Vertical Machining Centers (VMCs)

CNC vertical machining centers (VMCs) remain machine shop staples. These milling machines have vertically oriented spindles that approach workpieces mounted on their table from above and commonly perform 2.5- or 3-axis machining operations. They are less costly than horizontal machining centers (HMCs), which makes them attractive to small job shops as well as larger machining operations. In addition, the performance of these machines has increased over the years, leveraging technologies such as high-speed spindles and advanced CNC capabilities (including conversational control programming). Ancillary equipment is also available to increase the flexibility and capability of these machines, including spindle speeders, angle heads, tool- and part-probes, quick-change workholding devices, and rotary indexers to enable four- or five-axis machining work.
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The 2016 Capital Spending Survey

The machine tool market bottomed in the summer of 2016, but will continue to rebound in 2017 as shops invest in technology for unattended operation.
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Opportunities for Hybrid Manufacturing in Oilfield Applications

A contract manufacturer is finding uses for a hybrid additive manufacturing and five-axis milling machine for oilfield drills, valves and other end-use components.
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Air-Powered Spindles Enable 50,000-rpm Milling

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