Does your shop do a lot of milling work? Perhaps you have dependable vertical machining center equipment, but you want to explore other possibilities. A horizontal milling machine may solve most of your problems. What is a horizontal machining center and is it right for your business? Let’s check it out and see.
A horizontal machining center (HMC) works differently from a vertical machining center (VMC). Vertical machines cut and remove material from above the workpiece. With HMC equipment, the spindle is parallel to the floor, and the milling cutters enter the workpiece from a horizontal angle.
HMC machines let you work faster because gravity works in their favor. Chips easily fall away from the cutting surface. With a VMC machine, cuttings can pile up easily and sometimes you have to remove them manually. It’s easier to cut gears and flutes with an HMC, due to the horizontal milling machine design.
HMC and Injection Molding
Many injection molding companies are now using HMC equipment. They use them with VMC machines, and this eliminates the need for some grinding applications. Also, HMC machines can do precision work.
Some shops use HMC machines for many uses, due to their flexibility. For example, hard milling and gun machining tasks are easier and faster. Because they have two pallets, your work pieces are more accessible. The design lets you use many types of tombstones. While the machine is running on the other pallet, the machinist can load workpieces. This is not possible with VMC equipment with its one pallet capacity.
A good horizontal milling machine is more expensive than VMC equipment. However, it offers many advantages. If you can’t afford new machinery, consider the services of a local machine or fabrication shop known for high-quality work. They can save you time and money.