Horizontal machining center
Horizontal machining center is one of the highly studied and evolved machine tool models that can deal with multiple types of machining tasks all at one stop due to its multitasking and convenient design. At the very first, machine centers is evolved from the design of vertical milling machines at the mid of the 20th century; since then, the research and development of this specific type of machine tools has experienced a continual progresses well in the lab as well as in the industry, and after that, a diversified of machine centers are broadly applied in all kinds of industries for professional and precision usages, contributing a broad range of industrial achievements.
The term “horizontal machining center” can be used to describe a wide variety of CNC (Computer Numerical Control) milling and drilling machineries that include several critical accessories designed and assembled together with the machine frame itself, such as tool magazine (there are different kind of magazine designs), ATC (automatic tool changer), power tool turret (hydraulic, powered), CMM (Coordinate Measuring Machine), multi-axis working tables (with different guide movement designs), just to name a few here.
Regarding the machine tool inventory, besides the model of vertical and horizontal, there are still other categories in the machining center inventory. Vertical machining center is the arrangement of its structure that aligns vertically, and the work pieces are thus machined by cutting tools that go down and go up vertically. Meanwhile, on the contrary to the vertical machining centers, horizontal machining centers have the spindle arranged horizontally and the machining procedure is processed horizontally.
For both vertical and horizontal models, either one could be equipped with 5 axes. Regarding the 5 axis machining centers, there are mainly three types of construction methods that constitute the five axes movement. With the swing head alone that can achieve all the processing angles, the swing head model of machines is considered convenient as well as other 4+1 and 3+2 machining centers, while the latter two are with more practical advantages such as great flexibility and practical prices. Normally the 3+2 model is a conventional CNC three axis machining center to be installed with another working table whose mechanism contains other two axes. Therefore, with the two axes designed on the rotary table (i.e. working table), the x, y, and z axis can move onto two new working dimensions that permit multiple angles of possible cutting processes. The same with the 4+1 structure and all these mechanisms are all under the control of computer numerical control unit that makes synchronized actions perfectly matched with the targeted accuracy. In onsite situation, if the size of work piece is too big, the machining would cause too much vibration to the machine body and thus deteriorate the precision frame of the machining centers, therefore, manufacturers might add some other structural designs onto the body in order to make it with better rigidity. Among the many designs, double column is one of the very practical solutions to solve the machining vibration issues while improve the accuracy at the same time. The double column machining centers are normally categorized into two types: either fixed column or moving column. The former is the design that both columns stay where they are without the possibility of moving, and the latter allows for another axis to be born, thus greatly improves the convenience of machining.