machining center

How to Make More Money with Vertical Machining Centers

If you’re a job shop, you buy machines to make money, and chances are you’re using vertical machining centers. The machine you buy, and how you deploy it, has everything to do with how profitable your shop will be.


If you’re like most machine shops, you have tons of machining capacity sitting idle on your shop floor. The average vertical machining center, even when it’s in cycle, isn’t cutting 30% of the time. Worse, the real cutting, that other 70%, is likely much slower than what’s achievable with today’s technology. Add all the other time your machine isn’t running—setup, workpiece load/unload, cutting tool maintenance, clearing chips, etc.—and the typical vertical machining center is only making chips 34% of the time. Multiply all those wasted hours by your shop rate, and that’s what non-cutting time is costing you day after day, year after year.


Simply, to get more production out of a vertical machining center, you just have to do two things:


  1. Decrease cycle times by improving metal removal rates and reducing parasitic non-cutting time.
  2. Increase spindle utilization by eliminating unnecessary interruptions to production.


That’s easier said than done, and your options can be limited when using outdated or under-powered equipment. Here’s what to consider making more money with your next and existing vertical machining centers.


More Efficient Machining

There are about 260 vertical machining center builders to choose from, and often their spec sheets look pretty much the same. There are, however, a few key factors that really differentiate one machine from another:


  • Rapid Rates –

    In-cycle non-cutting time is mainly comprised of rapid traverse moves and tool changes. The rapid rate is always on the spec sheet, but just as important is the axis acceleration/deceleration rates because they determine how quickly speeds max can be achieved. If moves are small, the real rapid rate may not matter at all, but larger moves (and parts) it can indeed be consequential.


  • Horsepower –

    HP is another widely misinterpreted spec, because what really matters is not the one top HP number on the spec sheet, but how much power the machine can generate across the entire speed range.


  • Torque –

    It’s the same situation with torque. Available torque at the low end makes a huge difference in achievable metal removal rates, particularly when hogging metal at slower speeds. Just like in a car, torque becomes less important as spindle speed increases. There, the machine’s ability to hold accuracy at higher feed rates becomes the critical factor.


  • Speed –

    The ability to cut at high spindle speeds isn’t just about metal removal rates. It enables shops to use some of the enhanced cutting tools that have come out in recent years that are designed for high-speed machining. Moreover, in combination with the ability to accurately execute high feed rates, high-speed cutting enables shops to more efficiently generate excellent quality 3D surfaces when required.


A machine’s ability to perform well in all of these aspects—power, torque and speed—is especially critical to a job shop that cuts a wide variety of materials. One day you’re facing off a steel part and want to use as big a cutter as possible; you need torque. The next day, you’re hogging aluminum and need power. Then you move to brass where you need speed. What you really need is a vertical machining center that handles all of these requirements.


If you have any interest in vertical machining centers, I recommend that you can visit Tailift Co., Ltd. – the company specializes in kinds of high quality machinery, such as CNC punch press, laser cutting machine, radial drill machine, and machining centers. Get more details, welcome to check out their website and feel free to contact with Tailift.


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Buying a Five-Axis: Selecting the Right Machine

Horizontal or vertical? Trunnion or swivel head? What’s the effective difference between different configurations of five-axis machining centers?


Not all 5 axis machining centers are alike. Here’s where the application for which they will be used must be considered. You need to know what cutting speeds you’re going to run, for example. The type of spindle, the arrangement of rotary axes, rapid traverse rates, feed rates and available horsepower are other major considerations. Do you intend to machine primarily aluminum, stainless steel or titanium? How rigid does the machine need to be? What surface-finish quality do you require? What part accuracy are you trying to achieve? These are all questions you’ll need to answer in order to select the right machine for your application.


If you’re primarily machining aluminum, you may prefer a spindle capable of higher speed, such as 20,000 rpm, with higher rapid traverse rates, especially if you’re using smaller-diameter tools. Likewise, if you’re machining stainless or alloy steel for complex mold surfaces, you will likely be using small tools and high spindle speeds to achieve exceptionally smooth surface finishes.


Be aware that some machines are designed for cutting only aluminum. Others are suitable for steel and tough alloys, which require more rigidity, higher horsepower, lower spindle speeds, slower rotary speeds, higher torque and stronger box ways to make deep cuts with bigger tools. Machining different grades of steel, titanium alloys or even harder materials may require a heftier machine; however, this hefty machine would need to rotate the table excessively fast to achieve adequate surface speeds for cutting aluminum. The result might be disappointing.


