Vertical Milling Services Explained
There are a variety of different types and styles of milling machines within the metal fabrication industry today. Milling and laser metal cutting services can produce high precision products and parts in different shapes and sizes. Some machines work well for a wide range of pieces, while others are better for specialized pieces that require unique patterns. Vertical milling machines are ideal for more specialized pieces because their easy operation allows for quality and precision checks throughout the manufacturing process.
WHAT IS VERTICAL MILLING?
A vertical milling machine has cutters (or spindles) that rotate to remove material from a work piece. With a vertical milling machine, the orientation of the spindle is vertical, which allows other parts of the machine to shift along one or more axes. This enables the machine to move the material so that it’s in the right location for more precise and correct milling.
There are two main types of vertical mills:
- Turret mill: In a turret mill, the spindle is stationary and doesn’t move. However, the bed of the machine that holds the material does move, either vertically or horizontally. This makes the turret mill very versatile because you can change the position of the material in both directions. It’s best to use turret mills for smaller pieces. It can be more difficult to cut larger pieces with the turret mill’s two-axis movement.
- Bed mill: In the bed mill, the machine can only move material along the horizontal axis and the spindle can only move along the vertical axis. However, the spindle can move up and down. The bed mill is better for cutting larger and heavier pieces because the varied movement of the spindle and bed allow for a wider range of motion.
BENEFITS OF VERTICAL MILLING SERVICES
There are a few benefits of vertical milling services. They include:
- Lower upfront costs. Vertical milling machines typically cost less than other types of milling machines.
- Higher number of skilled vertical milling machine operators. Because vertical milling is so popular, more people know how to operate this type of machinery.
- Simple programming. User-friendly controls make programming simple, which allows operators to spend less time on setup and more time ensuring quality and precision.
- Great for less complex jobs. Vertical milling machines are perfect for quick milling jobs that require fewer quantities.
VERTICAL MILLING VS. OTHER TYPES OF MILLING MACHINES
There are various types of milling machines and cutters. Some of them differ from vertical milling machines in many ways.
- Horizontal milling machines: Horizontal mills don’t use fixed spindles, unlike vertical milling equipment. The spindle rotates horizontally and is attached to an arbor. When the arbor stretches along the length of the bed, more than one cutter can be installed. Horizontal mills can complete tasks faster and can handle more precise, complex jobs than vertical milling machines can. However, because of this advantage, horizontal mills are often more expensive.
- Ram-type milling machines: With ram-type milling machines, the spindle is mounted to a movable housing on the column. This allows the cutter to move horizontally. Two ram-type milling machines include the floor-mounted universal milling machine and the swivel cutter head ram-type milling machine. The ram-type milling machine can move along the X and Y axes, which isn’t a fixed position that’s typical of vertical mills.
- CNC milling machines: Controlled by a computer, CNC milling machines are more versatile than vertical milling machines. The spindles can move in all directions and tables can rotate 360 degrees.
WHEN TO USE VERTICAL MILLING SERVICES
There are many things to consider when trying to decide when to use vertical milling services. You should ask yourself a few questions. How many planes does the piece have? How big is the piece? What is its shape? What type of shape are you trying to achieve? These are major factors in choosing vertical milling services. While horizontal milling is better suited for heavier and larger objects and can complete tasks faster, vertical milling works well for smaller pieces and less complex work.
If you are not on a time contstraint, vertical milling services may be best for you and your company’s manufacturing needs. Vertical milling is also a viable option for jobs that are mostly worked on a single side, such as sinking dies and large metal plates. Furthermore, vertical milling machines can be a great choice if you are looking for more affordable manufacturing services.
LEADERS IN VERTICAL MILLING SERVICES
At New Age Metal Fabrication (NAMF) and New Age Precision Manufacturing (NAPM), we are leaders in providing custom vertical milling services for the Defense and Aerospace industries. Parterning with us will save you the time and expense of finding multiple suppliers. Between NAMF and NAPM, we control every step of the manufacturing process including dip-brazing, painting, chemical film finishing and more. Contact us today to learn more about our services.