Firstly, maybe we should get to the fundamental basics. What is a Vertical Machining Centre or VMC? Vertical machining or vertical machining centres are historically known as milling machines. The process undertaken by a VMC is the rotational movement of cutting tools and drills to remove material from a component. The concept of a VMC is that parts are clamped to the machine bed via vices, rotary tables and other clamping devices whilst the cutting tool rotates in the spindle to remove material. In most instances the machine bed moves in X, Y and Z axes to perform metal removal.
Should I buy a Vertical Machining Centre?
If you are considering investing in a new machine tool, you may want to consider what type of machine best suits your business. The vertical machining centre (VMC) is the most commonly purchased milling platform. But why opt for the vertical machining centre (VMC)?
With the increasing uptake of multi-axis machine tools, the VMC remains the machine of choice. Manufacturers need to consider their production aims, the types of materials that will be machined and most importantly the type of components that are being manufacturing now, and in the future. There are many key reasons that the 3-axis VMC remains the machine of choice. Firstly, it is the most cost-effective and versatile platform available to small businesses. As your business evolves, you can conveniently add 4th-axis devices and automation to enhance the capabilities of the machine. Secondly, the 3-axis platform is significantly less expensive than more capable 5-axis variants. And thirdly, compared to other machine tool configurations, the 3-axis machine has a relatively small footprint that allows it to fit into any manufacturing facility.
If the 3-axis VMC is the route you wish to take, your next step is to consider the multitude of options. If you are machining hard materials or searching for high material removal rates (MRR), you need a heavy-duty machine platform. If your business is undertaking the cutting of aluminium and other less challenging materials, you may wish to compromise rigidity and opt for high-speed spindles and high feed rates for light cutting work. Other points for consideration are your desired precision levels, work envelope and surface finishes.
If you are not sure which direction to take, please contact GM CNC where we have a complete range of machine tools that cover everything from 3-axis to 5-axis vertical machining centres, horizontal machining centres (HMC’s), turning centres and multi-spindle turning centres as well as a host of other machines to meet your needs.
Explore the Victor Vertical Machining Centres from GM CNC here.