When specifying out a five axis machining center, obtaining the expert advice of an experienced engineer is recommended.


Horizontal or Vertical

Horizontal five-axis machines are normally equipped with an automatic pallet changer (APC) ready to be installed on the shop floor. If you’re machining aerospace components that have deep pockets or waffling designed to reduce finished-part weight, the high volume of chips will naturally drop into the conveyor. In addition, horizontal five-axis machines tend to be heavier and more rigid, which helps when cutting steel and titanium.


In contrast, vertical five-axis machines tend to be more agile for processing smaller parts. VMCs tend to enable better operator access and can often take heavier cuts, but clearing chips can be inconvenient. High-pressure, through-the-spindle coolant delivery comes in handy to remedy chip accumulation.


Swiveling-Head or Trunnion Style

There are pros and cons to different types of machine designs. If you’re loading heavy parts, the non-tilting table on a swiveling-head machine is often preferred, because this type of table offers greater rigidity for holding big, heavy parts. The swiveling head enables the use of shorter, standard tooling, because all tool rotations occur above the part. Swiveling-head machines tend to be more versatile, lending themselves to using multiple fixtures, vises or tombstones. This somewhat simulates the appeal of an HMC.


A trunnion-style machine is often preferred in moldmaking, because both rotary axes are contained in the trunnion table itself and the spindle head is stationary. This configuration is similar to that of the three- or four-axis machines most moldmakers are already used to. The spindle head reaches out over the tilting table, providing better undercut capabilities and some access to the underside of the part. As the spindle head itself does not rotate, trunnion-style machines tend to be more effective in heavy chip removal and can use full X, Y and Z travels to accommodate large parts.


If you need more information about 5 axis machining center, please do not miss Vision Wide Tech Co., Ltd. – the company is the professional CNC machine tool manufacturer owning brand “VISION WIDE”, provides wide range products from heavy cutting to high speed, from 3-axis spindle to 5-axis spindle, and from metal cutting to composite material machining centers which have been applied in vehicles manufacture, power generating, aerial components and so on. Widely applied in curve-based polyhedral machining. Learn more details, welcome to visit Vision Wide immediately.


Article Source: Modern Machine Shop


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The Value Proposition of Five-Axis Machining

Moving to five-axis machining is a big commitment. What exactly are the concrete benefits of five-axis machines compared to three-axis machines?


The “five” in five-axis machining refers to the number of directions in which the cutting tool can be oriented as it approaches the part surface. This maneuverability provides almost unlimited possibilities for the type and shape of parts one can effectively machine. A significant advantage of five-axis capability is being able to process five sides of a part in a single setup. All sides are accessible except the one resting on the table. For this reason, shops that don’t have full five-axis work involving complex shapes can still benefit greatly from the five-sided machining a five-axis unit allows.


If parts being produced on a three-axis machine must be flipped over or repositioned, producing them on a five-axis machining center in one setup may be more profitable. Most often, the process on a three-axis VMC requires flipping the part, or rolling it around from fixture to fixture, to access all sides the part. Unfortunately, whenever the operator must open the door of a VMC to flip or rotate the part for this purpose, or to load or unload the part, remove chips, or perform in-process quality checks, the spindle must be stopped. This means that a part requiring machining on six sides may have to be moved by the operator seven times (load, reposition five times, unload). Five-sided machining eliminates these extra stoppages.


With five-axis machining, you can grip the part, perform all roughing operations, and then go back and finish machining—in essence, gripping the part only one time. This capability enables you to machine part features in the order that is most convenient and may make the most sense for optimum material removal. For example, a part may have neighboring features that chatter or vibrate. These features can be roughed from both sides to reduce the chatter. Being creative with the processing steps is likely to enable you to conquer more challenging features with the added flexibility.


Another advantage to five-sided machining must be mentioned here. If holes on a prismatic part must be located to key features with a tight tolerance, five-sided machining may enable the part to be positioned on the side that requires the least machining, leaving a high percentage of features accessible for processing in a single setup. On a highly accurate machine with five-sided capability, the position of these features will correlate. This is not usually the case when using multiple holding fixtures on a three-axis machine. Machining features in one operation reduces location errors resulting from moving the part.


From a mathematical or statistical process-control standpoint, process capability for, let’s say, 30 parts produced on a five-axis machine versus on a conventional machine will be higher on the five-axis machine by eliminating the human involvement required for part repositioning. Even on the most finely tuned conventional machine, slight error is introduced whenever parts are handled by the operator. Using five axes to complete a part in one cycle with little or no operator intervention avoids this source of error.


