Latest Advancements in CNC Machining Center

Any CNC milling or drilling machine is referred to as a CNC machine center. There machines tend to include an automatic tool changer along with a table to clamp the workpiece. The way it works is that a tool rotates while the workpiece stays in place. Most important characteristic of this machine is the orientation.

This machine makes use of Computer Numerical Control and allows precise control over a majority of the parameters like speed, location, coordination as well as the feed rate. It is possible for a single programmer to control the machine work using a computer console on a CNC machine. This is the equivalent of multiple operators working on other machines like lathes, grinders, routers and mills.

These computerized automated machines are usually more efficient as well. This article goes on to explain benefits of using this machine, how the horizontal CNC machining one is different from the vertical CNC and their applications.

Why CNC Machining Center?

The main reason for using CNC machine is because of all the automation features. Besides that, it is faster, has a higher production rate and is highly accurate as well. These machines have good cutting quality. These machines make the process of working on complex surfaces easier.
There are many other reasons of using these machines as per this list:

  • Labour safety
  • Lowers chances of going wrong
  • High accuracy
  • Ability to monitor process
  • Less need for test runs
  • Greater Flexibility
  • Higher cutting parameters
CNC – Vertical Machining Center

Past, Present and Future of CNC Machining Center

A lathe machine has been around since the 3rd century BC in ancient Egypt. Mycanean Greek implemented it during the 13th and 14th century BC as per various discoveries made. There is also a painting from the 3rd century of a lathe device and several artefacts from the 6th century. It was an important device during the industrial revolution and is the mother of all machine tools.

Prior to the late 19th century, this machine was mechanically driven however, it has been replaced with electric motors since then. Further advancements lead to the introduction of the computerized control panel. Precision level of these machines is expected to become better in the future.
Some of the next generation technology includes a next generation computer numerical controls (CNC), advanced CNC programming, implementing CNC intelligence along with automation & 3D printing as well as virtually reality.

How Horizontal & Vertical CNC Machining are Different?

The main difference between a vertical CNC machine and horizontal machine center is spindle structure; one has a vertical spindle and the other a horizontal. There is a difference movement pattern as well. The vertical machining center column usually does not move. Moveable ones will do so only in X and Y direction. On the other hand, the horizontal machining center is a moving column of type T. It moves along X direction, and the column of an inverted T type moves along Z direction.
A vertical machine is also easier to install and operate. The debugging process is also easier. Structural complexity of the horizontal one is higher, and production capacity is lower.

Industrial Application of CNC Horizontal Machining Centre

A Horizontal Machining Centre is best suited for heavy duty and high-speed machining as well as when machining is necessary on multiple sides. It is useful for big and small parts and applicable in a high or low production environment. It is useful for both low as well as high volume production requirements.

Industrial Application of CNC Vertical Machining Centre

Vertical machining centres are useful for die sinking. VMCs are known for milling and have several applications in many industries include the oil industry. There are many advancements in CNC machine tools and thus are useful in a greater number of applications.

Shearing Machines – Today & Tomorrow!

A shearing machine has several functions like cutting through hard metal sheets, cloth, plates of metal and several other types of material. This machine can be powered in many different methods like it can be pneumatic, hydraulic or electric. This shearing machine has sturdy blades that are made from sturdy high carbon steel. This is one of the most popular machines used in the metal manufacturing industry.

What is a Shearing machine?

A shearing machine specializes in steel sheet metal cutting. It is essentially as per the structure of a sub-gantry shears, discs shears, punching, etc. There are several types of shears, for example, the gantry shears can cut the straight edge of the sheet of wool bud. The aim of the shearing process is to make sure that sheared surfaces are straight and parallel with minimum plate distortion.

Types of Shearing machines?

There are several types of Shearing machines as per the list here:

  • Alligator shear:

This has a hinged jaw to cut metal and hence it is named as alligator shear. It is powered with the help of hydraulic cylinder and mainly comes in use for cutting long metal stock. This includes angle, iron, pipes, l-beams, etc.

  • Bench shear:

The bench mounted shear is ideal for cutting rough shapes from a medium sized sheet metal to offer an additional mechanical advantage via a compound mechanism.  Hence larger the machine, greater is the stress withstanding power to produce a better burrs free cuts.

  • Guillotine:

A guillotine is a machine that consists of a shear table, a work holding device as well as a gauging device along with upper and lower shears. This can be either mechanical or hydraulic and even powered by foot.  The moving blade is kept straight or can even be set on an angle. The aim of getting the setting right is to reduce the amount of force required to cut a large metal piece.

  • Power shears:

The power shear is the optimal selection of machine for blanking large piece of sheet metal. It can be operated both electrically and pneumatically. It can cut in straight lines or large radius curves and are more flexible, efficient, accurate, and durable with better finish quality.

  • Throat-less shear:

This type of sheer is the best one to use to make a straight, intricate curved or irregular cuts as well as throat less sheer. The main difference being that its design allows it to move round freely.

  • Snips

This is a type of hand too that can cut sheet metal and is of few different types like snips, tinner snips, compound action snips. The tin snips have a circular pattern, the hawks bill pattern can cut radii on the inside and outside of circles but require sharp turns when cutting.

  • Nibblers

The nibbler also works like tin snips that work of a punch and die formation. The main benefit being it is robust and durable and has an ability to produce distortion free cuts, it is fast and has a low force feed.

Future of Shearing Machines

Although the principle of shearing is the same there are several improvements coming into the section of NC and CNC. The machines are shifting in the digital era and tend to have lesser controls to operate. They only have the bare minimum control and a digital readout or a push button for essential purposes.

There are also some advancements and future scope for improvements in the control technology, accuracy, back gauge speeds. Additionally, usages of ball-screw and servo drives are making the shear more valuable and cost effective.