What is CNC Vertical Machining Center – VMC Machine Applications & Difference Between Horizontal Machining Center


CNC machining center is a highly automated multi-functional machine tool that can be divided into horizontal and vertical machining centers, what’s the difference between them? Here is the introduction to what is CNC vertical machining center (VMC) and the applications of VMC machines.



What is Vertical Machining Center – How to Define CNC Vertical Machining Center

Vertical machining center (VMC) refers to the machining center of which the spindle axis and the worktable set vertically, it can perform milling, boring, drilling, tapping, thread cutting, and more operations. CNC vertical machining center is a type of Computer Numerical Control VMC that has vertically oriented spindles that approach workpiece mounted on worktable from above and equipped with tool magazine system and automatic tool changer. In CNC vertical milling center, the material to be processed will be held on the table and the cylindrical cutters oriented vertically on a spindle axis.


VMC Machine Applications & Uses

Due its advantages and characteristics, CNC vertical machining center can be applied in machinery manufacturing industries with high precision and mass production requirements, such as aerospace, automobile, instrumentation, light and textile, electronic and electrical, mold making, military products, handicrafts, etc. VMC is primarily suitable for processing workpieces with complex shape, high accuracy & precision and multiple procedures.
1) Box type parts
Box type CNC machining parts refers the workpiece with over one hole system and many cavities inside, mainly applied in machine tool, car and airplane, like engine block, gearbox, spindle box, diesel engine block, gear pump shell, etc. When using a vertical machining center, 60% – 95% of the process of ordinary machine tools can be completed in one-time clamping. In addition, the CNC VMC has high accuracy and efficiency, rigidity and automatic tool changing device, as long as the process flow is well formulated, proper fixtures and tools used, many problems of box types parts machining can be solved.

2) Complex curved parts
In the aviation and transportation industry, the parts with the complex curved surface are widely used, such as cams, integral impellers of engines, propellers, mold cavities, etc. This kind of parts with a complex curve, surface contour, or box or casing parts with closed inner cavity are difficult to achieve the predetermined machining accuracy and detect by conventional machine tools or precision casting. A multi-axis machining center with automatic programming technology and special tools, can greatly improve its production efficiency and ensure the shape accuracy of the surface, making the automatic machining of complex parts become easy.

3) Special or irregular shaped parts
Irregular machined parts have special shapes, most of them need multi-point mixed processing of point, line and face, such as bracket, base, etc. When machining special -shaped components, the more complex the shape is, the higher the accuracy required, while VMC shows its benefits at such moment.

4) Board, sleeve and plate parts
This kind of workpiece often includes keyway and radial hole. The end face with hole system or curved plate and shaft, like shaft sleeve, plate with many holes, like motor covers, often uses vertical machining center; and horizontal machining centers are often used for parts with radial holes.

5) New parts in trial production
The machining center has high adaptability and flexibility. When the machining object is changed, you only need to build and input new programs, even modify some program segments or utilize some special instructions sometimes. For example, use the zoom function can realize machining of parts with the same shape but different sizes, which provides great convenience for a single piece, small-batch, multi-variety production, and new product trial, and greatly shortens the production preparation and trial manufacturing cycle.


Difference Between Horizontal and Vertical Machining Centers

1) Vertical machining center refers to the machining center with a vertical spindle while the spindle of the horizontal machining center is in horizontal.
2) The worktable of the vertical machining center is rectangular and has no indexing rotation function. While horizontal center usually has a rotating table with automatic indexing.
3) The horizontal machining center is easier to remove chips and reduce the damage to tools.
4) The vertical machining center has a simpler structure, smaller floor area, and lower price.