Having said all this, you might be surprised to learn that a five-axis machine is never quite as robust as a three-axis machine. In addition to X, Y and Z axes, the rotary tables or trunnion add more mechanical joints susceptible to flex and wear. Do not let this concern you. Most shops will use 3+2 positioning for the roughing cycle and then use full five-axis machining to finish. Position, then hog, position, then hog, then use five-axis machining to finish the part gracefully.


Machining molds on a three-axis machine has its own challenges and limitations. For deep-pocket molds or tall-core molds, the required tools tend to be longer and smaller in diameter. Feed rates must be slowed to minimize tool chatter and prevent breakage. In contrast, with full five-axis machining, you can use shorter, stouter tools; have better access to the surface without Z-axis interference; take heavier cuts; increase feed rates; remove more material faster; and achieve better surface finishes, all while requiring fewer setups and shorter machining times. The incremental increase in costs for a five-axis machine compared to a three-axis machine will generally be absorbed quickly through increased efficiency.


The current technology in today’s five-axis machines delivers greater capability. These machines always seem to get the job done faster by enabling you to do more work in a single operation. There are fewer operations to program and fewer fixtures to create, and there is less flipping of parts and less in-process movement of parts around the shop. This overall increase in shop efficiency means more money in the bank. Perhaps it’s time to start thinking seriously about five-axis machining.


If you have any interest in 5 axis machining center, please try to visit CNC-TAKANG Co., Ltd… It is the company of specializing in various lathe machines. You can find CNC lathes, double column machining centers, precision lathes, heavy duty lathes, and much more machinery on its website. More details, do not hesitate to check out their website and feel free to send inquiry to CNC-TAKANG.



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Buying a VMC: Considering Toolchanger, Coolant Delivery and Chip Removal

Among characteristics like structure and spindle quality, here are a few factors to consider when buying a vertical machining center.


Whether it’s for a toolroom, a job shop or a production house, there are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to acquiring a vertical machining center (VMC). Key preliminary considerations include the intended application and workpiece(s) and the needs of a shop’s various departments. And then there’s the research and data-gathering process.


In addition to characteristics like structure and stability and spindle details, potential VMC buyers should keep in mind how the toolchanger, coolant delivery and chip disposal systems contribute to overall machine efficacy.


Selecting the Toolchanger


The toolchanger specified for a new VMC must have an adequate number of tooling pockets and be able to accommodate the size and weight of the cutting tool assemblies. Every VMC has a maximum tool weight and diameter that its toolchanger can handle to prevent a tool from dropping out of the pocket.


In high-production environments, where many tools may be required to machine the parts, tool-change time can have a substantial influence on efficiency. For example, having a machine capable of a 1.4-second chip-to-chip tool-change time, rather than 3.6 seconds, can quickly add up to more productivity and profit.


Coolant Concerns


For certain applications, optional provisions for delivering coolant at high pressure directly through the spindle are recommended. Coolant pressure as high as 1,000 psi is intended to promote chip evacuation from deep bores in which chip breaking is directed at the tool point. Unlike time-consuming peck-drilling cycles, through-the-tool, high-pressure coolant enables the material to be removed in one pass. This approach may reduce drilling time by as much as 30 percent. Additionally, the part remains cooler, surface finishes inside the bores are protected, accuracy of the parts is maintained and cutting tools last longer.


For high-pressure coolant, the capacity of the coolant tank may need to be enlarged. Likewise, an oil skimmer may be an option to consider for extracting waste oil from water-soluble coolant.


Chip Removal


Chip removal is an important consideration that is often overlooked in the evaluation of a new CNC machine. Whether chips are evacuated from the machining zone with water, oil or air jets, they will fall to the bottom of the machine. A smaller volume of chips can be removed by an auger, which is typically standard on most VMCs, but a large volume of chips may require a conveyor. Although it is possible to have the machine operator manually remove chips from the machine, this task is labor-intensive and messy. Using a chip auger or conveyor to remove chips automatically and deposit them in an external bin is recommended. Pay attention to whether the chip conveyor or auger evacuates the chips from the side or rear of the machine, however. The location of the chute determines how much space will be needed on the shop floor, how close the machine can be placed to other machines or walls, and how easily a fork truck can retrieve a loaded chip bin.


