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.
brass bridge workpieces after profile machining in a 16-station custom fixture
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Watchmaking: A Machinist’s View

Old-world craftsmanship combines with precision machining on a vertical machining center and Swiss-type lathe to produce some of the only U.S.-made mechanical wristwatch movements.

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In recent years, China’s patterns of consumption have had an exaggerated effect on global cycles.
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