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.
Feature When part volumes are high, and success is measured in pennies and seconds, moving away from horizontal machines requires creative thinking about robotics, cutting tools, workholding and more.
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