If you need more information about vertical machining center, I recommend that you can visit the website of Vision Wide.


Vision Wide Tech is a professional and experience vertical machining centers manufacturer based in Taiwan. If you are looking for high efficient, high accuracy and durable vertical central machinery or other machining centers, you can count on them. Visit Vision Wide: to get more details.


By the way, if you are also looking for coolant, you can visit the website of Min June Hong. The company is the reliable lubricant and oil manufacturer in Taiwan. Learn more details about coolant series, try to click here:


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Does Automotive Wheel Machining Benefit From a Purpose-Built Wheel Machine?

Victor Taichung Machinery Works, based in Taiwan, makes a wide variety of machine tools, including turning machines and multi-purpose milling machines, but an interesting specialty application of the company are wheel machines.


In the video above, we speak with Wayne Hsueh, director of overseas marketing division at Victor Taichung Machinery Works about the difference between wheel machines and general purpose multi-axis machine tools.


“The car wheel machine is for clamping the part, because for the part to be clamped, you need a special chuck,” Hsueh explained.


“Usually for special purpose machines, the chuck is the key component to reduce setup time and for clamping efficiency. Wheel chips are also different from steel chips, so even a chip conveyor and the protection of ball screws are also somewhat different. For special purpose machines, you should pay attention to the kind of part you’re making, what kinds of chips are produced, what kind of coolant you use and how you dispose of it.”


Hsueh explains that Victor Taichung’s special-purpose wheel machines are actually modified general-purpose machines – this saves costs for the company as well as its customers.


“We can mass produce all the machine parts, as 80 percent of parts are compatible (between machines),” Hsueh said. “We have some customers that want special-purpose machines only and we pay a lot of attention to them. If we increase production of our general-purpose machine, the special-purpose machine would also become cheaper. We like it cheaper for mass production. That’s why we have a special machine for wheels, but wheel machines are heavy duty for heavy cutting. You need a very reliable machine base and fortunately at Victor Taichung Machines, we build the machines this way from the beginning.”


For more information, visit the Victor Taichung Machinery Works website.



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No.1 Taiwan Machine Tool Builder

Founded in 1954, Victor Taichung Machinery Works Co., Ltd. started with making conventional lathes in Taiwan and now steadily supplies CNC lathes and machining centers by devoting her management to non-stop R&D and innovations. With more than 65% in-house manufacturing and her own foundry to offer highly reliable Meehanite® castings to further assure machine quality. All products are marketed globally under the brand names VICTOR or FORTUNE (in North America) which highlight her strong position as the leading machine tool manufacturer in Taiwan.


Insisting on Technology Innovations and Quality Superiority, Victor Taichung is continuously devoted to developing new generation of machine tools. Besides the existing Vturn range of Horizontal CNC slanted bed Lathes (from 6 to 24 chucks) and Vcenter range of vertical machining center (from 0.5 to 1.5 meter for X-axis travel), Victor Taichung has been focusing to develop high speed, high precision and more comprehensive machine tools. New lathe models Vturn-II series horizontal lathes and vertical lathes were launched since 2000 so as to offer high spindle speed and multi-function machines for competitive markets. Also more vertical and horizontal machine centers were introduced. The moving column machining center Vc-205 and horizontal machining center Vcenter-500/630/800 were all launched within the past three years to offer high spindle speed, upgrading performance, multi-function and turnkey solution for competitive markets.


To ensure marketing for the own products, Victor Taichung has invested considerably in setting up a global distribution network. As well as numerous agents around the world the Victor group has 8 technical support and distribution centers located in USA, England, France, Germany, South Africa, Malaysia, Thailand and China. These centers act not only to market our machines but also to provide our customers with an efficient after-sales service and technical support. Victor Taichung will keep on manufacturing modern machine tools with greater value added and creating prosperous future for the industry.


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Maxmill Vertical Machining Centers

Maxmill Machinery specializes in vertical machining centers. It has been dedicated for development and manufacture of machining centers for more than 16 years. The major parts of vertical machining centers, such as bases, column, saddles, are manufactured from high quality alloy cast iron. It features maximum material stability, minimum deformation and lifetime accuracy. Learn more about the machining center, please visit our website.

VMC-855 Vertical Machining Center

VMC-855 Vertical Machining Center

Maxmill Machinery Co., Ltd.
No. 90, Alley 189,Wuguang Rd., Wuri Shiang, Taichung Hsien, 414, Taiwan
Tel: 886-4-23388879
Fax: 886-4-23388919


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