Metal Cutting

Vertical Machining Centers (VMCs)

A vertical machining center (VMC) is a machining center with its spindle in a vertical orientation. High-end VMCs are high-precision machines often used for tight-tolerance milling, such as fine die and mold work. Low-cost vertical machining centers are among the most basic CNC machine tools. A low-cost VMC is often a new machine shop’s first machine tool purchase.

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From Media to Manufacturing

From Media to Manufacturing


Video producers with no previous knowledge of CNC discover the power and possibilities of modern machine tool technology. Their example says something about where manufacturing talent might come from, and also about the importance of manufacturing as a whole.

Taking the Long View on Short Runs


Certain jobs require a processing strategy that strikes a balance between the needs of high-volume production and low-quantity toolroom work. Reorganizing material flows and investing in machining centers designed specifically for small lots helped this manufacturer find that middle ground.

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The Challenges of Machining Glass-Filled Plastics


Plastics reinforced with glass present more machining variables to manage than conventional metals. This shop has developed a process to overcome those challenges and has become more adroit at short-run work along the way.



Sodick OPM250L

Hybrid Machine Enables Milling between Additive Passes

By: Jedd Cole
Sodick’s OPM250L combines additive metal manufacturing and high-speed milling into the same workspace, enabling single-process production of finished components.

Southwestern Industries Trak

Mills and Lathes with CNC Technology Increase Productivity

By: Jedd Cole
Southwestern Industries will exhibit its Trak line of mills and lathes featuring the company’s ProtoTrak conversational CNC language, designed to reduce time-consuming machine setups and enable less-skilled machinists to do higher-level work.

Okuma MU-4000V

Five-Axis VMC Provides Stable Design, Error-Compensating Technologies

By: Jedd Cole
Okuma’s MU-4000V vertical machining center is designed for five-axis multi-sided machining applications in the aerospace and die/mold industries.

Stainless Steel Can Be Heat-Treated to 50-53 HRC

By: Jedd Cole
International Mold Steel will introduce S-Star-A, a 420 stainless steel in the annealed condition that can be heat-treated to hardness of 50-53 HRC and will be stocked in plate form to 6" thick.

Methods Machine Tools Appoints Chief COO

By: Jedd Cole
Jerry Rex has some 40 years of manufacturing experience and also serves on the board of directors for AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology.


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