the budget to get a HMC, you are sure on the right path toward staying an edge above your competitors. Because you have the chances of bidding for more jobs and achieving great success in carrying out the machining process of your projects with Horizontal Machining Centres.