Many small and medium sized CNC machine shops, satisfy demand for most machining orders with vertical CNC milling machines( VMC). They are by far the leading piece of precision machining equipment utilized on the shop floor today. This technology employs a spindle in a vertical orientation, working with gravity, allowing for the removal of material from the top of a workpiece. VMC's possess 3, 4, or even 5-axis capability allowing for a range of possibilities in shaping parts. The addition of pallet changers can increase productivity by shortening cycle and load times. They traditionally have proven more versatile than their horizontal counterparts and have relatively simple CNC controls to program. Perhaps the most important consideration involves cost. VMCs are far less expensive than their horizontal counterparts. So in a nutshell, if you are a smaller machine shop where money is tight and experience is limited, or if you haven't acquired the necessary skills and experience to run a HMC, and you don't need to fill high capacity orders, VMCs are a good option.
Today's HMCs have the potential to double the capacity of the two VMCs we currently run. HMCs are designed with the spindle in a horizontal orientation. This configuration allows for uninterrupted production work. A two-pallet workchanger can be loaded on one side while CNC machining occurs on the other. In addition, the horizontal orientation orientation lets workpiece chips fall out of the way aided by gravity, resulting in less cleanup time, longer tool life and better finishes. You get what you pay for with an HMC. They are built well with a heavy design and more rigidity for high volume capacity, and are configured with many more options to improve productivity. Buyers can choose to add axes, tombstone capabilities, pallet changers, spindle coolant, additional vises and more.
HMC from SINO: